Hearst Castle Souvenirs

Michael Ely
Submitted by Michael Ely October 21st, 2010
Certifikitsch Winner
When I was 12 years old, my grandparents took me with them on a vacation up the California coast and one of our stops was to see the magnificent Hearst Castle. I remember being in total awe of the castle in all of it’s over-the-top splendor, and over the years I have been back to visit it several times, each time with a new appreciation. Here are a few souvenirs I bought on that very first visit. My favorite is the salt and pepper shakers.

3 Responses to “Hearst Castle Souvenirs”

  1. Allee Willis

    Allee Willis

    I love that you have the souvenirs from your first visit! I made it there about 10 years ago. I still dream about that massive mosaic tile indoor swimming pool room that’s in one of the photos you show.

    I love those little Plastichrome booklets with all of the great color photos and the little plastic spine. I had those from everywhere I traveled as a kid.

    I’ve never seen the salt and pepper shakers before.

    Do you still have a View Master to view the reels?

    And when’s the last time you went to Hearst Castle?

    • Michael Ely

      Michael Ely

      I’m sure the S & P show up on ebay from time to time, and I think they still make a version of them as a souvenir, but they are not as cool as the older pair, less detail.

      I love the indoor pool you speak of too! It’s called the Roman Pool and it is my favorite part of the tour. I would give anything to swim in it, even tho it is so dark and eerie looking.

      I too have a bunch of those little booklets, and I’ve thought about sharing them for a long time. In fact, they have been sitting as a draft for a couple of months. I just wasn’t sure if anyone would find them interesting.

      Yes, I have several View Masters (from different time periods) to view the reels. In fact, if you look closely there is one in the pic. I love spending an afternoon sitting with a friend and talking while we look at reels.

      The last time I was at Hearst Castle was probably in 1990. Planning a trip with my partner and a friend to drive up the CA coast next Spring and seeing the castle is definitely in our plans. Also the Madonna Inn!

  2. Allee Willis

    Allee Willis

    The Madonna Inn is so close to Hearst Castle it makes for an unbelievable trip. You could hit them both in the same day but that would be such an overload of kitsch at the both the top at low levels of the scale that you better book a room at the Madonna Inn to stay in and catch your breath.

    Spending an afternoon looking at View-Master reels sounds wonderful. I have a lot of them but mostly from old TV shows. I also have a lot of Miami Beach as that’s where we used to go when I was a kid.

    If you didn’t catch my blog post on View-Masters, check it out: https://www.alleewillis.com/blog/2010/05/10/allee-willis-kitsch-o-the-day-%E2%80%93-3d-miami-beach-charles-phoenix/