2019 Sandy & Bill's West Coast Adventure travel blog

Lobby of Hotel Santa Barbara

Dolphin fountain at front of Santa Barbara pier

Front of Santa Barbara Mission

Sandy at front door of Santa Barbara Mission

Pacific Ocean at San Simeon, CA

Inquisitive little friend at San Simeon beach

Sandy is leerly of friendly squirrel at San Simeon beach

Neptune Pool with a 17th century statue of Neptune

Sandy standing on the side of Casa del Sol (House of Sun)

Front of Casa Grande

3,000 year old Egyptian statue of Sekhmet

17th century Flemish tapestries in Sitting Room

16th century hand carved choir chairs that line the Sitting Room walls

Indoor Roman Pool


Sandy and I were impressed with some aspects of the Reagan Presidential Library, notably the presence of the Boeing 707 Air Force 1. Neither of us had ever been to a Presidential library before, but since a lot of the exhibits were merely to glorify President Reagan, we weren't all that impressed with visit. The library did do a good job presenting the material included, but it just seemed a bit "over the top." Not sure if this library is representative of others or not, but we won't be hitting others for some time.

We visited Santa Barbara for the first time, and liked the town. State Street has many and varied restaurants. The Hotel Santa Barbara is a modest, somewhat older hotel, but it is definitely worth staying there, especially to use the elevator that is so old it has one of the retractable metal gates to enter the elevator. There is a certain vibe to the town that Sandy and I liked. Attached are pictures of the hotel lobby, a fountain at the front of the town's pier, the front of the Santa Barbara Mission, and Sandy at the front door of the Mission.

Hearst Castle is in San Simeon, CA, kind of in the middle of "no-where." Prior to visiting the castle, Sandy and I stopped at an overlook of the Pacific. We meet some curious little rodents, which for some reason appeared to make Sandy nervous. Attached are some pictures of that event.

Hearst Castle is almost indescribable unless you actually see the place. Called by Hearst, La Cuesta Encantada (The Enchanted Hill), the primary house is called Casa Grande, which is 68,500 square feet with 115 rooms, a library, movie theater, and indoor pool. We took the Grand Rooms tour today, seeing the Sitting Room, Dinning Room, Morning Room, indoor Roman Pool, and outdoor Neptune Pool. The Roman Pool has more than a million Murano glass tiles, some of which have gold leaf inside, and the Neptune Pool has a 17th century Italian statue of Neptune. The most historic aspect of the Neptune Pool is the supporting columns under Neptune's that are Roman columns from the 1st to the 4th centuries. There is also a statue in the garden of Egyptian goddess Sekhment that is over 3,000 years old. Just amazing!

Tomorrow we see more of Hearst Castle and then go to Big Sur. Thanks for reading.

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