Thursday, November 21, 2013

Touring the Country in a Hyundai Accent: Nauvoo

So last time I totally missed some pictures from South Dakota, so for the next few moments, enjoy the beauty of South Dakota.

We also stopped at this place to eat dinner as we were leaving Wyoming.  It had this cute little spot that was just perfect for a photograph.

They had delicious fried chicken that we had to wait FOREVER for.  But it was worth it.  I think.

It was also where I got the biggest mosquito bite I've ever had in my entire life.

What Crazy Horse will look like when it is finished.  A billion years from now.

Oh, and I complete forgot.  We decided to take a driving tour of some national park nearby (I don't remember the name) and we got caught in this HUGE rainstorm.  We had to the pull the car over and wait it out because we couldn't even see one foot in front of us.  But it sure was pretty.  (But I'm sure the mortorcyclists who were also caught in it but didn't have a car to protect them weren't thinking the same thing.)

Isn't South Dakota pretty?

The next day we set out for Illinois, which means we had to drive through Nebraska and Iowa.  Which meant a lot of fields.

Windmill Fields!

Our blurry picture of a sunflower field.  It was soooo pretty!

Another type of field...

We stopped at the Winter Quarter's visitor's center and did a whirlwind tour.  We really wanted to go there, because I had been there a few years earlier, and there's a banner with a quote from one of my ancestor's there!  So I had to show my mom!

Do you like our matching Mt. Rushmore shirts?
That's my ancestor!
Us outside of the Winter Quarters temple

We also wanted to get a picture of us in every state we passed through, so this was our best shot in Iowa:
It took Ian some convincing to make this pose again, we missed it the first time we tried to take the picture.

We finally made it to Illinois,


and the next day we got up and went to church.  We got to church super early, so we drove around a little a stumbled upon the rock quarry where they harvested the rock for the temple.

We decided to wait until the next day to do the full tour of Nauvoo.  So the next morning we started out by taking a wagon tour, which I loved!  It was so great to just sit and enjoy the countryside, and listen to stories of the pioneers.

Our cute tour guide.

After our wagon ride, we went on a carriage ride, which was basically the same thing, but it took us around to see the buildings.

The Mississippi River

The Nauvoo Temple
My mom had to take a picture of the church next to the temple as well, so we weren't leaving anyone out.
While we were on the carriage ride, we passed by a tent with all of these beautifully bright bikes, that said you could rent them for $5 an hour, so, we decided to tour Nauvoo on bikes!  And I'm telling you, there's no other way to do it.  It was SO FUN, and I enjoyed the scenery so much more whilst on a bicycle.

Then it was time to go tour the different buildings around Nauvoo.  The first place we went was to the brickmaker's.  We were the only people there (it was NOT a very busy time in Nauvoo, the last day of the summer schedule and programs was a couple of days before, so we missed the crowd.) and the brick maker showed us how they made bricks, and then gave us one to take home!

Outside the brickmaker's

The brickmaker

Our next stop was the Land and Records Office, where you could look up your ancestors that lived in Nauvoo, and see which plots of land they owned.  We looked up some from both my mom and my dad's side, and it was so cool to actually find them and see where they lived in Nauvoo!

We also went to the bakery, where we just sat impatiently waiting for our cookies.  I guess the things they had to say were interesting though.

Next door to the bakery was the Cultural Hall.  Upstairs, they had a bunch of antique quilts on display, so my mom, of course, was in heaven.  And I enjoyed it a lot myself.

After the /Cultural Center, we went to the Family Living Center.  This was a really cool place, and I wish we would have been able to spend a little more time here.  But there's basically different stations you can go to, and they'll teach you how to do different old-fashioned skills, like candle-making, bread-baking, or loom-working.  We were all pretty hungry by this point, so we went right to the bread-baking station, and they gave us a sample and it was heavenly.

We also had to make a stop at the Mississippi river, and I had to make sure I touched it.

Our last stop was the wainwright/blacksmith, where we got these awesome prairie diamond rings.

Waiting outside the blacksmith's

Also showing off my cool Native American ring from Crazy Horse.

We also stopped at the grave site of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.  It was one of those places that had a special spirit to it, and you felt the sacredness of the spot.

After we did our whirlwind tour of Nauvoo, we raced down to Carthage, Illinois, to see Carthage jail before it closed.  This is one of those places that as soon as you set foot on the property, you can feel the spirit, and you know that it's sacred ground.  It was such an amazing experience being able to see this place that I have learned about all my life.

Ian is so proud of this picture.  As he should be.

After Carthage Jail (and some food) we went back to Nauvoo to see the play that the Senior Missionary Couples put on, and it was SO CUTE!  All of these elderly couples up on stage, singing and dancing.  It was adorable.

A beautiful sunset to end a beautiful day.
I wish we would have had a little more time to tour Nauvoo and go to all of the houses and buildings, but it really was such a great experience, and I loved it.  So go if you get a chance!  You won't regret it!

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