Talk about killing multiple birds with one stone! Firstly, my daughter was randomly assigned Santa Barbara Mission for her school project, probably the only Catholic option at her Christian school, and a great blessing! Secondly, Santa Barbara being my second favourite city in the world, I had been wanting to go back and spend some time there. Thirdly, we wanted to make our first family trip of the year somewhere close but special. And finally, we wanted a spiritual element to this trip, which the Mission fulfilled completely! Of course, I had been before (most memorably as a part of my RCIA back in 2009) but this time, doing the tour with children who have begun to understand the context of what they are seeing, it was truly special.