Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mission San Juan Capistrano, Labor Day Weekend 2011

After leaving Los Angeles, I headed down to San Diego on I-5. Along the way I wanted to stop at the "Jewel of the Missions," Mission San Juan Capistrano, in Orange County.

I had been to all but 3 of the 21 Spanish missions in California before coming here, and right away I felt that this was the top contender for "Most Beautiful Mission."

Because it receives so much tourist money compared to the other missions, the exhibits are extremely well done.

Of course, the swallows are the big reason for the mission's fame (September isn't their season, though).

I found it interesting that wine in California began here.

You just need a little imagination to picture it.

One of the temporary exhibits had a document signed by Abraham Lincoln that transferred ownership of the mission land.

Some parts of the mission property reminded me of South America.

St. Peregrine's chapel

The main altar (I think Fr. Serra served here but it could have been elsewhere in the complex).

Every mission has its bells and whistles... groan.

One thing that sets this mission apart from the others is the complex of church ruins dating from the early 1800s, when an earthquake hit mid-service. Forty-some people were killed, and the church was never rebuilt.

After the mission, I drove inland down I-15 to go to Stone Brewery, in Escondido. This is their 15th anniversary Black IPA. Delicious.

I was looking forward to a fun and relaxing next two days in San Diego. To be continued...

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