Saturday, July 21, 2012


Oh. my. gosh.  We went to Nauvoo, IL with mis padres y mis hermanos this summer....and it was loco, y bueno! But first, we had to get there and back...and that is a whole story in and of itself.

After Mike and I had made the eight hour sojourn to Colorado, we immediately embarked with the fam on what was supposed to be a 13.5 hour trip to the scenic Illinois.  Though the beginning of the trip was uneventful save for laughter at the spilling of a full syrup-bottle in the backseat, somewhere around Kansas, the sky brewed up a turbulent pet storm that engulfed us for the remainder of our now 18 hour journey east.  Lightning cracked the sky in all directions, lighting the otherwise black abyss.  The unrelenting rain and wind beat upon our car and obscured the road lines in a flood of water.  As each semi passed, I clutched the "oh-crap handle" and shut my eyes as we were blinded for seconds at a time.  Just as we entered a seemingly endless stretch of two-lane highway, the passenger side windshield wiper was ripped out of socket and began flailing wildly.  Pulling onto the shoulder, my dad literally swimming in semi-spillage and the torrential downpour managed a ghetto-rigging using an old sock and ponytail holder that held for an hour until we could disconnect the thing.

By the time we arrived at hotel, we all smelled like syrup, wet dog, Pringles, and butt-sweat.  Drenched, cranky, and exhausted, though not defeated, we hauled our soaked clothes (we had the foresight to store all of the luggage on the top of the van) to the hotel room some time around 2:00am.

Besides this, we battled giant bugs, heat, and ended the last half-hour of our return journey home in the traditional Urquidi fashion by hitting a deer and totaling 'The Van'.  Whoosh.  What a rush.

Despite these setbacks, Nauvoo was not only picturesque but had an aura of spirituality about its historic buildings and vistas.  Despite many misconceptions, it is bustling with activity and excitement, rolling hills and wildlife.  Picture this:  young performing missionaries dressed up in traditional period costumes performing skits, singing, and dancing each night and then leading tours through historic sites during the day.  We packed each day full of activity, so I'll tell the highlights in pictures.

Continental hotel breakfast.  Drive to Independence, MI. and take an LDS visitors center tour. 
Paige and I found a baby doll that we practiced being parents with.

Warming the baby in an oven pot...
Giving baby a bath in the well...
Playing hide-and-go-seek in the tree...
tired, but well cared for, our child naps on the horse  
Community of Christ Presentation at their temple:  It was very interesting to hear that their doctrine was both similar in some respects, and varied quite a bit from ours in others.  Though they believe the founder of the former 'Reformed LDS church' to be Joseph Smith, as well as its' leaders to be his direct bloodline, their prophet-president in 1978 opened the position to members outside his family (such leaders may resign and choose their successor, rather than serve until death).  As a direct result of these and other changes which included calling women to serve in the priesthood and opening communion to all baptized Christians, 'nearly one quarter of their membership became disaffected from their church' (according to an informational packet).  Their doctrine focuses primarily on "the Pursuit of Peace (Shalom)," as well as other things similar in our faith: Grace and Generosity, Sacredness of Creation, Continuing Revelation, Worth of All Persons, All are Called, Responsible Choices, Unity in Diversity, and Blessings of Community.  It is interesting to note that as conflict spots our histories, they have chosen to focus on non-confrontation and peace with all peoples, as well as equality among men and women especially (an open worship temple, men and women operating in the same priesthood positions), possibly in an effort to combat what may be viewed as controversial doctrines in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  We continue to center our doctrine on the Atonement of Christ and the Book of Mormon, and have not varied from this since our establishment in the early 1800s.  I appreciated the time they took to give us a presentation in their temple and their tolerance of our many questions.
This is the great Community of Christ temple 

Hot-dog lunch at a cafe and take pictures outside the Historic Court House
This place was super cool because it was like an old school 50's diner

Her face is being melted by hod-doggy goodness

Here are our statuesque poses

This is the old courthouse

Tour Liberty Jail:  They actually had built a replica of Liberty Jail within the visitors center

Saturday:  Pancakes, bacon, and hashies for breakfast at our campsite

Walk through the Historic Nauvoo Visitor's Center and Cultural Hall, Scoville Bakery, and Family Living Center.  

