Monday, June 15, 2009

Family Vacation

I have a lot of catching up to do, so here we go! May 11-18 we went on our first real family vacation. My sister Miriam and her family were living in Cleveland, Ohio so we went to visit them and see some Church history sites. She and her husband have two little girls: Hannah is 2 1/2 and Myah was 10 months. We flew into Detroit where they picked us up and then we drove into Ontario, Canada. We spent the night in London and drove to Niagara Falls the next day. It was a beautiful day! After enjoying several hours at the falls we drove to Rochester, New York and stayed the night there.
We spent the next day in Palmyra visiting all the Church sites there. We had beautiful weather and it was so wonderful to see the places where many important things happened. We were able to visit the Whitmer farm where the Church was officially organized, the hill Cumorah where the gold plates were buried, the Smith farm and the Sacred grove where Heavenly Father and Jesus appeared to Joseph Smith, and EB Granden's print shop where the Book of Mormon was printed for the first time. It was a lot to see in one day, but the girls were troopers and we had a great time. I especially loved the sacred grove. It looks like any other forest in the area, but has an amazing spirit because of the special event that happened there.
We stayed the night in Rochester again and then drove to Cleveland the next day. We did a lot of driving those first few days, so we all relazed that night and enjoyed being together. We went to Kirtland the next day and once again had a wonderful experience. We were able to visit the Whitney store with the school of the prophets room upstairs, the Whitney home, saw mill, and ashery, and of course the temple. Also at the visitors center they had a bronze sculpture exhibit that a woman named Amanda Johnson did of the Savior. The sculptures were beautiful and she has never taken a sculpting class or anything. We also visited the Morley farm, which was one of 3 places we saw that day where the Savior had appeared. The other two were the temple and the school of the prophets.
The next day was saturday and we went to the John Johnson farm in Hiram, Ohio. Joseph and Emma lived there for a time. That was where they lived when they lost their twins, adopted the Murdock twins, and lost one twin when the door was left open when Joseph was tarred and feathered. It was also the place where many of the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants were given, including section 76. There was a special spirit in the revelation room upstairs in the farm house where those revelations were received.
On sunday Miriam's husband, Damon, graduated from dental school at Kase Western University. Barrett and I took all 3 girls to church while Miriam and Damon went to graduation. That was an adventure! We enjoyed being together that evening and the next morning before Damon drove us back to Detroit and we flew home.
It was a long trip with lots of mile covered, but we were so happy to be able to visit family before they moved and to see so many Church history sites. Thank you Miriam and Damon for taking us everywhere! We had a wonderful trip! Here is a slide show of the trip. More updates to come!
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Trip back east!
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