There are 21 Spanish missions throughout California dating from 1769 to 1823. Each one unique, in use today, and loved by those who attend and those who visit. IMG_20170809_150022Stopping briefly in Santa Barbara I wanted to see the Santa Barbara Mission which is known for it’s double bell towers and considered to be the queen of all the missions. Perched on a hilltop one can see it from a great distance with the Santa Ynez mountains behind it. Due to travelling time constraints this was the only view I could manage. Maybe on my return trip….

DSCN9922Mission Santa Ines is located in Solvang. I did have time to wander around the grounds before getting back on the road. I’m glad I did!

The views alone from Mission Santa Inez are worth the time to stop. Take a walk along the Stations of the Cross. Maybe stop and rest and reflect on the beauty of the Santa Ynez river valley below with the Santa Ynez and Rafael mountains beyond. Meander through the rose garden or tread the hall of arches.

These old Spanish Missions always capture my heart and fill me with wonder at the architecture, simplicity and beauty of them. It is here, in the quietness and sanctity of these places that I am reminded of how much I am loved by a good, good God. DSCN9916“God passes through the thicket of the world, and wherever his glance falls he turns all things to beauty.” ~John of the Cross