But I lived.
And armed with my meds and a fierce need for some relaxation, we said goodbye to SF for the weekend and headed down to San Luis Obispo. SLO is a beachy, laid-back town about halfway between here and Los Angeles. We found one of the few resorts that had vacancy (literally booked it at midnight the night before we left). It was the SeaCrest Resort (in Pismo Beach) and we liked it very much.
The Hearst Castle is definitely worth seeing. Having lived in SC for a while, I spent a decent amount of time at Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. To be honest, even though Hearst Castle is more extravagant and impressive, I prefer the whole Biltmore experience. Biltmore is amazing in not just its opulence and scale, but on how everything fits and works together. It's a great big mansion but it all seems to be cohesive and appropriate. Hearst Castle, on the other hand, is layer upon layer of wealth seemingly for wealth's sake. I couldn't help thinking the whole time "but what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and yet loses his own soul?"
But the tour is still interesting, the estate grand and beautiful, if not a little too commercial, and the views from the Cuesta Encantada without parallel.
The rest of our trip was spent relaxing. I actually don't think we had relaxed that much since our honeymoon. We took a walk on the beach, found random hole-in-the-wall places to eat, sat in the hot tub, and lounged on our balcony. It. Was. Awesome.