Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Off to Nauvoo

We took our first real overnight family vacation this past weekend - a seven hour road trip to my old stomping grounds in OLD NAUVOO. Jed just hated it, can you tell?
Just kidding. He thought it was the BEST THING EVER!!!! Both the kids were amazingly good on the road. I stocked Jed up well with snacks, books, coloring, books on tape, alphabet magnets (which entertained him for HOURS), and of course a big ol' bag of matchstick cars. I brought enough food for nearly all of our meals -- two breakfasts, two lunches, and a dinner. Michael thought I was nuts until he saw Nauvoo, which pretty much has the worst dining choices known to man. I remembered it well and those muffins and homemade granola bars were lifesavers!

To save money, I found us a sweet little deal on a little cabin in a Community of Christ RV-type campground. Hard to beat 16 bucks a night. The facilities were rustic but clean, and Jed could not have been more thrilled with our "Cozy Cabin." Best of all, it came with four rickety bunk beds so he got his very own bunk with his very own pillow and very own sleeping bag!!! His head nearly exploded with the thrill of it all. The first night he eagerly slipped into his bag and fell asleep nearly instantaneously. The next morning, here is what we saw:

SO SO SO excited to wake up in "my very own little bunk!" The charm of the bunkbeds did not wear off for him after two nights, and in fact the morning after we got home, he woke up, ran to the living room, and cried to realize that we weren't going back to his bunk in the cozy little cabin. I will say, we had the loveliest of times on those little bunks. Here we are all together in Mom's bed the first morning:
We drove down (up?) Friday evening and spent the next two nights there, attended missionary church, and then drove home Sunday afternoon. The road to Nauvoo was beautiful. I appreciate the beauty of the Midwest so much more now than I did at 21.
However, after the oppressive heat of recent weeks here, and the hot sweaty nights, we didn't come prepared for the absolutely frigid weather. Who knew just a couple hours north could make such a difference! The days barely topped 50* with a vicious biting wind, and the nights got down into the thirties. We had a little heater in our cabin but it had a hard time keeping up -- the second night Zoe had to sleep with me in my sleeping bag to stay warm.

We went to Nauvoo along with our dear friends, Brooke Rosen and Kadarah Highwood and Annie-girl along to watch Brooke's kids. The overarching purpose of the trip was to attend the temple (more on that later) but we managed to cram in plenty of other activities too. After going to the temple Saturday morning we took a wagon ride around town. We all bundled up in layer after layer of quilts until all you could see of us were our faces, with little swaddled kid faces poking out below. So fun to weather the wind and feel so pioneer-ish. Those early Saints leaving town at 30 below zero sounded mighty miserable when we were all shivering at 50 above! Later that evening we attended my favorite musical - Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo. The next morning, we attended the missionary service, though I didn't get much out of it with busy kidlets swarming around. Before we left town, we squeezed in just one historic site -- my only one of the trip. Seems my lot in Nauvoo -- I'm always up at the temple. Guess I don't mind. Someday I'll go see them all.

I must say, Nauvoo brought back so many cherished memories and faces. Old Nauvoo friends, if you are reading this, I am missing you so much. I wish we could all be reunited at the temple one last time. I can't believe how quickly the last 8 years have flown by -- I still feel like that young missionary girl in her long skirt and straw hat sitting outside the temple, telling stories and greeting all those who came to see our beautiful new temple. I felt strange visiting with my husband and two children in tow, it has all passed so quickly as if in a dream. I love the spirit of that place.


Eric Dowdle said...

AAaaahhh!!!! Such cute kids!!!!

Ali Howell said...

You were within 4 hours of my house!!! I'm glad you had a nice time...but next time swing by here!!! It would be great to see you!

NessaAnn said...

@ Eric -- only because they are Dowdles. You know it, it's all about the FOREHEAD, baby!

@ Ali - haha! We only live 6 hours from your house at home. That would be MUCH better than 11 hours through Nauvoo. :) We really really REALLY want to come to Chicago sometime soon! If we do we want to visit for sure. Love you. V

Shannon said...

I'm not far from Nauvoo too and your post tugged at my heartstrings. Love love love that place. I have great memories with you and S. Johnson and your first few weeks there, open house madness, skunks, etc. Was that really that long ago?! Thanks for sharing.