Saturday, July 18, 2009

Vaning in Nauvoo

We finally made it to the Nauvoo pageant. Our budget for hotels was basically zero and I was not up for camping, so the next best option? Vaning. This was our first time, so great. Every summer they hold the "Nauvoo pageant" and we hadn't seen it yet! It was AMAZING. We took the back seats out of the ol' minivan, put down a feather mattress and that that is what we now call "vaning.". No bugs, fairly sound proof. Definitely bear proof,(there aren't bears in Nauvoo, but what if?) It was great. Cache slept on the floor behind the drivers seat. And Naomi slept in between us. The weather was in the 70's, so welp, it was perfect. At least that is how we will choose to remember it.

Over view of Nauvoo:
1. Arrived in Nauvoo, ate chicken salad pitas and cut up fruit and veggies for supper.
2. Walked over to the pageant grounds. Devin and Cache played with old pioneer wooden toys while Naomi and I did a "girly craft" which was make a braided headband, I thought they were so cute!
3. Joined back together to watch a puppet show, play tugowar, stilts, ride in a handcart, and saw wood, to make our very own souvenir. Pictured below.
4. Got our seats for the pageant! Cade and Summer joined us after they got out of the temple.
5. Went vaning. Slept...sort of.(ahem Naomi)
6. Woke up, drove our tent- van to the nearest playground, ate a breakfast of whole wheat muffins, cantaloupe and grapes, yogurt and Capri suns!
7. Walked the down Parley street and experienced the "Trail of Hope" that lead us all the way down to the Mississippi. Along the way actors helped us re-live what the saints went through as they were driven from their homes, and walked down that road as they left Nauvoo.
8. Lolly-gagged around Nauvoo, went to the blacksmith shop and to get our matching Prairie Diamonds.
9. Drove over to Carthage Jail. (where the prophet Joseph Smith died). Ate a picnic lunch of whole wheat bagel sandwiches, veggies and sweet potato chips.
10. Drove home in time for dinner.
I included all the food, because for us food makes or breaks a vacation. And I was determined to keep us happy and fed for free. We did it! Yay for me and our bellies. I don't have a lot of talent when it comes to feeding my family so I was happy to pull off some free, healthy, satisfying food. So thanks for letting me toot my own horn on the subject. My favorite trick: two giant tupperware. One full of cut up veggies(green peppers, carrots, broccoli, celery) and the other full of cut of fruit.(watermelon cantaloupe grapes). These two tupperware served as our side dish to every meal. I got this idea from my neighbor who is super healthy and i love her influence on me. :)

Prairie diamonds always bring me a smile, because the first time we got them I was with all my cousins and family in Nauvoo and at the time we all were dating someone seriously back home. They told the love story behind the prairie diamond and then we all nonchalantly took TWO. Ben took one for Cindy and I took one for Devin and Sarah did you take one for Nick? We were all love sick in Nauvoo. That was the best trip! And everytime I go back to Nauvoo, I'm flooded with so many good memories with my cousins and grandparents and Aunts and Uncles in that Beautiful city.
There was a TON of people at the actual pageant that night. But when we walked around Nauvoo, there seemed to be nobody. Just the way i like it. The acting was superb. I really liked who they had playing Joseph Smith.

For all of you who are envious of my "stilt skills" I never recovered from that one legged stunt, falling on my head right after the flash of the camera. Never the less, I did beat that little punky pioneer boy around the tree and back who told me 100 times:
"I've been doing this for FOUR years can you believe it?"
Yah that's right. I'm proud of beating and 8 year old.
Cache thought the idea of riding in a hand cart was ridiculous, and choose to stay sitting in the stroller rolling his eyes at his parents. He has such attitude. Oh boy, I don't know where he gets it. ;)

There is a neat memorial with names of all the people that died while leaving Nauvoo. There are thousands of names. I didn't know THAT many people died. Devin found an Orton. I'm sure a great great ggg..... grandpa's brother or something.


Nauvoo has a feeling, peace about it that no other place I've ever felt. Cache got away from us a couple times but I didn't go into panic. I knew he was safe where he was, and if anyone did find him lost I'm sure it was one of the hundreds of missionaries. I love to see all the senior missionary couples walking around town, or home from the temple holding hands with their cute white hair. You can tell they are just so fullfilled serving their time there. It is easy for me to imagine how much the pioneers Loved that city and and how heart breaking it was when the mobs drove them out of their homes having to say good bye to their homes, their beloved temple in the dead of winter and the city they built up from a swamp. Man I love Nauvoo, I would honestly live there if it was feesable.

With all the stories of sacrifice and death, you would think this would be a somber place, but it's not! It perfectly reflects the gospel:

calm. simple. happy. peaceful


There is lots of laughter in Nauvoo. Great sacrifices were made, BUT its in the past, and they were not made in vain. We are enjoying all the blessings that those people died for.
Great trip.


Nick and Sarah Leonard said...

Wow you took so many good pictures! I especially like the one of the horse shoe nail rings on Cache and Naomi's little fingers :)

natalie spratling said...

Oh, I am jealous. It brought back so many fond memories. To think you were all unmarried at the time. Love the story of the prairie diamond. How fun to live so close to Nauroo. Remember the limo? It made me laugh all over again.

Cindy Spratling said...

Can I be you someday? I mean, I like being me, but you are so inspiring to me Amie. I LOVE reading your blog. I laugh, I cry, I admire, I miss. Glad you guys had fun and took so many memorable pictures. And ps; yay for Nick and Sarah!

shelly said...

Ditto to what Ben and Cindy said. Seriously adorable pictures and outlook on that trip. If it were me, there may have been a tad more details and complaining about "vaning". Very classy with just the "ahem, Naomi". I love the Lucky song, too =)

Gasaway Family said...

What an awesome opportunity! Pluses to living in the midwest right? I hope we can go see church sights some day. I, too, really enjoy reading your blog, you are so creative!