Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Days 8 and 9 - The Midwest Adventure comes to a close

Saturday was our last full day in Nauvoo. We had planned out everything we wanted to do and nothing happened how we planned it. We still got in everything that we wanted to and we still had a good time, but it was touch and go for a little while. Saturday morning, Jared and I headed over to the Land and Records office where we made a data disc including the records and stories of our ancestors that lived in Nauvoo. It was pretty cool and we ended up spending more time there than we had planned. We were scheduled to baptisms at the Temple, but were hoping to head over to the Joseph Smith sites first. The Joseph Smith sites are owned by the Community of Christ and you have to pay a small fee and go on their tour, so it took a little more planning than just heading off to see other sites in Nauvoo. After spotting a turtle in the road and saving it from death by crushing, we determined that we didn't have time to do the Joseph Smith sites before the Temple, so we just headed off to do baptisms. It was really neat to do baptisms. I haven't done them in a really long time and we were in the biggest font in the church, so it was pretty cool. We ran into some hefty delays, though, so we ended up finishing the session over an hour later than we had planned. We were in the Temple at lunchtime, so by the time we finished Amy was nearly dead for lack of food. We quickly got some lunch and then got ready to see the Joseph Smith sites. The tour was interesting, but we all decided that our church has done a far better job of restoring and sharing the historic sites in Nauvoo. I'll just say that it was a little strange to hear about the history of our church from another church.

Amy with our new found turtle friend

After the Joseph Smith sites, we headed to the Old Nauvoo Burial ground to see the memorial there. Jared has an ancestor buried there, so it was nice to go and see it. I really wanted to go to Quincy (about 40 minutes from Nauvoo) to see the memorial for one of my ancestors, but we didn't think we would have time. While at the Nauvoo Burial ground, we determined that we could go get some frozen custard (for Amy) and then head to Quincy to find the memorial. We got our custard and headed to Quincy, arriving at the cemetery with quite a bit of daylight left to see the memorial. The problem was, we didn't know where the memorial was inside the cemetery. My parents had gone to Quincy awhile before and tried to find it and were unsuccessful. We decided to go with the divide and conquer method. We all split up, heading to different parts of the cemetery and, with a prayer in our hearts, we started looking. After a little while, Jared found it and it was really neat for my mom and I to see it. We spent a little while looking at the memorial and looking out over the Mississippi River from the cemetery and then headed to see my ancestor's house. It apparently was still standing. We found the address and the house was there, but it didn't look like much. Still, it was neat to see it and to see where he used to live. After that, we drove around Quincy and looked at ginormous mansions and then went to the Mormon monument on the bank of the Mississippi River where the saints landed in Quincy after being forced from Missouri. After all of that we grabbed some dinner and headed home. It was a crazy day, but in the end it turned out great!

My mom and I at the memorial for Frederick Granger Williams

My parents and I and the Mississippi River

My dad and I at the Mormon Monument on the Mississippi River

After such an fabulous trip, I was so sad to leave. It was great to see my parents and we had such a good time in Nauvoo. It was only fitting that our return trip should be a living hell. We got up early Sunday morning to drive the 4 hours back to the Chicago to catch our flights. Amy's flight was schedule to leave about an hour after ours. Our flight was delayed and we ended up boarding only a few minutes before Amy did. Because our flight was delayed so much, our scheduled spot was gone and our plane had to wait until there was an open time to take off. As we sat on the plane, not moving, we watched Amy's flight taxi away from the gate and onto the runway and take off. We finally taxied away from the gate, only to sit for another half hour on the tarmac waiting to take off. The pilot finally came on and said they had switched the runways and we would have to taxi to the other side of the airport to take off. As we began making our way to the other side of the airport, the pilot again came on the intercom and said they had just gotten word from Denver (where we changed planes) that, due to thunderstorms, their airport was currently shut down. So, we taxied back to the gate and sat on the plane for over an hour waiting for Denver to reopen. We finally made it to Denver about 4 hours later than we were scheduled to arrive. Of course, we missed our connecting flight there and had to wait for the next flight which left a couple hours later than our original flight. We were starving (sitting on a plane for several hours with only a couple of snacks will do that to you), so we got some dinner and waited for our flight. Our new flight was also delayed about an hour (obviously. Why wouldn't it be at this point?), but we finally made it back home about 5 hours after we were originally supposed to. Thanks to Lenessa for being a trooper and picking us up at 11:30 pm! We really appreciate it and we're totally buying you guys dinner! In spite of the nasty traveling, the trip was awesome and we had such a great time! Thanks Mom & Dad!

Well, that's it for our trip. It took me long enough to blog about it, but now I can move on to more exciting things like my new job. . .


LJ and DC said...

Hurray for new jobs, Gary and Leah, Amy Co and new turtle friends! Thanks for posting all this JJ. I've always wanted to go out there, some day we'll make it!

Kim said...

What a fun trip! It sounds really great. And I'm very appreciative of you savings Mr. Turtle also.

Hilary said...

I've completely underestimated a turtle's ability to change one day's events. Haha.

Sounds like such a fun trip . I'd love to go there some day. Now you have to keep blogging though so we can hear about this new job! Cool!