After staying the night with our friends,
we left Nebraska and kept heading east.
Se stopped in Des Moines at the Science Center of Iowa.
It was a GREAT stop with lots of fun
Des Moines seems like a cool town.
Then we were off to Illinois.
Since I was not super-organized in planning this trip,
all of the hotels in the towns closest to Nauvoo were full.
We had to stay in Burlington, IA, which is a little more than
a half hour drive from Nauvoo. Kind of annoying.
We stopped by our hotel to drop off our stuff and then
headed to Nauvoo.
It was evening and they have LOTS of fun events
to do before the pageant starts.
We had a fabulous time!
In the summers, they actually do two different pageants in Nauvoo.
One is called the British Pageant and the other the Nauvoo Pageant.
They alternate every other night.
We've only seen the Nauvoo, but happened to be there on the night of
the British Pageant. We were excited to see something new.
Right before the show was about to start, a voice came over
the loudspeakers warning us that inclement weather was on the way
and that we should seek shelter in our cars.
We made a run for it.
It POURED rain, with loud thunder and bright lightning.
We hung out for about fifteen or twenty minutes before we decided
we were giving up for the night. Darn. No British Pageant for us.
We consoled ourselves with frozen custard.
Thankfully, we could rearrange things to be able to stay the
next and at least watch the Nauvoo Pageant.
The next morning we drove out to Carthage and visited Carthage Jail.
This is where Joseph and Hyrum Smith were martyred.
It's a special, reverent place.
I like starting our day there.
Then we were off to the less reverent activities.
We spent some time at the Pioneer Pastimes pavilion.
C spent A LOT of time trying to figure
out how to walk on these stilts.
One of the missionaries taught Whit
a trick to be able to finish this game with
just one piece left.
We like visiting the family life center,
where you get to learn old-timey skills
like how to make rope,
spin wool into yarn,
and bake bread in a brick oven.
Unfortunately, all of the tickets for shows
were GONE by the time we got there.
We did get tickets for a couple of carriage rides.
Those were fun and informative.
We heard good things about the root beer at the Red Brick Store.
The girls gave it a thumbs up.
And we had a yummy buffet dinner at Hotel Nauvoo.
We're not very good at eating real meals while we're on the road.
We do lots of snacking.
It was fun to have a nice dinner out.
Stopped outside the temple for some pics.
We had an hour to spare between dinner
and the evening festivities, so we took
a blanket and some books and hung out
on the grass across the street from the temple.
It was so relaxing!
The girls found a frog friend.
There are so many evening activities to choose from,
we couldn't decide what we wanted to do.
We stopped by this concert stage.
Did a little dancing.
But then decided we wanted to head back to the
Thankfully, the weather cooperated on this night, and
we enjoyed the WONDERFUL Nauvoo Pageant.
I love hearing the stories of those early pioneers.
I recognized one of the actors--a former member
of Noteworthy that we got to see last year in Nauvoo!
The next day, we hit the road again.
Beautiful puffy cloud in the blue sky.
We made one of our favorite stops:
City Museum in St. Louis.
This place is so hard to describe,
but it's amazing.
We LOVE exploring here.
We did the ten story slide again.
I learned my lesson about going too fast.
I used my feet to slow me down
so I wouldn't be too dizzy at the bottom.
We made it to Louisville that night
and had a short, but fun visit
with Aunt Stephanie and Uncle Alex.
When we left their house the next day,
it was so fun to click the HOME button on my GPS.
First we stopped in Charleston, WV
at the Clay Center.
They have done lots of remodeling.
We don't like it anymore.
It used to be a GREAT museum for lots of ages.
Now they've geared all of their exhibits toward
younger (4-7 year old) kids.
Not fun for us. Bummer.
There were a couple of fun things for Caroline.
Like climbing in this structure.
And stepping in as governor of West Virginia.
Just a few more hours of driving through
more puffy-cloud beauty.
And we were HOME!!
So happy we could make our giant road trip again this year. We LOVE getting to see the beautiful world and so many of our loved ones along the way.
Here are the numbers for this year:
27.7 miles/gallon (LOVE the new van!)
0 breakdowns/check engine lights/flat tires
0 times we got pulled over
60+ loved ones visited
Countless memories made