California is full of amazing destinations. I’ve lived here most of my life so I kind of take for granted all of the wonderful attractions here. One of my favorite things to do is visit the California Missions. There are 21 missions stretching from San Diego to San Francisco.
The Spanish missions in California are a series of religious and military settlements established by Spanish Catholics of the Franciscan Order between 1769 and 1823. The missions were built to spread the Christian faith among the Native Americans in California… (Missions of California)
Although I’ve lived here for 33 years, I have yet to see all 21 missions. I think I’ve probably seen close to half of them, thanks to my Mom. I remember her dragging my sisters and I to every tourist attraction she could find when we were kids. Even though it’s definitely something I appreciate now as an adult, it was not something I looked forward to as a kid. The long car rides. Being squished in a van full of relatives. It was not my idea of fun back then.
Of all the missions I’ve visited, the ones that stand out the most are Santa Barbara and San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo. There’s just something cool about stepping into a building that’s over 100 years old. Kalani and I took a road trip and toured some of them. This was long before we had kids. We decided to add “see all of the California Missions” onto our life list. I mean, we live here. Why not take advantage of it, right?
Well, fast forward to a few years later and we became parents. So, we decided we’d make seeing all of the missions a family thing. And, since we homeschool, it’d be the most epic unit study for our kids. How cool would that be?! Our kids are still really young; we have several years before we need to start planning it. But the whole thought of it gets me SO excited! Just me telling you guys about it is making me geek out right now as I sit here on my living room floor! I mean, think of all of the fun mission projects- the sugar cubes, the relief maps. If you grew up in California, you know exactly what I’m talking about. The missions were heavily studied in the forth grade. Building a replica of a mission made out of sugar cubes was a rite of passage for us California kids.
I’m thinking it will take us 2 weeks to leisurely visit all 21 missions. I’m sure we could do it in one week, but I don’t want to feel rushed and it’ll also give us time to take in some local sights. Geez, I’m talking about this like it’s going to happen soon. We have 3 years before Morgan starts fourth grade. Excited much?