Mission Accomplished

Theo’s in fourth grade, and you know what fourth grade in California means (or maybe you don’t): the dreaded Mission Project!

Given that missions are a big part of CA history, all fourth grade students get the pleasure of have to do a mission project. Actually, mine was kind of fun, but Chris has a bit of PTSD surrounding his (don’t let anyone tell you Mr. Mild-Mannered can’t hold a grudge–he holds a thirty-year grudge against his fourth grade teacher over the damn project!). So when the mission project info paper came home in Theo’s backpack this week, Chris announced, “You’re all over that. Enjoy.”

Actually, Theo will be the one who’s all over it, but it’s a fairly involved project, so I’m sure we’ll have to take him to buy supplies, if nothing else.

And because we love a good day trip, we drove to Mission San Jose (which is actually in Fremont) for a little family field trip.

Trying to set aside my personal feelings about why the missions were created, I enjoyed the history of the museum. (Funny how your perspective changes. As a kid, I thought the missions were a neat part of CA history, and it never occurred to me to think more deeply about the ideology behind them: I’m not sure why the Spanish felt the Native Americans needed to become Christians–that seems rather pushy and oppressive to me! But then, I’m a live and let live type…)

Anyhoo, the boys enjoyed it, and Theo got some good info for his project. He took instant pictures with his Polaroid-type camera, but they are small so I also took pix with my iPhone that we can print out for his poster.

Afterward, we drove to the little town of Niles, which I think is part of Fremont, though I’m not certain. It was full of antique shops and, more importantly, ice cream! In fact, Chris proclaimed it the best vanilla ice cream he’s ever had. It was a shop with odd flavors, so I had caramelized banana and salted sage pecan (both were very good, though a dark chocolate would’ve been a good addition!).

We also explored the old railroad station/park, though the museum wasn’t open.

Then Chris and the boys dropped me back in Dublin (where we had left one car) so I could go to my book club meeting tonight. I had four hours to kill (WITH NO CHILDREN!!!), so I went to see a movie. How did I not know the luxury of seeing a movie by oneself?! So relaxing! I saw Lady Bird, because it was filmed in Sacramento so I was curious to see the familiar locations. (It was full of them!) I really liked it–great movie!

And now here I sit BY MYSELF in a Starbucks, having a coffee while I wait for book club to start. I’d say it’s a pretty lovely day!

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