2017 Eclipse Road Trip Day 13 - August 26, 2017
Hearst Castle, Elephant Seals View Point, Solvang
Hearst Castle, San Simeon
This is the last day on this wonderful road trip. The first place we visited was the Hearst Castle in San Simeon. Unfortunately, we were not able to get tour tickets that morning so we just went around the museum and checked out the displays. It was quite fun spending time at their gift shop also.
Entrance to the visitor center
Elephant Seals Vista Point
A little north of Hearst Castle on Cabrillo Highway is a place we like to stop every time we are in this area--the Elephant Seals Vista Point. It had turned from a little unknown spot to a huge parking lot in the last ten years with many visitors stopping for the incredible sights of elephant seals. In the month of January, when we used to drive up north through this part of the highway on our way to the conference in northern California, there would be hundreds of elephant seals basking on the beach. There weren't that many this time around, only a small number of seals were found on the north side of the beach. A little disappointed! Volunteers of Friends of the Elephant Seal are doing a great job keeping and expanding this site.
Playful squirrels begging for food. Sorry!
There were a lot of grey pelicans also.
Only a few left this time around.
Look at that baby!
A lone baby trying to get up to join the group.
William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach, San Simeon
After our visits to the elephant seals we headed back south and stopped at the William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach for a walk out to the pier. It is right across from the entrance to Hearst Castle. It happened that there was some kind of fair going on at the park with several non-profit, nature conservation organizations setting up booths there, including Friends of the Elephant Seal and Parks and Recreation Departments.
San Simeon Pier
Arroyo del Puerto
Cabrillo Highway (Highway 1)
The hungry turtle.
Buelton and Solvang
On our way home we stopped by Buelton and Solvang and spent a couple of hours exploring these towns. Lunch was at the famous Andersen Pea Soup Restaurant in Buelton right off the freeway to Solvang. It was kind of late so there weren't that many people there. I am not a pea soup person but the rest of the group enjoyed their soup quite well.
ChC's pea soup in the bread bowl.
MOR had the travelers special--all you can eat pea soup, bread, and drink for $10.
I was happy with this delicious Monster Burger.
Gift shop at the restaurant
I thought it would be fun to have BIL and SIL visit Solvang, which is the little Danish village here since we just visited Copenhagen in May. We also wanted to see if the antique shop that we got some good buys a few years back is still open. It turned out that Solvang was very busy that day because of the antique car show in town. It was fun seeing all these well-kept oldies on display.
Windmill, the iconic landmark of Solvang.
We also found the antique shop which had moved to a new location but we didn't find anything that we wanted but had fun browsing through the shop.
Driving home was uneventful other than hitting a little traffic. Before getting home we stopped by the Super Bowl Pho in San Gabriel for some Vietnamese food as a nice ending of this amazing trip.