I live in Santa Cruz but had never been to this mission.
Students at Harbor High often have dances at Holy Cross, so I just figured that the church next door was part of the mission.
So when I looked at the websites, the first thing I had to do was check for the location. I Google Earthed it and Google Mapped it just so I would know where to go.
I was really surprised when I got to the Mission – I’ve parked my car at HC many times but never realized I was right near the mission.
Regarding the research: I am a computer teacher. I am also the webmaster for our school. And a genealogist. So going to these pages was kind of painful – most of these websites are out of date in their style, though the information is fine. Here is an example: On the cuca. K12 website, see those boxes? Those are tables with cellpadding and cellspacing set to about 5 with the borders showing. Nobody does that anymore. (http://www.cuca.k12.ca.us/lessons/missions/Cruz/SantaCruz.html)
However, I enjoyed taking the little quiz (they call it Graphic Tour) after I got home – the visit made me want to learn more! I got an A on the test when I got home (I cheated, looking everything up again as I went along) J
I knew that when I got there I was going to want to know what was real and what is a reproduction. I had not read enough to know what to ask to see. At the Mission, they have some glass cabinets with vestments in them. I asked the woman at the desk about them – she said they are “real” but not necessarily belonging to Santa Cruz mission. She said they are all hand-made and take about a year. She thought they were made in Ireland and/or The Philippine Islands. One of the items that is left from the original days is the baptism vessel. I had them take my picture by it. The kind man (a priest?) who helped me said I could touch the vessel so he took my pic while I was doing that.
Funny story: I haven’t studied the missions since 5th grade. It was fun to see some of the missions that kids made over the years that are on display. I had to buy a little book so that I could get a handle on the names of the 21 missions.
Visiting thing mission sent me on a tiny little journey to know more about the mission at Soledad. I did not go there, but I did read about it and I did Google Earth and Google Map it so I could see where it is. I’m thinking about driving out that way soon to see if there really are any of the original adobe walls left – they don’t show on GM or GE.