Sunday, April 1, 2012

Mission San Diego De Alcala, Point Loma and the San Diego Zoo

Sorry about not updating the blog recently. We are in internet hell here in this valley and we will only connect occasionally. For some reason If I connect to their Wifi my computer will crash. I have other pc issues as well. I tried to recover my pc but my cd drive will not read my recovery discs. I may need to get a new drive.

That’s one excuse, the other is I have been caught up in a few books on my Kindle. Max has been working on the baby’s blanket she is cross stitching. So with the computer and internet issues I have been lazy. I figure I have been lazy long enough and better get it updated.

This last week, between a few rainy days we were able to venture out. We wanted to go to the Mission Basilica San Diego and Point Loma and the Cabrillo Monument one day and then the San Diego Zoo the next.

Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala, the first of the great California Missions, marks the birthplace of Christianity in the far West. It is California's first church.


Today the Mission, which was founded in 1769, serves as an active parish church. The present façade of the mission mirrors the façade of the 1813 church. The façades of all the California missions are a distinguishing feature and all are unique. Note the buttress wings, which were added for stability.


In Spanish architecture, a bell wall is referred to as a campanario. It is a wall adjoining the church with niches for holding bells. All five bells are only rung in unison once a year and that occurs on the celebration of the anniversary of the founding of the mission in July. We were here at noontime just in time to here them ring the lower left bell. That bell weighs over 1400 pounds.


This room is believed to be the room that was part of the original monastery that adjoined the church and where Father Serra would have stayed when he returned to the mission for periodic visits. This large room is one of the oldest sections of Mission San Diego and would have been two smaller rooms in mission days. The fireplace on the left wall would not have been here during Fr. Serra's time but was possibly added by the U.S. military during the 1850's. The furnishings are representative of the type of furniture that would have been used in the 1700's.



The reredos is very typical of mission architecture - a wooden structure with niches for holding statues. This reredos mirrors the façade with the large arch on the bottom and a smaller one on top and faux columns along the side.



This entrance is to the left of the church and leads to the meditation garden.



La Capilla

This chapel was built in 1977 and houses choir stalls, a throne and altar that came from a Carmolite monastery in Plasencia, Spain and date back to the 1300’s. The choir stalls are grooved and fit so that no nails are used to hold them together. The seats raise up to allow the monks to stand in place while singing. The eagle on the throne signifies strength and victory and is a symbol of the resurrection.



It was an interesting tour and definitely something you should see if you are in the area.

We left the mission and headed to Point Loma and the Cabrillo monument. The ride out to the point took us through the naval base that protects the bay and gave us beautiful views of the bay and San Diego.



Climbing out of his boat and onto shore in 1542, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo stepped into history as the first European to set foot on what is now the West Coast of the United States.and the Cabrillo Monument.



The original Lighthouse on Point Loma

Construction began on the lighthouse in early 1854 and was completed in November 1855. The light was first lit on November 15, 1855. However, the lighthouse's location on top of a 400-foot cliff meant that fog and low clouds often obscured the light from the view of ships. On March 23, 1891 the flame was permanently extinguished and the light was replaced by the New Point Loma lighthouse at a lower elevation


The new light house at a lower elevation


There are also some tidal pools along the shoreline and luckily for us it was low tide. We were able to walk around and look for Starfish and Sea Anemones.


We spotted this beautiful Red Starfish (center in the sand)


And a Spiny Starfish


Sea Anemone that is open with a Hermit Crab right in front of him


A sea snail. I called him Gary. (Sponge Bob Square Pants pet)


Max on the lookout for anything that moves. She has the patience of a cat!


We enjoyed walking around shoreline and enjoying the scenery as this sailing ship sails past.


We had a great time at the mission and at Point Loma and ended the day with a great meal at a Mexican Restaurant in Old Town. I can’t seem to get enough Mexican food

The next day we went to the San Diego Zoo. I have been wanting to go to this zoo ever since I was little. I use to watch on Johnny Carson the animals that the zoo brought on and was always fascinated.

The Zoo in person did not disappoint me. It was laid out very nice. I am not going to post a bunch of animal pictures. I am sure you have seen an elephant ect… But our highlight was the Panda Bears.

These are the only two Panda bears in captivity that mate without outside interference. They only have a two day window to mate each year. In fact they had just mated this week and are doing nothing but eating to regain their strength. The fertilized egg will float for 120 days before it will attach to moms uterus. When the baby is born it will only weigh about 3-4 ounces. I cannot imagine her not squishing a 3-4 ounce baby. They were adorable to watch while they chowed down on the bamboo.

The bigger female


The smaller male


There were so many exotic animals that it was overwhelming to try to take it all in. If you get to San Diego the Zoo is a bit pricey at $42.00 a person, but it makes for a great day. After the zoo we stopped for some Buffalo Wings for dinner then headed back home to relax.

On Thursday we decided to take a bike trip up to Julian California via the back roads. It was a beautiful ride through the mountains with lots of twists and turns.

Our goal was the Julian Café and Bakery. Julian is an old mining town and is now home to all kinds of quaint shops and restaurants. The Café and Bakery are known for their apple pie.



We ordered our lunch and I had their Chicken Turnover. It was a pot pie baked in their pie crust with mashed potato’s. Yummm!


The pie with ice cream was really good too!


We had a great ride back home and have since just been hanging around the campground. The weather has been comfortable at around 65 to 70 degrees but pretty windy. By 5:00 pm it is getting pretty chilly. We are ready for the temps to get a little warmer but along the coast it might not happen.

We will be leaving Jamul and the Pio Pico campground this Monday and will be heading north to an SKP park in Aguanga California.

Hopefully we will have cell phone coverage and a better internet connection.

Enjoy Your Day!

1 comment:

Mike and Terri said...

I've seen pictures of a newborn Panda, and it's amazing how teeny tiny it starts out. . . and how big it becomes!

Looks like you guys are having a great time. Hope your computer issues are easily resolved. I feel your pain. :-(