Thursday, February 11, 2010
Nauvoo was wonderful!
Thanks for all your kind comments!!!! Here's my Nauvoo report -
Of course - things didn't go exactly as we'd planned, but everything turned out fine. We left at about 2:30 am instead of 2:00 - but I thought that was pretty good for so many people (including 4 children and one pregnant person!). I thought the drive was pleasant and we arrived in Nauvoo about 3:30 on Thursday afternoon. We checked into the lodge at the Nauvoo Log Cabins (I highly recommend them - all different sizes to choose from, we've stayed in three of them and they were all very comfortable and the people who own them are very accommodating).
I had been very concerned about the weather (snow was predicted for Friday and Sat). We are not snow people - and I was afraid that snow would make driving difficult and keep us from doing all that we wanted to while we were there. I tried to pray for the Lord to temper the elements in our behalf - but I just couldn't make myself do it. Not when the pioneers had to leave Nauvoo in the dead of winter for REAL. So the weather was fine when we got there on Thurs (about 38 and cloudy). But we woke up to 2-3 inches of snow on Friday. And it was still snowing. The kids were thrilled and I figured we'd deal with it.
After breakfast we went down Parley Street. Because of the weather I thought everyone would just stay in the vehicles and read the signs from inside. But my entire family chose to walk down Parley Street in the snow (except Banx, Abbie and Andie who stayed in the van with me). It turned out to be one of the best moments of the trip. I waited with the children in the van by the edge of the frozen river and watched my family emerge in little groups from the fog mixed with driving snow. It was so authentic and amazing. Laura and Josh even pushed Harrison in his stroller and from the beginning - everyone had a very good taste of what the pioneers faced on that morning in February so long ago.
After our spiritual moment at the river's edge, there was an impromptu snowball fight. Then we drove around to the graves of Joseph and Hyrum and the prophet's original little cabin. When we got there Aaron said his wedding ring was not on his finger. He said he either left it back at the lodge in the bathroom or lost it during the snowball fight. While the others walked up to the graves, he and I left in search. My idea was to check the lodge first so we didn't search through an acre of snow for nothing. So we were headed that way. But then Aaron said he felt like we should check the riverbank first since it was still snowing and if we waited too long it might be covered up. So we went to the river's edge and after looking for about 2 minutes before we found it - barely sticking out of the snow. I know Aaron was inspired to have us go there first. And when we returned to the gravesite triumphant - Jamie said, "Miracles happen in Nauvoo." And it's true.
We watched the movie at the visitor's center (heart-wrenching but necessary). The wagon rides weren't running because of the snow but we did get to visit several of the historical sites. The snow did keep us from being able to go to our picnic area across the river and eat chicken while looking at the temple. We did eat chicken - but we did it in the lodge. Then we enjoyed Rendezvous at Old Nauvoo (a musical production performed by some of Nauvoo's senior missionaries). It's always particularly poignant to me because I love Nauvoo and I have met so many wonderful people there. It is truly my dream to one day have a Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo with my ancestors, my family and my many friends. Ahhhh.
Saturday morning the snow had stopped but it was colder. We went to the temple and had a wonderful time there. Then we went to Carthage and finally watched the DVD of the City of Joseph together. The only thing that dampened our spirits was the knowledge that we were soon going to have to leave. But even that was part of the pioneer experience - leaving and saying goodbye to those they loved.
On Sunday we packed up and drove through Nauvoo one last time before heading home. We dropped the Farrers off at the airport in St. Louis and made it home about 9:30. And we're already planning next year!!!