Today I am grateful for Day Fifteen, Sixteen and Seventeen of our American trip.
On Sunday we started the day all together. We headed off to beautiful Hearst Castle a famous estate that belonged to William Randolph Hearst a newspaper magnate who died in 1951. It was designed by architect Julia Morgan. It is a national and Californian Historical Landmark. The gardens were incredible and the buildings the sign of a very unique and eccentric man.
Los Olivos is a beautiful little town of art galleries, wine tasting rooms and historic homes.
We stayed at the Fess Parker Wine Country Inn and Spa.
On Monday we all drove to Santa Barbara where we dropped our bags and then headed out to watch The Second day of the Tour of California. The boys rode to a little town called Ojai. We met them there and then all travelled on to Santa Clarita where the stage finished. The finish was a very exciting one as two boys who had been in a breakaway during the race stayed away right up until the finish and came first and second. The other thing that was exciting was seeing all the riders up close. Wiggins was there and was rushed past me for a wee test in the antidoping area!
That night we all headed in different directions for dinner. Our brief to the concierge was somewhere close. The restaurant we went to was out our back door and it was fun. We shared a communal table and sat with a couple who were on their second Tinder date. It was a night of great food, interesting conversation and a pretty spot.
On Tuesday morning I was tour guide for David and Mark. We did a short self guided walking tour of Santa Barbara. The town has a big Spanish influence.
I was very surprised by the large number of homeless people in this town and was baffled that so many of the rich and famous have holiday homes here ( eg Oprah, Ellen, Tim Allen, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Costner, Tom Cruise, Whoopie Goldberg, Jennifer Lopez, Julia-Louise Dreyfus, Steven Spielberg). In the afternoon the boys did the Gibraltar climb before the pros raced it in the Tour of California. The girls got a glimpse of why the rich and famous like this town. Our lovely guide Marie drove us around the Santa Barbara hills and we got glimpses of the amazing views of the coastline and of long driveways, big gates and amazing homes.
We finished the day with a Mexican meal with all our travelling companions. We said our goodbyes, thanked our wonderful guides Marie and Adam and talked about our fantastic trip. It was a great finish to a truly memorable experience.
David and I are off to Los Angeles next for a few days and then home.