Monday, August 30, 2010

Hearst Castle and what I learned there

Hearst's pool the famous one.
Okay, so  this William Randolph Hearst dude;  he inherited a fat load of cash from his old man. He then made that into, a bunch more money. At one time like in 1910 or something, he owned a newspaper in every major city in the country and one in London too. He owned a movie studio and apparently made cartoons, including... Popeye the Sailor, which the family still has the rights to. So even if you have a reason to dislike Mr. Hearst, which I can imagine would be possible, he did give us the joy of Popeye.
He also was an art collector. Big time. After World War 1, many European families were destitute, and selling their collections. Mr. Hearst bought and bought and bought. So he grew up in California, and loved this place in the central coast called San Simeon. It is very pretty.  He decided to build a home there. It took 27 years. He worked with a brilliant architect, Julia Morgan, to create this amazing structure.
There are 4 different tours you can take. Sarah and I chose the one that gave us a chance to see Mr. Hearst's inner sanctum, his office and library. As well as the several guest rooms, the kitchens and the 2 pools. This building was made of steel reinforced concrete. That is not a big deal now. But in 1927 when they started this structure, it was a big ass deal. Each load of concrete was made on site, and poured by humans.  Not sprayed by a huge cement mixer. The desire for this construction was born out if Mr. Hearst's wish to protect his art collection from earthquakes and and war.  It is remarkable. So what did I learn here, at San Simeon.?

I learned something about partnership. Mr. Hearst and his architect, Julia Morgan, worked together. He dreamed it, she found ways to make his vision a reality. They collaborated in a unique way. To me, their partnership is the real story at Hearst Castle.  What a wonderful world it would be, if more people had that kind of partnership, that kind of vision for the future. If instead of tearing each other down, we could build things together.What would that be like? In business, in politics, in families and relationships. I think if you can find a dynamic partnership, you have really got something. But maybe.... and here is the tough part. These partnerships are created, not found. hmmmm well well.  That really is something for the old Enemy of Fun to ponder isn't it?

Here are some of the photos I took while we were there.

the sculpture up there is 700 years old.
Nice crib
bitchin' view of the Santa Lucia Mtns.

I love the strong SILENT type
A view from the top
a desk from one of the guest rooms
Hearst's private library 
The view from his balcony
No matter where I go, I find flowers :)

Okay, this is only a handful of the photos I took I will put few more on Facebook.
So that is it friends, my trip up the coast and back down again. My wander lust is sated for the moment. But you know it will not be  long before I am off again. I can not sit still for long.
until I see you again.
Love and Peace from Orange County, a bull dog snoring at my feet.


I am a big fan of the cupcake. It isn't as much of a commitment as a cake. And you know how I loathe commitment. My perfect cupcake is any that is in front of me.

Location : 643-767 The City Dr S, Orange, CA 92868,
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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Coming Home

Sunday morning, Sarah and I coffee'd up and she took the wheel headed south. It was very cool to watch the sun rise over the mountains. The  grey sky was a nice contrast to the bright blue from Saturday.   The light house was working on the rocks, and there was an odd comfort to it. Even so far away, it felt like a good omen that some one was looking out for us on that lonely road. We rode through  Big Sur again, and there were very few people out at 6:30 when we went by. The occasional runner. A car stopped watching the sunrise here and there.

It was very still and cool. The air smelled spicy but clean. Sarah and I listened to quiet music while we drove for a while, but then switched to something faster, and changed the lyrics to suit our preferences.
Particularly that KINGS OF LEON song... a mothers purgative. The River rushed by, the wind moved through the red woods. It was just like a dream .

Can you believe this is a real place?  That we just drove a few hours out of our ordinary lives, and there it is, waiting for you.

Yes we saw this guy, a big bambi, trucking down the side of Pacific Coast Highway. He ran along, or should I say" bounced along" for a long time, then, just jumped up in to the hill. We were so excited to see him, I nearly forgot to take pictures of him!

It is about 90miles from Monterey, south to San Simeon to see Hearst Castle.  I am sure it is beautiful any time of the day, and maybe even more beautiful at sunset. But I love the morning light. Maybe one day I will come back and take this drive at sunset, and see ... I hope that I have as good a travel companion next time, as I did this time. It occur to me, that as much as my nature tells me to travel alone. (so I don't annoy anyone with my constant need to stop and take a photo, here there and everywhere) Maybe the point of all this, is to share it. To have someone there to witness things with you. I thank you, dear friends for patiently indulging me with your time... reading the ravings of a mad woman. Looking at my crazy photos... Imagine my dear daughter, and how exhausted she must be with me.
I have the photos from Hearst Castle to share. What a place.
Love and Peace from the passenger seat, debra....

Edge of Reason

Driving south on this road, the coastline is very dynamic. Shifting rocks, crashing surf. Even the wind in these giant redwood seems to want a change. It is easy to see why people long ago thought that you could fall off the edge of the planet into oblivion.

Looking out over that guard rail, a piece of steel between me and  scouring into infinity. I see a hand, very like my own, with multi colored fingernails has s grip on me. I'm not going anywhere for a long time.

