Sunday, October 30, 2011

One Last Afternoon in Nauvoo

It was time to head for home, but we all wanted just a few more hours in Nauvoo.   We decided to visit some of the historic places we'd skimmed over on the first day. 

Nauvoo was so beautiful.  We'd heard that it had been unbelievably hot for weeks.  But this day was perfect.  There was a little breeze and I kept having to pinch myself realizing that I was walking down this street in Nauvoo with my children and grandchildren together.  It was so great!
We loved the unusual flowers and bugs.

 There's a bug on this tree.  I'm not sure who spotted it--probably Marielle.  But we all gathered around to see.

We came to this great little "hands on" area.  The kids got to dress up in Nauvoo clothes and have free run of all the implements and equipment that kept Nauvoo houses running.  

                                                                Sam rides a sheep

                          Sadie and Sam take care of the sheep while Audrey finishes the laundry

As soon as we arrived and Andy saw the bin full of pioneer dresses, she said, "Ruth is never going to leave this spot.  She is going to try on every dress."  It was true.  The other kids ran from activity to activity while Ruth stuck by the dress bin and admired all the little details.  So cute.
                                                              Sadie found a table just her size.

                                          Peter looked so much like an authentic Nauvoo boy.

                                                            Audry and Peter--the homesteaders

                                                         Audry, Peter, Eric and Sam

                                                             Eric checks out the water supply


But the
re was also plenty for the adults to do.  We put together some pretty good competitions.  I can't remember who the winners were, but I remember Brian was pretty impressive overall.

                         Eric and Andy compete at the "pull the bear up the rope" game.  It was close.

 After a great stilt race (that it looks like maybe Nick might have won) it was on to the hoop run.

 Again, Nick seems to have a good lead, but I think it was Brian who made a run at the end.

Round two was more exciting since everyone had the hang of it now.

Brian loses his crown to Seth.  I love that form!

The Wedding Reception

We loved the reception at Gavin's house.  It was for family and closest friends and everything--the food, the decorations, the activities, the whole feeling was so nice.  There was a big dance floor in the center of the tent.

When things were winding up, Kristen changed into this cute little dress--with Natalie (as usual) helping with the finishing touches.  She played some songs for us before she and Gavin headed away on their honeymoon.

Carthage Jail

Following the wedding, our family made the pilgrimage to Gavin's home--about 3 hours away.  Let me just insert at this point, that Gavin's family was just wonderful.  They anticipated our every need and did so many thoughtful things to make our trip enjoyable.  Cheryl (Gavin's mother) bought little dresses for every grand daughter.  They planned and hosted the groom's dinner and had wonderful boxed lunches ready for us to take in our cars as we drove to the reception.  They arranged for our hotel rooms that night--(excellent hotel rooms) and would not be dissuaded from paying for them.  They put on the loveliest reception possible.  We were so impressed and we started to understand how Gavin turned out to be the thoughtful and warm person that he is.

 So...back to the story...

On the way to the reception, we went right through Carthage.  With only about an hour to spare, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to visit Carthage Jail.

 It was a beautiful day and really an unexpected experience to find ourselves at Carthage Jail with our entire family (except Kristen and Gavin and Natalie's boys.)  We were able to take the tour together.  We had just driven from Nauvoo--following the same route that Joseph and Hyrum did.  It was so  vivid to be here, especially after being in Nauvoo and in the temple--to feel the reality of the martyrdom and the loss it must have been to the saints.

Brian and Marielle examined the walls--two feet thick of the upper part of the jail.

 This cell was reserved for the worst criminals.  The jailers did not want Joseph and Hyrum and the others to be here so they were given a more comfortable bedroom.

This is the comfortable room where Joseph and the rest were allowed to stay.  They were on the second floor and it was from one of these windows, that Joseph fell after being shot.

This bullet hole in the door was made by the bullet that hit Hyrum while he was trying to hold the door against the mob. 
Natalie and Kevin had flown out to Illinois with Adam and would have to leave early in the morning.  It was a lot of driving for them since they were flying out of Chicago.  But they were great sports and it was wonderful to be here in Carthage with them.

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There are no joys to compare with family. The experiences and feeling associated with family run so deep. Little moments are filled with meaning. They are the people who know us best and who we know best and who will be forever. This blog is a collection of the experiences that we can remember--the ones that happen on earth. I think our associations began long before and maybe the best is yet to be. Brigham Young says that our mortal experience is dreary compared to what is to come. I'm glad I can't see ahead because my life is anything but dreary. These people are my light and my joy.

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