Wednesday and Thursday we took a sidetrip to Iowa. I have a brother that lives just outside Des Moines, and we thought it would be silly to be so close to him and his family (relatively speaking) and not see them. So, Wednesday morning, we set out for Ankeny, Iowa. There's a little Dutch town called Pella that's right on the way and we decided to stop there to get some tasty Dutch treats and to see the Klockenspiel (a big fancy clock that has music and performing dummies). When we got to Pella, we had missed the clock performance by minutes, so we had to keep ourselves occupied for two hours until the next one. While we waited, we toured the huge working windmill that they have there, went on a little tour of the historic village which included Wyatt Earp's boyhood home, and posed in the little Dutch people picture thing (see photo below). Then we watched the clock performance, hit up a tasty bakery for some treats and bought lunch at a meat market (where they also gave us free Bologna pins!). All in all, it was good times in Pella.
After our stop in Pella, it was on to Ankeny. It was great to see Rich, Mindy, and the kids. I think Mindy wished there were exciting things for us to do in Iowa, but after our busy adventuring in Nauvoo, we were perfectly happy to just sit around and spend time with them. We stayed with them that night and had a great time. The next day we just hung out with them some more. We played some balloon volleyball and freeze tag with the kids. After lunch, it was time to head back to Nauvoo. We had to be back for a show that evening. It was a short trip, but we loved spending time with Rich & Mindy. Jared hasn't spent much time with them, so it was good for him to get to know them a little.
Back in Nauvoo, we had dinner with my parents and then went to see "Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo". This is a show put on by all of the senior performing missionaries and we loved it! Those senior missionaries are so cute! After the show, we headed over to the Nauvoo Groves. This is a small grove which represents all of the groves in Old Nauvoo. When they saints lived here, they often had their church meetings in the groves, so there are many wonderful stories associated with them. There's a path that goes around the grove and is lined with plaques that have quotes and stories about their experiences in the Nauvoo Groves. It was neat to walk around and imagine the Prophet Joseph teaching and preaching in that kind of setting. And of course, the Groves had a wonderful view of the temple.