Location : Cabrillo Hwy, San Simeon, CA 93452,
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Saturday, August 28, 2010

17 mile road

there were all these stones stacked up.... very zen
this cool beach at Spanish Bay

Monterey Cypress
a big Rock with birds on it

a 300 year old cypress, it survived fires
sarah looks up at the ancient trees
the famous lone cypress...
flowers and the surd
near the lone cypress
detail of the cypress
blue sky
I love this place
Sarah and the cypress
the cypress

Saturday- Carmel by the Sea

Breakfast in heaven

Eggs Benedict- my version of yummy
Sarahs peanut butter pancakes 
So we had the most amazingly yummy breakfast at Katy's Place on Carmel. If you visit this town, or are within 100 miles of it, please stop in. You will be glad you did. It is on Mission Street between 5th and 6th.

Now parking and driving in Carmel is an experience in and of itself. There are very few street signs, No house numbers at all. The homes here have names, instead of numbers. Like Casa Nova, Lilliput,
and Steel Away. ( so cute it made me a bit nauseous)
 The light here is beautiful, the scenery is wonderful. The people are a bit odd, and very very rich. We are having a great time. We went on to 17 Mile Road, which runs through Pebble Beach, Spy Glass Spanish Bay and another golf course but. I can not remember the name.
the Lone Cypress
Here is what I saw.

Sarah is always pretty but, with this light behind her, she looks perfect.

Breakfast, dreams and Orange juice.

This is Sarah, although km excited about breakfast I can't help but  stare at the snutey older people and snotty younger ones. Breakfast is here more later.

Location : 4-12 Mission St, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93923,
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Saturday Morning

Okay so we are not staying at the Ritz Carlton, it is a Super 8. It is clean, in a safe part of town, and was not $300 a night. It smells weird in hotels, the sounds are unnerving. I am a light sleeper most of the time, but in a hotel... if I get 2 hours, that is a good night. 
When I did sleep last night, I had the most bizarre, vivid dreams. About baby elephants, and pool restoration. I dreamed I was traveling for work, and my clothes kept flying out of my bag. I dreamed of penguins. Honestly.... what is in the water here?

Sarah is getting ready and we are off chasing the light. lots of plans today. Many involving food.
We will head to the Carmel Beach, to 17 mile road, to Carmel by the Sea, and wherever else looks enticing.  I will update as we go along, so all of you dears can come with us. A journey is nothing, if you have not got someone to share it with, and I chose all of you, and my co-pilot, partner in crime, and guardian bell with legs.... Sarah Rowan.

Off we go.... Love and peace,
debra- tired but happy.

Friday, August 27, 2010

On the Road

THe My memory of this road was flawed. It is far more beautiful than I remembered. Perhaps the company on this trip is making everything a bit brighter. The color a bit more vivid. The air smells much sweeter. The cookies taste a lot better. Sarah handled the PCH like a champ. I was even a bit nervous a few times. They closed the road down in a few places  so that only a couple cars could get past rock slides. This must be a common occurrence, there are signs and huge nets to catch the falling stones. But going around those blind turns with a mountain on our right and a lane of cars between us and a 400 foot sheer cliff over the ocean, even my nerves were a bit on edge. Sarah said I can drive back home when we are on the water side of the  road. :) I can deal with that.... here are some photos from the morning.
Getting out of town on the 101 Ventura Highway in the smog...

The moon setting over down town Los Angeles, that brown layer is smog... ugh...

Sarah and her baked goods, Lemon square, Pecan Bar and a Camens delight bar. Good coffee too. This is in the town of Solvang North of Santa Barbara.

Morro Bay, a fishing town, and know for its Salt Water Taffy.

Leaving Morro Bay, heading for Big Sur, we lost our cell phone service, there are no towers at all, it was beautiful and very lonely.

That is Hearst Castle in San Simeon up there in the distance. Sarah wants for us to visit it on our way home. She wants to see the hidden passages.... I am always in to see the Hearst art collection. It defies description.
Yellow flowers at the beach. very cool, there were Seal Lions out in the water, barking and playing, and stinking to high heaven.
can you smell him? I can, whew powerful. But they seemed to be having a blast riding the waves and diving in and around.
yes, the water really is that blue, this is through the car windshield too.

Sarah contemplates her mother.

many bridges, many hills many blind turns. It was like a lesson in life. What is around that corner? Should you take the chance that there is something scary there, or stay were you are? If you go forward, you may find something you don't expect. 

But if you stay in one place, you could miss something wonderful, amazing, and worth the risk.
I am always going to take the leap, I think Sarah will too. I want to eat life up, and see all that I can.
The big green redwood trees in Big Sur. It was like something out of a dream these huge, ancient trees.  They smelled so good, the air was so cool. Didn't Jack Kerouac write "Dharma Bums" about this place? 
 A light house very far away, but still reminding me, there are guides out there, to help us on our way.
The Famous Bixby Bridge, stunning. So hard to get too, I am glad we made it here. Sarah was amazed by the color of the water. The power of the place. You can really feel something bigger than yourself when you are there.  I am so lucky to be here with my girl. I wish you could be here too.
the beautiful light, my beautiful daughter, this beautiful place. Who is doing better than me?
until tomorrows adventures....
love and peace from Monterey Bay.