Thursday, April 2, 2015

Heritage Circle's Hearst Castle Adventure

Exclusive look inside Heart Castle's vault
History San Jose's Heritage Circle make a leadership commitment to help preserve the stories and artifacts from the Santa Clara Valley so future generations can learn from these histories. The annual, tax-deductible contribution of $1,500 to join Heritage Circle includes access to unique social and educational activities. Above all, these generous donations ensure that History San José has the resources we need to fulfill our mission every day.

In late March, our Heritage Circle group enjoyed an amazing weekend in rustic Cambria for our annual getaway. We stayed at the picturesque El Colibri Boutique Hotel & Spa in downtown Cambria, where we participated in their nightly wine and cheese tastings. On Friday evening, our rowdy group of 17 squeezed into Madeline's Restaurant and Wine Shop for a sumptuous French-inspired feast and fine wines. According to the staff at Madeline's, we were one of the biggest groups they've ever seated!

The next day, our carpool caravan was off to an early start to Hearst Castle for a private, behind-the-scenes tour. Our tour guide, Chuck Walker, led us on a once-in-a-lifetime treasure hunt, revealing some of the secrets and scandals connected to the Hearst family and their famous guests at the Castle.

We were also allowed to peek inside the Castle wine cellar and private vaults, where we saw statues, furs, carpets, and other objects belonging to the family.

HSJ Board Member and Heritage Circle Member, Kathleen Orlenko, who has been a Conservator to the Castle for over ten years, then took us on an exclusive tour of the Archives, where we were shown some of the original hand-drawn prints of the architecture of the Castle by none other than architect Julia Morgan.

Private archives tour with Conservator Kathy Orlenko
After a busy day at Hearst Castle (and a little wine tasting!), we enjoyed a relaxing dinner at Indigo Moon Cafe, another local favorite serving up high-end American food and delectable desserts. The next morning, we sadly went our separate ways and said goodbye for now to beautiful Cambria.

To see some photos from the weekend, please explore our online photo album!

Read more about the many benefits of becoming a Heritage Circle Member.

Renew your Heritage Circle Membership today and join us on future trips such as this trip to Cambria.