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.

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