A gorgeous bright blue Southern Cal day for a little outdoor touring. We traveled down from Laguna Beach to Capistrano to see the famous Mission San Juan Capistrano where the swallows return home to their little nests every year.
California mission style is one of my favorites. Open courtyards, arches, corridors, tile roofs and lush plantings. I could have stayed in this spot all day. But my 13 year-old niece loves to explore so let's get walking.
Look at the peonies just outside the old rooms of the missionaries.
The remains of the Great Stone Church, destroyed in an 1812 earthquake.
During the earthquake, over forty people were killed while attending Mass including two boys who were in charge of ringing the bells in the old bell tower.
Wouldn't you love to have these benches dotting your property?
The new chapel
The very well-organized kitchen garden
Close your eyes. Can you smell the lavender? Hmmm, oh, and a little hint of oranges, too.
Here are the cozy little mud nests of the swallows who return every March 19th and depart sometime in October
Time for a rest in the shade.
Shoes that shout, "I'm on vacation!"
One last look.
Mission San Juan Capistrano is run by a non-profit organization receiving no funds from any governments or the Catholic church.