Thursday, October 7, 2010

as promised...San Anotonio Missions

Greetings Sweet Hearts & as promised I'm taking y'all back to Texas with me to visit the exceptional & truly unexpectedly, sooooo very coooool,
San Antonio!!!

So here's the silly scoop. I left all my Texas Lovelies telling them I was heading straight home, no detours, no off the map adventures, Hubby wanted me home, Kai was having a soccer game Sat morning & I just had to make it to the game...sooooo, noooooo playing around or crazy OCD National Park touring, none. Cross my heart & stick a needle in my eye!!!

Off I went with mt Dodge Durango weighed down with Texas Gold, straight on till morning...I was on a Mission!

Well, that lasted all the way from Weimer to San Anton & then I started seeing those damned brown signs. It's like taking a drunk to the bar & expecting him not to order a drink...I know, I'm sick!!! lol

Do they have a National Park 12 step program??? LOL
What truly perked my little eyes & ears, was that it seems unknowingly to me that San Antonio has a series of 4 Missions that are part of the National Park System. Hummmmm, what a coincidence...if you look on my sidebar you will notice under things I LOVE, that I am also a California Mission Junky.

Wow...two birds with 1 stone. I can get a few more stamps in my Passport Book & check out some Mission Love all at the same time. I mean what was I suppose to do??? Just drive by when I saw the turnoff? So even though the car was on cruise control at the leisurely Texas speed of 80 miles an hour & I really WAS trying to have SOME self control...I slammed on the brakes, took the turnoff & followed my favorite little brown signs.
Maybe it was a sign from God that I go, right?
It could have been!

This group of missions is called The San Antonio Missions National Historic Park & they are truly spectacular gems!

The 1st in the tour of 4, is the wondrous Mission Concepcion with it's hand~painted religious murals & glorious chapel.

How beautiful is this chapel, the painting, the was breathtaking! Now this mission is awesome, but my favorite was number 2...

Mission San Jose, The Queen of the Missions! Founded in 1770, to me it is the mission of arches, an architects dream, my dream.

Again...hello, does anybody notice that you can't take a bad picture in this state cuz those sky's are just soooo blue & the grass & trees couldn't be any greener.

Did I mention it has arches,

in front of other arches, that are in front of some more arches?
I am in love with all of these arches!

Then, off in the distance, I saw THIS window...looks pretty cool right?

Well, come to find out, this Rose Window is considered to be one of the finest pieces of Spanish Colonial ornamentation in the country. Heavenly, this window is like looking at heaven.

After taking at least 40 pics of the window I turned towards the bell tower, just as the chimes began to ring was magical!

Now..heading towards the chapel doors, I'm greeted by these classical ornate concrete statues & cravings, can we just say WOW!

This could be any Capella in Italy, truly... it is that wonderful.

A simple iron door pull,

on a not so simple, amazingly exquisite, hand craved door.

Behind the heavy wooden doors, lies the chapel with it's cupola & arches & wrought iron chandelier candle holder.

This is still a local, viable, working church here in San Antonio.

I would go to church everyday if my local church had the history & the beauty of this one.

Could you imagine what I would have missed if I hadn't been flexible enough to change my mind in an instant, to take the unplanned path & follow my heart?

All of this historic grandeur!
The last 2 missions San Juan & Espada, were beautiful, but in a remodeling stage leaving the chapels unavailable to view, but the exteriors were still remarkable & something I couldn't pass up.

In 1716, Mission San José de los Nazonis was established to serve the Nazonis Indians. However, the mission was not successful, and was eventually moved to another location.

Founded in 1690, Mission Espada was the first mission in Texas. This mission is small & quint with a lush garden feeling to it & a beautiful well in the center of the courtyard.

And on top of the well is an...

unbelievable, really want to have it, wrought iron cross.

The wall of bells is stunning, especially against those Texas skies!

This one reminds me of home...the San Juan Capistrano Mission has a wall that looks very similar to just needs a little bougainvillea! ;)

And of course, more gorgeous doors...

