For some odd reason, I realized about four years ago that in all my years living in California, I had only visited a Mission once (that I remembered…I must have gone in third grade to one, but have no recollection of it). My concern on that day in 1978 was that I was forced to wear a brown tux (yes, brown…ah, the 70s) to be in my friend's wedding at the San Gabriel Mission Arcángel, so history was not top of mind that day. In the past four years, I have now hit 13 of the 21 missions. The last one I visited was the Misión San Francisco de Asís (aka Mission Delores) in San Francisco. As you'll see in words and photos, one of the coolest aspects of this mission is its tranquil, garden-like cemetery. If you visit "The City," this is definitely a worthwhile spot to spend an hour or so…and you don't even have to swear a brown tux.
Here in Tuscany, you can only paint your house in a short list of approved colors. I'm of two minds about that approach: first, I find it a bit oppressive, but conversely, I really like the resulting look it gives the entire region.
In a lot of France it's the same, and the palette is extremely restricted in Lorraine. Nothing ever stands out. However once you drive across the border into Luxembourg you understand the wisdom of this rule, because 30% of the houses seem to have been painted in the most awful unpopular colour that was on clearance sale at the time and the result is pretty dreadful.