If you are from the San Francisco Bay area, you most likely know what the Filoli is. It had been on my touring list for about a year. Because of time constraints, it fit perfectly into our hectic business schedule. My husband and I scooped up my mother the day after we arrived, and she enjoyed it even more than we did. She especially liked the grand ballroom, where a gifted musician played period music on a a grand piano.
This is Mom and me standing just outside a charming arched doorway leading to the gardens. She's pretty "hot" for 93 don't you think?
The Filoli is a lovely little American castle, built in the early 1900's. It lies on 654 acres in the beautiful rolling hills near the coast, 30 miles south of San Francisco, and a skip and a jump from San Jose. The original owner was the owner of a gold mine, and had extensive funds to create a lovely home, which carries a strange name. I had mistakenly thought it was some Italian name, and had expected it to resemble an Italian villa. However, the name is very special, and is really an acronym made up by the first owner. He took the first two letters of key words of his philosophy for living: "Fight for a just cause; love you fellow man; Live a good life." The positive, happy energy of this man and the succeeding family that lived there, and the volunteers and employees who care for the estate, lives on and abounds there today. Now owned by the National Trust, it is a feast for the spirit. The gardens are extensive and astonishingly beautiful. Visitors may walk at heir leisure and there are resting places where it is possible to contemplate and enjoy the rich and varied colors of the flower gardens and panoramic views.