On Sunday, Kyle and I decided to check out the mission in San Juan Bautista. It’s the Spanish mission that was featured in Hitchcock’s film Vertigo. It is the largest mission in California and still an operating church. I’ve been wanting to visit it for awhile now.

San Juan Bautista is a cute town full of adobe buildings, cacti, and chickens. The first thing we did was eat lunch at the surprisingly good Mission Cafe:

photo by Joy Lanzendorfer
Kyle about to order

Then it was up to see the mission. Along the way, we saw a chicken:

Actually, there were chickens everywhere. I like chickens. We also saw a lot of people, including these boys, who were walking along a fence ala Huckleberry Finn:

When we got to the church I was surprised to see that it didn’t have the bell tower that’s in Vertigo. In fact, the original bell tower was taken down because of dry rot in the period between when Hitchcock decided to film the movie there and when he actually began filming. As such, he had to add in the tower in with sets and effects. In real life, the only bell tower is this one:

photo by Joy Lanzendorfer

photo by Joy Lanzendorfer

We took a tour of the church’s museum. I liked seeing the original walls and choir books. Then we went into the sanctuary itself.

photo by Joy Lanzendorfer

Mass was about to begin, so we didn’t take long in there. People were praying to and paying this doll some money:

Then we wandered around the grounds, which are quaint and lovely. There’s an old graveyard, lots of plants, a carriage house, and statues everywhere:

There’s also part of the original El Camino Real and the San Andreas Fault.

Afterwards, we explored the town and then went to The Garlic Shoppe in Gilroy. That place offended my deep and abiding love of garlic. Garlic ice cream? Can I get an ew from choir?

2 thoughts on “San Juan Bautista

  1. troy vera

    i like it how you can go out to the east fence and see the san andreas fault, and the little bakery just doen the way and jardines mexican restaurant… i love that place, spent many a day there growing up!

    gilroy and garlic are synonymous like guerneville and questionable sexuality wrapped in tie-dye.

    i won’t feign offense though, it does get a bit wacky sometimes.

  2. Joy

    Oh I don’t mean that *Gilroy* offends my love of garlic–the Garlic Shoppe does. Have you been there? It’s icky.

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