Just for fun, let’s say you’re in third grade, and at your school you study the California missions in third grade, and your mother suggests visiting the Mission San Diego de Alcala during your spring break because you’ve been dying to go there for, like, ever.
And, just for more fun, let’s say that your mother drives you to Old Town San Diego, and your mother parks her car right in front of the building you always drive by on the way to the airport while pointing and saying “Look, there’s the Mission San Diego de Alcala,” and you’re parked right in front of it because, hello, the Pope spot is always waiting for your mother in front of wherever she goes because, hello, we’ve previously established that she’s the Pontiff of Parking.
And, just for even more fun than before that last bit of fun, let’s say that outside you photograph the white-washed adobe façade, and inside you reverently sit down on an old wooden pew to take in the atmosphere, and then you see a sign pointing toward the Father Junipero Serra Gift Shop and you head in that direction.
And, because fun could be your middle name by now, let’s say that you and your mother begin perusing the many items for sale in the Father Junipero Serra Gift Shop, and then your mother tells you that she is noticing now that the gift shop is absent of any and all Mission memorabilia and is, in fact, filled will all manner of Catholic paraphernalia.
So, because fun is starting to smell funny, let’s say that your mother then asks the woman behind the cash register whether you have, in fact, just visited the Mission San Diego de Alcala, and the woman behind the cash register says, no,where no means you doofus, you’re at a Catholic church and Mission San Diego de Alcala is four miles away from here, and then she hands you a map and asks where you’re from.
So, I must ask you, would you have been able to tell which one is the Catholic church and which one is the Mission San Diego de Alcala?
They totally look alike, right?
Except, of course, for the sign on the one that says, “The Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception” and the sign on the other that says, “Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala.”
So, why not make lemonade out of molehills? What? I shouldn’t mix metaphors on the same day that I mixed churches and missions?
First, we visited historic Old Town San Diego.
We learned to make handmade tortillas.
We sat at the desks in San Diego’s first public school.
We dipped candles.
Then, we went to Mission San Diego de Alcala. (Fo’ realz this time.)
We saw where Father Serra lived.
We saw how Father Serra lit the mission. What?
We talked with a Kumeyaay man building a willow hut.
We had fun, yo.
Later this week, just for fun of epic proportion, let’s say that the Rat and the Girl are having a play date to celebrate the Girl’s recent birthday, and the Rat totally wants to go to Mission San Luis Rey. For fun. What?
And, just for
the sake of full disclosure fun, let’s say that I emailed my wife, AKA the Girl’s mother, and told her that the Rat wanted to take the Girl to Mission San Luis Rey for her birthday, and the Girl’s mother replied something to the effect of, “what the frick? hasn’t the rat ever heard of, like, build-a-bear workshop?” and I responded something to the effect of “I know, huh? I don’t understand her either.” [Edited to add: My wife has since read this and has reminded me that I actually responded], “Build-a-Bear Workshop is the American Girl Store with fur.” And [then I looked up her actual response to that and] she replied, “i just spit flaxseed on my keyboard i laughed so hard.”
So, I must ask you, will I be able to tell which one of these is Mission San Luis Rey? God help me if I get mixed up this time because one will cost me $8 to get in and the other will cost me $312.79 to get out.
(Mission San Luis Rey and Build-a-Bear photos courtesy of Google Images.)