Sunday, April 25, 2010

Road Trip to Mission San Juan de Padua - April 23-24, 2010

We left home around 7:06 a.m. (early for us to be getting underway to anywhere) and stopped by our favorite "leaving Morgan Hill" haunt for breakfast... the Daily Bagle Cafe. A bagel and coffee and we were good to go! (Linda highly recommends their marinara bagel.)

It's only 88 miles down to King City, so we arrived at our motel, the Courtesy Inn, just around 9:00 a.m. Their normal check-in time is 2:00 p.m. But, since they had rooms available, we were able to check-in and unload. We got a nice ADA room with a BIG bathroom, nice king-size bed and wooden floors (made for wheel chairs...much easier than navigating carpet!). So, even though neither of us needs an ADA room quite yet, it was interesting to see all the accoutrements.

We headed out right away for Mission San Antonio de Padua, which was established in 1771 by Fr. Junipero Serra as the third mission in California. It was founded in the Valley of the Oaks on July 14th and was named after Saint Anthony of Padua. They had to move it further up the Los Robles Valley in 1773 because of the unstable water supply. Here comes the history lesson..... St. Anthony was born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1195 and was baptized Ferdinand. He was the son of King Alfonso II. He joined the Augustinian order, then transferred to the order of Friars Minor in 1221 and took the name Anthony. He died in 1231 and was buried in Padua, Italy where a basilica was built over his remains. He was canonized in 1232. St. Anthony is the patron of the poor and has been invoked for the return of lost article (as in "Dear Dear DEAR St. Anthony, please please PLEASE help me find my keys!!!").

The mission is about 22 miles from King City. You head southwest on Monterey County Road G14 for about 18 miles, then turn right onto Mission Road for about three miles. Much of this travel is on US Government Property as it is within Ft. Hunter- Liggett. Contrary to instructions on the mission's website we never had to go through a manned security station. Thus, we didn't need our vehicle registration, proof of insurance and our drivers licenses. But, we had them!

On the way there, we spotted lots of old barns and buildings that we would photograph or video on our way back to King City, or when we came back out to take some photos in the afternoon lighting. John just loves to take images of old buildings and barns.

Mission San Antonio, being off the beaten path (Hwy 101) is known as "the forgotten mission". It is a functioning Roman Catholic Parish. In 1834, during the Secularization Period, the mission land became government property under Governor Figueroa and was placed under civil jurisdiction. At this time, the mission began to fall into a state of neglect. In 1863, the U.S. Land Commission formally returned Mission property. Mission San Antonio de Padua received title to 33 acres. In 1939, the United States Army acquired the surrounding area from Randolph Hearst to establish the Hunter-Liggett Military Reservation and train troops during the second World War. These historical facts put to rest the dumb blonde question: "Why would anyone build a mission in the middle of an Army Combat Support Training base?"

Mission reconstruction was started in 1948 by the Franciscans and was completed in 1952.

The mission and its environs have been truly blessed by its secluded location rewarding visitors with peace and tranquility far from our everyday lives. Plus, you get a true “look back in time” and can experience California as it used to be.

For more informatin about the mission click here.

We returned to King City for lunch, stopping along G14 for photo and video opportunities of old buildings and such. Grabbed Subway sandwiches and ate them in our room. Left at about 3:30 p.m. to return to the mission. Shot some more photos in the afternoon light. It was especially nice lighting for capturing images of the beautiful Spanish Moss hanging from many of the oak trees. Back at our motel by about 6:00 p.m.

John had found Margie's Diner (one of our favorite restaurants) listed in Wilma's (remember, she's our Honda Odyssey) navigation system. This was going to be a nice surprise for Linda. All during the day he kept telling Linda that he had a BIG surprise for her. However, later in the day, he looked Margie's up on the internet only to find that the King City location had closed in 2007. But here's the humor in that. John had gone through the same exercise in King City when we were on another road trip (We had arrived at the location but a big stand alone sign was all that was left of Margie's). So, we found the Wildhorse Cafe on the internet with decent reviews and went there. It happens to be a truck stop, but the food was good. Linda had a chef salad (with tri-tip as one ingredient) and John had his favorite hamburger (sorry, ground sirloin) steak made with Harris Ranch beef. The meals were good and they have excellent iced tea. There was a flyer at our table for an upcoming Wild Horse Crafts Bizarre (hmmm, an eccentric bazaar? or just bizarre spelling?).

