Thursday, August 19, 2010

Day Trippin'...Filoli Gardens

We started out the day by driving to San Francisco as Filoli Gardens is 30 miles south of the City. This photo of the City is taken from Treasure Island in the middle of the Bay. We think it provides the best skyline photo to be had on a clear day. Jim went to Hong Kong a few years ago and he always tells me that as large and picturesque as this is, the Hong Kong skyline and Bay are many times bigger.

This is a photo from the car window on the
Bay Bridge traveling about 40 miles an hour!


We were talking about how much we love "our" City and the fact that of all the places we have lived this seems to be the most magical. We have decided that it is not just that it was our first home back in 1968 but also that for us the City is just sprinkled with "Fairy Dust!" No comment you guys! We mean the fairies with the little wands and big wings.

This is a beautiful home in the
Pacific Heights neighborhood.


I just love these bougainvilleas!
Often you can hear me sigh and the brakes coming
to a screeching halt so I can jump out for a photo.
What a great Hubby!


We took the back roads to Filofi Gardens
and
finally reached the visitors' center.
We passed
a lot of interesting things along
the way that
you just never see from the freeway.

The Name of the Estate was created by the original
owner to represent thoughts he tried to live by..
Fight passionately for a good cause,
Love others and
Live a good life."
The first two letters of each part of his credo,
Fi Lo Li!

We went on a two hour tour of the mansion and the gardens. This is the entrance to the big house that sits majestically in the middle of 654 acres. It was built between 1917 and 1919 and belonged to the man who owned the most productive mineral mine in California in Grass Valley at that time.

In 1917 my Dad was born, in 1918 Jim's Dad was born and 1919 my Mom was born. That put it into perspective for us. They were born a long time ago!!

The original owner was William Bourne II and he also owned many other lucrative businesses of the day. To put it mildly, these people had money to burn. After their deaths in 1936, the home was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Roth and they owned the Matson Navigation Company. At the death of Mrs. Roth in 1975 the home and the expansive estate were donated to the National Trust of Historic Preservation. This was her way of insuring that the estate would be maintained and enjoyed by many in the years to come. (And no doubt, lightening the tax burden on her heirs.)

We thought the entry way was so beautiful.
The begonias were beyond gorgeous.
The entry of a home is so important
and this one
just beckoned,
"Welcome...come in...enjoy!"


There are 43 room not including
bathrooms and storage areas.


The house is primarily a modified Georgian style...think big rectangular box and then imagine it in a U shaped configuration. So three rectangles forming a U. It has a lot of French influence, as well as Flemish detailing. It contains lots of English antiques and area rugs, and tapestries and various artifact from all over the world. Much of it is from the original decor including many of the luxurious draperies. There is an area rug originally owned by Queen Victoria.

The home was filled with many pieces of crystal and silver and china. The silver was kept in a locked safe and comprised over 900 pieces of silverware and serving pieces.

The massive stove came off of one the
Matson Ocean Liners.

Phenomenal Copper Collection!

Be still my beating heart...
I am coveting this amazing Butler's Pantry here.
It sits conveniently between the huge
kitchen and the dining room.


A portion of the elegant dining room

The library
This home has been used to film many movies including Heaven Can Wait, Lolita, George of the Jungle, The Joy Luck Club, The Wedding Planner and the most recently filmed..Rent.


This gorgeous ballroom has a 22 foot ceiling.
The tapestries on the walls are immense.
Can you imagine the parties they had here?
The Roths' had twin daughters that had
their debutante ball here.
An ocean liner full of orchids from Hawaii
were brought in for the event.

The upstairs is not available to be toured at this time.

This is the stairway used in Dynasty although
they switched it to the other side

of the room for that series by flipping the film
for a mirror image.


A little sitting room with a portrait of
Mrs. Roth in her beloved garden.

A view of one side of the house.

The colors in the gardens are astoundingly brilliant.

The Sunken Garden
The lady who was our docent was very knowledgeable about the plants and flowers in the many gardens. We learned the name of our mystery bush that is blooming in our own garden outside our new bathroom windows. It has a canopy of white star burst blossoms and is a Chilean Myrtle. Since it is from the southern hemisphere it blooms in the late summer and early fall instead of the spring!

