Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Oceanside, California

We are now parked in Vista, California.  It is east of Oceanside, and Oceanside is where our son Mike lives.  He works in Carlsbad, which is south of Oceanside.  We have plans to stay in this area for at least two months, so I felt it necessary to orient you, our readers, to the three towns which I am sure will be referred to my postings in the near future.  I do need to add another city into this mix, which is San Diego.  We made a trip into San Diego Saturday evening to watch our son Mike perform in an improvisation show.  Oceanside is considered the gateway between metropolitan San Diego and Los Angeles.  On Sunday we joined Mike to explore downtown Oceanside and its beach.  The picture below was taken from the pier at Oceanside,  it is West Coast's longest wooden pier.  The town is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.  Part of its rich history are the pink cottages which can be seen in the picture, they date from the 1920s.
As we started to walk onto the pier we had a welcoming committee of sorts.  One man offered free rosaries and prayers to us, and another lady clasping a clipboard warmly welcomed us to the pier.  Turned out that she wanted to give us a tour of a nearby hotel!  Walking further onto the pier we noticed a special bench for Mike.  Unfortunately the bench was facing the sun and Mike was forced to squint.
Looking down on the beach from that point we saw Mike's name again, this time with other names.
That was quite some decorative sand art, but our Mike had nothing to do with it.  Downtown Oceanside was quite busy for a Sunday evening, besides the beach, stores and restaurants were bustling with activity.  Even a couple of barber shops had customers lined up for their cuts.  On Monday John and I drove to California's 18th mission, San Luis Rey de Francia, located in Oceanside.  The mission's name is Spanish and honors St.Louis the King of France who ruled in the 13th century.
The church has impressive architecture, a composite of Spanish, Moorish and Mexican.  Inside, on the walls, are painted Spanish and Native American designs and symbols.  They are the original drawings, but it has been necessary to repaint them over the years. Outside of the mission there is a rather extensive cemetery with Franciscan burial crypts, as well as rose gardens with pepper and olive trees.  Speaking of the latter, San Luis Rey has one very old pepper tree grown from seeds brought to the mission in 1830 from Peru.

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