Three4TheRoad 2018 – Wine Country & Ventura California


 

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We arrived in Paso Robles California on October 28th. We checked into the Wine Country RV Resort where it was sunny and warm. The pull-through, concrete RV slabs were well maintained and beautifully landscaped.

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The resort is surrounded by beautiful vineyards and stunning sunsets, and offered many amenities like wine tasting, a work-out room, swimming pool, and walking trails.

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On our first night in Paso Robles we dined with family at La Cosecha Restaurant. We had a table at the front where they open the entire wall to the outside to allow the breeze to flow. Big thanks to Tracey and Chris for inviting us! The food was so delicious and beautifully plated!

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Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. Your readers might like it.

-William Randolph Hearst

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On day two we picked up our sis Tracey and headed to Hearst Castle, a National Historic Landmark and California Historical Landmark mansion located on the Central Coast of California. Between 1919 and 1947, it was the residence of newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst and in 1954 it was turned into a California State Park.

20181029_161415Upon arriving, we were impressed with this structure, assuming it was the castle itself. It was not. It is one of several magnificent guest houses on the property!

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Another guest house that welcomed celebrities such as Charlie Chaplin, Cary Grant, Joan Crawford, Winston Churchill, Jean Harlow, and Bing Crosby, to name a few.

J7G_2456The grounds were beautiful, with spectacular views from every angle and gorgeous sculptures throughout the property.

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The Hearst Castle Assembly Room was a grand social on the ground floor of Casa Grande  where guests gather just as W. R. Hearst’s guests did decades ago for cocktails, conversation, and to meet their host.

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The tapestries were incredible and surprisingly well preserved.

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The Grand Refectory took its name after the word for a monastery’s dining hall. The bright silk banners, high windows, and gleaming candlesticks served as inspiration for the grand hall in the Harry Potter movies.

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The Grand Billiards Room is decorated with a 15th century Spanish ceiling and a Flemish tapestry from 1500.

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The final room on the Grand Tour was the Hearst Castle Theatre Room, a five-story-screen theatre showing the resident film, “Hearst Castle – Building the Dream”.

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After our tour of the Grand Rooms we were allowed to tour the outside property and pools at our leisure. Since our tour was towards the end of the day we were able to walk around freely, taking photos with few other tourists on the grounds.

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We had a great time exploring and snapping photos of the beautiful surroundings. The weather was perfect for our adventure!

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It was fun to imagine what life might have been like living in a place so grand.

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The outdoor Neptune pool is surrounded by grand columns and exquisite, marble sculptures.

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Our Hearst Castle tour guide was knowledgeable and friendly and was happy to snap a group photo for us.

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The final stop on our tour took us to the tiled indoor Roman pool, decorated with eight statues of Roman gods, goddesses and heroes. This breathtaking pool was once the backdrop for a Lady Gaga music video.

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Photos just can’t do justice to the beautiful castle and grounds. It was truly an incredible experience and we would love to return!

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On our way back from Hearst Castle we stopped by the gorgeous William R. Hearst Memorial Beach that runs along Hwy One in San Simeon. The pier offers fishing and outstanding views.

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Our stay in Wine Country included some tasty meals! One place we visited a couple of times was Margie’s Diner of Paso Robles which serves no pre-packaged or processed foods. Everything is made fresh right there in the diner. Breakfast is served all day and the portions are enormous!

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Even the fruit cup was served up in a giant portion!

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No visit to wine country would be complete without sampling some of the local wines!

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These two intriguing red blends from the Paso Robles Chronic Cellars can also be ordered online.

We left Wine Country and traveled to our next adventure at Ventura Ranch RV Park. This proved to be the stop that felt the most like camping. The winding dirt road that took us into the park was the most rustic to date. The campsites were not paved so a welcome mat outside our rig was a must have.

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We were greeted daily by the dozens of resident wild peacocks that freely roam the property and visit the campsites.

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Accommodations at Ventura Ranch range from tent sites, RV campsites, cabins, and even teepees! There are fun amenities for campers including a swimming pool, rock climbing wall, and zip line!

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A short drive from the campground in Santa Paula was a Mexican market that sold all kinds of sweet breads and specialty foods. We stocked up on all kinds of things that aren’t available in our home town.

A walk on the beach soothes the soul.

On our second day in town we took a drive to Marina Beach Park in Ventura and enjoyed an afternoon walking along the paved shoreline and climbing on the rocks.

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Marina Beach Park is the home of a beautiful, flute-playing siren sculpture made of bronze and standing twenty five feet tall.

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Life on the road isn’t all fun and games. Weekdays are work days for Mark and school days for Ava. Sometimes we don’t have a strong WiFi signal so we have to find a café and set up our computers for a few hours.

This week it worked out well because we were able to get our very first egg nog latte of the season, served in a festive red cup!

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Lunchtime in Ventura called for a stop at In And Out Burger!

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What a treat for us Washingtonian’s to eat burgers outside in the sunshine in early November!

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We had read that there was a moderately difficult but beautiful hike in the hills behind Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula.

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If you’re patient and see the hike through to the end, the trail opens up revealing a gorgeous waterfall and wading pool.

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Unfortunately the weather was in the high 80’s; too warm for our furry companion Banjo who kept laying down on the trail! Maybe next time!

On our last day in Ventura we went to the iconic Ventura Pier and Beach. The weather was beautiful and the pier was bustling with visitors and people fishing.

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We sat in the sand and enjoyed the warmth of fall in California. Ava and I ventured into the water and we were surprised at how warm it was!

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I left one of my Mary Lambert lyric inspired  painted rocks along the beachfront promenade.

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Ventura Beach and Pier was one of our favorite stops this week. The weather was sunny, the people were friendly, and the beach was beautiful. We will return the next time we’re on the California Coast.

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Next week Three4TheRoad heads to Palm Springs!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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