San Juan Capistrano

I went to San Juan Capistrano with Joe, Rachel, Cosimo and my sister Georgia. We met up with my niece (my brother’s daughter) June and her two children, Gage and Abigail AND Rachel’s aunt and uncle, Sarah and Ernie… that? I hope so ~ there will be a test later.
Anyway, we had a wonderful day in this very charming town and here are some pictures…..


We went by ‘Metro Link’ train from Santa Ana to San Juan Capistrano and here’s the train station in Santa Ana.  I don’t know how I had my camera settings that morning, but I can assure you the station….nor the sky….was pink.

Here’s the inside of that dome.  ↓





Here are Joe, Rachel and Cos sitting on the train.  Such a sweet, lovely family.  So gentle, so caring, so…..

…..uh oh…..




….I’ve been spotted…..






Run, Joe, RUUNNNNN!!!


6Such behavior is commonplace in young Cosimo’s life and he paid no attention whatsoever to the mayhem.  Fortunately, no blood was spilt and we made it safely to…..



After breakfast at Sarducci’s (as in Father Guido), we crossed over the tracks to the Los Rios Historic District.  I don’t know how many pictures of flowers and plants I took that day, but this is just the beginning.

There were also some rustic and sweet old buildings…..





….I want that tub…..








11Here’s a picture of Rachel taking a picture of a butterfly.  As you can see, she can be civilized sometimes……I think we’ll keep her.  🙂  In fact, she’s quite a good photographer.  Her great-grandfather was a professional (who actually had some of his photos appear in Life magazine) and she’s using his camera.


Here’s Rachel’s Aunt Sarah, chasing butterflies….

She’s great, she’s hilarious and I just love her.

More family photos….






June and Abigail….




June and Gage….




….and here’s Abbie, showing the her finger…..  She’d had an accident a few weeks previously that lopped off a bit of the top of her middle finger….and she’s sharing it with us….. 😉




Here’s Cosi bestowing adoration on one of June’s dogs.  He really thought they were the bees knees…..I mean, he knew they were dogs, but..well…you know…

So, on with the tour…..






1619One of those butterflies everyone was chasing.


This sign positively cracked me up.  It was part of the entrance directly in front of the mission.  Who thought up this slogan?  Eh, it’s “worth a visit”……
How enticing is that?!!

Turns out it was really nice….despite its mediocre advertising….














Don’t forget, you can click on any image to get a more detailed view.















4344Like just about every 4th grader in California, I made my ‘mission diorama’.  I can’t, for the life of me, remember which mission I chose.  But I do know that at that time mission life was romanticized.  We learned of Father Junipero Serra, giving a ‘new life’ to the poor, destitute Indians……yeah, right……  Here’s a paragraph from the California Native American Heritage Commission website ( :“Despite romantic portraits of California missions they were essentially coercive religious, labor camps organized primarily to benefit the colonizers. The overall plan was to first militarily intimidate the local Indians with armed Spanish soldiers who always accompanied the Franciscans in their missionary efforts. At the same time the newcomers introduced domestic stock animals that gobbled up native foods and undermined the free or “gentle” tribes efforts to remain economically independent. A well established pattern of bribes, intimidation and the expected onslaught of European diseases insured experienced missionaries that eventually desperate parents of sick and dying children and many elders would prompt frightened Indian families to seek assistance from the newcomers who seemed to be immune to the horrible diseases that overwhelmed Indians. The missions were authorized by the crown to “convert” the Indians in a ten year period. Thereafter they were supposed to surrender their control over the missions livestock, fields, orchards and building to the Indians. But the padres never achieved this goal and the lands and wealth was stolen from the Indians.”
This, of course, is taken from just one website, but it is now generally accepted that the native peoples were not exceptionally well treated by the Franciscans and used generally as slaves. I include this because, while it really was a beautiful place, architecturally, I feel I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge this ugly history.

60‘Resurgam’ means ‘I shall rise again’……just so ya know……
















Above and below are images of the “Great Stone Church” which construction began on February 2, 1797.  My friends in England will laugh when I write about this American ‘relic’…..I know, I know, it’s not that old, but hey, it’s what we got!!  Anyway, on November 22, 1800 a 6.5 magnitude earthquake cracked the walls of the still uncompleted building necessitating repair work.  However, the architect died 6 years into the project and though attempts were made to follow existing construction patterns, workmanship was not exacting and irregular walls were the result.  On December 8, 1812 during the “Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin” (no, really) a 7.0 earthquake caused the nave of the completed structure to crash down causing the deaths of 42 people.  Years later an attempt was made to rebuild, but lacking expertise, the project was abandoned.

























And finally, one last ‘group’ shot…..Gage was taking the picture with my camera, Rachel was… chasing Cosimo?  Sarah and Ernie had met up with a friend and left with him……party animals….
From left to right: my sister, Georgia; little Abigail in front; my niece, June; moi; and my son, Joe.

FamIt was a really fun day.  I have lots of pictures of water lily/koi ponds that were at the mission, but I’ll put them in another post.  ‘Til next time ~ cheers!

4 thoughts on “San Juan Capistrano

  1. I’ve never been there. So much of California to see that I still haven’t. If you end up living/working in CA for a while longer, let’s take some trips…Joshua Tree? Redwoods? Beaches, beaches, beaches. xo


  2. great images. i love those spiky agarve plants. that sign reminds me of the sign for Blandford Forum ( a town here in the UK) which advertises itself as an ‘interesting georgian town’. when can we see the koi pond and water lilly pics?


    1. “An interesting Georgian town.” I gotta see it! Hee hee.
      Koi pond and water lily pics coming soon, Sair. In fact I thought of you the whole time I was there, thinking “Sarah would love this!”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s