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2002-06-22 - 10:52 p.m.

Alright...I'm going to have to tell this in several parts (thanks to Zelda for this idea...she's doing her story about Hawaii in several parts). So here it is....

Hearst Castle...Part One. First of all....I must say, "you HAVE to go there!" It is such an amazing place.....I will do my best to describe it, but until you go there, you will not entirely understand. Tour 1 (The Exerience Tour) starts with a movie that explains how the Hearsts came to be sooo wealthy and why/how William Randolf Hearst built the castle. Basically....his father was a miner that stumbled upon some rocks that no one else thought were worth anything. Turns out, after much toil (and I'm putting this lightly) those rocks were worth a ton....they were pure silver! Hearst (the dad) bought thousands of acres of ranch land in California.....and became the biggest cattle rancher in California (maybe in all of America). He took little William camping on this land. William loved it. When William finally inherited the land, he told his architect that he was "tired of camping....and would like to build a little something." The rest is history.

The only way to get to the Castle is to take a tour bus from the visitor center...about 15 minutes up twisty and winding road. On the way, you pass by Mr. Hearst's private airport....where his exclusive guests (movie stars and the like) would fly in and out. He also had a plane arrive every day with all of his publications so he could make editorial suggestions, and then send them back!

When you arrive at the Castle, the tour starts at the pool (all tours include both pools...starting with the outdoor pool). Well....I grew up with a swimming pool....when it comes to swimming, I would really rather just walk on the beach....a swimming pool is not all that exciting for me (and I don't mean to be arrogant, I'm just not that into swimming)....BUT..that was BEFORE I saw the POOL!

I would have given almost anything to swim in that pool! It was toooo inviting. The amazing thing is that they built it, and then had to rip it out three times before Hearst was satisified with it! But the end result is perfection! It was worth going to Hearst Castle just to see the pool!

After that, you are so overwhelmed, so caught up in the spell....that you realize that you can live nowhere else!! Then, they take you up to the terrace...only to torture you more. There is no better place to live than this. You envision breakfast on the on the terrace ( imagination is getting carried away)....anything... just anything on the terrace.....I want to live here!!

The picture doesn't do it justice. Keep in mind that if you lived here, this would be your private "deck"...overlooking rolling hills and the Pacific Ocean.

Stick around.....I'll give you part 2 tomorrow!....................

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