Van’s Mystery

The year is 1975, it’s spring school vacation for Nav Rehtlaw, a very athletic 11 year old boy, living in rainy Seattle, Washington.  Nav and his family are packing to go to the oldest part of town in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for a family reunion. Nav had never been to Mexico and is  excited to go and see new sights and soak up the warm sun of Mexico.  He is also excited to see his 9 year old cousin, J.P., a very curious explorer.  J.P. had recently written Nav a letter that explained what water sports they can play and the food they will eat.  He also explained the sights they will see and explore the town, especially the old church that was built in 1796 and the odd things that were happening in there that caused it to close down 20 years ago.

Nav had been on the plane for nearly 3 hours, only 3 more hours to go.  Nav was looking out the window thinking of what Mexico will look like and the fun things he will do and delicious food he will eat.  Did they have donuts there? And pizza, was it a circle or a square, or another shape?  Was the ocean warm?  Were there dolphins?  Nav really hoped to see a dolphin up close.  There was one thing Nav couldn’t stop thinking about though, the old church.  What did J.P. mean by odd things were happening?  Were there mysterious noises?  Was there a pack of wild animals living there?  Why would a church close down?  Why was the church just left there empty?  Nav had so many questions, he couldn’t wait any longer.  Ding.  The bell rang and the pilot came on the loudspeaker informing us that we are beginning our descent into Cabo San Lucas and the temperature was a warm, dry and breezy 95 degrees.  Nav stared out the window in excitement as the plane slowly dipped down, closer and closer to the ground, passing hundreds of palm trees. Nav was finally in Mexico.

In his uncle’s car, Nav stared out of the back window. Everything was brown and dry with spots of green lawns and palm trees in the backdrop of jagged, rocky mountains.  They drove through streets lined with houses upon houses until the houses started to become few and far between.  They pulled down a dirt road, the dust kicked up from the wheels and all Nav could see was the squiggly outlines of a few cacti.  Suddenly he saw some palm trees, a house here and there, bright green plants, colorful painted houses and then he was in the middle of a small town.  He could see bakeries with cakes in the windows, flower shops, outdoor fruit and vegetable carts.  And there it was, Nav couldn’t miss it , the old church that seemed to be ignored as the town’s people passed by.  They arrived at his cousin’s house and were greeted in the driveway with hugs and happiness.  Nav and his cousin, J.P., immediately started playing football and then the family took a walk along the beach.  The water was very warm.  Nav looked back and noticed a huge mansion on top of a hill.  He asked J.P. who lived there, someone famous?  J.P. told Nav that a man lived there and he used to own the land the church was built on.  Nav then asked when they could visit the church?  Nav’s aunt said they would be going into town for dinner that evening.  Nav and J.P. looked at eachother and had the same thought, it was time to explore.

The sun started to set, Nav enjoyed a lobster and steak dinner and some ice cream for dessert. The adults sat down on a bench by a fountain and were talking.  Nav and J.P. decided to check out the church.  The front door was locked so they went around to the side and peeked in the window.  They saw something they couldn’t believe, a ghost nun.  She was hovering there in front of the window, it seemed as if she was protecting the church.  She slowly swept away and disappeared.   Nav and J.P. weren’t scared, they became more curious and found a door that was unlocked.  The door creaked open, a few mice scurried by, it was dusty and had cobwebs everywhere.  They took a few more steps inside and noticed a door with a light coming from the bottom.  They, of course, went towards the door, but before they got to the doorknob, the ghost reappeared.   She did not want them to open the door.  This time, they were so close to the ghost nun, she reached out her arm almost touching their shoulders.. They were so scared that they ran as fast as they could out of the church.  Nav’s mother called the boys, it was time to head back to the house for bedtime.  Nav and J.P. could not sleep.  They made a plan to wake up early and go back to the church.  Maybe the ghost nun would be sleeping?  Nav slowly drifted off to sleep thinking of what was behind the door.   

