What's Sheryll up to now?

California ( September 9-24, 2005)

North along the coast

The happiest place on Earth

We took a tour through Hearst Castle at San Simeon, north of Santa Barbara. It was built by wealthy newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst in the 1920s-1940s, and is now owned and maintained by the State of California.

The imposing towers of the main house ('Casa Grande') were inspired by a Spanish cathedral.

A trip through Europe with his mother when he was 10 years old gave Hearst an appreciation of its art and and history, and a desire to build something of similar grandeur to the castles he visited there.

William Randolph Hearst named the hill on which the castle was built 'La Cuesta Encantada' (The Enchanted Hill).

He regarded the San Simeon Coast as his "front yard", and the beach there is named after him.

The Neptune pool was built three times, each larger than the previous. The final version of the pool is 104 feet long and 58 feet wide.

Two swimming areas were built - the Neptune outdoor pool (shown above) and the indoor Roman pool, modelled after an ancient Roman bath.

Looking south along the coast from Bixby Bridge.

The coastline north of San Simeon is quite rugged, with headlands and high cliffs. Some areas were covered in fog banks, apparently a common phenomenon in summer.

Bixby Bridge is 714 feet long and has a main span of 320 feet. At 265 feet above Bixby Creek, it is one of the top ten highest single span bridges in the world.

The Bixby Bridge was built in 1932 over Bixby Creek, 13.3 miles south of Carmel. It was seismically retroffitted in 1998-2000 to withstand severe earthquakes, but its original Art Deco style has been preserved.

Golf courses along the drive include Spanish Bay, Spyglass Hill, Poppy Hills and the famous Pebble Beach Golf Links.

We took the 17 Mile Drive along the Monterey Peninsula through the Del Monte Forest between Carmel and Monterey to view the beautiful coastal scenery and golf courses (and expensive houses) set amongst it. We saw cormorants, seagulls, tamish squirrels, a sea otter, harbor seals, deer (on the golf courses) and even a mouse!

This Monterey cypress is reputed to be centuries old.

The Lone Cypress is much photographed, and is the official symbol of the Pebble Beach Company.

Turning my life around.....