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.)

39 comments on “Father Serra is LOL in His Grave at ME”

  1. I am just so confused and think it is hilarious that you went all these places and more.

    Beyond that I got nothin.

    Not fair that you leave me hilarious comments and I bore you to death. That’s what you get after 16 hours of work and a glass of wine.

    But I’ve finally figured out how to be a follower on your blog (I swear I signed up months ago, but wasn’t getting the feeds?)

    And now? Blog hijacking over…

  2. Hmmm. Is Build a Bear affiliated with the Catholic church? If it is, you may have a hard time distinguishing.

    Why don’t you come to LA? The Lady of Angels cathedral looks like the Disney concert hall. People get them mixed up often.

  3. I knew you were in the wrong place from the first sentence. I actually got to sleep at Mission San Luis Rey–the Catholic Church holds Engaged Encounter weekends there. It wasn’t until I got my room assignment that I realized I would not in fact by sharing a room with my fiance. Duh!

  4. your reply was actually something like shut the front door, build a bear workshop is like the american girl doll store with fur to which i replied snort.

    the catholic church had a gift shop? i find this strangely disconcerting.

  5. I’m LOL at you, too! But in a nice way. A holy way. A “God has a great sense of humor, snookering my friend Cheri like that, haha” way. (Note to Katy: don’t be disconcerted…we Catholics like to bring a little bit of church home with us. It’s a sacramental thing.)

  6. So glad I made sure to always give you directions when driving on field trips!

    If it makes you feel any better, when my parents first moved to La Costa, they attempted to take my brother and I to the Carlsbad Caverns.

  7. Flaxseeds are awesome with yogurt. Honest. But it is late at night, and I’m tired and distracted. I just popped back over to see if my “link to this post” popped up. Because I did link to this post. xoxox

  8. On the plus side, you had a very eventful day, allowing the Rat to experience all the fun there is in San Diego.

    As for the birthday? Missiontastic fun awaits! I really do think it’s the better choice. The Rat will know exactly how to make it the perfect adventure.

    Da Goddess
    dagoddess.com

  9. So, you went all that way and didn’t call in on San Diego Momma?

    The last time I made lemonade out of molehills it tasted really, really earthy and made my throat all icky.

  10. Wait! What? You’re dating Michelle Obama?

    That two-timing bitch!

    Ha! The Build-a-Bear Workshop is of Satan’s own design. I’d rather lick the stick that beat my brains in than go there… or Club Libby Lou… or The American Girl Store.

  11. You managed to pull off a two-fer with the church and the mission – both an education and one free!
    As for the build-a-bear thing – good luck avoiding that one.

  12. I love third grade! I love missions. I would totally choose missions over build-a-bear or american girl. I also love Old Towne San Diego… or any part of San Diego…

    However, I don’t currently love rain… or moss.. or Seattle… I need a vacation in San Diego!

  13. And…I also wanted to add that I shop like a man when I go the Build-a-Bear workshop. The kid picks their bear, gives it a heart, stuffs it, picks out a couple outfits and off we go…for less than $50, and under an hour…I’m not kidding.

    (After I said this, I wondered in what world does a man do any of the aforementioned…I guess my point was to say we don’t stay long and we don’t spend much)

  14. My son did his mission project on the Mission San Luis Rey when he was in 4th grade. The sole reason he picked that mission was because it has the name “Rey” in it, which was also the name of his favorite “professional” wrestler, Rey Mysterio.

    If I would have walked into the Catholic Church, I’m sure the walls would have come tumbling down 😉 I visited Old Town San Diego a couple of years ago with my son and thoroughly loved that little school house.

  15. haha. well going to church is good for your soul and teddy bears are good for your soul, so even if you are a complete doofus (which you aren’t) you still made out.

  16. I’ve never been to Build-a-Bear, or American Girl store (although I did go to opening day of the American Girl movie last July, does that count?)
    I’m totally impressed that the Rat is into Missions. And laughing about your convoluted tale of woe, which makes me feel oh so much better about my own spring break.
    Now can we all go out for margaritas?

  17. GOLDMINE IDEA! You and your wife start a business, it’s BUILD A POPE. Building looks like a mission, and kids get to stuff their own pontiff. GOLDMINE I’m telling you. Think of the extra revenue generated by the sale of accessories, like tall hats.

    And I can say this because I’m Catholic. So shut up, haters. Plus you can tithe a portion of the proceeds and then it’ll all be OK.

    Also, our church has a gift shop. And it’s not historic or old or anything cool like that. Gift shop doesn’t have anything souveneir-y of the church, but is the place to get things like advent candles, first communion cards, holy cards and medals. So more like a “book store” than a “gift shop” though the sign says “gift shop,” just FYI on the whole church/gift shop notion.

    And just to clarify, our gift shop does not sell stuffed popes… yet.

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