I’m still reminiscing about my wonderful weekend visit to Filoli. About 40 minutes south of San Francisco, Filoli is a grand estate built by the wealthy Mr. and Mrs. Bourn in the early 20th century. Mr. Bourn amassed a fortune during the California Gold Rush as the owner of the Empire State Mine in Grass Valley, CA (see my post about our visit to the mine and the Bourn cottage). Bourn called his dream home Filoli, taking the first two letters of his personal motto: “Fight for a just cause; Love your fellow man; Live a good life.” After the Bourns passed away, the Roth family settled in and continued the Bourns’ tradition of making Filoli the center of peninsula high society in the peninsula. I do a pretty good job of living a simple life and knowing that being rich doesn’t make you happy but when I visit a place like Filoli, I can’t help but want to be super rich. I want a mansion, named after my personal motto, with beautiful gardens and which overlooks a lake! There’s not much I can say that will adequately convey the beauty of this place, so here are the photos:

We first toured the house.

My favorite part of the house is the ballroom. As you can see, there was a pianist performing live (lovely!) On all three sides of the ballroom are soft-colored murals, one of which is the Muckross estate in County Kerry, Ireland. Mr. Bourn purchased Muckross for his newly married daughter and son-in-law. It was Muckross which provided Mr. Bourn with the inspiration for building a country estate.

And here is Mrs. Roth, who brought Filoli and the gardens back to life after the Bourns.

The real draw of Filoli are the gardens.

The movie “The Wedding Planner,” starring Jennifer Lopez, was filmed here. I challenge any girl to not fall in love with Filoli.


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