Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Old Mission Santa Barbara

When we were in Santa Barbara, we visited the old Mission, which is one of the main tourist attractions for the area. I love visiting old churches and studying the architecture and always manage to get choked up because of the beauty. They just don't build churches like they used to.
I know that's hard to read but the Mission was built in old and full of history. I get giddy just thinking about it.
This was our view from across the street in the parking lot. We didn't get here until 4:30 in the afternoon so the tours were done for the day but the gift shop was still open so we looked around and ended up buying a gorgeous, hand-tooled leather Bible. We don't have a family Bible, so we thought it was time to get one. Once the shop closed at 5 we walked over to the main chapel, where mass was going on. I wish I had gotten a picture of the doors into the sanctuary...they were dark, solid wood, hand-carved and just beautiful. You know the kind I'm talking about...the kind that are all over Europe.

We snuck into the sanctuary, as there was about five minutes left of mass, and sat down and just took it all in. To say I was speechless would be an understatement. It was so beautiful and so old and I felt immediately jealous of the people who were able to go to church HERE! I almost didn't feel right taking pictures, I can't explain it, it just felt like a holy place that shouldn't be exposed to tourists' cameras all the time. But I knew that if I didn't take some I would regret it.
It was dark, so please forgive the quality of the pictures. I didn't want to resort to using the flash since I hate how it makes pictures look.
This view of the outside of the Mission was just gorgeous. I couldn't take a picture that would actually do the view justice, but I tried. I could have just sat where I was for hours, reading a book or just taking it all in.

Behind the parking lot, there was a little garden of olive trees (like the kind in the Garden of Gethsemane, which btw is a wonderful sight to see. I went to Israel when I was 15) and the Stations of the Cross.

After exploring the garden, it was getting close to 6 so the parking lot was closing and we had to leave. But after a little bit of driving around and seeing some amazing house that I can only guess the cost of, we came across another gorgeous church. I made Tim stop and park so we could get out and explore it and get some pictures.
This was one of the side doors into the church, but grand!
The front of the church.
To the side of the church, there was a pretty garden.

This part of the trip was my favorite and I wish we could have spent more time there.

Our family is heading to Virginia tomorrow to visit with family and once we get back, I am sucking it up and potty training my second child in less than six months so if you don't hear from me for awhile, that's why. I'll be up to my ears in Dora underpants and laundry!

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