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Sunday, April 2, 2017

"Your 'mission', should you decide to accept........"

(CLICK ON PICTURES TO ENLARGE)

6:25 am - PDST - Sunday - 48º F, humidity 88%, wind - CALM.......supposed to be clear blue skies today, but too early to tell.....😋....forecast high today is 65º F....we have decided to stay in Lompoc a few more days past Sunday.

Saturday started out with clear blue skies, no winds and a promise of temps in the 70's and that is what we got.  We decided early on that we would do some more exploring.......there are a couple of Spanish missions (La Purisima and Santa Inés) as well as the Danish themed tourist town called Solvang.....we have been to Solvang before, but it has been almost 20 years.

In all there were 21 missions in what was known as 'Alta California' back when Spain, and then Mexico controlled this land.......


......some of the missions no longer physically exist, but many still do, and La Purisima was wonderfully restored back in the 1930's and now provides an excellent example of what mission life looked like back in 1787 when this mission was founded as the 11th of the 21 Calfiornia missions......


 The main mission building....in all, back in its 'hey day' there were more than 100 buildings spread out over 300,000 acres and 24,000 head of cattle

 The main sanctuary





......we thought we had visited all 21 of the California mission sites, but after visiting La Purisima we are convinced we never saw this one and are glad we took the time to take the self guided tour.

Next we were off to Solvang to see the California version of Denmark.......all the buildings reflect a loosely defined Danish influence
  
 Looks like more of a Netherlands influence.....:-)



.....we quickly found a public parking facility replete with restrooms.....and that is one thing we noticed this time around.....there are an abundance of public restrooms which we thought was a thoughtful touch, because even on an April weekend this place was SRO.  We spent about an hour just walking around enjoying the ambiance of the city until we found this small respite from the typical hustle and bustle of a tourist town.....


.....we visited Cafe Dolcé where we ordered some coffee and then found a table with an umbrella, sipped our coffees, relaxed, and caught up on the latest social media.......


....all too soon we were back on the street headed for the car and on to our next destination....

 The time shown was actually the correct time

......next stop?  Mission Santa Inés, which is located on the east end of Solvang just as you are leaving town.......



Mission Santa Inés is still an active Catholic Church to this day....


.......at the far end of the main building is an unrestored example of one of the original 19 arches which support the roof covering the veranda.....
  


Unlike La Purisima where the entry fee was $5/car to do your own self guided tour, the fee at Santa Inés is $5/person, so we opted to just walk around the grounds.....the main sanctuary was closed to the public this day anyway due to a scheduled private event.  

We were on our way home by 2:30 pm arriving back at the Elks Lodge just before 3 pm.....just in time to watch the two 'Final Four' NCAA basketball games featuring Gonzaga vs. South Carolina in the first game, and then North Carolina vs. Oregon in the second.  Both games went down to the wire with Gonzaga eeking out a 4 point victory over South Carolina, and North Carolina a 1 point victory over Oregon.....both games could have gone either way, which is all for which I always ask.  So Monday will see North Carolina v. Gonzaga for the National Championship.

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