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Old July 31st, 2013, 08:53 AM   #1
fieldsofdreams
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My 2013 Vacations in Pictures

Yes, I'm expanding my horizons from my flagship threads, Bay Area in Pictures and Bay Area Transit in Pictures, and I am evolving into creating a thread focusing on vacations away from the San Francisco Bay Area. To me, even an overnight stay could be called a vacation because a common characteristic of such trips would be long drives, a lot of walking, and of course, tons of pictures to share!

So, to give you a little taste of my vacations, let me show you my most recent journey to the Central California coast and Southern California. In four days, my family went to the following destinations... (Note: images to be shared here will come from both my Flickr and Photobucket collections.)

Side trip: Big Sur

Hearst Castle, San Simeon

Side trip: Cambria

Side trip: Solvang

Side trip: Ronald Reagan National Library, Simi Valley

Side trip: Staples Center and Downtown Los Angeles

Disney California Adventure and Anaheim

I'm looking forward to sharing every nook and cranny of my short, yet sweet excursion through California, focusing on San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and Orange Counties. As always, questions are always welcome on any of the images I post here.
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Old July 31st, 2013, 09:46 AM   #2
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Good, very nice photos from your vacations and thanks for sharing them
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Old July 31st, 2013, 10:01 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christos-greece View Post
Good, very nice photos from your vacations and thanks for sharing them
It's just a start, my friend... Wait until I start my entire showcase, as I will select the best—and some quirky—pics from my long road trip. It might also include road signs and highway shots too, so stay tuned.
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Old July 31st, 2013, 11:48 PM   #4
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So, let's begin the Central and Southern California Journey with little highlights...

Day 1 of the journey brings us from my place up in the North Bay (Novato) all the way down to Big Sur in the Central California coast...



Leaving very early at 4am from the north, the roads were in great condition: no traffic along the I-880 and US-101 corridors, and breakfast was already on the road in Morgan Hill...









Dawn breaks along US-101 heading further south towards Gilroy and Monterey...

Arriving in Big Sur, despite the fog that blanketed California Highway 1:
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Old July 31st, 2013, 11:55 PM   #5
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Continuing along Highway 1 heading south on Day 1 towards Hearst Castle.



Back on the road, we even had an opportunity to watch a movie early on!
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Old August 1st, 2013, 03:02 AM   #6
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The mission for day 1 is to visit Hearst Castle. Once dreamed of by philanthropist and media mogul William Randolph Hearst, this castle was built after he got immense inspiration from his travels around Europe with his mother starting at age 10, and his reason for building a grand, lavish residence: he doesn't want to live in a tent anymore, and his bungalow would be a bit too small to accommodate his guests and his growing media empire, Hearst Publishing. His masterpiece, perched on top of what he called "La Cuesta Encantada" -- Spanish for the Enchanted Hill -- has 165 rooms, two swimming pools (indoor and outdoor), two tennis courts, three smaller bungalows (House of the Sea, House of the Mountains, and House of the Sun), a large garden with lots of staircases, and a long winding road that starts from Highway 1... along with thousands of acres of open land reserved for his family's ranching operations... makes it an idyllic place to visit, especially during a summer afternoon when the heat isn't that oppressive and the fog has risen from the ground below.

More information about Hearst Castle can be read here

Part 1: arriving at the Visitor Center

Some license plates I haven't seen before... and a bumper sticker.
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Old August 1st, 2013, 03:06 AM   #7
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Part 2: Visitor Center shots.
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Old August 1st, 2013, 03:11 AM   #8
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Part 3: choosing a tour and other sights at the Visitor Center. Also includes a visit to the mini museum that highlights the profiles of W.R. Hearst's parents, George and Phoebe Apperson Hearst.
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Old August 1st, 2013, 11:08 AM   #9
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Nice Pic...
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Menuju -----> PROVINSI BATAM

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Old August 1st, 2013, 11:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Budak Melayu View Post

Nice Pic...
Thanks! But, what's with the ? Is there something wrong that you'd like me to address?
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Old August 1st, 2013, 11:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fieldsofdreams View Post
Thanks! But, what's with the ? Is there something wrong that you'd like me to address?

this is (how to interact with the body only indonesian people), and it's mean = all your photos are very amazing
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Old August 2nd, 2013, 12:21 AM   #12
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Ah ok. I didn't know that! Well, thank you very much indeed!

For today, let's continue with even more Day 1 shots at Hearst Castle.

