A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Our Visit to Mission Carmel

Our next stop on this whirlwind adventure field trip was The Basilica of Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo, aka Mission Carmel.  Carmel is right next to Monterey, so it was not a long drive from the park I shared about yesterday

Mission Carmel is very beautiful, and it was more crowded than the other missions we've been to.  There was a tour bus in the parking lot, so it seems to be a popular destination. 

You pay your fee in the gift shop and then walk through to the gardens. 

One of the cool things about this trip is that most of the missions only charge for kids 7 and up, so Katie, whose birthday was a couple days after we returned from our trip squeaked by free. 

It was really interesting to mentally compare the missions.  They share a lot of the same components, such as fountains. 

Which my well behaved children splashed each other in.  And asked why there was money on the bottom.  Again. 

The gardens were lovely, with a wide variety of plants, and lots of statues. 

This particular mission has undergone extensive renovations, which were beautifully done. 

As with the other missions we've visited, there were many displays of artifacts from the mission time period, including old coins and buttons.

My boys are always happy to see swords. 

The church building, which has a star shaped window similar to the one at Mission San Rafael Arcangel.

Inside the church

Former Pope John Paul the Second visited this mission thirty years ago. 

While I'm not Catholic, I did appreciate the quote above about service to others. 

If you click on the picture, you'll see the monstrously large aloe plant in the center.  There were several of them on the grounds here. 

These displays were from the Munras family.  We watched a video about the "California princess." 

It's too bad time travel isn't a thing.  It would be really interesting to meet these people and see whether they were like we imagine or not. 

Back out in the gardens, with another fountain.  This area was tranquil. 

More statues.

And the bell tower.

The bell tower is kind of pretty. 

We should take a selfie. 

This mission still has the quadrangle shape, and this larger fountain is in the paved center.  I was surprised by the paving, since most of the missions have dirt in the middle.  Since this is an active church and school, I imagine they hold wedding receptions and school events out here. 

In one corner, they have lists of benefactors and sponsored pavers indicating donors toward reconstruction projects.  I made some other tourists laugh when I told the kids, "Go sit in front of the bell for a picture.  Okay now everybody say, 'ding a ling!' " 

So if you're at all familiar with mission history, you know that Father Junipero Serra was a Big Deal in the founding of the California mission chain (and some in Baja, too).  Mission Carmel happens to be the final resting place of Father Serra. 

While this looks like a tomb, Father Serra is actually interred beneath the floor, in front of the altar.  This monument was created 140 years after his death. 

The artist who created the monument also made this smaller statue of the Munras princess. 

You get an idea how large the music book is when you compare it to the size of the standard violin on the right.  Which Katie called a guitar.  And when I corrected her, Hannah asked what the difference is between a violin and a guitar.  Sigh.  I have failed somewhere along the way.  I grew up with music.  I can't remember ever not knowing basic instruments.  My dad and his best friend when I was a kid both played guitar, and my dad's best friend's wife played the violin.  Seems like nowadays the only thing people play are video games and iGadgets.  Now that I sound old and crotchety...  moving along. 

Okay, so over here we have a mission kitchen.

Complete with hanging garlic and plastic vegetables. 

This shows what a typical "cell" or bedroom for a priest would have looked like.

This particular cell is where Father Junipero Serra died in 1784. 

While most of the graves here are much older, this is also the final resting place of Harry Downie, who did much of the restoration work at Mission Carmel. 

The graveyard here is much more simplistic than the one at Mission San Jose.  Mostly simple crosses surrounded by abalone shells.  I pointed out the abalone shells to the kids, not even realizing that we'd be seeing live abalone at the aquarium the next day. 

And this little room is believed to be the very first library in California!  Given how much I love reading and books and libraries, that was pretty cool to see. 

I brought along blank journals and colored pencils for the kids to draw things from our trip, and these flowers ended up in a couple of them.  I'm kind of wishing that I'd brought one for myself and allowed us time to sit and sketch, but the kids do better when we keep moving. 

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  1. It looks very pretty and peaceful. You know I was just talking with another homeschooling mom about the differences in teaching history based on where you are located and we specifically mentioned how much missions play a role in California history (something I know NOTHING at all about) and how our history here in New England focuses so much on the pilgrims and early life in the colonies.

    1. I remember being sad that my baby sister wouldn't learn California history when my dad and step mom moved their family to Nevada.

      I think we get a lot of pilgrims and early colonial life, and then there's this massive gray area between the east coast and the Rocky Mountains that we know little about the history of. I went through a Mormon history phase about 15 years ago because a friend introduced me to a fascinating book series, and I wanted to learn more about their experience in that era. But up to that point, I'd known nothing about the persecution they faced, or the difficulties they encountered on their way to Utah.

      There's so much to learn in this world! I'm glad I have the time to do a bit more reading these days.

  2. I laughed at your horror of your girl not knowing a violin from a guitar, and I remember my own horror when my oldest came home from camp angry at me for never having taught her the Pledge of Allegiance.


    We simply cannot do it all. All we can do is fill in the gaps as we find them. ;)

    You're an amazing mom, and you take awesome trips with your kids!

    1. Yeah, my kids have had to learn the Pledge of Allegiance, the Pledge to the Christian Flag, and the Pledge to the Bible since starting school. They were stunned that I knew those things, lol. Um, yeah, kids, Mommy went to a couple of Christian schools, too, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, and we listened to cassette tapes.

      I think as long as we teach kids how to learn and where to look for more information and how to admit they don't know everything, we set them on a path to being able to fill in any gaps they deem important to fill. :) I did have to restrain myself from doing a Google search for "Printable Musical Instrument Flash Cards" and firing up the laminator while they were at school, though. ;)

  3. What a beautiful place to visit. I also laughed when the kids repeatedly asked you the same question of why there were coins at the bottom of the fountain. My kids also does the repeat a lot too. lol!

    Thank you so much for liking up with us on #FabFridayPost

    1. Sometimes I wish I had a button for the top 6 things I say the most. ;) We seem to have the same conversations over and over.

  4. I don't know anything about Missions, but it looks a beautiful and really interesting place. It's great that your children are learning so much by actually visiting these places, rather than just reading it in books. Great way to learn! #FabFridayPost

    1. It's a complex part of our history. On the surface, it was part of Spain's colonization of our area. But it was also the beginning of the end for the Native tribes here. I'm glad so much has been preserved so that we can visit the beautiful missions and contemplate how we live and what (if anything) we've learned from history.