24 September 2011

California Dreaming

Whoops.  Where did the time go?  Last time we chatted, I was camped out in Austin for some training.  I sorta got busy/sidetracked there for a bit and neglected my duties.  I am making the rounds to everyone's blogs trying to catch up.   

Made it back from Austin with no problems.  Got a chance to visit with junior one night before my training started.  He is doing very well with the new job, new apartment, paycheck.  Training was good, but, to me, it was more of a distraction from work.  I've done a number of training sessions on negotiations and communications, so this was a good refresher for me.  Besides, it got me out of the office for three days on a paid trip.  Can't complain about that. 

Drove back to Houston late in the week.  The fires south of Austin had closed the route I normally take, but that was a minor inconvenience for me.  Nothing compared to the people who lost everything in those fires.  A large portion of the Bastrop area has been burned out including the state park with several old CCC stone cabins that we have stayed in years ago.  
Someone (who shall not be named) has been after me to get off my butt and get back into the game, so I let her pick today's thread - California roadtrip.

Last month, I was back out on the road to California for another supplier audit.  This is my 4th year of doing these audits and my second time out to this area.  They are located in Paso Robles about halfway between LA and San Francisco.  Smack dab in the middle of wine country.  There are dozens of wineries dotted around the hillsides.  If it wasn't a business trip, I would have been tempted to try a few of the local vintages.

Long driveway to shovel

Casa Grande (aka Hearst Castle)

Care for a dip?

The greeting room

Lots of statuary

Neptune Pool

Front door

What a view!

Indoor diving pool
Last time we came here was 4 years ago and we tried to get out to the coast to San Simeon to see the Hearst Castle, but arrived too late to make the last bus ride up.  This time, I knew the deal so I planned our arrival early enough to make the side trip.  A few weeks back, I talked about German Castles.  America doesn't have many castles or fortresses like the old world, but this one is definitely one to add to your bucket list.  Started in 1919, finished in 1947, this was built by William Randolph Hearst (Hearst Publications).  Perched on top of the hills on the California coastline, it overlooks the Pacific Ocean.  It is an incredible place with spectacular views, amazing architecture, innovative designs (for the time), and stunning opulence.  This is one of those places you build when you have more money than god.  If you are ever out west and in the area, you must take the time to tour the place.   

Side note:  if it looks like gold, it is


Abby said...

OmiGOSH! This doesn't even qualify as "how the other half lives". This is just so out of MY world! I did not know of the Hearst castle before this post, and I certainly want to check it out if I'm ever in the area. Will your company somehow pay me to go there?

terri said...

I travel vicariously through you. The Hearst Castle is AMAZING! Now that's something I'd love to see.

I guess having to travel for work isn't all bad!

Rock Chef said...

That is spectacular! Thanks for sharing it with us!

meleah rebeccah said...

Yay! Finally a new blog post from you!

Glad Junior is doing well.

I cannot even begging to imagine what it's like for those people who lost everything in the fire.

Holy crap. These photos are awesome.

That indoor diving pool is SICK!