California Road Trippin’

Saturday, March 19, 2011 | Category: Material Girls Projects

{Big Creek Bridge on Highway 1}

This past week I took a road trip up the California Coast through parts of central and northern California.  It was sort of a “big kid’s Spring Break” and part “Thelma & Louise” – but I won’t delve into those stories! Instead, I thought I would share some highlights of the trip with a tour of Hearst Castle and the Winchester House along with a few scenic pictures.

First stop, Hearst Castle located in San Simeon, California.  The estate of famed publisher William Randoph Hearst who inherited 450,000 acres of land from his mother.  In 1919, he hired architect Julia Morgan to design something beyond the “camping accommodations” that had been used on the land and instructed her by saying, “Miss Morgan, we are tired of camping out in the open at the ranch in San Simeon and I would like to build a little something.”  Thus, by 1947 Hearst and Morgan had created an estate of 165 rooms and 127 acres of gardens, terraces, pools and walkways.  The architecture of the house is built in a Mediterranean Revival style and greatly influenced by European and Spanish cathedral styles.

{Photos of the main house on the estate, home of William Randolph Hearst.}

{The front of the guest house on the estate.}

{Fountain on the grounds of the estate.}

{Statues on the grounds of the estate.}

{Stairs leading to one of the many terraces on the property.}

{The estate offers dynamic views of the Pacific Ocean from many of the terraces and rooms of the castle.}

{The interior of the library.  The ceilings in each and every room are amazing!}

{*Interior photos are a little blurry, flash photography is not allowed.}

{Almost each room has it’s own distinct decorative ceiling.}

{This is Hearst’s own private study where he actually worked remotely and edited newspapers and magazines.}

{The formal dining room of the estate, as seen on our tour.}

{The indoor pool of the main house, covered with decorative tiles.}

{I think my favorite part of the entire estate is the main outdoor pool, with the Greek Key tiles.  Our tour guide told us once a year they allow employees along with two of their chosen guests to swim in the pool.  I am looking forward to an invitation!}

{Additional views of the swimming pool.}

{The wall of the pool as seen from below and one of the first things seen upon arriving at the estate.}

After two extensive tours of the property, we cruised along the coast up Highway 1 and stopped for dinner in Big Sur.

{View of the California Coast at dusk from Big Sur.}

The next day, we toured the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, Ca.

So, this house is a little weird to say the least.  It was built by Sarah Winchester, an east coast transplant who had been widowed and inherited millions. After her husband’s death she was advised by her physic to move west and build a house that she would never finish to appease the spirits and grant her eternal life.  And so the construction began in 1884 and continued 364 days a year, 7 days a week for 24 hours a day until her death in 1922.  The story is each night she would go into her seance room and the spirits would advise her the plans for the next day and then she would tell her workers what to build.  Mrs. Winchester had no design background whatsoever, and therefore the house is oddly constructed.  Most rooms are built as add ons to rooms, there are doors and staircases leading to nowhere, cabinets that open to reveal no storage, and many many other eccentric things.

{The exterior of the Winchester Mystery House.  Unfortunately, interior photography is prohibted so I only have photographs of the exterior grounds.}

After that strange tour, something more exciting!

This picture probably looks completely out of place but I just had to squeeze it in! Some may recognize the address – it’s Apple Inc Headquarters in Cupertino, CA!! I am a cult Apple fan, so visiting here is like Mecca for me.  Yes, I made the pilgrimage and visited their MotherShip Store.  I came back with a mug.

Pilgramage’s can make one hungry, so after we headed south to Santa Cruz, CA for lunch on the wharf with a view of the boardwalk.

After lunch, we headed into the forest of Santa Cruz to go check out the Mystery Spot.  Unfortunately, it had just closed for the day.

So it will remain a mystery to me for now…

{All photos taken by Jill Seidner Interior Design}

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2 Comments to 'California Road Trippin’'

maison21 20 Mar 11 at 12:18 am

you be trippin’!

looks like fun, jill.

Gina @ Temporary Nest 20 Mar 11 at 8:50 am

Omg when I visited San Fran a few years back we hit the mystery spot and the Winchester house in the same day. Both were totally wild and fun. So happy oh had what looks like a fab road trip!!

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