Saturday, March 8, 2014

Good Friends, Excellent Food and Mission San Juan Bautista

It's a beautiful morning here in San Juan Bautista, CA.  Apparently, it is about 10 degrees warmer than usual for this time of year.  This is nice.  It is to be in the low to mid 70s which is just perfect for us.

We got up and moving early, electing to enjoy our coffee while we did laundry at the park laundromat.  $1.25 to wash.  $1.25 to dry in the large capacity dryer which runs for 45 minutes  or $0.75 for the small ones which run for 30 minutes.  Back to the rig for breakfast and showers.

Our long time friends, Janet and Winston, came to see our rig and then we all went to visit the Old Mission San Juan Bautista.

The Mission is only about 10 minutes from the park.  The town of San Juan Bautista is very cool, very retro, and reminiscent of the 1950s or 1960s.  Lots of cool funky shops, galleries, restaurants, bars and a bakery that had some many delicious looking sweet breads that I had to force myself to leave.

The Mission itself was a delightful experience.  Adult admission is $4; admission for the seniors in our party was $3.  The mission was founded on June 24, 1797 and named in honor of Saint John The Baptist.  Lots of cool artifacts, beautiful paintings and sculptures, fascinating architecture, and lovely gardens.  Here are some pictures of the things that most impressed me.

I fell in love with this painting.  It was one of the first things I saw in the gift shop when we entered the Mission.  It is Saint Pasqual.

Here are some other pieces that caught my eye.

The chapel and the sanctuary of the church.  The tile work and the reredos (the screen/decoration behind the altar holding six statues) in the main church was done by an American sailor named Thomas Doak, who jumped ship in Monterey in 1817.  He did them in exchange for room and board.

Here is the well that serviced the mission.  At one point, 1200 people were fed here - 3 meals a day.  We peaked over as far as we could, but could not see the bottom.

Kim and Winston standing by the well

I'm not sure what these pots are.  As we stood there speculating, we decided they could be mortars (without the pestles), bowls of some sort, baptismal fonts, pots for plants or who knows what.

These choir books were handwritten by Father Tapis prior to 1825.  What dedication!  Father Tapis was once Presidente of the Missions, and when he retired from office, he came to San Juan Bautista to live and share his musical talents.

And finally some photos of the gardens

We spent about an hour here and as we were leaving we saw a number of women were entering, carrying paints and easels.  They were on a retreat locally and had come to do paintings of the mission.  I would have liked to stay and watch them, but my stomach had other ideas.

We strolled along the quaint main street of town, and I happened into a little gallery.  Out the back door was a delightful garden/patio restaurant, Jardines de San Juan.  The food and drinks were wonderful.  Janet and I each had the Shrimp Tostada with cheese and a mango margarita.  It was served in the best deep fried tortilla bowl I have ever had,  with lots of shrimp and fresh vegetables.  The boys both had beer with their meals.  Winston had a beef tostada on a corn tortilla and Kim had nachos with beans.  We were all too stuffed for dessert.  Oh well, there is always tomorrow.

We made a drive through Hollister so Kim and I could see the area.  We had a quick stop at the grocery store for strawberries, and a trip to Tru-Value Hardware for a sewer extension that I don't really want to talk about because I am still remembering the lovely lunch and those two things should not go hand in hand.

Tomorrow, Carmel and the 17 Mile Drive, maybe some wine tasting, and dinner somewhere wonderful (location to be determined).

No comments:

Post a Comment