Amazing things are happening at Jardines De San Juan Mexican restaurant, located in the heart of historical San Juan Bautista. Jardines is known for its traditional Mexican cuisine and expansive garden patio. The restaurant will host a book signing Saturday, July 15, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., outside among the flowers and shade trees. Featured local authors, DJ Smith and Joyce Oroz will be signing their books.
Ms. Smith writes a fantasy series for middle schoolers along the lines of CS Lewis’ Narnia. Secrets Beyond Scymaria is about a girl and a boy dealing with classmates, a sinister professor, and a strange guardian of a portal to another world. She has three books in the series and a fourth coming soon.
Ms. Oroz writes the Josephine Stuart Mystery Series, cozy mysteries for adults. The seventh book in her series, Scent of a $windle, is set in San Juan Bautista where Josephine paints murals at the Crazy Horse Saloon and stirs up trouble as she noses into a local murder. Oroz’ ninth book, Pushing Up Daisy, will make its debut in September.
San Juan Bautista is a popular small town ‘destination’ for history buffs, collectors of antiques and tourists looking for a flash from the past. The galleries, shops and restaurants are locally owned and run—not a chain store anywhere. People come for the festivals, car shows, multicultural celebrations and to explore the nationally registered historic district with its two-hundred-year-old adobes plus the largest of 21 missions in California.
San Juan Bautista is situated adjacent to the San Andreas Fault, between the Gabilan Mountains and the Flint Hills.
The Mission is known as The Mission of Music. Fr. Fermin Francisco Lasuen founded it in 1797 and Pedro Estevan Tapis’ choir of Native American boys performed for many visitors. By 1803 there were 1,036 Native Americans, Ahlone and Yokute, living in the mission.
The mission’s more recent history points to Hitchcock’s movie, Vertigo, where the bell tower was a crucial part of the story. There are several buildings on the grounds, all very well maintained. In 2009 Father Senf salvaged two of the three bells from the original bell tower that was destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Now restored, the mission is the crown jewel of San Juan Bautista and a visitors delight.
Be sure to visit the welcome center at the San Juan Bakery at 319 Third Street—noon to 4:00, Friday, Saturday and Sunday July 14, 15 and 16.