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 er...um...responsible 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|
|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|
|We have such a healthy glow...|
Watch the BYU Ballroom Dancers and Sunset by the Mississippi, and Nauvoo Missionary Brass Band
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|
|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|
|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.
FAMILIES ARE FOREVER