This day of my trip was the Sabbath.
All my life, I've never had to drive more than 10 minutes to get to church (except for maybe on other vacations). Growing up we were five minutes away and now my family lives four doors down from our chapel.
Needless to say, it was a new experience leaving the house at 7 a.m. and driving half an hour to get Dan to his 7:30 meeting at the cute, little pint sized church building in Plymouth.
Ang is the primary president in her branch so we went to the primary room to set it up.
When we got there, the first thing she did was water the piano.
She showed me that their piano needs to be plugged in and watered through an internal tube on a regular basis. She said it has something to do with the humidity but she didn't understand it really.
I kind of got a kick out of that :)
After sacrament meeting I attended the two hours of primary with Angie. It's a very small group with only about 5 kids in each hour but she certainly has her hands full. Lots of energy in those few kids :)
After church, we drove home and had some lunch and then hopped back in the car and drove to Vermont to visit the Joseph Smith Memorial site. It actually snowed on us a little bit as we drove up the long, gorgeous driveway. It was kind of a nippy day.
Sharon Vermont is the birthplace of the prophet Joseph Smith, the man who we believe restored the true Church of Jesus Christ to the earth in this dispensation.
He was a man who endured much persecution and hate during his lifetime for the gospel's sake and was martyred at the age of 38.
It is the Savior we worship but we do honor Joseph Smith as a true prophet of God in the latter days.
Joseph's parents, Lucy Mack and Joseph Smith Senior.
The original hearthstone from the home in which Joseph was born.
|I wish my picture of the statue was not so blurry.|
The site of the home.
Isn't it a gorgeous place?
I had a neat experience on my flight home from Philly to Salt Lake.
The man next to me was from Vermont and headed to a conference in Salt Lake. He grew up very near the memorial and has memories of walking in the woods. His best friend's dog would runaway often and always ended up at the memorial so he was very familiar with the area. He initiated a brief conversation about the church...deducing I was a member since I had visited Sharon and lived in Utah and he accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon as we walked off the plane.
Really nice guy. I hope he further investigates the church.
I had another neat experience at the memorial. Sister Sarah Smedley is a sweet girl from my home ward. She is currently serving a mission in New Hampshire. She had been serving at the Memorial site until about three months ago and then was transferred quite a ways away to a different area of the mission. Her ward and Angie's branch are two hours apart and so I didn't think I would have a chance to see her while I was in the area. However, when I asked about her at the visitor's center, the other sisters said she was arriving there in half an hour for a special fireside. What luck!
It was so fun to see her. She is loving her mission and it is obvious :)
You can drive further into the woods and see the foundations of Joseph's grandfather's and uncle's homes. It was so gorgeous and peaceful in those woods.
That night, when we got home, we made a late dinner of yummy chickpea curry and skyped the family back home like we do almost every Sunday night but this time I was on the other end of things.
I will also post about the final day of my trip.
Ang and I had planned on going back to the bookstore and also to a couple of other little quilt stores in the area before she took me to the airport but we found out that both of the quilt shops were closed on Mondays. So, instead we checked out another little gift type store that she had never been to and went to lunch. We chose "The Canoe" for our meal but we were cutting it close for me to make my flight so we went in and asked if we could be seated, order, eat and be out of there in half an hour. The hostess checked with the cooks and told them what we wanted (we had already looked at the menu online) and she had us seated right away.
The view from our table.
It's hard to tell but my bowl of mac and cheese was massive :)
It was great food and we were out of there in perfect time.
Ang dropped me off and we weren't too happy about it :)
But I had these cuties waiting for me on the other end so it was just fine.
My first flight was a little late and so I had to book it about 1/2 a mile to get to my gate at the Philly airport (I couldn't find a shuttle to take me there). I was so concerned when I realized I was going to have to go through security again to get to my gate but I barely made it and was the last one on.
I had a pleasant flight home with an empty seat between me and Dirk (the man from Vermont) and read almost all of one of my new novels from the bookstore...very relaxing as I sipped my ginger ale :)
The second flight was almost half an hour early so I was surprised to see my family waiting for me at the baggage terminal. I got great big hugs all around and had quite a job trying to keep Ben off the luggage carousel.
I was so energetic and awake on the drive home as I told my family all about my experiences. All the kids but Ben fell asleep as I talked :)
My mom had made a welcome home sign for me that was super cute; complete with bees :)
And thank you to my wonderful host and hostess, Andy and the kids and my parents and in-laws that made this trip possible for me.
I had received update pictures while I was gone assuring me that everyone else was having fun too so I didn't feel so guilty about being gone.
Andy took the kids to be with Grandpa and Grandma Bryan during their break from school.
They road the Haunted Heber Creeper...
Went for a hike...
Got haircuts and new basketball shoes...
And Abby had the fabulous opportunity to attend the National Girl Scout Convention held in Salt Lake with her Aunt Wendy and cute cousins.
Thanks so much for taking her Wendy. She had a blast!
What an experience! I'm so glad Andy convinced me that I could do it by myself!
What wonderful adventures and memories I made with Ang and Dan that I can reflect upon and remember for many years to come.
I left plenty of things undone that I still want to do in the area...The Boston Temple, the other two little quilt shops, the Shaker Villiage, etc. etc. etc...
So now that I'm comfortable traveling on my own, I'll have to make it back some day soon :)