Stories

Stories and pictures about our travels, our photography and the outdoors.

 

Castle of the Middle Kingdom

Between the giant anthill known as Los Angeles and the slightly smaller anthill known as the Bay Area lies a lesser known area of California. Some residents call it the Middle Kingdom. And like all good kingdoms, this kingdom has a castle. This is not a dark foreboding castle but one of art and sensuality. This is a castle of colorful gardens, set on a hill above a shining sea and populated by the most beautiful people of its day.  Like many kingdoms, this castle fell from favor as its aging monarch fell into old age. But fortunately, the greater Kingdom of California now manages this place and attempts to keep at least the appearance of its former glory days.

We visited the Middle Kingdom recently and made the journey to the Castle. And though we are not fans of conspicuous consumption, we are (or at least try to be) appreciative of art and craft. Take this cottage for instance, how can you not find it at least attractive. Maybe not your style or ours, but attractive.

And those gardens filled with art and flowers, imagine a warm spring afternoon wandering through the gardens with a beverage from the cellar in hand.

And as for sensuous, have you seen this pool? Can you imagine it in the light of a full moon? Think you could get lucky here?

But like many royal projects someone should have told the King to stop, or at least "Mellow out , dude" (Hey it is the Middle Kingdom - people talk that way there). Can you imagine waking up after a long night of liberating libations to this ceiling above your bed?

But the ornate is not found in just one or two rooms but in every room. And outside, marble statues are insufficient, there must be gold statues as well.

Eventually, as we wandered the grounds and took the tours, the opulent and ornate ostentatious display of wealth became over-bearing. We left the Castle to return to what we think are the true treasures of the Middle Kingdom.... expansive landscapes and the shimmering sea.