We’re in Santa Maria, population 90,000 and home of Robin Williams and Kathy Bates, because we didn’t make it to Santa Barbara, another hour down the road.
And the reason we didn’t make it to Santa Barbara is because we spent hours at the Hearst Castle north of here at San Simeon.
Did you know that some people just have way too much money? William Randolph Hearst certainly did, because he built this big honkin’ castle that took 26 years to almost complete, with 60 bedrooms and pools indoor and out that I’m sure rival any pools Julius Caesar dipped his toes in.
This guy makes Scott Gomez look like a homeless pauper.
Hearst was the founder and publisher of the San Francisco Examiner, and also dabbled in the movie business. Friends who came to stay at this place included Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, Hedda Hopper, Joe Kennedy (father of JFK), and anyone else who had any clout and pockets full of dough in the roaring twenties and dirty thirties.
President Calvin Coolidge’s wife got stuck in the private elevator for hours when they visited.
Hearst also asked married couples staying at his place not to have sex, although he had bedrooms for his wife and also for his mistress, Hollywood starlet Marion Davies.
I thought about asking the tour guide if Hearst was a Habs fan and did Howie Morenz and Aurele Joliat ever come over for martinis but I decided against it. I’m sure Howie and Aurele were much too busy scoring on the ice to have time to score in the pool.
One more note; On the grounds outside the castle, workers were setting up gazebos and music equipment for a party this evening. A party which would include tycoons and Hollywood stars, and it was only costing each person $10,000. I asked Luciena if she thought we should go and she said yes, of course, are you kidding? But we opted for Santa Maria instead.
Tomorrow will be a big day. Hollywood, baby. But I’m worried that if I’m discovered by a movie producer or director for a leading role opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones or Julia Roberts, who’s going to feed my cat back home? (Forget about the Frankenstein and hideous monster remarks. And no, that’s not me in the photo at the top. Very funny.)