& arches...

& rustic charm door pulls.

This accidental tourist has found more wonders on her journey, then could EVER have been planned!

I LOVED San Antonio!
It is filled with soooo much history & beauty!
And since I'd already spent wayyyy toooo much time there, {I thought I could do it all in an hour} why not head over to The Alamo? The Mission's were just a sweet surprise!!
Oh, & by the way...the Missions were a treasure trove of passport stamps. I got 6 there!! Yipppeeeeee!!!!
See you soon Sweet Hearts & we'll be headed over to The Alamo...
Life is SWEEET!


Beach House Living said...

I love your photos of all the little details. You should absolutely frame some of the those.

How could you not stop and take in all this spectacular beauty.

I'm a bit confused by the 8 passport stamps. Did I miss something?

vintagesusie & wings said...

No, it was 6 stamps...I got 1 for the National historic Park itself, 1 for each mission & 1 cuz it's located on the Camino Real...I mean that's just cooool right? & does everyone know that the National Parks sell their own little passport books & you can get a stamp validation from each park to keep inside them knowing exactly what parks you've been to & when. I ADORE mine, I take it with me everywhere for as you can just don't know when the next NP might appear to you!!

Gail said...

I'm a HUGE Jackson Browne fan!!!! Oh, and your pictures rock too :).
I used to live in California, went to college in San Luis Obispo (or as I call it, heaven on earth). The missions in Cali are fabulous!

Alice said...

Beautiful! We visited the missions a few years ago, and the kids thought it would be boring. Needless to say, they were stunned. While we were at the Mission of San Jose we were lucky enough to see a bride and groom emerge from the chapel.

Enjoy the rest of your trip!

Linnea said...

Great pics!

Linda in New Mexico said...

Can we say fabulous photos.....well I sure can. Oh what a lovely bit of inpirational viewing you did stumble upon. Glad the brakes worked and you shared the treasure trove of the missions. I just love the Camino Real part. I would love to return to San Antonio soon and take the grands to see the beauty. The Olde Bagg

Suz said...

We just got back from Prague and Croatia and saw beautiful, beautiful churches. This rivals them. Your photos are also dazzling!

Charlene said...

LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE!!!!!!!!! I;m going home my patooty! :) I'm so glad you found more Texas Treasures. And your photos are stunning. I tried to call you!!!!!!! Call me!!!!!!! I MISS YOU!!!!!!!!! HUGS!

Tamarah said...

Hello over there SUZIE....!!

I hope this note finds you well Lovey....THANK YOU so much for your recent comments....I'm ITCHIN' so bad to get back to ya'll....hahahaha....The way I'm goin' I won't have any Aussie slang left for Deb when I make it back in May....I'll be fully Texanised.... :o) !!

I'm SERIOUSLY LOVIN' these pics....It's almost as if I was there with you....Ooh now THAT would be a hoot hey....Fancy a road trip....??

I look forward to catching up with you soon....!

Cheers for now from 'Down Under',
Tamarah :o)

PS: Posted most of it back home & bought ANOTHER suitcase to accomodate the rest....hahahahaha....

Dianne said...

They are so beautiful... I went to San Antonio a few years ago and fell in love with the City. I did a mission tour... they are so powerfully beautiful and at the same time so powerfully peaceful... Your photos capture that...

julie miller said...

Hi Susie, Simply beautiful images!! Amazing architecture! Thanks for sharing, Julie

Linda said...

Beautiful photos...I'm so glad you decided to to go for never know what you'll miss!

Pretty Things said...

Beautiful, beautiful photos! Unfortunately, when I was in San Antonio, it was to go to Air Force Basic Training, so my excursions were, um, limited!

Lynn Richards said...

FABULOUS photos, my friend!! How could you not stop??? I bet you were glad that you did!!!!!!

Jane said...

Mission Espada is my favorite....feels somehow so intimate, smaller, closer to God....

I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit to San Antonio! I'm loving the photos!