Mark and I drove down to Carmel on Sunday morning, and one of the main things we did -- or at least one of the most photo-worthy -- was a trip to Carmel Mission, more formally known as San Carlo Borromeo de Carmelo Mission.

From Highway 1, you can see out to the ocean and around the city's beach.

The mission gardens were fairly typically Californian. We enjoyed them.

They had graves and memorial sites in one section of the gardens.

That would be me and the Mission.

But Mark had to back up further to catch the whole thing.

The church itself (designated a "minor basilica," for whatever that means) is still in use as a congregation these days, so they were having baptisms while we were there. Which meant we didn't get to examine the altar as closely as we could have, but we did get to have cute small ones around, even if one of them was pretty indignant about getting doused with water.

And some of the interior church details were still visible.

I also liked the native-done statues on the outside of the church. Simple but interesting. Most saints, I would imagine, don't have snakes on their heads.

There's a story to that, I feel sure.

This is Fr. Junipero Serra, or what's left of him. Except that it isn't. It's just the cenotaph, which was too big to fit in the sanctuary, where he's actually buried. The artist got carried away. Also, the other guys hanging out with him here were not historically concurrent with him in exactly the same order -- at least one predeceased him. Artistic license.

There was a bench by this fountain that said, "Katie." There was a plaque by the bench that said not a word about Katie.

Another typical Californiality. The attached buildings also include a museum and a K-8 school.