Wow! Just wow!

Mission Inn Festival of Lights

| The Mission Inn in Riverside organizes a weeks-long Festival of Lights to celebrate the holidays. Although Riverside is only an hour away, I have been to Riverside only once, so last night Réal and I went over to check out this event.

To start with, this is a big deal. It seemed that every square inch of the Mission Inn, which occupies an entire city block, was covered in lights on every possible surface, and the festival spills over onto several nearby streets with food stands, carnival rides, and people, lots and lots and lots of people.

Going on a Wednesday, we naively assumed that it "wouldn't be that crowded" on a mid-week night. Wrong! Although there were just a lot of people when we arrived shortly after five o'clock, by the time we left the press of humanity was, well, pressing. There were nearly as many security guards as spectators! Quite surprisingly, we were able to park on the street right in front of the Mission Inn. We attribute this to diminished reading attainment among the populace. The "no-parking" signs clearly said no parking Thursday through Sunday, and the mere appearance of the sign so turned off brains that they failed to register that it was Wednesday. Thus we pulled into a prime parking spot, passed by thousands on their own frantic search for parking.

The front of the Mission Inn
The front of the Mission Inn. Look closely and you can see Sophie parked quietly, a few feet from the entrance.

Our intention had been to eat at one of the many restaurants in the Mission Inn, but alas, our plans were thwarted by our choice being reserved for "Registered Guests Only." Drat. The others were fairly full, so rather than stand in line and have to tolerate the scorn of maître d's when we confessed that, no, we did not have a reservation, we ended up going to a nearby Marriott and eating in its restaurant. Our dinner was delicious and cost a fraction of what a dinner in the Mission Inn would have cost. Win-win. 


Check out the slideshow for pictures of the hotel and the surrounding scene.

View slideshow

Last updated on Apr 13, 2018



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