Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Visit to Colonial California...and a Classic Car.

This year, Fourth Grader is engaged in a rite of passage. He is studying the Spanish Colonial / Mission Period in California. Part of this experience inevitably includes a craft project in which students create representations of the missions. I remember that mine was a replica of Mission Santa Barbara carved out of a large bar of Ivory Soap.

We live in what was a Spanish colonial city. El Presidio de Santa Barbara was built in 1782. And Toby has contracted to build a replica of the Presidio Chapel out of sugar cubes for his 4th grade project. To facilitate the design and plan, I twisted Toby's arm and we drove downtown to look at the chapel and begin our flurry of sugar enhanced historical learning.

Chapel - El Presidio de Santa Barbara

Presidio Chapel Bells

I hope this photo story interests our friends in PEI who might enjoy a window seat in the unfamiliar SoCal landscape. And those of us who live here don't often find time to stop and wander the grounds of this historic state park.

Walking the Presidio on a gorgeous Sunday morning, I found myself thinking of the Spaniards who found themselves essentially marooned here, in a far flung frontier outpost.

Presidio Chapel Altar (click to enlarge)

The original chapel, like most of the old Presidio had fallen into decay, was damaged by repeated earthquakes and the arrival of new settlers after the Califonrnia gold rush brought Statehood.
Nothing was left but the stone foundations. The chapel we visited today has been painstakingly rebuilt overt the past 30 years.

Canedo Adobe (click to enlarge)

This adobe structure was added to the original Presidio walls and became a residence granted to a Presidio soldier. These original buildings serve as the inspiration for tacky apartment buildings and restaurants all over the southwest.

Toby and I will be working on our chapel project this week. We'll post our results and let you compare.

Santa Barbara is full of beautiful trees and interesting plants from all over the world. But there weren't many trees on this coastal plain in the 1700's. Native plants were adapted to long dry the cactus flowering below...

Cactus Blooms

Street Parked Classic (click to enlarge)

When I drove the Big Yellow Truck around PEI I talked to lots of guys who asked me about the drive up to the island. Wistfully, they'd say, "You must have a lot of classic old cars out there..." So I thought I'd start posting a series of photos called, "Street Parked Classics".
I spotted this 1970 Camaro about 4 blocks from home.

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