Silver Surf Motel '73
It's postcard week. Why not? It's a gray chilled February and I have a lot of regular work to do, both of which cut into going there and seeing that, much less writing about it.
Back in the summer of 1973, during a family trip to California, we spent the night in San Simeon, with the idea of visiting the Hearst Castle the next day. But it turned out that without reservations, the wait to get in would have been many hours, so we went on up to coast to San Francisco. One of these days, if I live long enough, I'll drive up the California coast again and make sure I have reservations to get into Xanadu.
(I checked the Hearst Castle web site today and discovered that it "will relive its Hollywood heydays of the 1920s and ’30s for one star-studded night during the 'Hollywood to Hearst Castle' event on Friday, March 9th." Among other things, the event will include a screening of Citizen Kane, which was not known to be William Randolph Hearst's favorite movie. Heh-heh.)
We stayed at the Silver Surf Motel that night. Our single souvenir from the visit to San Simeon is this postcard, a relic of the time when hotels and motels provided postcards and stationery to guests, supposedly as a convenience but of course really as marketing. The marketing effort has certainly worked in this case: the place is getting a mention almost 40 years later.
I don't remember much about the Silver Surf, specifically -- all the motels I visited before ca. 1980 have fused into a single memory of a room with shag carpets, a color TV with bad horizontal control, orange and aqua furniture, a bottle opener attached near the sink, a paper Sanitized For Your Protection ribbon, and occasionally Magic Fingers. The back of the postcard says, "a charming garden motel... 40 attractive ocean view rooms... enclosed heated pool... putting green... children's playground... coffee and TV in rooms... 3 restaurants and cocktail lounge adjacent... all major credit cards." That last one included BankAmericard and Carte Blanche, by gar.
The Silver Surf Motel is still around. Except for the motel marquee and the color schemes, its web site pics don't look that different than on the postcard.