August 4, 2017

Palmyra, New York

After our day in Niagara Falls, we hit up all the LDS historical sites in Palmyra. Our first stop was the Hill Cumorah. We walked to the top and then it was on to the next area of sites (there's really not much else to do at the Hill Cumorah). We saw the Smith's family log house as well as the other house they later moved into that's located right down the road. My favorite part of the whole trip was walking through the Sacred Grove. We walked pretty far back into the grove so we were all alone and not surrounded by other tourists. The Sacred Grove is absolutely gorgeous and such a peaceful place to be. We spent quite a while walking down paths. After we finished there, we drove by the Palmyra Temple, and then went to find some lunch. 

While we were eating lunch at a pizzeria we found, we met a French family from Canada. They had a little boy around the same age as Taylor, and both boys were playing with their own toy car. It didn't take long before Taylor and the little boy traded cars and were happily playing together. This little boy only spoke French, but that didn't stop them from having a great time. Cars is the language they were speaking. Andrew and I talked to his parents and left wishing we could be best friends with them. It's funny how easy it is to bond with people when your kids are getting along in such a sweet manner.

Right across the street from the pizzeria was the printing press for the Book of Mormon. I didn't expect much, but it turned out to be a really interesting place to tour. On the same street as the printing press, there were so many old houses and antique shops. I wish we had more time to explore the area. 

Andrew's seminary teacher from high school, Brother Baker, happened to live right down the street from the printing press so we got to visit with him. He was nice enough to walk us down to Alvin's grave and told us some really interesting stories I was unaware of. 

By this point, all of us were exhausted from a long day so we headed back to the hotel. We were hoping we'd be able to see the Hill Cumorah pageant, but it doesn't start until 9:15 pm which doesn't really bode well with the tiny humans who run our lives. 

The next day, we drove the 4.5 hours home just in time to pick up my mom from the airport. She came out to help me make the flight back to AZ with two kids, and to spend time with us during our last few days in Ohio. More on our adventures while she was here in the next post I get up!

July 31, 2017

Niagara Falls

The kids and I have been back in Arizona for about a week and a half. We flew home last Wednesday for some doctor appointments we had already scheduled. Andrew had another week or so of work and then started his drive back on Saturday. He will be home by the end of the day and we are so excited to have him back.

While we were in Ohio, I did a pretty good job about staying on top of blogging all our adventures. Since being home, I haven't taken the time to sit down and document our last few adventures so here we go...

Our last weekend, we decided to drive the 3.5 hours to Niagara Falls. We figured we might as well make the trip while we're out on that side of the states. Our first stop was Old Fort Niagara. Old Fort Niagara is the oldest continuously occupied military site in North America. At different points in its 300 year history, it was occupied by Britain, France, and the United States. I loved touring all the old buildings because, unlike most historic sites where certain rooms are off-limits or doorways are roped-off, everything was free to roam.

After we explored every building, we went to the actual falls and did the Maid of the Mist. Taylor was excited to get on the boat, but was a little unsure once water was pouring down on us. Now that it's over, he will excitedly tell you about how he went on a boat and got wet. 

Then it was back in the car for another 1.5 hour drive to our hotel which was located near Palmyra, New York where our next day of exploring would take place. Hopefully it doesn't take me quite as long to get that blog post up.

July 12, 2017

Amish Country

On Saturday, we drove the two hours to Amish Country. Our first stop was the Boyd and Wurthmann Restaurant. The food was good, but then the waitress took it to the next level when she suggested the bagged apple pie for dessert. I didn't know "bagged apple" was a specific type of pie, but whatever the difference is between that and regular apple pie, it is phenomenal. After lunch we walked around all the nearby stores. After window shopping for a while, we headed to Heini's Cheese Chalet and got a quick tour of the cheese factory.

Taylor's favorite parts of the trip was riding around in a car grocery cart in the Amish super market and seeing the horses and buggies driving down the street. Andrew's favorite part was the food. My favorite part was how absolutely gorgeous the area was. 

I took a total of the above three pictures, but still wanted to do a quick blog post to document our time in Amish Country. And here's some unrelated pictures of my cute kids just because:

July 9, 2017

Our Fourth

We started our fourth of July by going to a free pancake breakfast at our church. Afterwards, we headed to the Farm Park which is a working dairy farm with lots of activities for kids.

We decided not to go to a firework show since it doesn't get dark until after 9:30 (which is about two hours after bedtime for the kids). Instead we walked the 30 seconds from our house down to the lake to see if we could see any fireworks in either directions down the shoreline. Turns out we didn't even need to do that. Everyone was having their own personal firework shows in their yards.

Even if we hadn't witnessed any fireworks, I'd say that sunset was pretty patriotic.

July 5, 2017

Garfield Park Reservation

Something Ohio has plenty of is beautiful, well-maintained parks. Every park we've been to so far has been super nice. Andrew only had to work a half-day on Monday, so we picked up some Choolaah (my favorite place to eat) and headed to Garfield Park Reservation. It's a large wetland park with lots of hiking trails that lead to waterfalls and old bridges. There's also lots of deer that don't seem to mind a bunch of people walking near them.

July 3, 2017

Cars, Planes, and Carousels

Most of the things left on our list of things to do while we're here in Ohio are outdoor activities. Saturday was rainy so our original plans were scrapped and we weren't sure what to do for our adventure. I did a quick search online to find an alternative plan and stumbled upon the Crawford Auto Aviation Exhibit at the Cleveland History Center on University Circle. University Circle is home to lots of museums so this outing made it our third trip there (we had even walked past the Cleveland History Museum before, but hadn't thought anything of it besides noticing the big glass windows showcasing a carousel). With Taylor being a fan of cars, we thought we would enjoy a quick walk though of the auto aviation exhibit, but it ended up being one of our favorite museums (it also ended up being the cheapest museum we've attended). 

The old cars and planes were just a small part of the museum. There was tons to see and a variety of exhibits. One of the cool things about the museum is that it was built on as an addition of two mansions. I love old buildings so I particularly enjoyed exploring these. Taylor's favorite part of it all (even more than the cars and airplanes) was the 107 year old carousel. Watching his big smile, excited shouts, and his enthusiastic wave at everyone as we spun around made this easily my favorite part of the museum as well.

Afterwards, we walked through the college campus of Case Western, which is made up of old buildings and churches, to get to the Jolly Scholar for delicious burgers.

With the 4th of July coming up and Andrew having an extra day and a half off, we will most likely be able to squeeze in one or two extra adventures this week. Which is good since we are almost out of time here in Ohio. 
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