Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Road Trippin' Day 10

On July 12th,  we celebrated our 15-year wedding anniversary by visiting the historic church history sites in Kirtland Ohio.
Historic Kirtland, a small settlement in northern Ohio was where members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gathered shortly after the Church was founded. Between 1831 and 1838, Joseph Smith and early members of the Church established Church headquarters in Kirtland and built a temple.
Our first stop of the day was the Issac Morley farm. Then we went to the Newel K. Whitney Store, Newel K. and Elizabeth Ann Whitney Home, Kirtland sawmill and The Kirtland Ashery.
We toured the Kirtland temple which is now owned by the community of Christ. It was a beautiful old building and it was inspiring to think about the sacrifices that the early saints must have made to build it.

Our last stop of the day was the John Johnson home. This was another one of our favorite stops on the trip. We all felt a strong spirit of truth and revereverence while we toured that sacred property. Our guide was a wonderful sister from Snowflake AZ! I wish I would have written down her name. She shared her testimony with us and the spirit bore witness to our hearts that she spoke truth. I'm so glad we drove the extra distance to visit the John Johnson home. 

We continued our drive west and stopped in Dayton Ohio for the night.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Road trippin' day 9

Monday July 11th. We all packed up and left our hotel and headed south-east towards Harmony Pennsylvania to the Priesthood Restoration site. Where, in April 1829,  Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith went into the woods and prayed for guidance on the subject of baptism. In reply, the resurrected John the Baptist visited them on May 15, 1829, and ordained them to the Aaronic Priesthood. He then commanded Joseph and Oliver to baptize each other in the nearby Susquehanna River. A little later in a nearby area, the two men received the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood from Peter, James, and John, three of Jesus Christ’s original Apostles.
We toured the restored Hale Home where Emma Smith lived when she and Joseph were courting. We also toured the reconstructed home Joseph and Emma lived for a time. We walked to the nearby cemetery where Joseph and Emma's infant son was buried.
Our final stop of the day was a short walk down to banks of the Susquehanna River. It was a bitter sweet moment because we all knew that from there, we would be parting ways for the remainder of our trip. The Hulses and Grandma and Grandpa would continue their trip east and then down the East Coast. From this point we would be headed west taking the long way back home. So, we said our goodbyes and expressed gratitude that we could spend this time together and traveled on.
We dove back to Ohio and stayed the night in Findlay lakes.

Road Trippin' Day 8

On Sunday July 10th we woke up early and we all got ready for church. We went to the building located right across from the Palmyra temple. It was completely packed from the front of the chapel all the way to the very back of the cultural hall and up onto the stage and into some of the classrooms that had the meeting being broadcast into. Caleb was invited to help pass the sacrament to the several hundred people. The ward in Palmyra did a wonderful job of making everyone feel welcome, and the all of the meetings were wonderful. I loved the talk we heard in sacrament meeting about creating "buffer zones" in our lives to help block out the noises and distractions of the world. We stayed for all of the meetings. We had a picnic lunch at the park behind the church and then we all drove over to the Whitmer farm. The Whitmer farm was one of my favorite church history sites on the trip. While there, we were shown a movie depicting some of the events and miracles that took place there. I felt the spirit testify to me that those events really happened and that we were in a special and sacred place. 

After leaving the Whitmer farm, we drove back to Palmyra and toured the Smith family farm and walked thru the sacred grove.  The Sacred Grove is truly hallowed ground. I could feel it with every step I took in that beautiful Grove of trees.

