The Brighter Writer


The Magnet Mission

The 22 Spanish mission churches of California are very near and dear to my heart. Not because I'm religious or into period architecture or fountain designs or anything like that. Mostly because many years ago, I got drunk and put it on my bucket list to collect a magnet from every one of them.

Now it's become a personal challenge.


you know,

I think they're pretty buildings.

So the previous visit to California we stayed mainly down in Orange County, however this time was predominantly up in LA. It was pretty much a straight shot from my mom's house to the San Fernando Rey De Espana Mission and from there it was only another hour up to the Mission Buenaventura.

The San Fernando Rey De Espana mission is by far the coolest in pop culture history for a couple of reasons. For one, it's the burial place of Bob Hope and his family which I had no idea when randomly stumbling on his tomb in the back gardens. (It's also the burial place of Ritchie Valens and Fred from I Love Lucy!)

For two, this mission is where they filmed the scenes from the Alamo in Pee Wee's Big Adventure! Now, we all know how I feel about the Pee Wee movies so this made the two hours in the car the best two hours of the trip. I've officially seen the same Alamo as the same person who rode in a car with Large Marge. My life is pretty much validated at this point.

Next stop was a quick 45 minute to drive up the 101 to Ventura. Upon pulling into the parking spot, you can see immediately how much smaller and non secluded this second mission was. We put 20 minutes in the parking meter and didn't even use 5 of them. There were homeless people everywhere and the lady working the counter had a unnecessary attitude that made me want to kick her ass. Plus their magnet selection sucked.

After a pit stop for milk shakes and burgers at my beloved In-N-Out, we headed back down to Long Beach and it was really just a perfect palm tree day hanging out with my mom and my baby girl.

So I'm on magnet 9 out of 22, not too shabby! Looks like a trip to Northern California is in order to finish up the collection! Anyone want to put me up for a week?