Monday, July 28, 2008

Adventures in Nauvooland

Boy, when I say it like that it sounds more like an amusement park...

We've had some wonderful luck with coordinating our outings with the weather lately - last week we spent 1.5 days (the only 2 cool days in the month) in a little place called Nauvoo, Illinois.  Actually, the route we took brought us into some heavily flooded areas and they had to build the road up over the water to make a one lane passageway for all us visitors to get through.  It was pretty sad to see so many things destroyed by the flood but Nauvoo itself seemed to miss the most of it.  You know how you always (well, maybe not you) forget to bring something, oftentimes something crucial when you pack for a trip?  I got a phone call from a friend saying we left our front door key in the lock and the front door was unlocked.  Yikes!  No harm done though, we had some other friends pick up the key and lock the door for us.  Phew! Crisis averted!

photo curtesy of

Nauvoo was originally settled by some pioneer members of our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and the attraction is to see the Nauvoo LDS Temple, the Nauvoo Pageant, and to see many of the old restored buildings where prominent leaders and members of our church lived and made a living until they started their journey west to eventually settle in the Salt Lake Valley.  I should also add it is a good place to get fudge.  Again I digress...
We started off our evening by walking by the Nauvoo LDS Temple, which is not the original temple built as that one was destroyed after the Saints left, but it is made to be almost the same with a few modern conveniences added in (ah, A/C is bliss).  It is a beautiful temple and even just walking on the temple grounds I feel like it radiates the same peaceful feeling I feel as I visit any other LDS temple.  I especially appreciate seeing the temple in the company of my family as it seems to complete the feelings I experience there.  Aedan "Love(s) To See the Temple" and he loves to see all the beauty that surrounds it.  As a mark of a true house of God, I feel like I come away a slightly better person after attending the temple and I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to be sealed to my Neal for all eternity in an LDS temple.

We then went to a portion of the Sunset at the Mississippi program and I just have to say that while I recognize all the effort and talent that goes into such a show, I can't help but want to get up and do something else.  It was just fine, I don't mean to give you the impression that it isn't worthwhile but as we were going to the Nauvoo pageant immediately afterward I just wasn't in the mood to sit and listen to more singing and the like.  So we made our way to the pageant field and they have all sorts of fun pioneer games, crafts, activities going on.  I really quite enjoyed this - so much that I didn't get a single picture this year.

The pageant at Nauvoo was remade in the past few years and I must say that the new pageant is a big improvement.  I feel like they depict the life of the LDS pioneers in Nauvoo in a fun and uplifting way, with the main focus being on the prophet Joseph Smith and the building of the Nauvoo temple.  The music and dance is very tasteful and the cast and set are wonderful.  I think we've seen this pageant 3 times now and I highly recommend it.  Plus it is free. 

Blah blah... Oh What?!? Ok, author's interpretation here... it didn't really happen but it could have.

We walked back to our very humble Motel Nauvoo only to find that the road was blocked off - something about a gas leak in the apartment building directly behind our room.  By the time we got there they had already shut off the gas and the danger had dissipated so they were willing to let us go to our room.  No damage done but we were glad we missed the craziness of that event.

The next morning we had a lovely breakfast compliments of the Motel and then we set out to discover the various places in the old "downtown" Nauvoo.  Granted most of the stuff we did we had done before but it was all new to Aedan.  We learned about the Scoville bakery and got a gingerbread cookie, we learned how to make some rope/candles/flax cloth and how to use a bustle oven and sampled some yummy bread.  We learned how to make wagon wheels and horseshoes. 

We learned how they made leather shoes.  We went to the old post office and Aedan got to write a "letter".  We went on a horse drawn wagon ride where Aedan nodded off.  We all napped in the car and then went on an oxen-pulled covered wagon ride where the smell of the ox-poo was a bit too overwhelming for Aedan who then got "wagon"-sick all over.  He was very offended.  No I don't have a picture of that...

We got some fresh air at the Mississippi River and tossed a few rocks in.

We spent a little time in the Nauvoo visitor center and the statue garden.

We ended the day with a trip to the fudge factory and to the buffet at Hotel Nauvoo for our feast.  All in all, it was a fun trip with nice cool weather and good-old fashioned entertainment.  It was hard coming home to refrigeration, indoor plumbing, and a wii that had collected dust over two days but we managed after a time.  Barely.


  1. What a fun trip!! I'm glad the weather wasn't unbearable for you guys :) I miss Nauvoo. I want to take Tony there sometime.

  2. Sounds like you had a fun trip! Poor Aedan on the wagon ride! I am really surprised we never made it out to Nauvoo when we lived really close to it. I love the pictures!


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