Had a pretty good night's rest and went for our complimentary "HOT" breakfast. "Hot" means a choice of Oatmeal (instant in a package) or those tasty malted waffles (if you don't mind standing in line behind the motel manager's kids to get your "the customer's" waffle) . Linda had oatmeal with a sliced banana (she neglected to bring her Raw Bits). John had a waffle (and wished he'd brought some peanut butter for it!). Not much else to do, so we snoozed, killed time, read, etc. until just before checkout time. Didn't want to get to Salinas too early. Why? Because there IS a Margie's Diner in Salinas and we wanted to have our lunch there. And, we did! Linda had a gi-normous (gigantic and enormous) fruit plate (strawberries, cantaloupe, banana, grapefruit, green melon, oranges) and John had BFL (Breakfast For Lunch) with a couple of eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy and Margie's excellent fresh-squeezed orange juice.

Got home around 1:00 p.m. on Saturday and were very happy we went on our little two-day road trip. It was enjoyable and we got some nice pictures. John put together a 6:51 video that we uploaded to and have embedded the video below. It includes video as well as the still images. Hope you enjoy it.

As has become traditional on Buzzard Road Trips - no radio waves or TV beams were used during the duration of the voyage. We are looking forward to being back on the road again soon!

If the video starts and stops, your download speed can't keep up with it. SOLUTION: Just pause the video, get a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, and let it finish downloading to your computer, then click "play" and all will be well.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Senior Center Video Premiere and new link

Well, the "premiere" showing of the video took place on April 9, 201o at the Senior Cafe just before lunch was served. It was fun for Linda and John to watch the seniors watch the video. They really liked it.

John had three photos in the Morgan Hill Photography Club show at the Morgan Hill Community Cultural Center and had to take them down on 4/9. We saw a fellow MHPC member there, Marty Cheek, who has been doing video's for Morgan Hill Access TV and posting them on the web. He clued John in to another online video site,, which has not limit on video length, just file size. So, we have re-encoded the video and posted it on People can now watch it in its entirety.

John is now preparing a form of the DVD with no menu on it. This will be given to Morgan Hill Access TV so it can be played on our local cable channel (19). Unfortunately, we won't be able to view it there as we're on satellite and not cable.

Early this morning, John had the brilliant idea (in a dream last night) to send a message to the photo club's Yahoo Group about the video and including the new, improved, link. After all, many of our photo club members "qualify" as seniors! So far we've received two responses, both very positive.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Next "Road Trip" Extension Planning

We were sitting at home one evening and happened to tune to a PBS documentary on the preparation and production of the Cirque du Soliel show "Love" at the Mirage in Las Vegas.

So, John is thinking. Gee, we could leave Twain Harte, go by Bodie (Linda's not been there) and drop down to Las Vegas to see the show.

Now we have tickets for the show, so it appears we ARE going to Las Vegas. As long as we're there, we'll probably take in Terry Fator's show, also at the Mirage. Though, we won't be staying at the MIrage as they aren't pet friendly.

The Bodie visit may, or may not, happen depending on whether or not Sonora Pass is open in early June. John spoke with our hostess at Gables Cedar Creek Inn in Twain Harte who said they always try real hard to have Sonora Pass open by Memorial Day weekend.

So, Plan A will include a visit to Bodie via Sonora Pass and Plan B will be a drive to Las Vegas on the western side of the Sierra's.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Senior Center Video Post

Well, we have finally finished our Senior Center video project. It's been a work in process since January of this year. It's now ready for distribution on DVD and John broke it into 3 parts, each less than 10 minutes as that is a YouTube requirement, and uploaded it to You Tube.

The best part about producing this video was getting to meet more seniors and learn more about them. Example: You'll find a photo of a young woman with a gun in one hand and a stick with a dead rattlesnake in the other. She wasn't on a rattlesnake hunt. She was going to the potty behind a bush when she heard the rattler..... so she shot it! There are some great stories.

Our goal for the video was to document the programs (nutrition, enrichment, fitness, entertainment and support services) offered by the Senior Center as well as interview several seniors. We're very lucky in Morgan Hill to have such a wonderful place for older adults. The purpose of the video is to garner financial and in-kind support for the Senior Center as well as recruit new seniors.

A local singer / songwriter, Frank Dicker, Sr., really came through when we asked him to write and perform a song for the video. It is used in the segment on fitness programs and is called "Meet Me at the Rec". You can learn more about Frank at Frank's web site.

Our good friends from designfactory graphics, Bob Snow and Renee Roberts, volunteered to design the DVD label and case insert for us. It's so nice to have such great friends and this was for a really good cause.

I had put YouTube links here, but found that I could put the entire video in one link on The new link has been posted in the post for 4/11/2010.

The video is available in one piece on the DVD which you can get at the Morgan Hill Centennial Recreation Senior Center, 171 W. Edmundson Ave in Morgan Hill.