La Purisima Mission is situated near the town of Lompoc in California. It was established on December 8, 1787 by the Franciscan order and mostly destroyed by an earthquake in 1812. It was rebuilt in its current location and is a wonderful historic site which is a state park. Its one of only two missions in California that is no longer under the control of the Catholic church.
From Wikipedia “Ten of the original buildings are fully restored and furnished, including the church, shops, quarters, and blacksmith shop. The mission gardens and livestock represent what would have been found at the mission during the 1820s.”
We had the place pretty much to ourselves when we visited and I seem to think we paid a small amount for parking but the mission itself was free to wander around. I do know we sat an ate pizza in the carpark before we went in and it was very pleasant surroundings.
The docent in the visitors centre was fascinated to hear about our experiences with our own massive earthquake in Christchurch. To Californians, earthquakes are just as much a part of life as they are here in New Zealand but its nice to share your own experiences with people who have been through much the same thing – its quake therapy. 🙂
Anyway, onto the La Purisima Mission…