Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Santa Barbara Mission

I want to start out this blog post by stating I was very saddened by the recent Amtrak accident on the California Zephyr near Fallon, Nevada.  My condolences to the families who lost loved ones in this tragic accident.  C & I rode that train in 2010.

We rented a really nice comfortable hotel kitchenette at the Blue Sands Motel. It was perfect at a great price for the 3 of us.  About a 1/2 block away was a nice local market so we went over several times to buy supper and fix it.  The only thing we didn't use was the pool (or the ocean) to swim.  It was pretty cool when we were in Santa Barbara.  I give this motel a FIVE STAR rating and recommend it if you are in Santa Barbara.  It is across the street from the ocean.  Couldn't have a more PERFECT location.

The first place we visited was the Santa Barbara Mission. Old California history has always fascinated me so I was really anxious to 'dig' into the history at the Mission. (Remember the Zorro TV series when we were kids?  I was a fanatic!!)  Turns out the Santa Barbara Mission was one a series of Missions the Francisan Monks built up and down the California coast during the 1700's and early 1800's with the most northern being near San Francisco and the southernmost in San Diego.  The Santa Barbara Mission is the only one still operating as a monastery.  
From the Gardens in the interior of the Mission

Another shot of the Gardens

Just Look at this Cactus.

C walking in the Garden of the Dead.  A sign said over 4,000 Chumas Indians were buried in this small courtyard!  The Chumas Indians built the Santa Barbara Mission it had some very interesting pieces built by them on display inside.  They were craftsmen for sure.  Unfortunately, like most native Americans, they were devastated by the European diseases introduced by the Francisians, mostly smallpox.  I am sure some must  have perished simply from overwork also--something that was glossed over by the history.  The Chumas were enslaved by the Mission system.

The flora was simply outstanding in the gardens.

The tree in the Garden of the Dead under which lies the 4,000 indians.

L in front of a shrine of some sort in the Garden of the Dead.

Not a single marker for any of the 4,000 Chumash buried here but this ONE man gets his own marker.  One of the founders of Santa Barbara who died in 1851, Francisco A. Cota.

Entrance into the Garden of the Dead from the Chapel.  Notice the skull and crossbones over the entrance.  Creepy, huh?

The front of the Mission showing the fountain.  The Chapel is the structure on the right and the Garden of the Dead is to the right of it.

We also visited the Santa Ynez Mission later in the trip and there were a lot similarities and some differences.

Next the Botantical Gardens in Mission Canyon!

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