Sunday, July 30, 2006


The last leg of the trip was to Nauvoo. We started with a wagon ride around the sites to see what was there. It was about 50 minutes and gave a nice overview of everything you could see. The church owns and maintains a lot of sites in Nauvoo, so it's a lot more than Palmyra or Kirtland.

After the wagon ride, we went to the Community of Christ sites. They own the Smith family home sites and the land where Joseph and Hyrum Smith are burried. One of the most interesting stories was regarding the bodies of Joseph and Hyrum. Emma Smith got their bodies and prepared them for burial after they were killed, but she was afraid that someone would come steal the bodies because there was still a $1,000 bounty on each of their heads, dead or alive, from Missouri. She first hid the bodies under the family home, but moved them from there when additional contruction was going to start on the home. She put them under the cold cellar outside the home and asked to be burried in a spot close to that. She kept the sites secret her whole life. The bodies were finally found in the 1920's when the RLDS church paid to have a dig to find them because of fears that the bodies would be lost with flooding on the Mississippi. When they were found, all three bodies (Joseph, Hyrum, and Emma) were burried together in the Smith family cemetary.

We had lunch at a small, sad deli and then did a session at the Nauvoo temple. That temple is amazing. I have not been in another temple, other than Salt Lake, that had more beautiful workmanship inside. It was awesome in the true sense of the word. After that, we took a nap. I was so tired this whole trip. In the evening we went to two shows. The first was called Sunset on the Mississippi. It was a fun variety show and we really enjoyed the fun. Then we went to the Palmyra Padgeant. It was basically the story of Nauvoo from the time it was settled until they left to go West. It was really well done and we thought it was great. I could recommend it to just about anyone.

On Friday, we went to several of the sites including the blacksmith shop, the print shop, the post office, and bunches of others. Except for the heat and humidity, it was really good. We also did some shopping before going off the beaten path. We went to a man's house outside town who has stones from the original Nauvoo temple. When the new temple was being built, the old rubble was dumped not too far from his house and he grabbed some of the stones and breaks them up and gives them to folks who stop by. We also went to a glass maker's studio where he showed us around and told us all about his shop and his work. We really loved those little side trips.

We also saw one last show that day, which was fairly entertaining, but not as good as the shows the day before. It was in an air conditioned building though, so we managed just fine. We also went to Keokuk, Iowa for dinner. The dinner was unremarkable, but the views of the Mississippi along the way, especially on the way home with the sun setting, were lovely.

On Saturday, we did some last-minute shopping, toured the Mason Hall, and headed for St. Louis so we could come home.

No matter how much fun the trip is, it's always so nice to get home and sleep in your own bed.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


On Tuesday, we spent the day in Kirtland. I think I love that little town. We started at the visitor's center and historic Kirtland. The missionary that led our tour was so wonderful. She had a wealth of knowledge and was so sincere in her presentation that we all enjoyed her more than anyone else we heard in Palmyra or Kirtland.
We visited the K.N.Whitney store, the Whitney home, the saw mill and ashery, and an old hotel. We also heard about how the church acquired some of the property and got the road moved back behind the historic district.

After the historic town, we went on to the Kirtland temple.
The temple still stands as it was built and is owned by the Community of Christ (formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints). The tour guide was great and he gave us a lot of information about the structure and history. He also told dad about a "behind the scenes" tour that you can get by special appointment if you come September through June. I'm betting on dad going back for that.

After visiting the temple, we had a great lunch at a diner reccomended by the temple tour guide. Who knew you could get such great food in Kirtland, OH? The food wasn't great in Palmyra, so we didn't have very high expectations.

After lunch, we went to another farm and heard about more of the history of the area. We had more interesting tour guides and enjoyed the experience.

All of the tours were so good that we ended up spending much more time than expected in Kirtland and so we weren't able to drive all the way to Chicago. We ended up spending the night in Ekhart, Indiana and driving to Chicago in the morning. We had a driving tour where we saw the apartment my parents lived in when dad was at Northwestern for grad school. We also saw the B'hai temple. It's quite an impressive structure.

After the driving tour,
we went to meet our friends Liz and Darrin Jensen for lunch at Giordano's for deep dish Chicago style pizza. We had a great time catching up and having yummy food.

After lunch, we drove on to Carthage, IL where we saw the jail where Joseph Smith was killed. It was a short tour, but pretty powerful.

Finally, we landed in Nauvoo, IL. More on that later!


After arriving in Rochester, my parents picked us up and we traveled to Palmyra where they have been volunteering during the Palmyra pageant. On the way from the airport, we went to the Martin Harris farm.

