Month: November 2012

Hearst Castle – Outdoors

The last stop we took before heading home up north, we stopped at Hearst Castle!

Hearst Castle is a National and California Historical Landmark mansion located on the Central Coast of California, United States. It was designed by architect Julia Morgan between 1919 and 1947 for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, who died in 1951. In 1957, the Hearst Corporation donated the property to the state of California. Since that time it has been maintained as a state historic park where the estate, and its considerable collection of art and antiques, is open for public tours. Despite its location far from any urban center, the site attracts about one million visitors per year.

Hearst formally named the estate “La Cuesta Encantada”

(“The Enchanted Hill”), but usually called it “the ranch”. 

– http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hearst_Castle

 

There is so much to learn about this castle and about William Randolph Hearst, I hope to visit his castle a few more times in my life. He was an interesting man who liked to entertain friends and show off his castle. If you go to the website above it tells so much more on how much he spent creating it and how much time it took him! In each blog (because I’m sure it will take me a few blogs to post all my pictures lol) I’ll put in little bits of history. 

There were several tours, we only chose one of them, but after the indoors tour was over we were able to walk the gardens and see the cottages he built for his guests.

These signs were posted before we got to the castle

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Hearst Castle sitting on the hill 🙂
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There are several cottages on the grounds, but because of all the people around us, I didn’t get too many good ones. But they were basically all designed the same.

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The Last Glimpses of Fall

I’m going to take a break from our road trip shots and focus on some pictures I took of our beautiful trees before all the leaves fell. We drove way up into the mountains to take these! I love the sun coming through the trees in the first two. The last photo was a very wet place where I slipped and landed HARD on my tail bone! It was incredibly painful, but thank God I didn’t break anything! It’s taken a few weeks to recover fully from it lol! 

 

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Tom Colicchio’s “Craft Steak”

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^I wish I took this picture lol!^

I’m a HUGE fan of the Top Chef reality TV show! I don’t know if any of you know of it or what it’s about, so I’ll tell you about it in a nutshell. A group of chefs get together from all over the US to compete for the title of Top Chef. Every week they get rid of the chef that doesn’t meet the judges expectations, the judges are top food critics and chefs, from all over the world. One of the main judges is Tom Colicchio, he’s been one of the constant judges sense the show started in 2006. I love LOVE Tom Colicchio, haha! I know he has quite a few restaurants around the US, and I was excited when I found out one of them was in the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas! 

It was a dark room, so again, the pictures took me a while to play with, lol, but I think they turned out well 🙂 

I’ll see you at dinner 😀

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We ordered the Three Course Meal dinner for two or more, and this was our 1st course!

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Second course

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On the third they found out William got home from Afghanistan, so they wrote this one the plate 🙂

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Tom wasn’t there, of course, but it was excited to just be in one of his restaurants 😀 

Las Vegas – The Bellagio

We had a short road trip before heading up north and we just had to stop in Vegas! I grew up going on vacation trips there to visit my grandparents when they had their home there, so I have some really good memories of being there. One of the things I really wanted to do there was stay at the Bellagio Casino! It’s something we will probably only do once, haha, but it was completely worth it! 

Come along and enjoy the Casino with us 🙂

This was the view of the pool from our room

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The bar at the pool

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When you walk into the main lobby of the Casino, you look up and see hundreds of these glass flowers on the ceiling! Just gorgeous

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This large room is where the Casino decorates for different events and holidays. With the crowds I was only able to take a few shots, but it’s very appropriate for the upcoming holiday 🙂

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William taking some pictures on his phone:)

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The Griffith Observatory

I still don’t know I whole lot about what are in the pictures I took, lol! My husband is a lot more knowledgeable with this stuff than I am, so I asked him a lot of questions. I wasn’t incredibly happy with the photos I took, but they give you somewhat of an idea of what it’s all about. The place wasn’t very big on the inside, and there was a whole room like an IMAX theater that gave us a story about the constellations and what they all meant.(http://www.griffithobservatory.org/bsoplanet.html) It was very interesting, especially because I haven’t learned anything about this stuff sense High School! 

Again, not very good photos, and there aren’t too many, but it was a fun experience and I encourage you all to look up the website online, there’s so much more to learn! http://www.griffithobs.org/

Nancy and Wes 🙂

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I thought this was amusing HAHA

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Foucault Pendulum

“The gently swaying Foucault Pendulum in the W.M. Keck Foundation Central Rotunda has long been a visitor favorite since the building opened in 1935. One of the largest such devices in the world, the fully restored pendulum is actually an elegant scientific instrument which demonstrates the Earth’s rotation.

The 240-pound brass ball, suspended by a cable 40 feet long, swings in a constant direction while the Earth turns beneath it. The pendulum is mounted to a bearing in the rotunda ceiling that does not turn with the building as it rotates with the Earth. A ring magnet at the bearing gives a little tug on each swing of the pendulum to keep the pendulum in motion. As the day passes, the pendulum knocks over pegs set up in the pendulum pit and indicates the progress of rotation.” 

 – HTTP://WWW.GRIFFITHOBSERVATORY.ORG/EXHIBITS/BROTUNDA.HTML

 

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It was explained that some of the building was inspired by Greek style architecture, which you can clearly see in some of the shots I’ve posted, especially in the photo below 🙂

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Over looking LA and seeing the Hollywood sign

We decided to go to the Griffith Observatory and while walking down the parking lot I was really excited to see the Hollywood sign and the way the city looked below us! It was smoggy… but that’s just what LA looks like haha! I can’t wait to show you all the pictures I got from the Griffith Observatory! I’ll be adjusting them today and will hopefully be posting them tomorrow. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these shots! 

 

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William, his mom Nancy and her hubby Wes 🙂

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Us 😀

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Hollywood – Grauman’s Chinese Theater

I’ve never been to Grauman’s Chinese Theater before and I was soooooo excited! William’s mom Nancy and her hubby, Wes took us to Los Angeles one of the days we were out there. I was really sad at the time of day we were there, the high sun just really ruined a lot of the names I was trying to photograph. Also, everyone was packed in there and it was hard to take pictures without someone’s foot getting in my shot lol! I’m sure there were angles that would have been better, but this was the best I could do with the time of day and the crowds around me. 

I took way more pictures in this area, but these few turned out the best and I hope you like them 🙂 

 

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Shirley Maclaine

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Humphrey Bogart

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“Bud” Abbott and Lou Costello – I grew up watching their films 😀 “Who’s on first!” lol

 

 

 

 

 

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Everyone grew up with Shirley Temple 🙂Image

 

 

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