Saturday, August 04, 2007

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Leiya and I have just come back from spending two days with my good friend from my high school days who lives down by the beach. Jane lives in a world with chandeliers, glass goblets full of candles and Tuscany interior decorating. It has always seemed like we are visiting another foreign country when we visit but she welcomes us each year with good food, shopping sprees and late night movies.

This trip we took a detour when we happened to be eating lunch quite near to the Mission San Juan Capistrano. All California 4th grade school children study California history and the history of the twenty-one missions established for the purpose of converting the Indians in California. I'm pretty sure I went on a field trip to Mission San Juan Capistrano those many years ago! In fact when we were telling people that we'd just visited the mission almost everyone's comment (all Californians of course) was "Oh, I haven't been there since 4th grade!"

Of course with my more "cultured" eye, the mission is much more impressive and beautiful than I remember it being when I was only 10 years old! It was a wonderful afternoon walking around the peaceful garden. Seeing the indigenous flora and the historical artifacts, transported us back to the era of the Indians and their life within the Mission itself. Leiya had the camera so she took hundreds of pictures but here is a quick photographic tour of the place.

San Juan Capistrano is also famous because of the swallows that return there every year on March 19th. Legend has it that the birds, which have migrated from Argentina to the San Juan Capistrano area for centuries, began making the Mission their home after an angry innkeeper who thought them to be "filthy" repeatedly destroyed their mud nests. A passing Padre invited the birds to come and live in the ruins of the old church and the birds have returned to Mission San Juan Capistrano every year hence.

"Vaya Con Dios"

"Go with God"


Connie W said...

Back in the late 50's or 60's I think Pat Boone made a hit record of "When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano". Do you remember that song? It was a very pretty one. I always wondered about the swallows and the mission. Thanks for the lovely photos, Leiya.

Fiona said...

I have a recording of the Ink Spots singing 'When the Swallows come back to Capistrano'. The mission looks so beautiful.

Tazzie said...

I just love San Juan Capistrano - my friend Linda took me there when I visited in 2000. It's just gorgeous, and the gardens are divine. It's one of my all time favourite places. Thank you for the trip down memory lane!