Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.



Today’s topic is magic.  No not in Disney kind of magic, but in the way you feel about a place.  That it’s magical for reasons perhaps only known to you.

We visited Hearst Castle yesterday.  It’s opulent and way over done for my taste, yet it’s still magical.

Imported Photos 00887Mr. Hearst built this on land he inherited from his parents.  They had gone camping on top of this hill when we was a boy, and after they died he decided to build ‘a little something’ because he was getting too old for camping in a tent.  There are 192 rooms, almost all done in heavy Italian or Spanish style.


I was most fascinated by the ceilings, each room different.  You can see the European influence in the ceilings of the Gothic library where he ran most of his businesses remotely way before remote working became a trend.


Notice the deeply coffered ceilings in the library.  I can’t imagine the man hours required to put that together.


And I was taken by the intricate detailing of the ceiling in Marion Davies’ bedroom.

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But what made this house so magical for me were the pools…both the indoor tiled pool under the tennis courts…

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…and the outdoor Neptune Pool overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

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Sitting next to the pool, enjoying the sun, with my feet up I could, for just a few magical moments understand what it felt like to be a wealthy socialite visiting the Hearst ranch.  It felt pretty good.

After our tour of the castle we wandered the coast again.  We stopped for a bit and visited with the seals just up the road from the castle.  They were feeling pretty good themselves, enjoying the sun in a way only seals can.

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A couple of them were doing a little bit of young adult male testing the waters so to speak as they played a bit of a duel.

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But most of them were just enjoying a day at the beach lounging in the sun, having a magical California afternoon.

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Finally, further down the beach we found the best dog park ever!


What a great place to run and play in the waves!  I got to get my feet wet too, and noticed these cool patterns the water and sand made as each wave receded.


I can’t tell you how many photos I took of not ripples…it was hard to catch it just right and I couldn’t see my camera screen in the bright sunlight to tell.  But this is exactly what it looked like and it was magical.  I loved having my feet in the ocean, even if it was darn cold.  Nothing a kid from Michigan hasn’t felt before!

Actually, having my feet anywhere in California has been great.  Couldn’t ask for a better vacation so far.  Where to next?  Hmmmm…I have no idea.  Let me put my feet up here next to the pool and think about it.

Or nap.  Whichever comes along first.  Magic.


Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

18 thoughts on “Magical

  1. The ceilings (and pools, and probably everything…) in that castle are stupendous. And I am SO glad I don’t have to clean it!
    Nice job catching those ripples. I live for little details like that 🙂


  2. Dawn, you’re having SUCH a wonderful time — and I’m enjoying your trip vicariously!! Hearst’s castle is awesome. Far too big for somebody like me, of course, but those pools are just breath-taking. And I’ll bet you really missed Katie when you laid eyes on that dog park!!


  3. 192 rooms!! Wow. Talk about a lot of cleaning. 😉 Glad you’re having such a magical time. California, I think, has a lot of magic. I love the ripples on the beach. Beautiful.


  4. Magical!


  5. Love the ripple in the sand picture – cool. I need a vacation!


  6. We visited the castle several years ago, and while the grandeur had my jaw dropping the heaviness and darkness left me cold. The pools though – weren’t they incredible?! And then I thought how I could have a for-me perfect home on the beach with just the tiniest bit of the Hearst fortune.



  7. It looks incredible! I’ve never been to the Hearst Castle, but I love touring places like that.

    What a great trip!


  8. Seems like you guys are having a wonderful time!


  9. Even though I was only 8 when I visited Hearst Castle, it’s panorama is firmly planted in my memories. Thanks for updating my memory file. Did the guides tell you that Mr. Hearst’s landscaping crew would work overnight to completely change over gardens so guests would wake to new surprises? Outrageous kind of money! When I had my landscaping company sometimes we’d end up working past dark and I’d tell my employees the story–to keep them from thinking we were the only crazy ones planting by flashlight!


  10. What a lovely trip you’ve had! Did you get as far south as San Diego and see my son? lol. Have never visited Hearst Castle, but feel a little closer to it after reading your blog.


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