January 25, 2015
In the morning, my parents decided that we would go to Santa Barbara after lunch. I kept asking my mom what was in Santa Barbara that we were going to see but she didn’t really answer me. Around 11a.m. I took Noah and Lucy to the beach. Me and Noah boogie boarded while Lucy played in the water. My mom told us to be home by twelve thirty to have lunch then we would drive 40 minutes to Santa Barbara.
We came home around twelve twenty and washed off and had lunch then we left for Santa Barbara. The drive was along the beach and was very beautiful. When we got there, we drove up a hill to a park and what looked like an old church. My mom said it was called a Mission. She also said there were many in California and Mexico because California used to be owned by Mexico. I asked her what a mission was and she said it was Spanish Missions in Alta California are a series of 21 religious outposts; established by Catholic priests of the Franciscan order between 1769 and 1833, to spread Christianity among the local Native Americans.
The Santa Barbara Mission was the one we were visiting, and it was built in 1806. They have monks who live there and when they aren’t having mass, you can go on a self guided tour, which is what we did. We walked to the courtyard where they have a garden. They were playing a video in one of the rooms about how they made the Mission. It was very cool because I have only been inside of one kind of church in my life and I thought it was interesting to see what other people do. In the room with the video there was a statue of Mary with candles in front of it. My mom said that people buy a candle then light it and pray to Mary.
My mom also told us about Saint Barbara. She was a girl who was raised by a pagan father who did not like Christianity and locked her in a tower. She somehow got out and became a Christian but her father beheaded her for her beliefs. We walked around the garden then into the grave yard. It was green and had many trees. Some of the graves were nice and marble and others were old and made of rock. Though there were only about 30 or 40 graves, a plaque said there were hundreds of Native Americans buried there. There were crosses everywhere and I wasn’t quite used to that because growing up I was kind of afraid of the symbol, but I got over it. On a small statue there was a symbol that my little sister pointed out to look like my dad’s tattoo. Mom told us it was because it was the same symbol—a sacred heart.
Then we went into the chapel where they have mass. A sign told us to be quiet. We walked up to the altar at the front then looked at the holy water in the back. There were doors at the back and my mom said they were called confessions, where you go in and tell the priest what you have done wrong and he makes you clean again. At the sides of the room there were statues where the people go to pray. My dad pointed out one that he thought was very good, it was of Mary in the garden after Jesus had died and he came to her.
We walked through the rest of the place, going in rooms and looking at sculptures and things. The grounds were very pretty and before we left we walked around the front of it.
After we left, we got ice cream at this really good ice cream place, McConnells, then went down to the beach for several minutes before heading home. When we got home we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows.
After, I told my dad that I wanted to go to the beach because you could hear the waves from our house. It was dark but that’s why I wanted to go. After dinner, just me and my dad walked down to the beach. The water was really pretty in the dark. With Utah’s bad pollution, we could never see the stars. But here, it was so pretty. You could see see so many stars and the moon glistened on the waves. We walked down till our feet were touching the damp sand, which was warmer than the dry sand. Actually the water would make its way up to our feet. It smelled just like the ocean should smell, of fresh, water, and sea salt. We headed back and went to bed.
I really liked going to the mission. I like seeing what other people do instead of just knowing what I do.
Santa Barbara Mission
Me in front of some statues
Selfie while waiting for my mom to come out of the gift shop