The Dating Years: Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo & Hearst Castle

As we approach our second wedding anniversary next week, I’ve decided to embark on a new blogging journey — The Dating Years. I’m sifting through all of my old photos and videos from the five years we dated, looking back at some of the adventures we had before becoming husband and wife. There were many! It only makes sense to include them in this blog. After all, it’s a big part of what brought us together in the first place, our knack for traveling, seeing new places and trying new things.

In May 2009, we drove up to San Luis Obispo from Los Angeles. Our first road trip as boyfriend and girlfriend. If you’ve ever driven along the Pacific Coast Highway in California, you know what a treat that is, in and of itself.

Driving up the PCH

Driving up the PCH

On our way up to San Luis Obispo, we swung by Santa Barbara, which was beautiful and quaint. We walked around and enjoyed the various eateries and shops.

San Luis Obispo

Tupelo Junction Cafe

Relaxin'

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This restaurant was in San Luis Obispo, but I forget the name.

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Planning our visit to Hearst Castle

Once in San Luis Obispo, Will also appeased me by going on a hike in the Irish Hills Natural Reserve. As you can see, it wasn’t the most visually enticing hike, but there were some nice views.

Irish Hills Natural Reserve

Views from Irish Hills Natural Reserve

Views from Irish Hills Natural Reserve

Hiking in the Irish Hills Natural Reserve

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Mine Trail

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Probably our favorite part of this trip was our journey a bit further north to San Simeon, to tour the famous Hearst Castle. My words can’t do this place justice. Built over a span of 28 years by wealthy American newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst, the Castle is comprised of a main house that has 38 bedrooms, as well as three guest houses, and 127 acres of terraced gardens, fountains and pools (Neptune Pool and Roman Pool). Not to mention the spectacular views. Just take a look at this diagram from their official website.

hearst-castle-facts-and-stats

I don’t remember exactly which houses we toured, but we definitely didn’t get to see the whole place, and I personally would love to go back and tour more of it someday. I remember learning that Hearst entertained many VIPs and celebrities there, and other random facts like the hillside grounds were once home to the world’s largest private zoo.

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Incredible views from Hearst Castle

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Neptune Pool

Neptune Pool

Neptune Pool

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Neptune Pool and panoramic vistas

Neptune Pool and panoramic vistas

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Roman Pool

Roman Pool

Can you imagine living in a place like that? I mean, who wouldn’t want to live in a hilltop castle? Apparently, Hearst spent his final years at the castle living not in the main house, but rather in the Casa del Mar guest house with views of the Pacific Ocean.

On our way back to LA, we stopped by Pismo Beach for a little R&R. Well, kind of. I think we rented bikes and did a little exploring, then went back to the beach and lay out. It was fun. The beach was nothing special, and yet, for me, being at the beach is always special.

Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach

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I’ll leave you with some scenes from our drive back home, including some kind of RV hotspot by the beach. Possibly some kind of camping site? Who knows.

Traffic jam near Santa Barbara

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View my complete Santa Barbara/San Luis Obispo/Hearst Castle photo album here.

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