(It was worth the trip just for this little
serendipity tidbit of information!)



This is the Garden House

It sits out in the middle of the Garden and was seen as a sign of wealth and prestige in the early 1900's. (Like they needed a sign!) If you saw, The Wedding Planner, this is the place that Matthew Mc Connahaughey went to exercise while J Lo did the wedding planning. When they film movies here they often just empty the rooms and fill in with whatever they need. The Library that is shown above has been used exactly as it is in most films. The movie companies have done a lot of the restoration of the mansion over the years. It is a nice perk for the Foundation and it is some great publicity to be featured in a film too!

The best part of this experience was just discovering this beautiful place so close to home and so under publicized. It was beyond lovely, not too crowded and completely enjoyable from beginning to end. If your live in the area it is well worth the trip. The admission is $15.00 per person and included the guided tour. A real bargain. It is wheelchair accessible and relatively flat with only a few stairs. Three cheers for that from my knee! It is a winner. They have a lovely Christmas fund raiser with beautiful decor and music and shopping and luncheons and teas...they may see me another time this year! Doesn't that sound like fun? Saving my pennies starting now!

10 comments:

margaret said...

There are hints and glints of Italy in these pictures, truly lovely.

Bonnie said...

You are so right, Margaret. It really is very European for sure and did remind us of the Reggia in Cacerta, Italy quit a bit. It was so nice, really I wish you could see it.

Julie Harward said...

The flowers are so gorgeous..and I loved the kitchen and I recognized it right away that Heaven Can Wait was filmed there! Looks like a very fun day! :D

Neabear said...

Wow! This is lovely. I had never heard of it before. Would definitely make a fun day trip for us too. A longer drive to get there though for us than it was you probably. But would be worth it I am sure.

Linnea

Sister Susie said...

I love to see the pictures that make these cities look like they are sitting on water!

The bougainvillas are beatiful! When we lived in Key West, we had purple and salmon colored bushes too.

Begonias were my dad's favorite flowers.

Mansions-I wonder if this is just a taste of our mansions Christ said He has gone to prepare for us! Just think; alabaster, ivory (and not from the animals), the foundations of solid jewels, streets of gold! Imagine that! What man holds so dear in this world, gold, is asphalt in Heaven!

The rooms are just gorgious! Aren't you glad you don't have to clean, dust, and vacuum such as that. I guess if we were rich enough to own it, we could pay to have it cleaned, lol!
Thanks for sharing!
Blessings and hugs,
Susie

Marie said...

What a fabulous day out Bonnie! I just love going places like this. Thanks so much for taking us with you! I have enjoyed all the photos and descriptions very much! Just wonderful! xxoo

Caroline Craven said...

What a beautiful estate. Makes mine look humble!!! I loved the garden room the most. And the gardens are to die for.

Nellie's Cozy place said...

HI BON BON,
WOW.WHAT A FUN AND BEAUTIFUL TRIP.
EVERTHING IS GORGEOUS. THAT BUTLERS PANTRY IS AMAZING. COURSE, THE WHOLE HOUSE AND GARDENS IS AMAZING!!
ALSO LOVE THAT GARDEN ROOM. JIM JUST LOOKED ON NETFLIX FOR HEAVEN CAN WAIT
AND WE ARE GONNA DOWNLOAD AND WATCH IT NOW. WE GOT MAMA MIA THRU THE MAIL BUT THE DVD WAS BROKEN AND WE WERE BUMMED, SO YOU HELPED SOLVE OUR PROBLEM!! LOL
THANKS FOR COMING BY LATELY AND ALL YOUR ENCOURAGING COMMENTS AS USUAL.
LOVE AND BLESSINGS FOR A GREAT WEEKEND AHEAD,
NELLIE

{Bellamere Cottage} said...

My dear Bonnie...

Oh MY GOSH.... I WANT to see this gorgeous home too. Holy MOLY! I could live in that sunroom....as my WHOLE house. I LOVE it. How lucky you were to get to see it. Someday....

Huggies sweet one..

xoxoxoxo
Spencer

LA Adams said...

Wow, I went to these gardens this spring, took hundreds of pictures and never thought of posting. Thanks Bonnie Life is good!