A Short Trip- But fruitful until the end, Disaster.


Our plans were on visiting our kids in Sacramento—an early Thanksgiving. We realized that the small town of San Juan Batista California would be more interesting. Small old town. This is an overview of the town and I have to admit it is a very beautiful one. What a surprise as we drove down the lovely valley and the hills. This city is basically a farming community.

In 1779 Saint John the Baptist established the Franciscan order and began the Indian conversion to Christianity and used their labor to farm the land for the Order.

Pasada Hotel: We had reserved a week earlier and loved its antiquity- and the inside was splendid.

We had to drag our luggage up to our second floor room but the hallways were wide and have live growing trees and the grand doorway entrances showed the buildings age, character and luxury…We even had an outdoor patio that was private and looked across the street at the Christmas decorations on a huge house nearby. Charming.

Still enough daylight to walk to the mission and see the statues in the gardens. It was a surprise to walk on wooden planked sidewalks in the streets throughout almost the entire town.

The mission was closed but soft singing came from behind the doors. There were two wonderful statues, one for Saint John the Baptist and one for an Indian.

Suddenly the large plaza came to life with the golden lights- apparently as a prelude to the coming Christmas season.

Back to town where we found a wonderful Basque restaurant. After we entered the chef waved to us to specify any table we wanted- and we sat by the door. Apparently that was good for business because shortly thereafter several small groups arrived and the chef smiled broadly.

Next morning we left for Sacramento and the early Thanksgiving family get- together. We had a wonderful reunion and after dinner at our favorite restaurant we left. All of us complained of the heavy fog. We didn’t find out until the next day the awful campfire had decimated that small town.


About carolinebotwin

Caroline Botwin and her husband Mike are retired educators who have always had a yen for travelling: he with a PH.D and teaching Architectural Engineering plus California wine education, and she having taught high school English, speech and drama. Both wanted to learn first hand about other cultures. While Mike predominately studied buildings and structures and met with winemakers, Caroline hunted for ancient sites and peoples. And kept journals of all their travels.
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