Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Catching up on Rochester

At the beginning of July we had the privilege of going to Rochester, NY to visit Matt’s grandpa Doug and grandma Betty. It was our first time (including Matt) visiting them at their home and boy was it FUN! We went to the Strong National Museum of Play, which was incredible. Seriously, every town should have one of these. It was full of hands on things for kids to play with. They had a whole section of Sesame Street things, a full kid sized grocery store where they got hands on experience from shopping to checking out, a fairy tale section, and a butterfly house. I don’t know who had more fun, Luke or the adults? It was great.

We then had a fun filled day at Niagara Falls where we went to the aquarium (not very fun because there was only like 3 things to see), the park, and even got to experience the falls up close and personal (thanks grandpa and grandma for watching Lydia so we could go!). On the way home we stopped by a wharf and had some great seafood. Yummy.

The third day we were able to go see the church history sites in Palmyra. It was incredible to walk through the sacred grove, see the replica of the tiny log cabin where the angel Moroni visited the boy Joseph, and the large Smith home that was 80% original! It poured on us (and boy do I mean poured..and thundered and lightening) halfway through but it was still fun. Matt, Lydia and I tried to go to the Hill Cumoruh Pageant that night (thanks once again grandma and grandpa for watching Luke so we could go). By tried I mean that we got through about 70% of the show before it POURED on us. Of course we left the umbrellas in the car and so poor Lydia got a bit of rain before I stuffed her in my jacket. Unfortunately, they cancelled the show because of it. (For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Hill Cumorah pageant it is done outside on a huge stage that is on the hill Cumoruh where Joseph Smith got the gold plates. It is an amazing top notch performance of segments of Lehi’s time through until Christ comes again to the Americas and then the restoration of the gospel.) It was one of the most amazing plays I’ve ever seen. Wish we could have seen the end. Good thing we know how it really ended though. I love the gospel!

On the way home we took a slight detour to Harmony, PA to see the Hale’s and Smith’s home (well foundation since the original homes are no longer there). This is the place where Joseph Smith translated most of the Book of Mormon. Joseph and Emma’s first born son was buried in the cemetery adjacent to the property. Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were baptized in the Susquehannah River (which we walked down to and is beautiful). They also had a large statue representing the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods being restored there. So lots of church history there as well which made the detour well worth it. Oh and we got to stop by Scranton, PA on the way home (the town where The Office is suppose to be located). J Matt was giddy.

We had a blast visiting you grandpa Doug and Betty. Thank you so much for your hospitality. We love you guys!

So these pics are a little backwards....

Matt doing a quick photo shoot of Lydia. Harmony, PA

The monument in memory of the Aaronic and Mechizedek priesthoods being restored. Harmony, PA

This is the Smith family home that is 80% original. Matt and I couldn't believe how modern it looked. Apparently Alvin Smith was an accomplished carpenter and decided to build this modern home for his family. He was able to complete the foundation, framing, roof, exterior walls, and part of the interior himself before he took ill and died suddenly (the church believes it was due to a ruptured appendix - according to the elderly missionary there). Unfortunately the Smith's didn't know how to build a home like Alvin so had to find someone in town to help them finish it. The man who helped them finish it ended up stealing the home from the Smith's by paying the last $100 on their mortgage and took the deed out from under them. He then rented it out to them for a couple years before his oldest daughter got married which he intended to give it to her as a wedding gift. The Smith's were then required to move back into the small log cabin down the street with Hyrum and his wife. 11 people in a tiny, tiny cabin because of a greedy man who stole their house. So sad.

Replica of Smith log cabin. This is the room that the Angel Moroni appeared to the boy Joseph Smith.

Sacred Grove

Yes, that is me getting soaked. Believe it or not it was really scary to go on that. They put up those bridges every Spring and take them down every fall. So kind of scary to think about how rickety they are. But Matt dared me...so I had too.