Friday, June 08, 2007

Friday, June 08, 2007

Getting Lost…

Posted by Hippo Bean at 10:09 PM
I woke up. The sight was unfamiliar and strange. The headache was back. I felt suffocated. When the world finally came into focus, I realized we're still stuck on the San Diego Freeway. I was hungry. We finally stopped for gas and lunched at Carrows, just south of Carlsbad. Then I took over the wheels and got on 805. This is the second day of our Southern CA Missions trip. Yesterday we took off early, made a pancakes and sausage stop at a MickieD, had a wonderful outdoor lunch in the sun in Santa Maria, and made it to Ventura in time to meet up with T and A.
Inside the Buenaventura Mission, T spotted a plague above a door that says PHE NERISIND ELPRIMER PATROND ELLA. It looked like Spanish but not exactly. Certainly not Latin. Definitely not Greek. What is it? We couldnt figure what language it was. The mission's garden was very properly kept and the facçde with the gorgeous single bell tower was very awe inspiring. But aside from these, not very impressive for the Hippo as she generally prefers missions that are no longer live, like the Purissima. The weather during the day wasnt as warm as I'd wanted but the wind died down towards the evening in Santa Barbara, and it was very pleasant when we strolled on the pier. We had Happy Hour at the Fish House and M ordered the most buttery and garlicky steamed clams we've ever had. My Syrah was delicious. Our room at the Montecito was large with a beautiful bathroom and a window that overlooked a terrace. The first day was enjoyable. Today though we got lost first thing in the morning. We wanted to take the short cut to the Santa Barbara mission but the road went uphill and we kept making wrong turns. Finally we had to stop and ask for directions. The girl told us to stay on the APS and I thought 'what the heck is the APS?'. Since most of us had visited the mission, I didnt go in, and spent time photographing the chalk drawings on the square. They are marvellous. And now we're once again lost trying to find the mission in San Diego. Someone in the group was a poor navigator! The white-washed Bell Tower and the Facade came upon us when we turned up the hill. The first mission founded was simply stunning. Here we met this funny guy who told us a story about the avenue of palms at Dolores. Quite a character! Not wanting to get back to the horrible traffic, we opted to dine in the Old Town. I've never been to Old Town San Diego and frankly was a bit disappointed. We had margaritas at a local joint, then transferred across the street to have tapas at a restaurant which has my name and offered central and south american cuisine. I even found Parilla, my favorite Argentinian meat. I've never seen it on the menu anywhere in CA. Doubling back up north, we were lost again trying to find our motel for the night. We finally made it to Oceanside in time for bed. Today we did a long slow drive, visited the first mission founded, had supper at 'my' restaurant, and the Hippo experienced Old Town San Diego. The bed at the Quality Inn was wonderful! It was a day of getting lost!

mission soledad
 Chalk Drawings



gang at san diego de alcala
 The Missionaries



PS - The Goose, being the Computational Linguist, like Champolion, cracked the strange language code. It could be PHENERIS IN DIO or PHENERI SIN DIO or PHENER INDO and EL PRIMER PATRON DE ELLA. ELLA could be Buen Aventura, the name of the place or the saint of the mission. PHENERI or PHENERIS could be the name of the primer patron. So that could mean Pheneris in God or Phener the Indian is the first patron of her (Buenaventura).

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