Sunday, June 29, 2014

My little Z

Zizi likes her light-up bubble gun from Disneyland.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Our Disney movie

This trip allowed us to achieve a lifelong dream: making a Disney film. Here is the trailer.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Last stop: La Brea Tar Pits

Our family lived in California when we were little. One of our big memories was going to museums, especially the Huntington and the La Brea Tar Pits. The Tar Pits haven't changed a bit.

Scary dire wolves were found by the dozens in the tar pits, probably scavenging off dead or dying mammoths along with the huge saber-tooth cats.

Dire wolves:

A huge scary bird of 40,000 years ago.

The dioramas have not changed nearly as much as we have.

The youths digging up dinosaur bones were born long after our last visit to the La Brea Tar Pits.

More from the Cathedral

I think the "Communion of Saints" tapestries by John Nava are the best things in the building.

There was an exhibit of his work in a side chapel so you could get up close to a new work by the artist--Venerable Bede.

Cardinal Mahony and now Archbishop Gomez encourage people to try out the cathedra.

St. Vibiana, virgin martyr, is buried in the crypt. The first cathedral was named for her.

The windows from the old cathedral are now in the crypt.

Beautiful angels watching over the Hollywood Freeway.

Our friend Eileen took us up on the roof of the parish office for the best view of the Cathedral ever.


We ended our trip in Los Angeles where we toured the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. They have a beautiful grove of olive trees filled with sculpted animals, like this lion.

This is the newest shrine, honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe. The image of St Juan Diego is actually a reliquary. Los Angeles has one of the only relics ever taken from the tilma.

Blue roses in the shrine!

One of countless angels. This  is one of twelve dedication candles. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Another Movie

We made a movie about the Mission. We weren't able to get any swallow footage but we did get some butterfly and carp footage.

Last day in Orange

Today was our last day in Orange -- tomorrow we are off to LA and the airport! We visited the Motherhouse of the Sisters of St Joseph of Orange.

Then we had a tour of the Vietnamese Cultural Center. They have amazing programs there for kids.

Bishop Dominic's ancestor actually secretly housed two of the Vietnamese martyrs in Hanoi. His childhood home is now a pilgrimage place.

Out front there are banners for the inspiration of the kids. One says, "politeness before learning," and the other one says, "education gives a future of hope."

After that we went back to San Juan Capistrano. I definitely saw a couple of swallows!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Afternoon in Pasadena

We went to the Huntington Library and saw the collection of MSS, including the Canterbury Tales and this Book of Hours...

...and Jack London's manuscript of "White Fang." He was nervous about it catching on fire so he had it stored  in a fireproof vault in San Francisco. Then the whole bank went up in flames in the 1906 fire and earthquake. Jack London kept the box.

This book is designed for four singers to use at one time.

The gallery is full of famous paintings.

There is a whole case of Regency-era miniatures.

We also toured some of the magnificent gardens...

Our favorite was the desert garden.

At the end of the day we went to Seal Beach and put our feet in the Pacific. It was cold.

A busy day in LA

Today we toured the Archives for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, which is at San Fernando Mission.

They have all kinds of ecclesiastical paraphernalia like this mini-biretta which was a place marker at a fancy dinner in Rome.

Slippers of the fisherman. These belonged to a Pope:

This being California, the books and boxes have to be restrained with cords in case of earthquake.

M hit it off with Cleophas, the Archive cat.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

At San Juan Capistrano

This was a day that was a bit much even for relentless tourists like us. We started at 9 with a tour of the Archives of the diocese, appropriately housed in the bell tower of San Juan Capistrano Basilica.

This is the first marriage register of the Mission. This page is in Father Junipero Serra's handwriting. (!!!)

There was much swallow lore, because, as everyone knows, the swallows depart Capistrano each year on the feast of San Juan Capistrano in October, and return on the Feast of St Joseph on March 19. 

This is the modern basilica, a replica, slightly larger, of the Great Stone Church which collapsed in a major earthquake in 1812.

Inside the Mission:

Mary Pickford's wedding took place here. Or, as our guide put it one of Mary Pickford's weddings.

In Father Serra's church, the oldest still-standing building in California:

An exquisite nook:

Ruins of the Great Stone Church:

"Worth a visit." An epic understatement.