Day 2 here in sunny Carmel By The Sea and off we went for our first visit to the Hearst Castle which is about a 2.5 hour drive down the scenic route of the famous California Highway 1.
Along the way we passed through Big Sur and of course there were numerous gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean as well as the hills (mountains) of the Pacific coast.
90 miles after leaving Carmel we pulled into the Castle visitors' center with enough time to spare to have a quick lunch and then view the 40 minute movie of the history of the Hearst Castle, which William Randolph Hearst called The Ranch, before joining our tour.
Built at a cost of 6 million dollars (and remember, it was built when bread was 10 cents a loaf), the castle took over 15 years to complete from the start of construction in 1919. Mr. Hearst was 56 years old when the project started.
Main House - "Case Grande"
On the way back we stopped just a few miles north of the castle to see the Elephant Seals.
We were fortunate to see them as they only come ashore twice a year. This time is when the males come ashore to shed their fur. Females come ashore in the winter months to birth their pups.
Back in Carmel and off we went on a short walk to find another restaurant to try (not much cooking on this trip!).
We wound up trying one we walked by a couple of nights ago - Flaherty's at 6th & San Carlos.
Not spectacular, but decent food - and oh yes, they did serve the best New Orleans style pecan pie that I've had in a long, long time. The pie alone makes this worth a stop by. The Chardonnay, Morgan from here in Monterey, was a nice white that went well with our mussels & clams and the house made ravioli with crab stuffing in a crab cream sauce.
We also met a nice young couple who were here in the USA on their first trip and celebrating their honeymoon. A nice way to end day 2.