Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Welcome Like No Other

Upon arrival at our favorite RV Park, we received an invitation for dinner from fellow RVers.

It seems that my cousin Karen and her husband Dick had decided to spend the weekend at the Santee Lakes park (Santee, CA, near San Diego). And after the steps involved in "breaking camp," driving through California freeway traffic, and "setting up camp" at a new site, an invitation for dinner from a family member is most welcome.

And an invitation we can honor by walking a few hundred yards is an added benefit.

After a tour of the Allsing's beautifully-appointed new motorhome, we garhered around the grill, enjoyed a glass of wine and a raspberry/chipolte pepper jelly on cream cheese with rice crackers, and traded travel stories.

And as sunset approached, we enjoyed perfectly-prepared steaks (a thin stretch of pink through the center, tender, and juicy) and some tasty, buttery brussels sprouts, and baked potatoes. Cherry pie served as the finale to a fine meal.

Tuesday morning found us traveling north along the ocean on Highway 101 to Oceanside and Mission San Luis Rey. This mission was founded in 1798 and is the 18th of California's 21 missions.

It is recognized as the largest (measuring 30' high, 165' long and 27' wide) and one of the most beautiful in the mission chain.

It was a brilliantly-sunny day and the lime plaster surface of the mission looked especially bright against the deep blue sky.

The solitary bell tower, which is the cornerstone to the entire mission quadrangle, is 75' high. The mission is the only one adorned with a wooden dome and cupola.

We had hoped to be able to photograph the interior of the mission, but the policy did not permit any photography in the mission.

So, our photo-graphic attention was focused on the exterior and the grounds.

A convento is the friars' living quarters usually attached to the church. At Mission San Luis Rey, this wing was fronted by 32 arches and held rooms intended for the mission-aries and official visitors and guests. Today only 12 of the original arches remain.

Shown here is the original carriage arch (left).

San Luis Rey had fallen into decay, when, in 1931, restoration of the mission buildings was begun. The result was that today they are among the finest remaining examples of early mission archi-tecture.

We walked through the cemetery, which has been in continuous use since the founding of the Mission in 1798. Today, people of all faiths can have the rare privilege of buying burial rights in a historic landmark.

Our return drive along the ocean captured these scenes.

[Travel Plans: We will be in the San Diego area for the month of November; we will then be traveling to Phoenix, Tucson, and Albuquerque for December and January.]

No comments: