My wonderful friend Katy sent us a book titled San Diego in the 1930’s, the WPA Guide to America’s Finest City. She suggested we take one of the road trips listed inside and compare 2015 to 1930. After checking the book, George suggested that we drive up to Mount Palomar and see the observatory. He’d never been.
That was a great idea. The only problem was that “The Rock and Roll Marathon” was filling the streets and closing some of our freeways. I suggested that we might drive north to Mission San Juan Capistrano since we hadn’t been there since the late 1980’s. We packed a lunch, and he snuck us on a freeway up the coast and out of the fogs.
The town of San Juan Capistrano grew up around the Mission, and we discovered massive new freeways filling the spaces near the old adobe buildings. In front of the Mission is a new gift shop and outer wall…well designed and with all the profits going to the mission, was a bit of a shock. Once inside, the beautiful walled gardens and restored buildings and arcades remain uniquely special.
We sat on a bench and ate lunch near the giant earthquake-destroyed stone church. Afterwards we walked among the collapsed walls before taking our time in the long arcades and walkways. Tho much of the surrounding Mission land was sold off after the Missions were secularized, the remaining mission area’s show how the buildings were used during the church’s tenure. Grape pressings, tallow melting tanks, even traces of iron works remain. Lincoln returned the Missions to the church just before he was assanated, and restoration of this mission continued from that time until now.
I’ll post pictures on and off over the next few months. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did taking them.