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The Bungalow on a Hill – A Visit to Hearst Castle

Bucket list has one less item, yo. Unbeknownst to me, I guess it was taking up quite a bit of bucket space, because this was a PLACE, my friend.


What I loved about Hearst Castle is that here we were, driving along the coast on HWY 1, honestly out in the middle of nowhere, and then BOOM. Rosemarie was at the helm, I’m looking out the window, and I’m like… “Uhhh, yeah. I think I just spotted it. It’s up there on that hill.” Kinda hard to miss, if you ask me.


I can’t tell you how massive this “castle” was. And honestly, it’s like a handful of mansions all bunched up together. But whoa… so fabulous. Back in the day, when William Randolph Hearst was tossing around the idea of building something atop this massive hill (they did and still do ranching) he initially figured a nice little bungalow was the way to go. He was quoted as saying “I would like to build something upon the hill at San Simeon. I get tired of going up there and camping in tents. I’m getting a little too old for that. I’d like to get something that would be a little more comfortable.”


Ummmmmmm yeah.


(Notice the old school condiments on the table. It’s like, “Oh HEY 12th century-style Spanish ceilings. I’m what they call ketchup.”)

The construction of Hearst Castle began in 1919 and halted in 1947, when Hearst’s health began to decline. It features 56 bedrooms, 61 bathrooms, 19 sitting rooms, 127 acres of gardens, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts, a movie theater, an airfield, and the world’s largest private zoo. (I felt a little bit like Sabrina Fairchild typing out that last sentence. Just needed to somehow pepper it with a british accent. “There were outside tennis courts, and inside tennis courts…”)

Something that kinda had me tickled was that Hearst was an avid buyer of art and antiques, but didn’t purchase them to furnish his home. He built his home in order to make use of the massive collection he already had stored in his overflowing warehouses. The floor plan of the Main Building is said to be chaotic because of his habit of buying centuries-old ceilings, which dictated the proportions and decor of various rooms. (check out the above pic)


So we stood waiting for this family to finish taking their 47 glamour shots for a good four minutes, gave up, and decided to capture the essence of the tourist life. #camerastrapandall #thatshowweroll


It’s worth mentioning that Hearst Castle was the place to be back in the 1920’s and 30’s. This is just heresay, but supposedly, Hollywood’s elite sat around in their tiny mansions waiting for Hearst’s invitations to arrive on their doorstep. That sounded mean. And like I don’t feel their pain. I mean, that must have been hard. Poor celebrities. But for real, Hearst could boast quite a guest list. Cary Grant, Greta Garbo, Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable, Jimmy Stewart, Joan Crawford, the Marx brothers, and he also had a few pals in the political higher-ups. Calvin Coolidge, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill, to name a few. Kinda fun to imagine Charlie Chaplin doing cannonballs into the pool. Speaking of which…


Nothing to sneeze at, I guess.


This would be one of the guest houses. This is where I wanted to mention that I actually had all of my luggage already in the car… so?? There are a total of 46 rooms in his guest houses. Let’s just say there were a lot of these little houses.


See the balconies on top of all the columns? Like I said, Charlie Chaplin, people. Bada-bing bada-boom.


This was my approximate view when I took the following picture. And yes, that is the ocean offfffff in the distance.


Like I said, bucket space has been cleared, but there were a handful of times when I looked around at all these THINGS, and yes, it was beautiful and lovely. But they are just things. You can’t take them with you. After our tour was over, we had a chance to go off on our own. As I stood by the railing, staring out at the ocean, a phrase, unplanned, just rolled off my lips. “You can have all this world, but give me Jesus.” I may not be a great example of this phrase on a consistent basis, but my goal is that I want that prayer to be the echo of my life.

California, I loved your little bungalow on a hill, but when it’s all said and done, I’ll just have me some Jesus. PLUS He’s pretty portable 🙂 #sealedthedeal

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