Part 4: even more shots from the museum at the Visitor Center. If any of the images seem to be unclear, feel free to ask.

The museum also describes the life of Julia Morgan, the head architect to molding, shaping, and building W.R. Hearst's dream castle.

The following images present the ideas from both Hearst and Morgan on building the castle:
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Old August 2nd, 2013, 12:33 AM   #13
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Part 5: even more photos and information about the plans and outcomes of Hearst Castle.

One of the rooms not covered in my tours: the Assembly Room.


The museum also covers Hearst as an antiques collector, in which you will see how he has arranged them in my walking tours.
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Old August 2nd, 2013, 12:39 AM   #14
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Bonus showcase, part 1: even more pictures from Big Sur and Highway 1.









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Old August 2nd, 2013, 12:41 AM   #15
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Bonus showcase, part 2: even more images from Hearst Castle, at the Visitor Center.
























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Old August 2nd, 2013, 12:46 AM   #16
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Part 6: even more images from the Museum, which chronicles Hearst's roles as a Collector and Publisher.



















Another room not covered in my walking tours: the Dining Room.

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Old August 3rd, 2013, 12:37 AM   #17
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For today, even more images from Hearst Castle...

Part 7: more from the Museum, now showcasing William Randolph Hearst's career as a publisher, movie producer, and owner of a media empire.





















Part 8: moving on from the Museum to the Hearst Castle Theater, which presents a 40-minute documentary, entitled Building the Dream. The movie describes the life of William Robert Hearst, from his family background and European journeys during his childhood, to the formation of his dream to build a castle along with his friend, architect Julia Morgan, and how the castle became a favorite hangout spot for celebrities and politicians, personally invited by Hearst himself.
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 01:13 AM   #18
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Part 9: since I had nothing to do while waiting for the first tour leaving 40 minutes earlier than what we originally booked (12:20pm instead of 1pm), I took the opportunity to walk back to the car and have some snacks... but not without walking towards the buses I've seen earlier and taken even more of them in detail (this is where my transit hat comes in handy!). These buses, made by Bluebird (a major producer of school buses here in the United States), use compressed natural gas (CNG) as its fuel, have colorful ads inviting tourists to visit the rest of the Central California coast (from San Luis Obispo to Solvang), and carry visitors between the Visitors Center and the base of Hearst Castle.

From what I've observed, two gates are operational, in which buses leave every 10 minutes or so, for the following:

- Gate 1 is the boarding gate for the Grand Rooms tour and for special events. The Grand Rooms Tour is the most popular of the four tours on offer, and these buses usually fill up very quickly.

- Gate 2, at the time I was there, was not in use.

- Gate 3 is the boarding gate for the other three tours inside the castle, namely, the Designing the Dream, Cottages and Kitchens, and Upstairs Suites.

So, here are the buses and the depot with the CNG refilling stations.
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 01:18 AM   #19
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Part 10: some random images from the parking lot at Hearst Castle and the Visitor Center.
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Old August 4th, 2013, 06:55 AM   #20
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For today, I will showcase the start of the climb from the Visitor Center to the actual castle. Taking the shuttle bus up to the base of Hearst Castle takes around 10 minutes, going through meandering roads that William Randolph Hearst, Julia Morgan, and the rest of his architectural and engineering teams built so that one can enjoy viewing the castle from multiple angles. What's interesting about the climb is that the road leading to the castle splits into two around halfway through the climb and again as one nears the entrance to Hearst's masterpiece. And Alex Trebek (yes, the host of Jeopardy!) acts as the narrator as he describes the thoughts of W.R. Hearst as he built the castle, from the vast ocean views to the rolling hills to even owning a large (40,000 acre) ranch hosting to hundreds of cattle. He even describes the pergula that one can see on the left side when climbing up where Hearst used it to ride down his horses with his friends, and he also describes the zoo in which Hearst personally maintained (watch out for the zebras along Hwy 1, Trebek said!). And before boarding, each tour group will be taken a photo by a professional photographer, in which someone will hold a ticket in order for the photos to be picked up after descending from the Castle.

Yes, there is one ranch located at the base of the roadway, but I haven't managed to take a clear image of that; the rest, enjoy! And on this post, I will finally reveal the tours I'll be doing...

Part 11: heading to the gate, awaiting boarding and departure...

I love food, but I thought I'd take this tour the next time I visit:

Part 12: leaving the Visitor Center and heading to the Castle.

Private road heading to the Hearst Ranch:
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