I was grateful to get to be there with my husband, children, parents and the Hulse family whom we love so much. I thought about how the events that took place there In that beautiful Grove made it possible for me to be with these people who I love so much for all eternity. It was an amazing feeling. The trio felt it too. They said they felt feelings of peace and joy, and love as we walked through the Sacred Grove.
After leaving the Smith farm and sacred Grove, we drove over to the Palmyra temple. We walked around and got some great pictures.
Our last stop of the day was the Grandin printing press where the very first copies of the Book of Mormon were printed. We learned how much time and effort was involved in printing each page. They also had a small gallery of original artwork depicting scenes from the Book of Mormon. 
It was late in the evening by the time we finished touring all of the sites. We went back to the hotel and played some games with Grandma Quist before going to bed.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Road Trippin' Day 7

Saturday July 9th.  We weren't in a big rush in the morning, so we slept in and took our time with breakfast. We loaded up the car and headed towards Palmyra. We arrived in Palmyra mid morning and went to the grocery store to stock up on some groceries for Sunday.  While we were shopping the Hulses and Grandma and Grandpa showed up to get some shopping done too. We all got sandwiches and drove to a beautiful park and had a picnic lunch together. Then we drove to our hotel and and enjoyed a little R&R before going to Hill Cumorah to watch the Hill Cumorah pageant.  The pageant was awesome! We all loved it and felt the truthfulness of the book of Mormon stories that were depicted.  It was late when we got back to the hotel, so after Scriptures and prayer, we went right to bed.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Road trippin' Day 6

On Friday July 8th, we temporaily parted ways with the Hulses and Grandma and grandpa. They wanted to spend a bit of time in Kirtland and we were headed north-east towards Niagara Falls!
It was only about an hour drive from our hotel to the Niagara Falls State park. Our first little excursion was a trip down to the Cave of Winds. Before getting in line we had to put on the goofy sandals and ponchos, so we knew for certain we were going to get wet! And boy, did we ever! After a brief elevator ride down to the base of the falls, we followed a wooden catwalk around to where the wind hits the falls just so and we got sprayed with mist. It was really windy, but we're still trying to figure out where the cave was!  It was really neat though to get soaked by the Niagara falls!
When we completed our Cave of Winds tour we figured we'd go strait to the Maid of the Mist boat ride since we were already soaked and we knew we'd just be getting even more Wet!  On the ride, we got a great view of the falls and as expected, got soaked. (Again)
Afterwards we were up on a look-out point admiring the view when a nice couple from India asked us if our children wouldn't mind having heir picture taken while holding a box of Indian Cookies with the falls in the background. We thought it a weird request, but we obliged. We got to talking with them and they were a very sweet and fun couple. They were just having fun getting pictures of well known Indian snacks in front of iconic landmarks around the world. We asked about the cookies, and they opened the box and let us try some. They were more like biscuits and tasted a little weird to us, but they weren't bad, and it was fun to try something new.
Later that day we watched an imax movie about different legends involving the falls and walked to a nearby aquarium and discovery center.
It was a very fun and tiring day for us. The kids had enough energy left to do a bit of swiming at the hotel while I got some laundry done. Then we all settled in our beds and went to sleep.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Road trippin' day 5

Thursday July 7th was a bright sunny day in Mason Ohio. Unfortunately, we knew this meant that the lines at Kings island would be a bit longer. We showed up right when the park opened and went straight to our favorite rides. We rode all we could, including two rides on the Diamond Back then left the park at around 2 o'clock. Again, I forgot to take pictures, but I did get a shot of the Banshee before we left the park.

We drove north to Cleveland . There was a special surprise waiting at the hotel there for the kids. You see, several months before our trip I was talking to my sister Lydia. Her family had been planning a road trip as well. Only, their trip was along the east coast. Their plan was to Fly to Cleveland, rent a car, drive down the east coast and then fly home from South Carolina. Since our trip would be taking us right by Cleveland, we thought we would surprise our kids by meeting up at a hotel there. As an added bonus, my parents were going on the trip with the Hulses so we would get to see Grandma and grandpa Quist too !
Lydia sent me a text when they arrived at the hotel. We were only about an hour behind them. When we pulled up, the Hotel looked a little run-down and the kids were asking me why we were staying there. I told them, "I think you are really going to love the pool"! They kept asking me "what was so special about the pool?" As soon as we got into our room, I told them to put on their swim suits. They did, and we headed down to the swimming pool.  When we got out there, it took them a few seconds to recognize that their cousins and grandma and grandpa were there, when they did, they were so surprised and excited! It was a fun little reunion for us! They spent an hour or so swimming, then we all had family scripture study and prayer together before going to bed.  We made plans to catch up with the Hulses and Grandma and Gradpa Quist again in Palmyra. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Road Trippin' Day 4