The next morning, the boys were woken up very early by a very loud rooster cock-a doodle-dooing outside of their bedroom window.  Nav quickly got dressed, grabbed his backpack and a few snacks from the kitchen.  J.P. grabbed a flashlight, some bottles of water, and a baseball bat.  They made the short walk into town and re-entered the church the same way they did the night before.  The ghost nun was nowhere to be found, the coast was clear and the door with the glowing light was slightly open. Nav slowly nudged the door and saw the ghost nun was resting in a rocking chair.  Nav had an idea and grabbed the baseball bat from J.P.’s backpack and took a swing at it.  They finished it by pouring boiling water on it and it made the ghost nun disappear forever.  The man in the mansion heard about the boys that got rid of the ghost and thanked them for destroying it.  He had always wanted to get rid of it but had been too scared.  Now he can fix the church and reopen it to the town’s people.  That night, there was a big celebration. Everyone in town came together and brought delicious cakes, steaks and hamburgers.  There were fireworks and music. Everyone was very happy the church was going to reopen.  Nav and J.P. sat on the steps of the church enjoying an ice cream sundae.  They were proud of themselves and couldn’t wait to help to fix up the church.  They yawned and decided it was time for bed, it had been a very long day.  The boys started to get up and heard a noise behind them.  It must have been a mouse Nav thought.  They started to walk away to meet up with their family’s.  Nav’s baby cousin was in her mother’s arms and started pointing towards the church.  Nav looked back and didn’t see anything.  She must have seen a bird and Nav didn’t think any more of it, he was ready for bed.  

Days passed and the town came together and repaired the church good enough for the Sunday service.  Nav was sitting in the pew listening to the organist play music.  He quickly saw a glimpse of something moving on the second floor of the church.  That part hadn’t been repaired yet.  He saw a door crack open just slightly, the ghost nun was looking directly at Nav, smiled at him and then closed the door slowly and quietly.   Nav looked at J.P., he had seen the same thing.  They gave each other the look, they both knew what had to be done after the church was over. ‘Here we go again”, Nav thought.  It was going to be another long day.

The End.

Eureka! Come to California!

You may find gold if you come to California!  More than 300,000 people from across the United States rushed to California in the 1800’s because someone found a lot of gold.  It only lasted a few years but that’s where the name 49’ers comes from because of the year 1849.

Los Angeles:  Another reason to come to California is to see the La Brea Tar Pits. It is the oldest tar pit still remaining and active.  It’s amazing how it’s still there in the middle of Los Angeles. They found fossils of mammoths and saber tooth tigers in the tar, they were trapped there 10,000 to 50,000 years ago during the ice age. You can see live excavations and they are always finding new stuff.






San Francisco:  You may also want to visit the Golden Gate Bridge.  In 1937 it was considered the longest bridge in the world.  It took 4 years to complete and is  red-orange so you can see it in the fog.

Also in the suburbs of San Francisco is a town called San Mateo.  The famous  quarterback for the New England Patriots, Tom Brady, grew up there.  He played football at the high school there but went to college in Michigan.  He was the 8th back up quarterback which is surprising  but New England wanted to take a chance because Drew Bledsoe was getting older.





San Jose:  While in Northern California you can visit the Winchester House a little more south of where Tom Brady grew up.  It is a famous mansion that is haunted and is very mysterious.  Construction never stopped from 1886 until 1922 when the owner died. It started as an 8 -room farmhouse and now has 160 rooms including 47 staircases and 6 kitchens.  Don’t get lost in there because some doors and staircases lead to nowhere.







Finally, you won’t run into a California Grizzly Bear because they are extinct since 1924 but it is the state’s symbol and other brown bear species are still around.  The Grizzly was a fierce and stubborn bear and didn’t like the settlers that were coming to its home. The grizzly is on California’s state flag and is missed by the people of California.






So you must come to California because of all the cool things there are to do, especially surfing!