Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A Week In My Favorite Place

This summer I was determined to enjoy an entire week in McCall.  As luck would have it, our designated week was a cool one and the pool was broken.  Inspite of that we still loved it.  We played in the sand, ate huckleberries, played tennis, took lots of hikes, hung out downtown, and just enjoyed being together.  Life really is better here!

 Our friends met us up there one day and enjoyed the beach and berry picking.  In spite of the weather the kids still managed to get plenty wet.  It was less than 65 degrees outside - burr.

 Like the little mermaid?

 The kids all set some summer goals and each goal had a prize associated with it.  Emmy met her reading goal and got a date to Ice Cream Alley with Mom.

 My most frequent hikers.
For about an hour all 6 of them were working together on this sand structure.  I love those moments.

Greg joined us for the weekend and took us on a hike - unfortunately we never found the right trail.  We ended up traipsing through the forest being consumed by mosquitos.  The littler kids had the worst of it becasue the brush was over their heads half the time.  This picture shows Kate crawling across the river; it doesn't capture the moaning.  This little avdenture ended in tears and lots of itching but they all brightened up when we went to Ice Cream Alley for lunch.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Independence, Liberty Jail, Adam-ondi-aman, Far West, and the Best Hotel Ever

We drove on to Independence.  Saw the Visitors Center and then caught a tour of Liberty Jail.  The reconstruction of the jail is so wonderful.  By leaving it open it is easy to imagine how cold and cramped it would have been down there.  It was a good visual for the kids.
That night we arrived at our hotel to find this amazing pool.  It was like we were back at the Dells.  We only had an hour to play before it closed and the kids all loved it.

The next day we hit our last tourist sights- The Alexander Doniphan Statue, Three Witnesses Monument in the cemetery and then on to the Farr West Temple site.  I remember visiting there when Natali was a baby.  I was touched by the spirit of the place and felt it again this time as well.

Our last stop was Adam-ondi-ahman.  This valley has special significance as the place Adam and Eve went when they were cast out of the garden.  There are also future events prophesied to take place here.  It is a beautiful valley.  We sat looking it over, talking about it's significance, trying to help the kids feel the spirit when some deer were spotted in the field below.  There was some discussion as to wither it was really deer.  Annoyed with the discussion someone sarcastically said, "It's not a deer - it's a bear."  Much to our surprise and amusement Emily freaked out.  She started crying and trying to run to the car.  We tried to calm her down but the moment was lost - everyone was either laughing or crying so we hoped in the van and started the journey home.

We stopped at Ruby Tuesday's for dinner that night and everyone was actually well behaved and kind to each other.  On our way out and older lady stopped me and asked if they were all mine - the usual questions.  Then she commented about how well behaved they were.  She was so kind and encouraging.  It is nice to have moments like that.

We had planned to take two days to get home but as we went to bed that night Greg decided he was going to try getting home the next night.  Sure enough Greg drove 1011the next day to get us home around 1 in the morning.  It was an exhausting day but everyone was cheering Greg on - we all wanted to be home.  Vacation is so fun, I love seeing new things and spending time together, but it is always nice to come home.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Cahokia Mounds- What?

While planing this trip I was talking to a friend who used to live in the St. Louis area and he told me I had to see the Cahokia Mounds.  I was like "The what?"  I started to research and learned that Cahokia is the remains of a huge ancient Native American settlement that covered more that 6 square miles.  They built huge mound out of earth.  The park has 80 of these mounds.  I decided I wanted to go see them.  

The day we went to the park it was 100 degrees and humid.  The museum was really cool (Kate especially loved it) but to see all the mounds we had to endure the heat.  We grabbed an ancient cassette player and started the tour.  The largest mound, Monks Mound, is the largest earthen structure in the Americas and the largest pyramid north of Mesoamerica.  It is about 100 ft high.  The hike to the top was brutal in the heat (Kate stayed at the bottom).  

 Here are some pictures from the top.
 Can you see St. Louis off in the distance?  It was so hot but it was pretty amazing from the top.  There was a lady running the stairs to the top and I think she was crazy!
Overall it was pretty cool but the heat definitely detracted from the experience.  Everyone was happy when we finally left.