If you spent your grade school years in California, you know about the chain of 21 missions that Father Junipero Serra helped to establish along the coast from San Diego to Sonoma. Last month, Grammy and I took the kids to see the northernmost mission in that chain.
I allowed 2 hours for the drive, but it took less than that in the morning. (The trip home, however, took more than 3 hours, UGH.)
Since we'd been in the car ever since 7:30 when we loaded up to take the teens to school, our first stop after parking was to use the bathrooms at the Cheese Factory. As we walked in, I told the kids, "When I was a little girl, you could watch them make cheese through huge windows over there." The cashier said, "That was a long time ago." I rounded the corner to discover that the windows had been knocked out and the store area had been extended to be more of a gift shop/cafe. Thanks a lot, lady. As if I need to be reminded that I'm old.
We were there early enough that we got to see the park staff raising the flags.
It was a beautiful day, and it felt so good to get out of the house.
We walked around, admiring the historical structures and the interesting silhouettes.
This was perfect, because in week 20 of MFW, you're supposed to do silhouettes of the students, and due to the lighting in the school room, we hadn't gotten around to it.
Seeing these and discussing the art form and what the characters are doing and such merited a "close enough!" in my book, and it felt good to cross that off the to do list.
Pretty soon, Grammy arrived, and we walked over to the mission.
I hadn't realized that the chain stretched all the way down to Guatemala!
Out in front of the mission.
Grammy took a picture for me.
Inside the Bell Room, Hannah checks out a model of the mission. Most kids get assigned to build a model of a mission in about 4th grade around here.
I haven't taught "California History" since Annaliese was homeschooling, so my kids haven't done that particular project, but it was neat to get to see a couple that day.
This is inside the chapel. It's a long, narrow rectangle. You can see the Stations of the Cross on the walls.
The depth of the windows shows how very thick the walls are. We talked about how the buildings were constructed, and why they might have chosen to make a big rectangle with an open courtyard inside.
Our family is not Catholic, so the items near the altar were unfamiliar to my kids.
This picture shows the layout of the mission, and how it looked back in the day. Note the well and the 3 ovens inside the courtyard.
The courtyard was very pleasant.
Here's that well, and some benches to enjoy the pretty trees and plants. I identified several plants to the kids that day, but I doubt they remember many of them.
Except maybe the HUGE CACTUS patch.
There's one of the ovens. And Hannah is checking out another cooking area of some sort.
"Where's Jack? He's camouflaged against the cacti!
There he is!
Jack took this picture of Grammy and I near the outdoor ovens.
And then it was back to more cactus. Some of the cacti even had blooms on them.
This scary monster cactus was out in front of the mission.
And another kind of cactus over there.
Cactus and roses growing together. The blooms are cactus, the leaves are roses.
Grammy brought the kids mission coloring books, which were a huge hit.
Katie, especially, has spent a lot of her free time coloring hers.
Our fun day did not end there, but I'm sure that's enough pictures for one post! Next time I'll talk about what else we saw that day.
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