Mission San Juan Capistrano

12/1/12 Saturday at Menifee,CA (RV at Wilderness Lakes Campground, John & Trish at Oceanside, CA condo)

Another day of sleeping in. Maybe it’s the warm, moist air. Left the condo around 9:30 am, arrived at the Mission a little after 10 am. Found a parking spot on the street. When we paid for our tickets ($8/senior) I asked about parking and our ticket seller said you just park on the street. He also noted that they don’t mark your tires on weekends otherwise it is 3 hours parking. Yea-free parking!

This was the 7th of the 21 missions in Alta California, built by Fr Junipero Serra. Much of the exterior area is being renovated, so I didn’t take photos. There is a large central courtyard, now in grass and gardens, surrounded by living quarters and the industrial area, where they processed olives for oil and pulp, cattle hides (tanning),

Living area. The courtyard is to the right.







Fr O’Sullivan’s fountain, in the courtyard – where plants grow and die off as the season warrants







Smaller, similar, fountain in another courtyard, with water lilies growing there












Where the soldiers resided. Note that the beds consisted of a frame with a very open weaving of straps for a mattress.







An example of how they made the roofs. Now these roofs have been reinforced with steel, seen from the outside












Lizard we found in one of the gardens

IMG_5562 Lizard





A Candle Cactus to the right, nearby, in a garden







An outdoor kitchen







Where they stomped on the grapes for church wines







Metal Vats for melting tallow to make soap and candles







See the barn swallow nests, under the little awning? This is the famous Mission where the swallows gather on St. Joseph Day, March 19th. It appears there are far fewer coming in these recent years.







In Fr Serra’s chapel, the only one he said Mass in that is still standing, they say







The Retable, or altar, at the back of his chapel, is gold gilded wood. It had been in thousands of pieces, boxed up for several years before someone found it and put it together. Then they had to raise the roof to fit it in. You can barely see John sitting in the front.







The Baptismal Font, moved from The Great Stone Church, then placed here in Fr Serra’s chapel







St. Peregrine. He was wild in his youth, like belonging to a gang in these days, but then came to a conversion, becoming a Franciscan monk. He got cancer in his leg. It got unbearable, and was scheduled for amputation in the morning. He spent the night in prayer in front of a crucifix, (he fell asleep and dreamed that Jesus came and touched his foot), in the morning the cancer was gone. He is the patron saint against cancer and aids.







The Great Stone Church (part of the San Juan Capistrano Mission) was the largest building west of the Mississippi when it was built and until an earthquake struck much of it down. IMG_5546





Now, they are not trying so much to rebuild it, but conserve what remains.  The “poured concrete” looking stuff is breathable and protects the stone below it.


By the time we finished our tour, it was 1 pm and we were hungry. John has been wanting to try a Del Taco fast food place since we’ve been in California and he’s seen them everywhere, so that’s where we went. It was deliciously flavored (maybe because they cook the beans in spices for hours), plus the lady gave us a senior discount when we didn’t even ask for it! $4.85 for 2 chicken burritos.

My camera has been having difficulties moving the zoom out and in lately, especially when we were at the Safari Park. It seems to be getting worse, so when we got back to the condo, I called a local camera repair shop. They would let their repair person take the camera today, then call us with the cost of repairs, maybe returning it in a week. We won’t be here then, so I’ll have to manage until someone else can look at it. Sigh.

Pizza for supper, then when using our garbage disposal, the water backed up. The maintenance guy came and discovered that the water line was the problem, not the garbage disposal, and fixed it with a plunger! We celebrated with chocolate. Mmmm. Then the movie, on TV, “Inception”.


About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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2 Responses to Mission San Juan Capistrano

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