The drive from Los Angeles to San Simeon is best described in one word: long. For a normal person, it takes four hours. Because I am the master of either space & time or the gas pedal, I did it in three and then had to add on an hour of nothing to get our prebooked tour. The return trip hit traffick around Santa Barbara & had me doing the full four. Still, I live.
The Hearst Castle is what it is: another major California attraction that once was a rich man’s home. The grand follies of the fabulously wealthy are interesting places to tour, and the primarily Southern European/Mediterranean exteriors of San Simeon contrasted against the Northern European/Gothic interiors make it feel like you’re stepping in and out of two completely different worlds. Superbly disconcerting. My interior photos didn’t turn out– no flash and no time to get the settings right.
After the tour & National Geographic propaganda film (no mention of Marion Davies?) we got lunch and sat around feeding potato chips to a murder of crows. Possibly the best part of the day.
There was an Indian family on the tour & they broke into the most Deadwood-esque dialogue I’ve ever heard.
Mother: “That man, he died. That man Hearst.”
11-Year Son: “Is he in Heaven? Was he a good man or a bad one?”
Father: “That’s for Jesus to judge. It’s not our place. It depends on his deeds.”
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