Saturday, June 19, 2010

Mission San Juan Capistrano

We went to Southern California for a family vacation so decided to visit another mission while we were in the area. It was a little out of the way but we had a few hours to spare so headed down to see yet another mission. I am so glad we did.

 It was totally worth the trip, this mission was beautiful! The weather couldn't have been nicer either. Sunny but not hot or humid. Perfect for a stroll through these lovely gardens and buildings.

San Juan Capistrano looks like what I always pictured in my head a mission would have looked like. It has the Spanish villa feel with all the buildings built around a courtyard. Shaded walk ways all around.

The kids loved all the fountains in the gardens. Some even had fish swimming around in them.

We walked through the ruins of the old stone church that was destroyed by an earthquake almost 2 centuries ago

Here is a little model of what the mission looked like long ago when the stone church was still standing.

The bells of the mission still ring.

Molly and Sophie enjoyed relaxing in the gardens. Molly especially loved the purple flowers, from the jacaranda trees that were in bloom throughout the grounds, that were littered all over the grounds.

We didn't see the famous swallows of San Juan Capistrano. It wasn't the right time of year for them to visit. I guess you have to be here in March to see them when they come. 

In the old cemetery there were a bunch of olive trees.

Father Serra's chapel in one of the buildings.

Not the most flattering picture of us but we don't often get a picture of all of us at once. So I guess we have to take what we can get.
It was a great way to spend a few hours. And a wonderful place to visit especially after reading so much about the Missions and Father Serra and learning some of the history.

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