I roped the kids into helping me write about our summer road trip because (1) it's good to hear their perspective about these things as well—they depend on me to record memories far too much and as much as I've tried to cultivate a passion for journal keeping within their little hearts...somehow I have, so far, failed (but Zoë has started watching the Victoria series and was very impressed by Queen Victoria's record keeping skills, so I have hope that the journal writing fire will kindle within her yet).
I've rambled so much that I'm afraid my list is completely lost, but my second reason (2) is because we did so many amazing things that truly did need to be documented, and I was so swamped with getting my thesis finished that I knew I couldn't manage to write about everything in a timely manner all on my own. I mean, here we are, having been home for 46 days already and we're still not quite done (though we are so very close).
However, I think the kids are running out of steam. Zoë said she'd write about Nauvoo and this is what I managed to extract from her:
Nauvoo was our last stop on the way back to Georgia. Nauvoo was very pretty! Even Phoebe thinks so! We slept in a brick hotel, and on the outside, it looked very old. On the inside, not so much. We saw Sunset on the Mississippi, and got to dance on a stage. At first, I didn't want to dance on the stage, but then Mom said that it was my chance to be on the stage! We went to the temple at Nauvoo, and saw the real Sunset on the Mississippi. After that, we went to Carthage Jail. At Carthage Jail, I wanted to stay as close to the sister missionaries as possible. I don’t know why I did that, or I just don’t remember why, maybe it was because I thought they were pretty, I don’t know! But I do know that I was right behind them pretty much the whole time.
She didn't mention that I went up on stage with her because she was too afraid to go up on her own! Here are a few more pictures of the 'Sunset on the Mississippi' from Andrew's phone:
Here's Zoë by the lace curtains in our hotel that she admired:
And here's Benjamin...talking about something:
Probably about how he planned to replicate this self-closing gate at his house when he grows up (he's always telling us about his house plans):
A cannon ball on a chain pulls the gate closed each time it's opened, which seemed pretty clever to us!
Nauvoo was almost eerily empty while we were there (given that it was the middle of their high tourist season), but I guess we must have arrived between youth groups or something, and it was lucky for us because we don't like crowds! And we often fail to plan ahead and instead tend to fly by the seat of our pants!
We saw this carriage ride and the kids just had to go, so we figured why not?
We waltzed right up and the lovely senior missionaries tending to the horses asked us if we had a reservation. We absolutely did not! We had no idea about any such thing.
Apparently all these kinds of things require online reservations these days (fancy). But luckily for us, the carriage wasn't remotely full even after all the people who'd known to make reservations had arrived and our entire family fit on without any difficulty!
Here's excited little Alexander, ready for his ride down Historic Nauvoo Main Street:
We tried to shush her, but the missionary kindly said, "Except for babies. Babies are allowed to interrupt as much as they want because they remind us of our own grandbabies and we love to see how excited they are about everything."
So Phoebe had a free pass to squeal and laugh and clap her hands (and she did plenty of all three)!
Here's a shot of Grandpa and Zoë:
And here's Rachel and Miriam:
After the wagon ride we headed over to Family Living Center where we learned about weaving and candlestick making and bread baking and wool carding and brick forming and coopering and all sorts of things!
We have a couple wagon wheel hoops like this that Benjamin scavenged on one of his many romps through the back-backyard, so we want to try our hand at creating a rug like this. We haven't begun yet, but this visit did inspire Miriam to break out the loom Auntie Josie sent for Christmas.
Here's a little wall hanging Miriam made while she was experimenting with different styles of weaving:
It was interesting to see the candles in all stages of their development:
Phoebe loved these little sheep by the yarn-making station:
We later found real sheep and if you guessed she about lost her ever-lovin' mind with excitement, well, you'd be 100% correct about that!
|Here sits Phoebe by the Mississippi River in the Smiths' yard|
I now express to you my opinion that your conduct in the destruction of the press was a very gross outrage upon the laws and the liberties of the people. It may have been full of libels, but this did not authorize you to destroy it.
There are many newspapers in this state which have been wrongfully abusing me for more than a year, and yet such is my regard for the liberty of the press and the rights of a free people in a republican government that I would shed the last drop of my blood to protect those presses from any illegal violence.
After the tour we sat on the lawn to have our traditional picnic lunch (good ol' PB'n'J) before loading up in our vehicles and driving to Tennessee! Nauvoo, as Zoë mentioned, was our last tourist stop on the way home, though we did end up spending the night in Tennessee because the full eleven hour drive (which turns into 12 hours with potty breaks) was too far to make starting, as we were, at 2 or 3:00 in the afternoon.