about 20 minutes later, we pulled into the parking lot. la purisima mission has been turned into a park, with one free guided tour available on most days and lots of hiking and horseback riding trails to explore. the attendant at the entrance booth asked if we had a 4th grader with us, which we found kind of funny, and it turned out that she just wanted to make sure we knew about the tour.
there were horses across the parking lot and the bean was dying to see if she could possibly finagle herself a ride, so we encouraged her to go over and ask about it.
the horses turned out to be privately owned and not available to the public, so we headed on into the visitor center to look around, take pictures and notes for the report, and wait for the guided tour to start.
at 1:00 on the dot the volunteer guide gathered everyone at the front and the tour began. the guide was happy to talk to the bean and answer her questions for her report, and they strolled along together as we headed towards the mission.
el camino real was one of california's first "highways." this was the main road between the missions, and people would travel along this road for days.
this mission is also the one that's been most restored to its original condition, so it was kind of cool to be able to check it out and see it as the original settlers did back in the 1700-1800s.
the old church. back in the day there were no seats in the church, and people either stood or sat right down on the floor to listen to the service.
see the line of bricks that are placed vertically? that created the line that divided the room - men and boys on one side and women and girls on the other.
this is where father payeras, who served as president over all of the missions, is buried.
i snuck up to the pulpit while no one (well, except the hub) was looking. i'm not even sure if it was cool to go up there, but it wasn't roped off so i just went for it.
the door was really cool.
they still fly the spanish flag here.
this was "jail" - possible punishment involved sitting down with your legs locked in this thing, which left your hands free to work on...stuff.
or if you were needed out in the field, they put these leg irons on you and sent you out there to get to work.
each of the 4th graders got to pose for a picture, ostensibly to use in their report. there were about 4 of them there, and the bean was stoked to go first.
in the majordomo's residence, cooking was done for the soldiers on this stove.
and you could bake bread in the horno outside.
they had olive trees all over the grounds and pressed their own olive oil.
blankets and other items were woven on this contraption.
i took these while the guide was explaining the construction of the buildings. it'd been an hour already, and i was starting to zone out a little.
one of the rooms was purposely left unfinished, so as to show off how it was constructed.
the priests' residences were the nicest of all, with several large rooms for dining and entertaining and such.
their beds even had a box spring of sorts. the phrase "sleep tight" came from beds like this, where you hoped those ropes would hold your weight and not collapse onto the floor.
because there was no glass back then, they would cover the windows like this to keep out critters and block out light.
and the priests even had their own indoor restroom. fancy.
outside, we got to see where they would bathe and also do their laundry...usually at the same time. yum.
our last stop was the girls' dormitory. when the girls turned 11, they were taken from the family home and moved here, where they would learn all of the skills they'd need to be a good wife. you know, stuff like cooking and cleaning and doing whatever your husband needed. and of course, this was all done for their own good. and they'd stay here until they were married. lovely.
on our way home, we stopped in buellton for a bowl of andersen's famous split pea soup. i typically hate peas, but i do love this soup. weird, i know.
we sat at the counter and relaxed a little before chowing on our soup and gearing up for the long drive home.
and now we're working on getting that mission report written up while all that information from the tour is fresh in our heads. it's not even due for a couple of weeks, but hey - better to just get it over with, right?