It's out of the way, so we didn't want to have to drive all the way back out there on Sunday. Later that evening, we went to the pageant and it rained on us more or less the entire time. Good times in the rain. It was pretty close to the Manti pageant that I saw a couple of times twenty years ago. We also enjoyed great BBQ at the pagaent. The Rotary Club in town makes food for sale and gives all the proceeds to several different charities. It was great to see them getting so many hungry customers and the food was great.

On Sunday, we went to church and then visited the historical sights in Palmyra. We went to the Johnson farm, the visitor's center, and the Smith Farm. The Smith Farm is where mom and dad were volunteering. We loved the presentation by the missionary at the log home. She was fabulous. We also enjoyed the walk through the grove out behind the buildings. After Saturday's rain, the weather was cooler and not so humid. We had a really nice time and chatted with a bunch of other people visiting the sights.

On Monday, we went into town and shopped for half an hour and then went to a temple session at the Palmyra temple. After that, we got in the car and drove to Kirtland, OH. It was only a few hours to our low-rent hotel. We really enjoyed Palmyra and would highly reccomend it.

I almost forgot to mention that we took a side trip to Niagra Falls after leaving Palmyra. I had never seen the falls and they were spectacular. We had a great view from the American side and had a nice walk around the park by the falls.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Happiest Place on Earth

Last week, I got to go to Orlando for a conference for work. It was my first time in Florida and was not prepared for the humidity. Who knew my hair could be that curly (or frizzy, depending on your perspective)? Then when you go inside, it's always cold with the air conditioning. It was kind of odd to be wearing a jacket a good part of my stay in the state.

I got to go to Epcot center (but not really DisneyWorld) and watch fireworks and ride a few rides. It was great to soar over California, go on a mission to Mars, and test drive cars for GM. I only got a little motion sickness on the trip to Mars. Not bad for a beginner.

I also had a great time going to the town of Mount Dora and eating dinner at Pices Rising. Let's hear it for Andrew for picking the restaurant and Ray for driving us there. It really was fabulous food and great company.

Of course, nothing beats leaving a business trip and meeting up with the DH again. The Rochester airport was the best part of the trip.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Beautiful Music at the Winery

The DH and I had the most wonderful experience last night. We went to see Bruce Hornsby at Chateau Ste. Michelle winery out in Woodinville. The venue is beautiful, the weather was perfect, and the music was first rate.

I have to admit that the DH picked the music. I couldn't even tell you what Bruce Hornsby is known for (though a few of his songs, like The Way It Is and Gonna Be Some Changes Made, were familiar). What a great surprise to hear that he is an amazing pianist and plays with some wonderful musicians.

There was no opening band, so it was just two hours of lovely music from someone who can really play and arrange and sing.

We also enjoyed a really nice picnic and found many of the other concert-goers very entertaining. It's fun when the people-watching is almost as good as the music.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Now Taking Recommendations

The DH and I are quickly coming upon our first anniversary. It’s mere weeks away and we’re very excited to have made it through the “toughest year of marriage.” In anticipation of a fabulous anniversary, we’ve both taken time off work. Unfortunately, we haven’t done much else in the way of planning. The DH was given a recommendation for cabins in the Sun Lakes area, but, alas, they are all booked at the end of August.

So, here’s the deal-i-o. I’m putting it out there to all you great blog-reading friends to give us recommendations. Here is the criteria:
  • No more than a 3-hour trip from home with no plane trips involved
  • A place to stay for less than $150 per night (we have some class, but don’t want to blow our wad in one place)
  • A few activities in the area that you would recommend

See, we’re not too picky. And maybe there can be a prize for whoever picks our anniversary destination. I’m sure I could come up with something worth your effort!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Turning 40 (ARGH!)

Well, I did it. I turned 40 on Tuesday. After spending the weekend with Granny, who just turned 90, I should feel young. Too bad it doesn't actually work that way. We had a great time seeing the entire family (except for Sean and his wife and kids, since he's stationed in Italy now). It was also nice to see how many people came to see Granny and wish her well. She really is well-loved and has a pretty amazing legacy. I could only hope for such a life.

After celebrating with Granny in Idaho Falls, we headed back to Boise to celebrate my birthday. We enjoyed pancakes at the sister's ward breakfast and then had cake and ice cream at Mom and Dad's house. It was yummy and fun. When the dh and I flew back to Seattle, we were no longer in a mood to BBQ, so we went out to dinner for the birthday. It was really nice to spend time with friends and family. Plus, the dh found me a fabulous pair of earrings in white gold with diamonds and rubies. They're divine and I LOVE them. Too bad I couldn't find a picture of them online to show you all.