We rented a car in LA and were delighted by not only getting a convertible, as requested, but one with only 5 miles on the odometer! The 'bright' color - described to us as Crayola Blue - only seemed fitting. We were then off to head north on the Pacific Coast Highway (the "PCH" among locals).

Not too far up the coast is the famous party house of WR Hearst, commonly known as Hearst Castle (although the 'real' Hearst Castle is in Europe) . It was quiet the imposing force you would expect from a man with money and a fancy for European architecture - though perhaps not a unified vision for what he was building.

Hearst on the hill in the CA haze

A Intimate Dinning Room

The Coast from the Castle

NC feet at home on CA

After several hours of schlepping around the grounds, we headed up the PCH and made a stop to view the Elephant Seals molting along the beach. We were told by some onsite park ranger types, that they hang out here for about 30 days, basking in the sun and washing in the surf to encourage their coats to shed.

Next up... Carmel by the Sea!