Weston dances with me in the Cultural Hall

Making rope

We have such a healthy glow...
Watch the BYU Ballroom Dancers and Sunset by the Mississippi, and Nauvoo Missionary Brass Band

Sunday: Leisurely breakfast & showers.  10 am church and pics by the temple.  Drive by Mississippi River.  Visit the Smith family cemetery, pioneer memorial, Lucy Mac Smith home.

Visit museum by our campground (wine seller, german bible, Lincoln assassin paper, old dioramas). Visit the blacksmiths/wainwrights.
Here's a creepy wine seller in the bottom of a small home-turned-museum near our tent cite   

I love all of the kids on the back of this van.  

On Sunday evening we wrote "Happy Dad Day" on the ground in pine cones for my dad to discover upon his return 
Monday: My parents, Mike and I do a morning temple session at the Nauvoo LDS temple.
This is a replica of the original temple corner sunstones  
Visit town (fudge shop, mercantile shop/art store, Nauvoo hotel), naps & lunch at camp site, women's garden tour, 2:30 pm High Hopes and Riverboats show.  Post office, Merryweather dry goods store, John Taylor's house, Brigham Young's home. Late night sit by river and campsite (watch fireflies).

Here is the Women's Garden with beautiful statues

Frozen Custard at Annie's and visit with Sister Fowers, the mother of a ward friend of my parents.  8:30pm Rendezevous and Old Nauvoo Show. 

The guests of Annie's custard were encouraged to write and draw on napkins displayed under clear plastic table cloths. So of course, we also left our mark.

Tuesday: Cereal, showers, Mike does laundry. Carriage ride around Nauvoo, Joseph Smith Memorial wagon ride:  The scenery was bustling with mayflies and birds, gorgeous trees and colorful flowers.

Carthage Jail visit:  So peaceful and beautiful to see where the prophet Joseph Smith was martyred.  Afterwards, we walked across the street to the Kibbe Museum where there were strange assortments of taxidermied and jarred wildlife, displays of all sorts of embalming instruments, caskets and old fashioned hearses, a two-headed calf, period costumes, models of the Lincoln Memorial, etc.  

Paige is looking through one of the bullet holes left in the original door
This is the window from which Joseph Smith fell after being shot in the back by angry mob members
All of the stairs were impossibly steep

Strange sights at the museum 

Dinner buffet at Old Nauvoo hotel:  So much food! Sunset on the Mississippi and Living Legends shows

Wednesday:  Pancakes, eggs, hashies, sausage breakfast.  Walk around old nauvoo (Browning home & gunsmith shop, print shop, seventies hall, riser boot, pendleton school, lyon drug store).

We made friends with this sister missionary and shot this photo in the Lyon Drugstore
Weston at the printing shop in his dashing cap
Joseph Smith Historic site tour (community of Christ- visitors center, homestead, read brick store, Nauvoo house, Mansion house, Smith family cemetery, Heber C. Kimball home). Annie's Frozen Custard (again)
Dad came back to the tent cite after the boys did laundry and said "we saw the weirdest mop heads lurking around the Laundromat!  I managed to get a picture..."  Haha I love it!

Paige found this big mamma lurking in the woman's restroom

We played Ninja with the neighbors at our campsite
Here's my dad making THE BEST peach cobbler: dutch oven style
Thursday:  Travel home.  Winter quarters tour.

Here's the van just 30 minutes from my parents house after we hit a deer at 65mph.  What a trooper.

My favorite part of this trip was just enjoying time with my family and getting to visit the beautiful Nauvoo temple.  Thank you so much Urquidis! We will always remember the memories we made.


No comments:

Post a Comment