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Spanish Missions

Mission La Purisima Concepción

Mission La Purisima Concepción is #11 (1787) and a working, thriving Mission. This was a complete surprise for us. In all of our journeys, we’ve learned about the activities occurred in the Mission era, but this was the first time… Continue Reading →

Mission San Miguel

San Miguel is #16 in the Mission chain (1797) and was built at the point halfway between Mission San Antonio and Mission San Luis Obispo. It thrived during Spanish rule but was mostly abandoned when Mexico ceded Alto California to… Continue Reading →

Mission San Antonio de Padua

Mission San Antonio is off the beaten path. It’s #3 in the Mission chain (1771) and is housed on what was once Randolph Hearst’s private land (though technically the Mission came to California long before the Hearst Family). Because of… Continue Reading →

Mission Soledad

We ended up visiting this Mission twice… because it was closed during our first attempted visit and we couldn’t approach the outside of the building because it is one of the few Missions that can only be accessed by passing… Continue Reading →

Mission San Rafael Arcangel

For this 4th of July, we are doing a road trip from San Francisco to San Luis Obispo. The goal is to visit the remaining Missions on the NorCal Mission Quest and spend some time at the beach. Mission San… Continue Reading →

San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo Mission

Mission San Diego de Alcalá was the first Mission built in 1769; and, Mission Carmel came second in 1770… presumably aligned with the founding of the Monterey Presidio and discovery of the San Francisco Bay in that same year. The… Continue Reading →

Mission Santa Cruz

The drive to this Mission is more of an adventurous than the Mission itself. It’s worth the trip if you are coming from Silicon Valley. One rather beautiful route takes you along Skyline Boulevard, through the Santa Cruz Mountains) and… Continue Reading →

Mission San Juan Bautista

Founded on June 24, 1797, Mission San Juan Bautista is number 15 and largest of the Spanish Missions built in California. A visit to this Mission is a step outside of the normal touristy affair that is typical of California… Continue Reading →

Happy Easter from Mission Dolores

It’s not really planned, but we seem to find ourselves somewhere interesting during Easter every year. It started with Belgium and the Ronde… and then there was Spain’s Santa Semana and Aleluya de Toros. This year we were in at… Continue Reading →

Mission San Jose

Peppered around the Internet and in historical documentation is Mission San Jose, named as Mission San Jose de Guadalupe. According to the staff at the Mission this is a misnomer that came about in the early 1900s with a mis-labelled… Continue Reading →

Mission Santa Clara de Asis

Mission Santa Clara de Asis was founded on January 12, 1777 and is number 8 of the 21 Spanish Missions founded in California. It also happens to be the first Mission to be named after a woman. It moved around… Continue Reading →

Of Hummingbirds and Lizards

Lavanderias — Indian laundries — where Indians washed clothes every week water spouted forth from gargoyles and passed out from tile pools into orchards of fruit trees (pears, peaches, figs, etc.) vegetables, watermelons, sunken gardens were surrounded by adobe walls… Continue Reading →

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