Even though it's a complicated part of California's history, I'm glad the missions were preserved (or rebuilt).
Hannah took this picture for me. Notice I happen to be wearing a skirt that day. We took a walk outside the mission, and my mom wanted a picture in front of the bell tower.
Note we're laughing hilariously. This is because, to get to the front of the bell tower, we had to climb over a wall. (feeling grateful for slip shorts)
See the tiny gap between the bell tower and the brick wall on the left? Yeah, that's what we passed through. I should have had the girls stand in front of the tower so you get a better idea of how high it was.
Speaking of a lack of visual perspective, we saw 2 huge bellows on this trip. The first was at Hearst Castle, in one of the outbuildings. This one was big, too. The model mission on the right gives you an idea of the size. It was bigger than a guitar.
I watch a lot of history documentaries. One tidbit that struck me recently was that religious artists in the Dark Ages drew inspiration for the "Madonna & Child" paintings from the statues of the Egyptian goddess, Isis with her son, Horus.