San Juan Capistrano

Trip Start Jul 15, 2008
Trip End Jul 30, 2008

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Flag of United States  , California
Sunday, July 20, 2008

We packed up this morning, checked out of the Radisson LAX, got on the 405 and headed south to San Diego. The 405 is not too bad on a Sunday morning.  It was still pretty packed, but it maintained a steady 75+mph in all lanes.  Once I got on the highway I immediately navigated my way to the far left lane.  It is HOV 2 passengers or more.  That seems to be the safest lane.  There is less chance of getting cut off by people entering the flow of traffic from one of the thousands of highway on ramps.  75 is a little faster than I am used to, (stop laughing), but it seems to be the speed of choice in the HOV lane.  When in Rome do as the Romans do.  I am such a conformist.

San Diego is about 2 hours south of Los Angeles.  Half way to San Diego is Mission San Juan Capistrano.  It is the mission that is famous for swallows returning every March.  It is also one of the earlier missions settled in California.  It is one of the oldest remaining structures both in California and in the United States.   We learned it is also where California wine was born.  That is for you Peg.  Now you know where it all began.  I was going to get off my wallet and buy you a bottle from the mission, but they don't sell it any more.  Sorry.

                                                                 Mission Far Shot

While I am typing personal notes to Peg let me add another.   Here is a big THANK YOU from Pat and me for the little bingo travel games.  They have been invaluable while being stuck in traffic in various locations in and around the LA metro area.  They were useful on the trip south today, and come Tuesday, when we make the 7 hour trek east to Sedona I am sure I will be sending a thank you again. 

Now back to Capistrano.  I love Spanish influenced architecture.   Terracotta roof, burnt orange and reddish brown colors in the walls, and tile everywhere.   The main home on my island shall be Spanish revival.  It is islandy and I like it.  Pat won't care as long as there are his and her bathrooms.

The mission is visually outstanding.  Everywhere you look there courtyards with colorful flowers on a back drop of adobe.  Also everywhere you look there are tourists from some camera club taking still pictures of the flowers.  I took some too.  But I did not need to spend 15 minutes to get the perfect picture of an object that is not moving.  The tourists were all circled around the fountains taking pictures of water lilies.  It kind of ruined the visual scene for the rest of us. 

                  Original Chapel                    4 Bells                        Church Courtyard

I don't think it is going to be the highlight of the trip for Sarah, but I think she got something out of it.  She took a lot of pictures.  She is planning on making a CD to give to her 6th grade History teacher.  They learned about missions last year.  She thought he could use them for a power point for his upcoming 6th grade class.  When she does things like that it helps remind Pat and me that some of the values we are teaching her are sinking in.  Even if we may have to remind her not to eat rocks once in a while.
                                                                 Sarah Learning

After lunch a Ruby's Diner it was off to the La Quinta, Mission Valley, San Diego.  That is where we are now as Sarah eagerly anticipates a trip to the San Diego Zoo first thing in the a.m.  The San Diego Zoo has long been the part of the trip she has most looked forward to.  She is not the only one, but don't tell her.  It will ruin our well honed parental image.

      Baptism                            Original Chapel 2                             Chapel

Type to you about the zoo tomorrow,

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Where I stayed
La Quinta, Misson Valley, San Diego California
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