Saturday, June 09, 2007

Saturday, June 09, 2007

The long awaited Capistrano

Posted by Hippo Bean at 11:59 PM
Perhaps it's the name of the place. Or perhaps it just sounded good. We had always wanted to visit Capistrano. The morning in Oceanside was overcast. I was disappointed we didn't get a place close to the ocean. The motel complimentary breakfast wasn't bad tho. We could make our own waffles and being a gihugic waffle lover, it was indeed a real treat. T said he needed protein so he and A went ahead to hunt for eggs and meat. First stop of the day was the King of the mission, the most populous, San Luis Rey Mission. It was early so we visited the cemetery first. We found a strange writing (again) above a tomb that had Roman numerals but with an arabic 3 at the end. Perhaps they simply ran out of space. Then on one grave, there's a headstone and then a very tiny one with the same name at the other end. Footstone? When the mission was finally open, we visited the museum and the church. Down to the lavandarias through a flight of stairs that seemed to be constructed just for photography, we saw the 2 gargoyles. I imagined the women doing their laundry and gossiping about the padres. There was an Indian Pow Wow and I bought a small ceramic vase with Native American motives. Oh how I love ceramics! I need to take a ceramic class so I can get my hands in the mud! The sacred garden had an interesting statue of Jesus carrying the giant cross and a Roman soldier with a whip. Behind the statue and inside the locked fenced courtyard, the CA very first pine tree! At the books and coffee/tea shop, we bought a bottle of the mission wine. There were all kinds of wine but we decided on the one that had the best looking label - a Zinfandel, my old favorite! My idea was to drink it tonight in our junior suite at the Sheraton while we play Pictionary. On the way to our next mission, as usual my group got lost. The poor navigator insisted on taking the front passenger seat and therefore to navigate. At times I felt like throwing him out of the window, only that he's too big. But we made it and what an awesome site the San Juan Capistrano mission was. The cathedral ruins were what stood out the most. I felt like being back in Europe again, visiting archaeological sites. T pointed out fossils on the old bedrock used to construct the old fallen down cathedral. But it's Saturday and the mission was full of tourists and people enjoying the arts and crafts fair inside the mission compound. It took much of the magic away. The Capistrano town was quaint and rows of shops and outdoor restaurants circled half the mission. We had a nice Italian lunch on the courtyard serenaded by some pretty good live jazz. Then we hopped over to the new Cathedral next door and inside a wedding was in session. Beautiful modern style church where what do you guess, similar style paintings adorned the walls. Another hour later our poor navigator kept his promise and even tho we saw the San Gabriel mission, he absolutely insisted we went the opposite way. Sometimes I thought he's deliberately trying to sabotage our mission. T and A's Prius has an onboard GPS and we thought we beat them for once, they arrived at the mission only 2 minutes ahead of us. It was just 4:30 and so we got in with a huge discount. They only charged us for 1 senior citizen ticket. The garden cemetery was gorgeous and once again there was a display of mission models and I dutifully took pictures of each. The Bell Tower was the most impressive part as it's at the back of the building and very visible from the outside which had a small park/square. By now, we were much further inland and the weather was warm enough that I could go without a jacket, and there's no breeze. Then it was my turn to lead the group astray. I thought the Sheraton was only a few blocks away and so we got lost once more. Little did I know that a block from the mission also had a street with the same name where our hotel was. We had to call the hotel to get directions and then checked with T again and finally made it to the Sheraton at Pasadena in time for the snacks. B and L got a room at the members club and so we all went in to the club house to enjoy wine and hor d'orves . We toasted our mission 'possible and accomplished' even though there's still one more to go to complete the trip. For the evening we took the hotel shuttle to old Pasadena (just around the corner from the hotel) and spent time visiting the shops and buying clothes at the H&M. We recognized our old pal Moose Mcgilly. A few years ago this was the spot we stoped and called Glee for help when we ran out of gas. We had our supper at an Italian/Thai restaurant. Yum Yum. Back at the hotel, we drank the Zinfandel we bought in the morning at the San Luis Rey. I had intended to spend time each evening to visit and converse and enjoy each other's company and possibly to play a bit of Pictionary. But as usual, there was no time and we were tired after such long days. We talked a bit then each group retired in their respective rooms with their sweet sleeper beds. Our junior suite was grand with windows running along one wall and a marble bathroom. Finally a decent room after the small dingy motel the night before. I felt asleep with a cool breeze on my face.

Hippo at Capistrano
 Hippo in Capistrano


San Luis Rey de Francia
 San Luis Rey de Francia


Bells of San Gabriel Arcangel
 Bells of San Gabriel Arcangel

0 comments :

 

HippoBlog Copyright © 2012 Design by Antonia Sundrani- Vinte e poucos