For some reason, a reason I can't figure out, my cousin Laura has never been to Hearst Castle.
Laura and her 'rents are moving to Missouri in a couple of months, and Grandma wanted Laura to experience the castle, so Laura and I went to experience. Naturally we went on the Experience Tour, which is Tour 1 plus the IMAX theater where we watch Building the Dream and it's possible to get a little motion sickness. But it's so cool. No for realz. It is so cool.
Well, Tour 1 happens to be the recommended tour for first timers. Seeing how I'm no first timer, it was a bit boring, but I did enjoy taking pictures.
The thing about a visit to Hearst Castle is that I always want to explore on my own. I want to go down the paths that have been forbidden. I just want to check it out. See where they take me, you know?
Well, this would never fly with my tour guides, so I had to settle for taking pictures of the paths I wanted to go down.
Like this path. Also, I love these lions.
Where does this path go? I don't know for certain, but probably somewhere wonderful and magical and full of delicious fruits.
That's the ocean out there. I wanted to post a billion pictures of the coast line, but I'm sure you know by now that I like the ocean, and also I didn't want to depress anyone, so I decided to omit those pictures, and just carry them around in my heart instead.
Just another path not taken...
I was pretty surprised at how bossy they were concerning touching objects that have no history or can easily be replaced. Take this lounge chair for example:
We weren't allowed to sit in it. This is interesting because I have a picture of me lounging in this same chair when I was in Junior High School.
And, below we have the oldest piece in the Hearst collection:
I had Laura stand in front of it and pretend that she was part of the statue, but it didn't turn out very well. In fact, there really are no pictures of us because they didn't turn out very well. This is mostly due to Laura, I think. She kept not wanting to take pictures. And, really, with an attitude like that, how can we expect a good picture anyway?
For those of you who don't know, the highlight of Tour 1 is the viewing of both pools. You have already seen the outdoor pool, and now you get to see the indoor pool!
That's a diving platform in the middle, and they say that this pool is 10 feet deep all across, but I haven't been able to test that yet.
Okay, I need you to put on your thinking caps. Take a look at the picture. This is an upside down picture because that's how you see it on the tour. This is officially the main entry to Casa Grande. Obviously tours don't enter through those doors, because we would be treading all over the mosaic that they want to preserve. Instead, the tour simply walks by this little area. If we turn around we are overcome by the grand room in front of us and we forget all about the mosaic. I have looked at that floor many times, I have taken unsuccessful non-flash pictures of it, and this is the first time I've actually gotten a decent picture.
And what did I find? What is that, I ask? I think I know what it is! It's Ursula and her eels from The Little Mermaid!
Seeing how Ursula is scary, I figure we should end this on something sweet. How about a nice poppy?