It started to rain so we stayed in the area and went to a few local wineries. We started collecting our bottles of wine. Wine tasting isn’t the same with an 8-year-old. After the initial excitement of the very cool gift shop(picking up everything glass and telling us the price) and wanting a $7 tiny candy bar, we started to enjoy ourselves. We went to Leticia and Edna Valley Vineyard and found a few bottles, but nothing that says, “Wow, you NEED a case of this!” The pourer, who also doesn’t like Chardonnay, said we needed to go to Paso Robles for the grapes grown in a hotter climate so the berry flavor comes through. We are planning to go thereon Friday when the vineyards have their cave tours and BBQ’s. We checked the weather that evening and it said that the pouring rain would continue for the next 24 hours.
Lexi said she wanted to goto Hearst Castle and started to recite all the cool things she learned on the last tour. We made reservations for Tour 2 of Hearst’s private rooms, office, and kitchen. We started our journey early and stopped at Costco for a jacket and soup for dinner. Then we stopped at Morro Bay to feed the seals. Lexi liked this last time and insisted we returned.
We arrived too early for our tour at Hearst castle. The Park Ranger gave Lexi a Junior Ranger activity book, and that helped pass the time. The tour was incredible. We were with a small group of 12. At the beginning of the tour, everyone said where they were from and we were the only ones from the U.S. The crazy part, the people did not know each other. We had people from Germany, Wales, the U.K. We have been feeling like we are the only Americans here, especially at the RV park. Every day, the caravaning Europeans swarm the RV park with their RV rentals.
We loved the tour and the Europeans had great questions. One group was into antiquities and the others had toured many castles. The Europeans had toured the castles in their country and were asking questions about the ceiling and all of the European art that the churches sold to the wealthy Americans after the war. There was this statue of Madonna in Hearst’s bedroom and they asked about the artwork. The statue is valued as the most valuable piece of art in the house. We are talking about thousands of pieces of art and this was the most valuable! The docent said it was a gift to Hearst from a friend. The docent wasn’t even going to tell us that if he hadn’t asked. They really added to the tour.
My favorite room was where Heda Hopper would stay. It was in the tower and above the pool. The docent said that the voices from the pool can be heard very well in the room. Probably, a good source for information for her gossip column. We also liked the library with all the gates and locks to protect the books. The story behind this was Charlie Chaplain was misusing a book and holding it over the pool, then the locks were installed. It was a great tour. I can’t wait to do tour 3 covering the Art Deco rooms of the castle.