Friday, April 14, 2017

The Real Vista Del Mar

As promised, the week I am including some photographs I took on my trip of the real places I based the fictitious places in the Yarn Retreat series. The real place is called Asilomar and started out as a YWCA camp. It was designed by Julia Morgan and the Hearst family was very involved with it. I call it Vista Del Mar and have made some alterations to fit my stories.

It is very exciting for me to see these spots in real life as I have spend so my time there in my imagination.

Below is the building I call Sand and Sea. It has the spartan guest rooms where my retreaters stay and some people die. There is a living room like lobby on the first floor where I have my group gather for free time knitting and discussion on whodunnit.

This is the interior of the Lodge which is the heart of Vista Del Mar. It has the registration area, the Cora and Madeleine Delacorte Café, the gift shop, and lots of space to gather. In my version since Vista Del Mar has gone unplugged, there are a row of vintage phone booths. In the real place I think that area is now a business center.

The Vista Del Mar beach (really the Asilomar beach) is special. The photo doesn’t really show it, but the sand is very light and a soft silky texture. The water is actually sea foam green and the waves are big and rough.

As I walked through the grounds, it was as if I could almost see shadows of my characters wandering around. It was wonderful to feel the sea breeze and hear the roar of the waves against the shore and to note that the air really did smell of wood smoke from all the fireplaces.


ldosborn said...

Wow ! The mental pictures I had formed of the hotel are right on ! Your descriptions are terrific. That is a cold and beautiful area. My late sister-in-law worked at the Hearst Castle, so my husband always liked to visit the area. He actually found the house where she lived, now a restaurant.

Linda O. Johnston said...

How fun that you can actually visit the places in your stories!

Betty Hechtman said...

Idosborn, funny you should mention a house that is now restaurant. The photo I forgot to include was taken inside the Red House restaurant which is the model for my Blue Door restaurant.

Hearst Castle must have been an interesting place to work.

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, it is fun to visit the places. I always half expect my characters to show up.