Monday May 12th, 2008
Monday morning we rented a car (a white Hyundai Sonata) and headed out to Nauvoo. On the way there we took a bit of a detour through Indiana so Alison could say that she's been there. It's about a 5 hour drive, but we took our time stopping a few times and it took most of the day. When we arrived in Nauvoo around 5:00 PM the city was empty. We checked in to our hotel (Nauvoo Family Inn and Suites) and aside from a little hanky panky going on in the pool (ask Alison about it, but we both refused to set foot in the water) everything went very well. The only restaurant that was open was the one in our hotel (a buffet, not recommended) and it seemed like we were the only people on the street.
We went down to the river's edge off of Parley street and let Ada touch the water of the mighty Mississippi. We also stopped at a couple of other monuments and memorials.
Joseph and Brigham looking out across the Mississippi:
A few pics on the banks of the Mississippi
A sunstone near the quarry:
In the hotel room (where we lived off of pizza flavored goldfish):
Tuesday May 13th, 2008
Tuesday was our one big day in Nauvoo. We went down to the Church's visitor center and then through a small handful of restored houses. Ada wasn't loving the houses, but she did love the little Pioneer Heritage play area. She didn't want to leave. We visited the Printing Office, Post Office/General Store, Bakery (with the free cookie), Seventies Building and Blacksmith's Shop (with the nail ring that Al so desperately wanted).
At the Pioneer Heritage children's area:
Touching the ox that pulled our wagon:
After visiting all of the historic homes that we wanted to see we went to see where Joseph and Hyrum were buried. It's on a historical site owned by the Community of Christ Church. We took a few pictures at the gravesites (which are right on the banks of the Mississippi) and stopped to take pictures at the Nauvoo Temple as well (To see a collection of all the pictures that we took of the Nauvoo Temple see this post).
At the gravesites of Joseph, Emma and Hyrum Smith:
Looking out across the Mississippi:
The tulips were in bloom all across Illinois:
Joseph and Hyrum's last ride:
We next made the beautiful drive to Carthage and went through the tour at the Carthage jail. It is amazing how much of the original building is still there. It's not hard to imagine that God preserved it all for us. After Carthage we crossed the river into Iowa (and made a quick side drive to Missouri as well). We had a picnic at a park in Keokuk where Ada had a blast playing on the playground. We stopped to watch a humongous barge pass through the locks and then we drove up the Iowa side of the river to see the Nauvoo Temple lit up from across the river. I tried to get a picture of it (because it was beautiful) but we would have needed a tripod, which we didn't have.
In front of the Carthage jail:
Phyllis pushing a bunch of barges:
Wednesday May 14th, 2008
Today was a travel day. We had to drive back to Chicago, return our car and then fly home and we were pretty nervous about how Ada would do. As you may recall, she was an absolute terror on the flight here and neither Alison nor I were ready for another flight like that. Before we left Nauvoo we said a little prayer and then I gave Ada a blessing that she would travel well. As it turned out, she was such an angel on the flight. She's not the type that will just sit on your lap and play but on the flight home she watched movies, read her books, sang songs and just had an all-around good time with us. We got a bunch of comments about how good of traveler she was. Little did they know...
It was nice to come home. We were both ready to get back into the swing of things and I was excited to start my job full-time. The first few days after being back home Ada was so good. All of her toys were like new to her so she just had so much to do and play with. It was a great trip and we thank everybody (especially Hyrum and Angie) that made it possible for us to go (including the government for our $900 stimulus payment).