Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Great Western Pilgrimage - Part Ten

Yes, it is already a pretty long trip but, good news for the non-Mission types among you - really cool critters half-way through today!

#1 daughter, God bless her...she's not exactly a morning person...had science from 6 to 7 AM and then we headed on our way. First stop, Mission San Miguel Arcangel. We have a dear friend named Michael and we pray to this particular Saint pretty much every day...this was a long-awaited visit.

This mission was #16 of 21, again not founded by St. Serra, but pretty amazing even so. The original intent was to cover the territory between Mission San Louis Obispo and Mission San Antonio and minister to the Salinan people. The murals on the walls of the church are originals from the early 1800's!

The museum in this Mission was amazing...so much to learn!

Walking from building to building was beautiful!

a cactus with blooms!

The all-seeing eye of God. I love that.

The history in this place was amazing...especially for the musicians

The vestments were pretty incredible as well. A priest wore these to say Mass 200+ years ago! The same Mass as today! (except the black one - they used to use that for Good Friday but apparently no more)

A Salinan Blessed Mother

If I haven't mentioned it, the patron (name) Saint of the Mission is always found above (or very close to) the tabernacle

The baptized Salinan people were buried just outside the Mission. Some had both Native American and Christian names. It was beautiful.

The devil with St. Michael is so different, depending on the artist, but always really, really ugly.

We went back to the house so that #1 could attend her literature class and we could grab some lunch. Then we took a short drive up the road to see some of the most amazing creatures God ever thought to create.
Yes! Elephant Seals!!! Many, many, many of them!

The seals come ashore to give birth in January and they are gone by late March. How blessed we were to see the mamas and babies and the "big boys" as G called the dads. Understatement. Think SUV.

Yes, 5,000 lbs! Although, the guide told us by Feb they have usually lost several hundred to even a thousand pounds from lying on the beach not eating much.

There is a big boy. Huge. Just amazing. And that nose. When they breathe, it sort of honks/flutters/does this odd thing. Look it up on youtube or go see them yourself. Try to find one of the males fighting too. It's pretty scary - I was glad we were far enough away to see but not be involved in the fracas.

Bye-bye, big boy
Home again for dinner - leftover pasta and sausage frittata. Yum. I like having a house to do laundry on trips but I mainly like it so that I can actually cook. So much better than a restaurant.
 Then, because we weren't sure when we might see the Pacific ocean again, we found time for just.one.more dip. If you can spend the day at a Mission, watching mammoth-sized seals, and looking out over the expanse of the sea and not see/feel/experience God...well, I think you need to re-center a bit. This day, especially, was a great example to the kids of how to see Him everywhere. He is everywhere. He is everything. How blessed we all are to have a Father who loves us so.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

The Great Western Pilgrimage - Part Nine

DH and I were just recounting this pilgrimage on our most recent pilgrimage (more later whenever this one is done!) and he was teasing me about the number of Missions we eventually saw and how, as always, I may have been overzealous in my planning. Really, now, is there ever too much zeal for Our Father's House?

Latin class in the early morning then off to our next stop, Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana - this Mission was founded in 1797, the 17th of the 21 (thus, not founded by St. Serra) and was named for King Ferdinand of Spain. My husband was teasing because he and I could not, for any amount of money, remember this Mission. I don't remember driving there, I don't remember paying or not paying to see it...I do remember being surprised but the really famous person who lies at rest there. So, let's look at the pictures...
We were there! We have pictures!!! (I do remember a bit - they had a 40 Days for Life sign)

I took pictures of every tree. How brilliant to have fruit trees right in the compound!

Fountain - necessity of a Mission

BOB HOPE is buried here! Who even knew he was Catholic???
 Right, so we were there, even if it doesn't ring a lot of bells (except Mr. Hope). On we pressed...

I think poor Fernando may have been overshadowed because we went immediately to La Purisima Conception Mission, which is also a state park (the only Mission that is so) and it left quite an impression (which is surprising since it doesn't even have an active church).

This Mission was founded in 1787 and at one time encompassed the surrounding 400+ square miles of land! Mission "Immaculate Conception" was founded 11th and also not one of the original St. Serra Missions. Ten of the original buildings have been restored and you can see everything from olive trees to longhorn cattle! (which is good since I saw NONE in Texas!)

This place could have been a Texas ranch...it is HUGE

someday I will live in a place where I can have rosemary as shrubbery

stinky Europeans ;0)

trying to act like the guy spitting water...nice thumb, mom

olive tree - a whole forest of them

One of the most Native American Blessed Mother statues we would witness

beehive oven

Different, more Spanish chapel

It seems, back in the day, they just spun the wheel during the consecration...they boys loved it.

Beautiful guy

After walking what must have been almost two miles, we attempted to see our third Mission that day. Mission San Luis Obispo had, sadly, just closed the doors when we pulled up so we didn't get a chance to see inside the chapel. We did see the garden and bells so we'll check it off anyway ;0)

This Mission was founded in 1772, the fifth founded by St. Serra, and named after
St. Louis, Bishop of Toulouse, France.
Bushes of Bird of Paradise!

Mission Bells

The beehive oven
It was a bummer that we missed one of the original Serra Missions but we were, as always, on a time schedule and, well, we had the beach waiting for us!
Cayucos - It was chilly but windy...perfect for kite flying (well, kind of tornado-like but he got it sailing!)

A more prepared homeschool mom would have known what this was

There were tons of it (I think it must be some kind of seaweed was my answer...)

Immune to cold feet

He just chased the birds the whole time

Not those. You don't chase vultures when you're a little kid.

Happy to be in our nest, with a washer and dryer and room to spread out.

Even a fire to warm those cold feet!
Off to bed now; plenty to see and do tomorrow - including some really, really big sea creatures.

We are blessed.