Thursday, March 25, 2010

Santa Barbara, CA and Morro Bay, CA

Yesterday was our last day at Hobson County Park, so we decided to visit Santa Barbara...good decision! Our first stop was the Santa Barbara Mission, which was founded on December 4, 1786 and is the 10th of the California missions. This mission holds the title of 'Queen of the Missions' and is the fourth church to be constructed on this spot. The third mission was destroyed by the earthquake of 1812 and the existing mission was damaged by the earthquake of 1925. Renovations were completed in 1927. Prior to the arrival of the Spanish and the mission, the land from Malibu to San Luis Obispo was inhabited by the Chumash Indians, who were hunters and gatherers. When the Franciscans arrived, they taught the Indians agriculture, consisting mainly of wheat, barley, corn, beans and peas, as well as orange and olive trees. The mission had cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, mules and horses. When the Mission period was over, the buildings were used for a number of purposes, including a highschool and junior college. In the front of the mission is a huge basin with slated sides and a fountain at one end. The Chumash Indians used the basin sides to scrub the mission laundry and the fountain to rinse it.

After our tour of the mission, we headed into downtown Santa Barbara with the intent of taking the Red Tile Walking Tour, which consists of 22 street blocks and 17 different buildings. Our first stop was the Courthouse, which was built in 1926 and is an amazing display of paintings and murals and tile work. From the tower on the 4th floor you can see the entire city of Santa Barbara.

That was our first and last stop on the Red Tile Walking Tour! We were sidetracked by all of the shops and restaurants and people that lined State Street and had a thoroughly enjoyable time window shopping and having a late lunch at a little outdoor cafe.

Today, we drove 138 miles north to Morro Bay where tomorrow we'll tour the Hearst Castle in San Simeon. I'm thinking that we should've planned on at least a 2-day stay to get in more than one tour, but alas, we have one day to see the castle so one tour will have to be enough!

The trip up the coast was uneventful and very pleasant...alot of rolling hills and farmland. Hopefully the trip to Yosemite will be just as pleasant.

More tomorrow after our tour!

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