SANTA BARBARA
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Before we left Pismo we decided to take advantage of low crowds and easy driving and so we took a day trip up to San Simeon to see Hearst’s Castle.  It was all very impressive, although the State Park Service that now runs it certainly treats the tourists differently that we were treated in London or Paris.  There you are regarded as an interested and cooperative adult..  Here, at San Simeon, one is viewed as a “problem” to be dealt with.   Official park "rangers" and tour guides alike simply herd people, loudly shouting directions and admonitions and generally treating us like children.  I resisted the temptation to engage in childish behavior. 

Still, I was truly moved by the sight of the indoor swimming pool that Hearst had constructed.  It was, and is, one of the most sumptuous, magnificent indoor spaces that I have ever seen, and the combination of light, water and painted décor accented in gold leaf was just unique to my eyes.  Mary Ann mentioned that when her first husband, Norman, was a little boy, his grandfather, John Ruskovich, a powerful political force in the county, used to lunch occasionally with Hearst and little Norman got to swim in the pools.  Quite a treat I would say!  :-)
MY TWO FAVORITE SCULPTURES AT HEARST'S HILL.
SIDE, INDOOR POOL
FULL POOL, INDOOR
THIS, THE OUTDOOR POOL, IS WHERE MARY ANN'S HUSBAND, NORMAN,  SOMETIMES SWAM WHEN HIS FATHER JOHN RUSKOVICH VISITED THE HEARSTS
LOOKING BACK AT THE OCEAN
After leaving Pismo, we drove down to Solvang, sort of thinking that we might see Aldonna Coltrin, now Rohrbaugh.  But we could not find her in the phone book under any spelling of that last name, and so we consoled ourselves with split pea soup from Anderson's Restaurant in Buelton, a place that Mary Ann used to visit 30 years ago, and on pastry from a tasty, old world styled bakery. 

Then, we found Shirley/Joan Bryan, and her companion, Louis.  We had a WONDERFUL visit, walking about Santa Barbara, which I was surprised to find is a walk-about town, eating at their favorite Italian restaurant, touring through the mission and learning a lot about the Spanish heritage and historic preservations that Santa Barbara takes such pride in maintaining.  Louis teaches at both the university, at a local high school and for the local preservation society, so he is extremely well-versed in the history of the area and this made all of our pleasant walking both educational and more deeply enriched.  We were so busy talking and listening, that I left for the walk without my camera, so the photos below are from our walking about the San Luis Obispo area with Irene.
SAN LUIS OBISPO HISTORICAL MUSEUM
ORIGINALLY A CARNEGIE LIBRARY FUNDED BY ANDREW CARNEGIE TO PROVIDE EDUCATION FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
THE YOUNG PEOPLE
SAN LUIS OBISPO  MISSION
EUCOLYPTUS TREES
SHIRLEY/JOAN AND LOUIS