Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Holidays at the Mission Inn

Where am I?  Barcelona?  Florence?  I wipe the sleep out of my eyes and begin to orient myself.  Oh, yeah, I'm in southern California.  Unreal!  Someone taps on the door.  A waiter brings in our breakfast.  Fresh croissants, danish pastries, fruit, hot coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice.  Sigh.  This is the best Christmas present I could ever imagine!

The Mission Inn in Riverside, California, is a destination hotel.  There is absolutely no reason to leave this enchanting castle once you're here.  We came, of course, to see the Festival of Lights, but the hotel is just as magical in the bright morning sun.  After breakfast, we spend another two hours roaming its grounds.  Getting lost underneath the arches and flying buttresses.  Walking up and down stairs and ending up in secluded plant-filled gardens.  Thank goodness check out time isn't until noon.  We are not leaving one minute before!

There is an interesting little museum on site that documents the history of this 1876 adobe turned European castle.  The place is filled with the collections of Frank Miller who founded the hotel and used it as a showcase for the bells, artwork and furniture he amassed.  It is a National Historic Landmark and for all its beauty and splendor, surprising affordable.  Our room was only $169.

I may very well make the Mission Inn an annual holiday event.  It's truly a joyous place!


From Riverside, California, wishing you all a Very Happy and Joyous Holiday Season!

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