We arrived in San Simeon just in time for sunset. If there was any trace of the city air in Monterey, all that was gone as a massive herd of elephant seals welcomed us to the city. There was no sunset like this, no. The rhythmic puffs of noises, which I presumed to be the seals burping, were really not serene sounds by any means that you might expect to go with this view in front of you, this mesmerizing, almost surreal view. At the same time, nothing seemed off-putting, either. Not at all. It was one of those moments that made you inhale to the very bottom of your lungs–despite how much the seals stunk, while silently wishing that your memory could perfectly preserve, in this second, everything.
We visited the Hearst Castle first thing in the morning. Other than how incredible a feat the castle is on its own, the stories of William Hearst and Marion Davies gave the land a touch of romance. History will only be left behind us but those 127 acres remain intact as a little token of the once glorious heritage (okay, a rather large one).
Our last stop of the day had been one of my favourite visits so far. Right before we arrived at Santa Barbara, we made a quick stop at Solvang, a Danish neighborhood.
I have never been to Denmark, but Solvang was the exact depiction of what I imagined Denmark would be like. Everyone was all smiles, streets were lively, and the architecture was just, for lack of a better word, d’awwww. It is a town that makes you feel like kicking your shoes off and eating ice cream. For practicality reasons, I only did the latter.
After all, when in doubt, eat ice cream.