Sunday, October 10, 2010

Road Trippin' it with the BFF's!!

So....I did something totally selfish and I have to admit, I loved every minute of it.
I have gone to girl's camp a bazillion times, but that is actually church service.
I have gone on sisters trip with my sisters, but that is family bonding time.

I realize that most people hate reading other's vacation blogs...but oh well. My feelings won't be hurt ( much), I read yours after all! I was completely selfish...left my ill husband and my two teen-aged able bodied sons and didn't really feel too bad about. Sometimes you just gotta take care of yourself. right? (I need validation here folks!)

An opportunity to go on a church history trip with two of my bestest friends was dropped in my lap. After about 12 minutes of thought...I decided to go! Pam, my friend of 25 (!) years had decided that since we are teaching Church History in seminary...she wanted to go see the sights we are teaching about. Vicki, our other BFF, loves to travel so she volunteered to put the trip together. So the two of them planned, reserved, and mapped out the entire trip. I showed up with a suitcase. (really, I did NOTHING to plan at all. They even bought my ticket one night when they found a great deal. Pam just called and made sure she got all the details right and informed me what I owed. Best way to go...!)

After stressing for a couple of weeks and almost backing out several dozen times, Vicki's husband picked us up at 3:30am to go to the airport. Ugh. I honestly couldn't believe I was going to see all the sites I have always wanted to visit! Just the mere word "Nauvoo" makes me misty and now I was headed there! This was truly a dream come true for me and to share it with Pam and Vicki made it all the more special. (Disclaimer: Going with my family would be the optimal trip, but since it is an impossibility right now with Byron's health...going with my great friends was the next best thing.)


Pam & Vicki at our car rental. Our little friend Payton calls us her fairy godmothers.
We are just like Sleeping Beauty's godmothers...the tall one, the pretty one and the round one. Guess which one I am?

I'll spare you the entire travelogue and the 643 pictures I took (not an exaggeration), but I will share some of the highlights of our adventure and some of my favorite things. Because I have major control issues, I drove the whole time. This worked out great, they could see everything and I could be in the drivers seat, literally. One of the great things about going with your girlfriends? If you see somewhere you want to go...you can!! They're not going to argue and tell you to hurry up! If you see, say , a billboard that says "Walt Disney's hometown!" and you want to see it...chances are, so do they!!! It was awesome.



In front of the Visitor's Center in Independence, MO., just outside of Kansas City and the only rain we got the whole trip. It rained for about 30 minutes, we were blessed with great weather.


This is 'The Temple' for the Community of Christ church, which used to be called the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It was huge and we really wanted to go in because anyone can. We just got there too late. It really is called "The Temple", at least that's what the big sign out front said.



This may look like a vacant field to you, but it is not. This is the sacred site where someday a temple will be built. It was humbling to stand on this consecrated land.


We were driving around Independence and look what we found!! Harry Truman's house! Remember what I said about traveling with your family...perfect example. We saw, we stopped, we high fived! Oh, this is where I need a little shout out for Pam's GPS system that came with us. Awesome, except when I would turn wrong, I need a little help with right and left. The poor GPS girl was always "recalculating" and telling me to stay on the prescribed route. Oops, my bad.




We went to Liberty, MO. Liberty was the place where Joseph Smith was held on false charges for five long months with four other men. This was an exact reproduction of that jail, it was built on the precise place that the original prison was. To see the 4 foot thick walls with two small windows, low ceilings and no real ventilation and to realize that five men survived an entire winter here, is beyond belief. Surely they were sustained by their faith and by angels.



This is a replica of the Book of Mormon, if you are one of my non-LDS friends and want to know what this is....ask me!!!



This is the home of Alexander Doniphan, he was a great friend to the early Mormons, although not a member of the church himself. It was one of literally thousands of cute homes we saw and 'ooohed and aaahed' over!





We drove out to Far West, MO, which holds the remnant corner stones of a temple that the saints had hoped to build. There is nothing here, no old log cabins restored etc...just some plaques telling the significance of Far West. The saints had come here from Ohio, a very long distance, hoping to build it up as a safe place for them. But it was not to be; It was here that the anti-Mormon mobs drove the saints out in the dead of winter, some with no shoes and feet wrapped in rags. How sad and heartbroken they must have been to have to leave this beautiful land that had been promised to them as a safe place. Our hearts were heavy as we walked around Far West and looked at the magnificent landscape; the early Saints suffered so much, would we be as faithful as they?'



The valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman. A very special place indeed. The spirit of God is very strong here, and the tears flowed freely.




Thank goodness they have Diet Pepsi in Missouri.


Cute house huh?


It's Walt Disney's boyhood home!! Who knew he was from MO???
We went downtown Marceline, MO, it looks just like Main Street USA in Disneyland!
Seriously!!

Trip to be continued.....

17 comments:

Rochelleht said...

Ah! Yeah you!!! I love all those places. SUCH a fun trip. Can't wait to relive Nauvoo with you too.

the wrath of khandrea said...

i know you are going to give very inspired seminary lessons this year. with diet pepsi as an object lesson of some kind...

Tristan said...

You deserve a trip like this! I can only imagine the incredible lessons you are going to give!! Good for you! I'm excited to hear more!

Lauren in GA said...

Taking that trip was not selfish AT. ALL! I am so glad you went. You DESERVED IT.

I get kind of choked up when I think about Nauvoo, too.

A lot of people have explained to me what, "The Temple" looks like...I am so glad you included a picture. I didn't know they weren't referred to as RLDS anymore, either.

I love how you encouraged your friends that don't know what the golden plates are to ask you. You are a great teacher and missionary. I admire you more than I can say.

Does this mean that Missouri is true? Since they have Diet Pepsi there? You are so cute!

Sally said...

How awesome. I am jealous of your wonderful trip and glad you got to go!!

Sally said...

P.S. I think "The Temple" looks like a spaceship. A really cool spaceship.

marty said...

No, Jeni, not selfish at all...trips like this come along once or twice in a lifetime, so I'm happy you went and enjoyed yourself.

Thanks for all the pics and the great write up about your travels. I can't wait for part 2....

Lauren said...

oh mom, you and your BFF's are so cute.

tammy said...

what a great trip! i'm glad you were able to go. :)

Paige said...

Wow! What a great experience. I hope someday to actually want to visit those sites. So far in my life I can think of a million other places I'd rather go. Is that bad?

Gabi said...

So glad you got to do this, Jeni! You deserve it. I am kicking myself that we never went to Adam ondi Ahman. I hear it is the best...

diane said...

I love all the pictures. I'm reading the D&C right now and it is cool to see all of these locations. I have been to Nauvoo before but never to these Mo. sites. My oldest son and his wife recently visited these places and it is nice to see what they saw through your photo essay. I'm so glad you were able to take a break and refill your cup.

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