Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Illinois Family Reunion

We are home from our 3 week RV road trip to Illinois. What an unforgetable adventure with so many new experiences. I had never seen Nauvoo, Kansas or Oklahoma, never riden the world's longest tram up a mountain side in New Mexico and I had never even wanted to drive a 30 foot vehicle around a block, let alone 4,000+ miles. Despite a few challenges with the rig, we had a fantastic time.

This was the first time Rob's entire family (parents & all the kids & grandkids) had been together since our wedding day nearly 10 years ago. We all came together for Memorial Day in Dixon, IL, the home of Rob's Dad's Cobra which he flew in Vietnam. It has been restored and painted just like he had it 42 years ago and is on display at a Veterans Memorial Park. Here are some of the photos from the reunion there and Nauvoo, IL.

The patriotic citizens of Dixen gave us all a warm welcome. Rob's Dad was honored in the parade by having us all ride with him in a Deuce and a half military truck.

The Nauvoo temple was breathtaking. It was rebuilt in 2002 almost exactly as the early saints had built it in the 1840's. We were able to park next to the hotel where everyone else was staying, kiddie corner from this sacred building.

Joel, Cassie, Maia, Audrey & William. Cousins from 3 of the 4 families coming from Pennsylvania, Alabama, Utah & Arizona.


Bennett got to lead the children's parade in the Nauvoo evening variety show. It was so fun to watch the senior missionaries and talented mini-mission missionaries perform. I could just imagine my folks up there on the stage!

The statues of Joseph and Hyrum Smith in front of the beautiful Nauvoo Temple.

Cousins Josh and Jeremiah, 2 of the 4 J's who were all born in October. These two had never met, but had an instant bond.

A bumpy ride behind some seasoned oxen gave us new appreciation for the pioneers (who rarely rode due to weight limitations for their journey). I think I would prefer to walk also.

Saying goodbye as everyone headed their own ways from Carthage Jail. It was so moving to see be in the room where the Joseph and Hyrum were killed. What an incredible sacrifice. My testimony of his purpose on the earth was reaffirmed - I know he was a prophet of God.


emily a. said...

Looks like it was a great trip. You guys are crazy- 3 weeks in an RV. I can't wait to hear all about it.

lisa said...

It looks like so much fun! How great that you could all be there together. Glad you're home safe.