Those who don't read previous posts, just the latest one....read the one before and catch up!
To recap, the daughter and I had just had a perilous journey through San Francisco without meaning to go there. It is dark and we are looking for our hotel. Finding the place was easy enough. Perhaps the Gods had taken pity on me and the disasters were behind us. We were so upset over the missed turns that the daughter and I decided we should get a quick dinner at whatever fast food was close by. That was Burger King. This happens to be my least favorite of all fast food, just a step up from Long John Silvers, but it was a block away from the hotel and we found it without making any wrong turns! We watched Covert Affairs on television and went to bed.
We stayed at the Northbay Inn on Francisco Blvd in San Rafael. Not exactly what the web site showed, but acceptable and not a great deal of money. The bathrooms were fabulous. Just beautiful. Someone there likes bathrooms! The room itself was as promised with a refrigerator, microwave, television, etc. I have to say I liked how they even gave us matching bed spreads, each with their matching holes from a burning cigarette. Each spread (room with two double beds) had a hole from what I know had to be a cigarette in exactly the same spot. hmmmm.
On Wednesday we find out the mission opens at 11:00am. The daughter tells me there is an I-Hop close by. Close is not exactly the word I would use. We saw most of San Rafael looking for I-Hop. The daughter had a very yummy breakfast. If you like crepes, this is the place.
Afterward we went to the mission. There is a story behind my daughter's love of missions. There are 23 California missions that were established in the days when Mexico thought they would convert the heathen Indians into good Catholics or in some cases, slaves. When the daughter was in the fourth grade, I made a big deal over going to see a mission. In a parent-teacher conference, I was told the children would be making a replica of a mission over their Christmas vacation. We had a family emergency occupying my every moment and I never really confirmed this before the children went on vacation. Over that Christmas break, I took the daughter and the son to see the mission in Sonoma. Then we went home and over the two weeks, we made replica of the mission. It was a true family affair. My husband made miniature wood blocks for the walls. The board was on the kitchen counter and as we would walk by, that person would glue more blocks, paint a little, add the green for grass, etc. When school started, my daughter had this very heavy, but really fantastic mission to bring to school. I just didn't know the teacher had changed her mind and no one made a mission except us. While I found this to be momentarily annoying, I had somehow ignited a passion for missions in my daughter. We plan vacations around whether we will be able to a mission. So, one year we were on a vacation with my in laws to Monterey. We had driven some where and on the way back we were going to pass the mission at Carmel. The daughter was so excited. Unfortunately, as we drove past it, her grandparents said, "Seen one mission, you've seen them all!" All I can say is that they are from Montana!
So, back to mission San Rafael Archangel. It is a little tiny church. A beautiful church, but still really tiny. And it was torn down and rebuilt in 1949. Not one original piece is still there. They have built lots of other buildings and it is a parish even as we speak, but still....We spent more time in the gift shop than in the church.
The original plan was to go to the beach after the mission, but we were ready to go home. We found our way to the freeway and off we went. Once we got off Hwy 101 and onto Hwy 37, I knew where we were and it was easy. Just after we made the turn onto I-80 at Marine World in Vallejo, the daughter suggests we stop at the Jelly Belly factory. I love their unbearably hot cinnamon bears and can only find them at the factory one hour from our house. Are you finding the theme in this story? I missed the turn. In my defense, we were on the opposite side of the highway from how we normally get there. We got our candy and made it home safely!
In the end, nothing went exactly as planned, but that is the joy of traveling. We loved seeing Melody and now we know to give her more than two hours and to maybe spend the day. She was so happy to see us and despite what we have heard, Connor is just a cute 5 year old with a ton of energy. I think I will suggest soccer to Melody. Seeing Sue was great. Just being out with the daughter is always fun. And I have a funny story to tell.
Hope you all got some vacation time this summer. It is back to work for me on Tuesday......