Nov 28

Hearst Castle 249x300 The Marvelous Hearst CastleHearst Castle is known for many different things, but perhaps the most known is the wine cellar and the zoo that was once a huge attraction for its visitors. In 1865 George Hearst purchased 40,000 acres of ranch land and by the time that his only son William inherited the land it had grown to 25,000 acres. Hearst castle was originally known as “Camp Hill” where people could come and enjoy camping trips with family and friends. They were not necessarily roughing it however. They had separate tents for dining and sleeping, and there was also very comfortable accommodations including small beds and comfortable seating, but after a while they decided that they were tired of camping, and they wanted to build something that would be even more memorable. By 1947, Hearst had built an estate with 165 rooms and 127 acres of gardens, pools, and gorgeously decorated walkways.

Hearst Castle Wine Cellar The Marvelous Hearst Castle

The wine cellar was added on to the basement of Casa Grande; the main house located at Hearst Castle, and was located below the north end of the Assembly Room. This was not anywhere near the main kitchen and was in fact very inconvenient. But the location was critical to the wine. Wine need to be stored at 45-60 degrees Fahrenheit, and by having the wine in this location, they did not need to use as many cooling equipment. Hearst enjoyed wine very much, but he was by no means a heavy drinker. He was known only to have a glass of wine with meals, and rarely any more than that. Although he was not a heavy drinker, he still opposed the prohibition of manufacturing, selling or transporting of liquor in the United States, and he continued to serve alcohol to his guests throughout the prohibition. However, he has iron vault doors put on the cellar and at all times kept the vault locked to keep any wine being stolen. However, the wine cellar isn’t the only thing that kept people coming to Hearst Castle.

Hearst created the largest private zoo known. The constantly changing collection of different animals was first established in 1923. This provided guest with a very rare visual display because most of the animals were at free range of the ranch and there were more than 300 different species of animals that passed through Hearst Castle’s property, so you were sure to see something extravagant. The dismantling of the zoo began when William ran into some financial instability and was forced to cut expenses on the ranch. Most of the animals were placed by the death of William Hearst in 1951, but many of the animals were permitted to free range on the ranch and you can often see zebra grazing on the hills of Hearst Castle along Highway 1. This is a wonderful and historic place to visit, and there is always something to see. No matter how young or old you are, you will enjoy learning about all the things that happened at Hearst Castle. In the words of Lord John Julius Norwich “Hearst Castle is a palace in every sense of the word”. Hearst Castle is a memorable visit worth taking.

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Nov 06
whales 300x101 Whale Watching In Monterey

Whale Watching in Monterey, California

One of the things that really attract people to Monterey is all of the sea life that you are surrounded by. There is one thing in particular that is very popular among not only visitors, but locals as well. The Monterey Bay Whale Watch is a wonderful experience for the whole family. The whales that are seen on this three hour boat ride differ depending on which season that you decide to go in. during the winter season there are several species of dolphins and porpoise that are very well seen this time of year. However, one of the things that most people really enjoy about the winter season is the killer whales that you can see. This is something that most people do not usually experience, because in the winter people are less likely to go due to cold weather. If you are one that doesn’t mind bundling up with a thermos of hot coco then this is one thing that you cannot miss.

This boat ride is a three to three and a half hour ride. This gives you plenty of time to spend looking for whales and seeing them. Since the trip is so long, there is more of a chance for you to see a whale, and you will not feel as rushed in finding one. Taking your time and making the best of the experience is what this trip is striving for.

Winter trips run daily at 10:00 am and again at 1:30 pm starting on December 17th, 2012. There is also a 7:00 am “Wake up with the Whales” available on the weekends. This is when the ocean is a little bit steadier and there aren’t as many boats out. The “Wake up with the Whales” also offers a complimentary breakfast with coffee and hot coco.  It is very peaceful and a great way to start your day in Monterey.

Prices:    $40-Adults


FREE-Children under 3 years of age.

***Reservations are required. You can make your reservation by calling (831) 375-4658 with a credit card to hold your spot. Pregnant women are not allowed on trips.

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