Following our tour of Hearst Castle, I spent several hours daydreaming about being an old-timey movie star, spending time relaxing in the sun in my old-timey bathing suit, sipping martinis. Perhaps when I tired of sunning myself, I would watch a movie in the theater, or ride a horse under the mile-long pergola that was shaded with grape vines, or gaze at the animals in the private zoo, or maybe I'd just go to the vast indoor pool to cool off.
Hearst Castle is a tribute to excess. It has the feel of what Rome must have been at its peak, all ornateness and art and beauteous spectacle. Now it's a giant museum, housing thousands of pieces of priceless art, while being a piece of art in and of itself. Our guide said it's been estimated building the estate now would cost around $900 million.
Photos don't do this place justice, but I tried.
We'll be back, someday, to take one of the other tours. The basic one-hour tour of this place just scrapes the surface. If you've never been, I wholeheartedly recommend you visit.