We Awoke on Wednesday morning feeling very anxious and excited. We couldn't belive we'd driven so far in just a few days. We were only about an hour away from our next destination, Kings Island in Mason Ohio. It was home of The Banshee! The world's largest inverted Rollercoaster.  When Caleb was in the second grade, he purchased a book about roller coasters and the Banshee was one of the coasters featured in it. Ever since then, Caleb has dreamed of riding it.  And that day, Wednesday July 6th his dream would come true.
When we arrived at Kings island, we were happy to find that the crowds weren't too bad. It was probably because it was overcast and raining off and on but the weather didn't bother us one bit.  We were able to ride every ride that we wanted too and found out that the Banshee wasn't the only great ride at the park. The Banshee was very fun, and There were tons of super fun rides. Caleb and Sarah were brave enough to try a ride called Slingshot! They were hoisted up into the air over 100 feet, on cables. Then, with the pull of a cord, they were dropped and swung out and back several times before finally coming back down. THEY LOVED IT! One of my favorite rides was the river rapid ride.  And everyone's favorite ride was a roller coaster called The Diamond Back. It was very fast, very high and very smooth (and it didn't make dad and I nauseous like many of the other rides did.)  We were having so much fun together that we forgot to stop and take pictures. We did manage to take a couple of pictures of Sarah and Caleb on the sling shot.
That night we stayed at a hotel that was just a mile up the road from Kings island. We planned out what rides we wanted to ride again in the morning and fell asleep to the weird sensation of still being on a roller coaster.

Road Trippin' Day 3

We Left Springfield Missouri bright and early Wednesday morning and continued our trek east.
We stopped at the Saint Louis Missouri temple and marveled at how far the church has come in that area since it's early beginnings.  How wonderful it was to see a temple in an area that was once to hostile towards members of the church. 

Our next stop was the Saint Louis Arch. "The Gateway to the West."  What an amazing monument and testament to the ingenuity of man. We walked thru down town St. Louis and found the courthouse where tickets were being issued to ride à tram to the top of the Arch. The courthouse itself was beautiful! We loved the old architecture of that majestic building and the surrounding ones.

It was very hot as we walked around town and there was a lot of construction going on at the park surrounding the Arch. We were so glad when we finally made it inside the underground visitors center. We stood in-line for what seemed like forever until we were finally allowed to board the little 5 seater tram that carried us to the top of the arch. On the ride up we could see the inner workings and makings of the arch thru a little window in the tram. Up and up we went. When the tram finaly stopped, Eliza started to panic! She was sure the car stopped prematurely and that we would be stuck FOREVER! But, after just a moment, the doors opened up and she realized we'd made it to the Top!  We all had a good laugh at that. We looked out of the windows for a bit, but there were so many people crammed into the little space up there that my clostriphobia started kicking in and I had to get out of there. Adam was feeling crowded too so we all headed back down. The kids LOVED getting to go to the top of the arch. I suppose I'm glad I did it too, but I think for me it'll just be once in a lifetime thing.  After we arived back at the bottom, we went in the visitors center theatre and watched a movie about how the Arch was built. 
Afterwards, we walked along the Mississippi River for a bit then we were back on the road.

We drove through Illinois and then got most of the way through Kentucky. We loved how green a beautiful the landscape is in that part of the country.  We took a little detour to see the Louisville Kentucky Temple and settled in at a hotel in Carrollton Kentucky and went right to sleep after our fun day of sight seeing.