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Santa Cruz & Hearst Castle

26th April 2003



On the early morning of Saturday, we set off at 5:30am from San Jose to Santa Cruz and Hearst Castle on a one day trip planned by Eugenia! We were the earliest at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and the sun had just risen. Spent quite some time there having some breakfast and played volleyball...

Grabbed some lunch in the afternoon and headed off to Hearst Castle about 2 hours away from Santa Cruz. It was rather late and we reached Hearst Castle around 3:30pm and all tickets were sold out! But we managed to get hold of 6 tickets which were booked but cancelled. What a stroke of luck! The tour and a movie finished close to 6:30pm and we watched the sunset at one of the coastal points. Originally, it was planned to hit Big Sur on our way back... but we had no time.

Edric drove us back and we stopped over for a fast food dinner and then dropped the Pines people (Olivia, Eugenia, Colin) back home in San Jose. Then I took over the wheel and dropped Bao Lei back in Mountain View and went Buildfolio to get my car. After returning our rental caravan, we reached home around 1am plus. Phew.... what a one day trip! =)


We rented a 2003 Dodge Caravan that sat 6 people!

It was rather cool to drive it. First time driving a big vehicle... and I drove with Edric to pick up Bao Lei around 5am...

There it was, a brand new caravan and we were at the Pines to pick up the rest of the people

The rear passenger seats

And I continued to drive all the way down to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, about one hour's drive from San Jose.

It was real early and they were not opened yet...

Never mind all the other fun attractions, we were there for the beach only

We were the early birds there

At the entrance

One more poser shot


Breakfast! Food and drinks prepared by the Olivia, Eugenia, Colin...

Rather cold and breezy and there were many garbage bins on the beach and the sand was clean

A shot without the bins


A jetty in the background

A number of beach volleyball courts

Bao Lei - Picture time... and we got a new nickname for him. The Bird... haha

Group shot - Colin, Olivia, Me, Edric, Eugenia, Bao Lei

Whose feet were those?

Edric in funky beach shirt and sunglasses and myself

Whose hands huh?

The 'Wicked' Colin

Okay, these guys were preparing for a beach volleyball tournament, let's get our butts out of the courts


Getting more sunny now



Back to our car after exploring the jetty for a while. Bao Lei at the wheel, and Edric as navigator

Eugenia's sitting beside me

Olivia and her pillow and Rubic cube. Spent all the time in the car trying to figure out how to solve it... forget it lah, haha

Colin, also brought a pillow... really know how to enjoy life ah

Stopped at a coastal point on our way to Hearst Castle

Dun think it was hot and sunny, in fact it was quite cold!

Edric and he droved the remaining of the journey to Hearst Castle

Some cacti we saw on the roads

Another stopover at a nice coastal point

Colin and Edric

Colin and me

Greenish-blue waters

Group shot! Edric, Eugenia, Bao Lei, me... Colin and Olivia in the front

Another stop again! No wonder we reached Hearst Castle late.... =P

A whole bunch of seals

Were they sunbathing???

It was a molting season for them, time to shed old skin and grow new ones

A squirrel looking for food

At last at the Hearst Castle office! Time to grab tickets and we got the last tickets!

On a coach up to the castle

There it was in the far distance

Our tour guide who led us on an overview of the castle and we were on Tour 1, the basic tour

Every structure in the castle was beautiful...

A nice view from the balcony

You could see the the sea from here too

A Nike goddess was the goddess of victory who recorded victories on her shield and that was where the sports brand Nike came from

A beautiful outdoor pool

Statue of Venus and some merman

Our tour group heading up the stairs

Imagine how nice it would be to swim in it...



Some statue

The door of an entrance to guest rooms

Every room was different...

Really tall trees

Overlooking the sea

An Egyptian statue

The magnificent church

The church base

The upper part of it

A pool in front of the church

Oranges seem to grow well here

Inside the church

With beautiful paintings

We were not allow to take photos with flash inside and so all our photos were non-flash

The dining room

The ceiling of the dining room

A lighted statue in the movie theater

Tennis courts with a view of the mountains

An indoor pool, looked rather deep

Really exquisite

The floor tiles were gold

The platform above was where swimmers could leap off to dive into the pool

After a movie that showed us the history of Hearst Castle, we drove to a coastal point to see the sunset

Setting soon

Bao Lei having some cake by Olivia

Guess who's the person? Edric...


Our caravan again and a 3 to 4 hours drive back home for us as the sky turned dark....