I have been to Solvang several times in the last 7 or so years. It dawned on me yesterday that I should look for Mission Santa Ynez. There are 21 missions in California, which are an important part of the state's history. In fact, San Carlos de Borrameo (the Carmel Mission), where Father Junipero Serra is buried, is right in my town. I love to look at the buildings, and to see what the sanctuaries look like. I am a practicing Lutheran so I am afraid that I do not always understand some of the religious artifacts, but I love the opportunity to learn and understand more.
I digressed. Santa Ynes (Saint Agnes) is right in the heart of Solvang. In fact, it is one block over from the main street, Alisal. I stumbled upon it on accident today when I went to drop something off at the post office. It was not open when I stopped by this morning, so I did not get to see inside.
I was hoping to get to a cooler location this morning, so off we headed to Santa Barbara to see the dog friendly Botanical Garden there. Much of it was closed off do to the recent fires, but it was truly a lovely place. It was really really hot, but we stopped at each shaded bench so I could offer Liesie water and to douse her head to help keep her cool. She had a good time speeding off after lizards. The gardens are about a mile above the Santa Barbara mission. There is an aquaduct and filtration system that feeds the mission and surrounding area that was built at that time. The system is still in use today. It was fascinating.
On the way back down the hill, I got to see the magnificent Mission Santa Barbara, which I think is the largest mission I have ever seen. This mission holds several important artifacts such as vestments worn by Father Serra and significant works of art. It was about 100 degrees at the point that we got there, way too hot to leave Liesl in the car for even a few moments for a quick peek from the door, so sadly, I did not get to see inside. I snapped a few quick photos:
We finished the day by dipping our toes in the Pacific. Even the beach was too hot, so we did not stay long. It was a really great day.