Here is Judy deciding on her lunch. We got a lot to eat -- our plates were huge and full of delicious food. Way too much, so we both got doggie bags and I ate my left-overs for dinner Friday night.
After lunch we drove through town,
passing the newly reconstructured railroad depot. I have mentioned before that this town is a railroad town with many trains coming through each day. After restoration of the original depot was almost complete in 2008, some fools set off firecrackers that landed on the depot roof and set it on fire. This new depot is a museum that I will visit and write about sometime soon. I love trains, so it will be fun.
Then we took the winding road that leads to
and to the place we were visiting, the Norbertine Monastery. Tehachapi Mountain Park
The road up the mountain was really beautiful. The light was stunning with sun shining through autumn leaves. I took pictures through the windshield and I stretched my hand out through the side window, shooting away and hoping the pictures would come out OK.
Last year we had gorgeous fall colors in town and I have on record photos from October 20, 2009, to document them. I believe this year has been too warm because many trees in town are still green,
but up here at 5,700 feet, the leaves were changing colors.
After a couple of miles drive, we arrived at the entrance.
Magnificient trees grew on the side of the road leading up to the chapel.
Great old trees in a pretty meadow surrounded by a wooden fence. What's not to love here?
The sign that welcomes you reads: Bethlehem Priory of St. Joseph.
Reading about the sisters in the Tehachapi Visitor's Guide, I quote: "Affiliated with the Norbertine Fathers of St. Michael's Abbey in Orange County, California, the cloistered, contemplative community of the Norbertine Sisters of the Bethlehem Priory of St. Joseph was founded in 1997. Mother Mary Augustine and four sisters were the first to move to Tehachapi in 2000. Now there are 18 sisters, representing five continents."
A view from the parking lot of a typical
hillside with blue, black and live oaks. California
And here is the "guard" dog, who never moved an inch while we were there. I didn't take any pictures inside. There was a small chapel where we prayed and sat for a while. They also had a lovely gift shop. The sisters are very, very talented and there were so many homemade items for sale there: Jams, honey, soaps, salves, powders, and candles from what they grow themselves on the property. They also sew and crochet: totebags, aprons, and all sorts of things. It was a lovely place and the sister who helped us with our purchases was very sweet.
I bought a lavender salve, a mint milk soap, and a rosehip soap. They all smell heavenly! Judy enjoyed shopping for presents for her family. It was a really lovely visit.
Wild roses grew outside and I imagined that the rosehip soap I bought came from here.
A lovely garden with a statue of St. Joseph. Because of the name of the priory, I am guessing that's who this is.
This was indeed a billy goat to write home about. Look at that beard…he was something else and he didn't move either. Maybe you get a bit lazy, living in such a splendid place.
We passed this duck pond on the way back down the steep hill from the chapel and gift shop.
Here we are back down at 4,000 feet again and had to stop for one of the aforementioned trains.
When we got home, my husband gave Judy a container of coleslaw he had just made and some of that good banana nut bread he baked the day before. I later found out he had gone to the store and bought food for dinner that he would have cooked if Judy had been able to stay. I'm so lame when it comes to stuff like that and so blessed to have a husband who equates food with love. (Yes, he is from the South, New Orleans to be specific, so it's in his DNA.) He also helped me clean the house…I did some, but he really, really worked at it and made it spotless. Thank you so much, my sweetheart.
And then, after this adventuresome day, I went to bed very early and fell sound asleep right away.
I hope you enjoyed this visit as much as I did.