Thursday, March 10, 2011

Field Trip of the Week: Santa Barbara Mission

While the older kids attended a conference in Santa Barbara,  E-R,  I-E, and I enjoyed a beautiful afternoon at the Santa Barbara Mission.  We took the self-guided tour that leads through the grounds and interior of parts of the mission. 

Right after entering and paying for our tour, we walked through a dark narrow hallway to head outside.        Worn in a way telling the history of the many people who have walked through the mission, the tiles in the dark hallway leading to the beginning of the tour was my favorite part of the tour.   I imagine those tiles were made by the local Chumash Indians with nothing much more than mud and fire.    Hopefully, the legacy I leave behind will last as long and guide as many people. 

Those tiles lead us outside to a beautiful courtyard.   The first room along the corridor of the courtyard had a movie showing a brief history of the mission.   What I found most interesting about his mission is its continued use throughout the last 225 years.    It is to this day being used as an active church and community gathering place.  

After watching the movie, we walked through the chapel to the cemetery.   Many notable Santa Barbarians have been buried there.   The most interesting "resident" of the cemetery is

This is the woman depicted in one of our favorite books : Island of the Blue Dolphin by Scott ODell.  Seeing her plaque (her actually spot of burial has been lost to history) helped us realize this story was based on a real person.   Later on in the tour we were able to see some of the belongings she left the island with---a basket and some shells.   This awesome fig tree was in the center of the cemetery. 

This tree is believed to be about 180 years old.   What I wouldn't give to have this "climbing" tree in my backyard!

The interior part of the mission had a lot of neat displays.   Including music from the early history of the mission.

Much of it written in Latin.   It was fun to pick out the words we knew.   The musical notation was very different than what we use today.   I'm wondering when the musical form we use today came about.   Uuummmm, sounds like something we need to research!  

Of course the tour ended in the gift shop!    Lots of neat mission related stuff as well as not so mission related stuff!   

All in all, we really enjoyed the tour.  Most of all  I enjoyed spending time with just my littles
(who aren't so little anymore)!  
We've decided next we need to visit the local mission right in the town we live in.  

What field trips have you taken recently?

Be sure to see lots of neat field trip at the Field Trip Hop!  


  1. Sounds like you had a great trip. I love going to Santa Barbara! Following you from MBC!

  2. Beautiful! I always loved visiting the missions out there. We visited one in Texas a few years ago.

    We aren't very good at field trips. My parents are coming to visit in May and they like to play tourist so I guess we'll have some field trips then.

  3. What a great field trip:) I would love to have that tree in my back yard too. I just found the book Island of the Dolphins at our local thrift store and want my daughter to read it this year. Now I have a place to show her and one day visit:) Thanks for linking up to the Field trip hop


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