As usual, we didn't have enough time to do and see all that we wanted to while in Nauvoo, Ill. We could probably spend a week there, and maybe that would do it. I love it, and I know Natalia and Brian do, too. Monkey just wanted to see the horses, and Joseph wanted to be in charge of everything and visit the Fudge Factory (which we didn't end up doing anyway.)
We arrived Tuesday afternoon and visited with Ramona and her fam at their store Nauvoo Health and Nutrition that is on the main street downtown. Nauvoo only has a population on about 1100, but with all of the seasonal people, missionaries, and visitors, it is just booming in the summertime.
Sis#4 is there staying with Ramona, and she had a job interview at a local diner/cafe place, I think it is called Mike's Homestead Restaurant or something like that. She got the job! Yeah Monie!
Saw my cousin Crystal's NEWborn baby Alexander and his big brother Noah. Crystal's husband has been over in Afghanistan and was flying in yesterday to take Crystal and his boys back home to North Carolina. Crystal was visiting her family in Nauvoo and had the baby 6 weeks early. He was sooo tiny at 4lbs. 7oz., a perfect little mini baby who looked a lot like his brother. Of course I didn't even get a picture of him!
We stayed here, and they were really nice and roomy. Monkey thought that maybe it was our new house, but he got tired of the new house pretty quickly and wanted to go home to our old house. We took the kids down to the Adventure Zone for some pizza and fun that night.
The next morning Aunt Ramona and I were able to go to the temple while Mom watched the kids for a while. I've never been inside the Nauvoo Temple, but I've seen pictures of it. The woodwork is beautiful, the chandeliers, curtains, furniture, all so beautiful. Ramona cleans the temple at night, so she knew all about everything in there.
I met the rest of the group over at Pioneer Pastimes, which is where the kids can play different pioneer games, including a stick pulling contest. Monkey liked all of the games, but was a little frustrated with rolling the wheel because he couldn't keep it going very long.
Monkey and I went back to the condos to change and gather up the lunch stuff while the rest of them went on to the ox-cart ride. We met up at the State Park (that's where our family reunion was last year) to eat and relax. The weather was Perfect the whole time we were there, 70's and maybe some 80's.
After lunch we walked around town a little bit. It's very quaint and homey. My new favorite shop that I hadn't been in before is this one. They had tons of stuff crammed into the store, and couldn't even look at everything. We got some goodies, Joseph and Mario each wanted tote bags that say Nauvoo, IL. Joe's is Batman and Monkey's is Spiderman. Brian is getting a puka shell necklace, and Natalia waited to find a hoodie sweatshirt at another shop; she's been wanting one forever, and we can never find one that she likes. I got myself some fat quarters (no pun intended there ; ) ) of some cute fabrics, with horses and spinning wheels, the pioneer trail, and little teddy bear pioneers with covered wagons and everything. Maybe I'll post a picture of a finished project with them! We walked down to the little restaurant where Monie had just gotten done with the lunch shift and had a soda. Cute little place!
Our next adventure was the play "High Hopes and Riverboats" put on by some of the performing missionaries. The singing and dancing was really wonderful, but not enough to keep Monkey entertained, as you can see in the picture. Aunt Emily had to bribe him with pringles because he was so rotten, and he fell asleep with a half-eaten chip still in his hand. He was throwing a fit because he wanted to go on a horsie ride (the wagon ride) so we ran over to catch the last ride of the day. They take you around to through some fields and over one of the drainage ditches that the early Saints dug to drain the swampland. They have great stories about individual people who lived there back then. The sway of the wagon put Joe to sleep, and he cracked us all up by popping his head up and mumbling "are we there yet?" and sleeping right on through the rest of it.
We high-tailed it back to the condos to eat a quick dinner and head back down to where the pre-show activities were happening before the Pageant. The kids had so much fun! There were tons of volunteers, and you could pretty much tell who they were cuz they were in period costumes. The calico fabrics were beautiful, too bad you can't see the detail in the pictures. The activites included puppet shows, Scottish dancing lessons, handcart rides, coloring, marbles, and our favorite, the square dancing. The girls couldn't get enough of it, and I even joined in for a couple of sets. As you can see by Sierra's hair flying, it was pretty fast! The musicians were amazing, including some younger teenage fiddle players. All of the people involved did such a great job putting everything together, and it was such a great time!
The pageant was really well done, with a core cast that performs the whole time, and a supporting cast that changes every week. It tells the story of how Nauvoo was founded by the Mormons, including ancestor's of mine, who had been run out of Missouri by the mobs and the governor's extermination order.
Mario and Joseph were not too impressed with the performance, but when the performers were putting up pieces of the temple onstage, Mario was really interested in the building process! He finally settled down and watched the rest of the pageant. The performers then spread out into the audience to talk to everyone, that was a lot of fun. Sierra was really excited about that, and she had even gotten the autograph of the actor who played Joseph Smith. She can't wait until she can be part of the pageant. Natalia, Carmen and Sierra really enjoyed the pageant, but the younger kids were a bit restless.
We had a good night's sleep, then loaded up for the trip home, stopped at Ramona's store, and headed out of town. We've managed to visit Nauvoo once a year since we've lived here, and it is always sad to go. Monkey had gotten sick by this time and was running a fever. When Andy got home last night he said to him,"Dad, I pooked (puked)". Isn't that fun.