On A Mission To Smile Big Today

Jammin’ to Darius Rucker on the way to Paso Robles.
Regardless of how terrific we want our lives to be, not every single day begins or ends in perfection. The last 48 hours had a lot more downs than ups.  Tragedy and disappointment played a major role.

Friday morning when I woke up at 6:02 am, I decided I had enough of the blahs. I got up, straightened up the house, did a couple of loads of laundry and made the beds.  When My Man walked in the front door from his prayer meeting at 7:38 am, I said “We need to get out of town. Can we go on a day trip?”

He smiled big in agreement and 30 minutes later, we had the top down and were headed south.  On the way, we planned a day trip to Paso Robles to do some wine tasting.

missionJust before we hit Paso, we saw signs for the San Miquel Mission (above). Click here to read more about the Mission.  Totally unplanned, we turned off 101 South and drive a mile down the road to the Mission. I had a big smile on my face.  My Man laughed because he knew I was excited to check another Mission off of my list.

There were 21 missions in the territory that was referred to as Alta (Upper) California. The first, San Diego, was founded in 1769, the last, called San Francisco Solano, was founded in 1823. There were no missions north of Sonoma.


The first thing we noticed when we parked were these signs.  They weren’t part of the history of the Mission, but they made us laugh!

We got out of the car and walked a short distance inside to the Mission grounds.  The Mission was founded in 1797 and appeared to be pretty unchanged from those days. We both were a little unnerved by all the bees.


We walked down the corridor to an empty Mission church.  The inside walls have not been painted since the church was built.


The altar was filled with history. The panoramic photo matches the legend (below). The statue of St. Francis standing on the skull was so unique (represents life and death).



After we spent time in the church, we walked outside to the left to visit the cemetery.  The first burial of a Christian Indian took place at this site in 1798!


After we toured the grounds, we stopped in the historic corridors to take a few snaps.  My Man called the way I am standing below my “Wonder Woman” pose.


The Mission also featured a peace garden with this statue of Jesus.  I smiled when I read the scripture, “Love One Another”.

Before we left, we enjoyed a few more minutes of the ground’s sites.  

We gave each other a high-five when we reached the car. We were both smiling big, Mission Accomplished !

About Traveling

daysunplanned View All →

Why Travel, Cooking and DIY? A creative type, I have always loved painting and decorating as a hobby. Upcycling is a real passion. My mom was a Home Ec teacher when we were growing up. I learned a lot from her and because I love hosting get-togethers, I had to step up my game in the kitchen as well. And lastly, my love of travel comes from my Grandma Schmitt.

An Illinois native, I worked in the White House Communications Agency early in my career (President Reagan), prior to returning to Illinois State University to finish my undergraduate and Master's. After a couple of post-graduate internships (minor league baseball and Big Ten Conference), I then worked in college athletics full-time for more than 22 years -- first at the University of South Carolina for 15 years and then at Santa Clara University for the last seven years. We moved to Tampa, Florida in Dec., 2016 after spending 8.5 years in Northern California.

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