I woke up so early because of a strange dream about black robed men praying at what appears to be a Spanish Mission, but I can't tell where. There was several Spanish Missions located throughout California that were used to spread the Christian faith to the indians that inhabitated California in its early days. As far as I know there are 21 Missions in California. The chain of 21 missions along California's El Camino Real ("The Royal Highway") represent the first arrival of non-Native Americans to California. Life for the California Native Americans was forever changed for the worse some say, but they did bring Christianity. In addition to Christianity, the missions brought many other things to California such as livestock, fruits, flowers, grains and industry, such as starting the wine industry. This was also the start of the civilization in which all Californians live today. However, as a result of the arrival of the Spanish, many Native American lives were lost. Nobody's perfect and the early missions had good intentions.
Every one of the California Missions tell a story about the history of California. All have been, restored to some extent and can be visited. Click on the above link for detailed histories of each mission, music, and photos.
I'll be checking out one near San Jose when I feel better, and maybe another one before my California journey comes to an end.