Here you will find the, admittedly delayed, pictures and description of my trip to California in Dec. of 2007.
Most of the photographs I took come from our trip to the Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument, which is better known as Hearst Castle. It was built by newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, and is probably the basis of Xanadu in Citizen Kane.
The view from the compound itself is also quite spectacular.
We began our tour in one of the guest houses. They had indoor running water, which was quite impressive high in the mountains in the 1920’s.The grounds of the castle are filled with a wide variety of sculptures and other artwork. Some of it is original; some is old or ancient; some of it is copied from other work.
This is Sekhmet; she is the oldest piece of artwork on the grounds. She was sculpted in ancient Egypt about 3,000 years ago.
Look, a nude flapper!
I am not sure who these three marble ladies are, but maybe the more classically educated readers of my blog will know.
This sculpture struck me in a way not easy to capture in a photograph. Despite being made of stone, this really looks like a thin cloth blowing in the wind.
Mr. Hearst liked his swimming pools. Here you can see several of my friends and other tourists in front of one of the outdoor pools. It is surrounded by authentic and copied Greek and Roman sculpture.
The Castle itself is an ornate and imposing structure, built to resemble the castles of Europe. It is so large, that I could not get far enough from it to photograph it all in one frame. The distortion in the image above is the result of stitching two frames together.
This is the final product, which I found very impressive. The stained glass windows are made of Jolly Ranchers melted in an oven! Many more photographs of the party are available.
This is my friend Angela from Ohio, but this photograph was taken in California. If you look closely, you can see what appears to be the headquarters of a famous Internet company on the other side of the street. She and her friend Bill also traveled to the Bay Area in December, and we decided that we had to take advantage of this coincidence. We met for lunch in Palo Alto and discussed their upcoming sightseeing in San Francisco.
While in California, I celebrated my birthday with the InterVaristy small group that I joined while there. We went to the favorite restaurant of one of the members, who also was born on Dec. 20.
The friend with whom I share a birthday is Lumnia; she is in sitting on my right in the photograph above.