24 June 2012

A quick trip to San Diego

This past week I made a quick two-day trip to San Diego to bid farewell to one of my former students, a Marine deploys to Afghanistan this week.  He and his family invited me to spend about a week with them, but my schedule only allowed a short visit that was, nonetheless, enjoyable.

Wednesday afternoon we visited the Mission San Juan Capistrano, one of 21 missions that once flourished along the California coastline.  If you're ever out that way, it is well worth a visit.  The history of the mission is itself intriguing, but the chapel and the Basilica of San Juan Capistrano there are breath-taking:

The church of Blessed Junipero Serra.
The Basilica of San Juan Capistrano.
The grounds of the mission are also exquisite:

You can view the pictures I took at the mission here.

That evening we joined the family with whom stayed - who happens to be original from Effingham - for dinner on the Queen Mary, a large British ship that now houses several restaurants, bars, conference and ball rooms, and even functions as a hotel:

We ate at Sir Winston's, an excellent restaurant on the higher end, but we wanted to celebrate the gift of friendship and this seemed a fitting place to do so.

Standing aboard the Queen Mary in the evening offers a nice view of the city:

The Marine's parents arrived late that evening and after Mass in the morning we went to the San Diego, which although it strangely has no penguins it does have three pandas:

You can view more pictures from the zoo here.

After another delicious meal at the Pizzeria Arrivederci, I returned to the airport for the "red eye" flight back to St. Louis; the plane landed just before 5:00 a.m., the consequences of which I felt today.

On the way to the airport, though, we found lots of traffic (when flying out of San Diego, be sure to arrive a good two hours early - at least - because the layout of the airport makes little logical sense), so, after I blessed the Marine with the blessing of Aaron so beloved of St. Franics of Assisi, I made my way back to Springfield to join Bishop Paprocki for the Mass marking the second anniversary of his installation as the Bishop of Springfield in Illinois and the beginning of the Fortnight for Freedom (more on that maybe tomorrow).

Please, in the charity of your prayers, pray for John, his family, and those with whom he serves.


  1. Anonymous10:03 PM

    Why were you not wearing the collar (and rest of the priest's outfit)? I am not attacking, just wondering.

    1. I didn't wear the collar to the mission because of the combination of a lack of foresight and an impormptu idea; ordinarily I would have worn it.

      I didn't wear it to the zoo because it was a warm and sunny day.

      I did, though, wear the collar to dinner, at Mass, and on my flights.

  2. You are so lucky to have seen the pandas. The line was tool long when we were there and my mom, who isn't in the greatest health, would not have be able to handle the sun for that long - at least we had a wheel chair for her. We did, however, spend almost 20 minutes watching the koalas on our way out - there was a baby trying to climb around an adult who didn't want to be bothered by the baby!