Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas from the Mission Inn

Just like Santa, I too have a list, but unlike Santa, my list details all of the places I would love to travel in the Southern California area and beyond. The time off for winter break provides me with the perfect opportunity to cross some of those things off my list, including this week's trip to see the Festival of Lights at the Mission Inn in Riverside, California.

I had to wear another holiday inspired outfit to the Mission Inn. How can one resist? So I promise this is the last post of me in plaid, standing next to a Christmas tree! Can I promise no more plaid for the New Year? That has yet to be determined, but my guess would be no.

The Mission Inn is a historic hotel that also features a spa and an array of restaurants. We had drinks and appetizers in the Presidential Lounge, which is aptly named because the hotel has hosted no less than ten presidents from Benjamin Harrison to George W. Bush, including McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, Taft and JFK. Richard and Pat Nixon were married there and Ronald and Nancy Regan honeymooned there.

In addition to featuring a variety of restaurants and hosting a variety of presidents and celebrities, the Mission Inn also combines architectural styles. Although it is mostly Mission Revival, the hotel also contains Moorish and Gothic elements. Below are glimpses of the exterior of the Inn, which, despite its different architectural influences, comes together as a beautiful, cohesive whole. 

As I mentioned, my purpose for visiting the Mission Inn on this occasion was not just to marvel at the architecture, but to see the lights that can be admired once the sun goes down. The lights truly make for a spectacular sights, but be prepared to brave the crowds!

Merry Christmas from Southern California, which is one of the only places that you'll find more palm trees decorated for Christmas than pine trees!

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