We moved to the Mission Viejo Elks where they let us boondock in their parking lot for $5 a night. We contributed a bit more by joining them for dinner which was perfectly grilled chicken or steak - not exactly a sacrifice.
We drove to San Juan Capistrano to look for the swallows that return every spring and to see the mission there.
Mission San Juan Capistrano was founded in 1776, but the great stone church was destroyed in an 1812 earthquake.
As I was leaning over to take a picture of the water lilies, this monster from the deep startled me so much, I almost fell in.
Only the back wall of the original church is still standing.
We admired the stone work in these pillars.
The grounds are lovely, though, with more information and exhibits than at the San Luis Rey Mission.
I always like the models.
And the artistic accents.
Safely tucked in the interior of the compound is Father Serra's Church. Junipero Serra was a Franciscan friar who founded the first nine of the 21 Spanish missions in California. This church has the distinction of being the only building still standing in which Father Serra officiated.
All this was very interesting, but where are the swallows? The lady at the admissions desk told us to look around town. We asked in town and were told they don't really see them anymore. But they still have the festival on March 19th. Hum.
So no swallows, but while we were walking around town, we did spot the pope down one of the shopping lanes.