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Throughout history stories of romantic meetings are chronicled and passed down through the ages.

Now it's your turn to share your story. We want to know,
So... How Did You Meet Anyway?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Story of San Juan
Capistrano's Mission Swallows

The miracle of the "Swallows" of Capistrano takes place each year at the Mission San Juan Capistano, on March 19th, St. Joseph's Day.
Each year the "Scout Swallows" precede the main flock by a few days and it seems to be their chief duty to clear the way for the main flock to arrive at the "Old Mission" of Capistrano.
With the arrival of early dawn on St. Joseph's Day, the little birds begin to arrive and begin rebuilding their mud nests, which are clinging to the ruins of the old stone church of San Juan Capistrano. The arches of the two story, high vaulted Chapel were left bare and exposed, as the roof collapsed during the earthquake of 1812.
This Chapel, said to be the largest and most ornate in any of the missions, now has a more humble destiny--that of housing the birds that St. Francis loved so well.
After the summer spent within the sheltered walls of the Old Mission in San Juan Capistrano, the swallows take flight again, and on the Day of San Juan, October 23, they leave after circling the Mission bidding farewell to the "JEWEL OF ALL MISSIONS" San Juan Capistrano, California.

The Swallows Return to Capistrano

Anyone in my family could tell you that I have a terrible memory for dates. My husband often teases me that I will someday forget our wedding anniversary. One date I always remember, though, is the birthday of my father-in-law, Bill. He was born on March 19th; the day the swallows return to Capistrano.

It seems fitting that Bill's birth date is renowned for this famous migration. Bill grew up the youngest of five in Southern California. His ancestry goes back to the Basque Country, and his grandfather, Domingo Amestoy, who landed in San Francisco, traveled by foot down to Los Angeles,and allegedly shot a bear along the way. He became one of the area's early ranch settlers.

The Amestoy family prospered and lived at  Rancho Los Encinos, in the San Fernando Valley.
Bill grew up loving the beautiful California landscape and later reminisced over the enormous flocks of birds that would blacken the sky as they migrated south.

When World War II broke out everything changed. Bill enlisted in the Marines and was sent off to fight in the Pacific. His horrific war experiences matched those of many young men, and after years of intense island fighting, he was sent home to recover from shock,stress, and break down.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


 Serendipity is defined by Merriam-Webster as 
"the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for."

The word was first used in 1754 by writer and parliament member Horace Walpole. In a letter to a friend, Walpole wrote that he came up with "serendipity" while remembering a once read fairy tale, "The Three Princes of Serendip".

While traveling from their small island nation off the southern tip of India, the princes frequently made discoveries of things not intentionally sought after.

Many marvels from the benefits of penicillin to the wonders of Viagra:) have been discovered while researching for entirely different purpose.

So, what better way to describe that chance meeting that results in that amazing relationship? How often do we ask ourselves those hundreds of "what if" questions referring to the slight change of plans, timing, or choices that would have resulted in never meeting our special someone?

A UK translation site lists serendipity as one of the most difficult words to translate in the English language.

The word itself may break down in translation, but the true meaning is universal.