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!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

home sweet home & how to make an american quilt

{photo's from Pandora de Balthazar's booth}
I am once again 'Home Sweet Home', after my amazing journey through the southwest & my awakening to the Texas Junkin Lifestyle.

My eye's opened & seeing clearly & honestly, after spending umpteen hours driving through countryside unlike anything I've seen before.

Alone in my car, with no curtains to shield me from my own truths, allowing me to come to the realization that my heart is no longer in my shop. That my love & joy & pride in my shop no longer outweigh my desire to spread my wings & fly.

I am so often reminded of one of my favorite movies & 1 I think all women should see...
'How To Make An American Quilt'.
The story centers on the stories of several women in a quilting bee as they construct a wedding quilt as a gift for a member's granddaughter. As the women share their life stories, the granddaughter is lead down a path that helps her to reflect on her own life & where she is headed...I just adore it!

The part I love the most is at the very end.
From the back, you see an elderly lady standing on the edge of a high dive, looking down into the water below. As a young girl she was a great driver, but had stopped many years ago because of heartbreaking circumstances & fear. As she holds her arms & hands up over her head the narrative says:

"As Anna says about making a quilt,
you have to choose your combination carefully.
The right choices will enhance your quilt.
The wrong choices will dull the colors, hide their original beauty.
There are no rules you can follow.
You have to go by your instinct.
And you have to be BRAVE."

The brave thing I am going to do, is to close the shop.
No excuses, only with visions & dreams for the future. With my wings untied & nothing but possibilites before us, my sweet hubby & I will dare to imagine a life that can lead us to greener pastures & greater adventures.

Be happy for me...this freedom sings so sweetly to my heart.
As I told a friend, if you try your best to live your life by following your heart, it must lead to a place where you are truly rich in the things that matter most!

More Texas Love to San Antonio!