Sunday, 24 January 2016

Jacks Stack

So although Kansas City has a relatively new beautiful temple that we could visit - the main reason we detoured down to this beautiful city was so that Jason could share with us a beautiful meal that he had over 2 years ago! Jason has been fortunate to travel a couple of times to America for buying houses and also visiting family.  During one of the tours they took him to have a wonderfully slow cooked pork rib meal!  He was dying to taste it again except he didn't remember the name of the restaurant....WHOOPS

So after ringing around a few restaurants we were so lucky to find it and book in as being a Saturday night it was soooo busy.  And now I know why....The food was soooooooooooo yummy.  We ordered about 4 different mains to share and 3 different desserts to try. All the meat must have been cooking all day as it was so moist and melted in your mouth and the brownie and ice-cream was to die for! I can taste the food now just writing about it!  It would have to be the best food I have ever tasted and I can now understand why Jason wanted us to drive down to have this food! I bought about 3 jars of the marinating sauce to bring home and boy did I try to make that last!!!

Carthage Jail

Image result for carthage jail

About 30 minutes out of Nauvoo is Carthage which is where the prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum were murdered at Carthage Jail. I found visiting this place very humbling and I had more love and respect for what they went through. I really appreciated the missionary couples that served and taught us more about the history of the church and helping us feel the spirit whilst bearing their testimonies.  Hopefully the children can feel this as well.

Window frame that Joseph Smith fell from

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Ah .... Nauvoo

One of our most anticipated places that we really wanted to visit was Nauvoo Illinois!

Driving in on May 15th seem quite surreal that we were actually there. Just driving around and seeing old buildings that belonged to the early saints in 1840's was just amazing.  We went to the Nauvoo visitors center and saw some missionaries practicing for the upcoming summer festival program and of course one was an Aussie who knew Matthew Ellis. Small World.

We took a horse and cart ride around the town and some of the historical sites and who lived where and places Joseph Smith and his family lived as well as Brigham Young.  The children were also able to participate in interactive tourist attractions that involved doing activities like children did in the 1840's.  We were able to visit where the red bricks would have been made and got our own Nauvoo brick to keep, visit the blacksmith and see how rings were made from old nails and also participate in weaving blankets and taste taffy.


Later in the afternoon Jason and I paid the Community of Christ entry fee into visiting  some more of the Smith's properties such as their family homestead and the Mansion Home and the Family Cemetery.  I really felt the spirit as I walked through the cemetery and believed everything the tour guide was saying actually happened.  At the end we went through the Red Brick Store where the first Relief Society meeting was held and spent some time sitting and pondering what that actually means.  The largest women's organisation on the earth today that helps so many people!

Later that night we visited Nauvoo Hall to view a musical performed by senior missionaries called Rendevous - A funny look at the history of Old Nauvoo.  We enjoyed alot more than we thought we would.

Highlights for me from Nauvoo was of course the beautiful temple!!!  It was so lovely to look at during the day and night.  Of course it is a very new version but model after the original.  I think my only regret of the whole trip was not making time to go inside this temple.  We thought we should be pushing on in case we didn't have time to make the drive home.  But as it was we most definitely could have stayed one more day. I really also loved the statues of Joseph and his brother Hyrum on their horses out the front of the temple viewing the whole expanse of Nauvoo.

I really enjoyed my morning walk the next day from the temple down to the river - Mississippi and to take in the view that the saints would have had before leaving this beautiful place!  Along this walk are plaques with statements from many pioneers from various companies that wrote their feelings and testimonies about the trip they were to embark upon.  Such raw and honest feelings helped me to have more gratitude and compassion for those who have laid the foundation for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that I love so much.  I  really liked the statue of Brigham Young and Joseph Smith down by the river as they seemed to be discussing the pioneer trek ahead.

I also loved Nauvoo as I had the opportunity to drive the big RV for about 5 minutes....that was enough!!! How Jason did it on the freeways will ever befuddle me.

Saturday, 2 January 2016


We were lucky to have a day in Chicago as originally we were just going to keep on driving by but wanted to see around a little.  We just drove really around the city which was a little crazy and then down to the bay. That place was buzzing with markets and restaurants.  It was such a glorious day so everything seemed lovely and scenic! So drove along the shore line until we came to a place we thought was a good place to stop and go to the beach.  It was pleasant enough but very disappointing compared to good old Christies Beach and the beaches in Australia.  Jason seemed to think it was a man made beach but we didn't really know. It was still a lovely break to just be still and relax while of course the little four explored and made friends and had fabulous adventures without the use of technology!