San Juan Bautista is a mission city the Spaniards set up in the early part of California history. The town is rather run down today, being part of the "gone with the old". Kids in Silicon Valley, being part of the "in with the new", usually learn about this place in history lessons, and the accompanied field trip is an excitement all on its own. Right before the holiday break Henry's school took all the fourth graders to San Juan Bautista, as part of their current California Missions curriculum. I was lucky enough to hitch a ride with them. The town is about forty five minutes from school, through some part of windy country roads. The car was warm, kids were rowdy, and Henry got car sick. I was sitting in the front passenger seat, yakking away with the driver mom who happened to be Chinese; Henry was in the seat behind the driver. By the time he got my attention, I had about twenty seconds to choose between my hat which was in my lap, or his shirt which was on the floor. My hat won and caught Henry's processed breakfast just in time. Luckily Henry was able to quickly recover once we arrived at the destination and enjoyed the rest of the day. My hat, sadly, didn't fare as well. It was old and commercially made, easy decision to toss it in the first garbage can in town.
This is the bell in front of the Mission.
The Mission and its attached bell tower. The small gate to the right leads to a grave yard of over 4,000 Indians died of western diseases after the Spaniards arrived.