We enjoyed a delicious breakfast at J. Patrick House, which started with grapefruit juice, coffee, and shredded apples and raspberries paired with a poppyseed dressing. This was followed by a vegetable strata and turkey breakfast sausage, and concluded with a delicious apricot banana nut bread with apricot cream cheese and strawberry jam.
Hearst’s Castle met its legendary expectations for luxury, grandeur, and excess. It’s not surprising the eldest Randolph dubbed his son “wasteful Willy” and left his fortune exclusively to his wife (William’s mother) instead. Apparently Mrs. Randolph was a shrewd business woman herself and her son did not receive any of the Hearst family fortune until her death.
The grounds were beautiful and were my favorite part of the visit. The landscaping and architecture was inspired by Spanish and Italian styles, and the view was gorgeous.
The Grand Room tour we took was informative and interesting, and educated visitors on the history of the main common living areas of Hearst’s Castle, but Hearst’s seeming penchant for all of the fanciest, most ornate, and expensive decor bordered on garish. Interestingly, the man frequently had financial troubles and one has to wonder what it was he was trying to prove, and to whom.
After the castle tour, we walked down the pier right across the way from the castle and stopped by a viewing area to observe some seals. They were lolling about and flinging sand on themselves, which was entertaining, but they also smelled quite bad, so we did not linger for long. We finished the afternoon by going on another hike:
We enjoyed happy hour again in the evening, watched the sunset at a nearby park, and shared a small pizza later in the evening.