Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Upstate New York

It's a little dumb to try to put this in one post.  Some of my favorite things happened in New York.  Let's see if I can make it NOT a million paragraphs long.

DAY 1:  Palmyra

We were lucky to have Grandma Dorrie and Grandpa Jeff meet us for this leg of the trip! It was fun to experience this part of the tour with them!

We started our trip at the Smith Family farm. We toured the home and other buildings and then headed to the sacred grove.  It truly was a lovely morning and we felt blessed to be there.  We all tried to take some quiet time to pray and meditate while there and there were some sweet experiences.

After lunch we went to the Grandin printing press and it was a really well done tour, as well.  Not that I'd know...this was when Ryan and I realized a feisty 18 month old baby was not going to do well on the tours.  Grandin was my turn to take the baby out.  But my kids really learned a lot.

We headed to Hill Cumorah after that and proceeded to hike up the wrong way and roll down the super steep hill and crack a head (Seth's) on a sprinkler on the way down and deal with copious amounts of blood.  After that was resolved, we took a few pictures and chilled a little in the visitors center.

For dinner we sent Ryan to buy salad mixes and fruit at the grocery store because we were done with eating out at this point. We just spread out in the hotel dining room and ate some vegetables!

DAY 2: Fayette, Seneca, Watkins Glen

We drove to the Peter Whitmer farm first thing in the morning and it was my most spiritual moment of the trip.  I LOVED the video in the visitors center and was so moved by the small little house from which this marvelous work has sprung.  I loved the story of Mary Whitmer and loved how the Lord rewards the service of homemakers and small acts of service.

We decided to stop in Seneca Falls and visit the hall where the Women's Suffrage movement started.  Great free museum and I thought it was so good to have the whole family reminded of the importance of women's rights.

At this point, we decided to head back to our hotel so that our strung out baby could nap...Grandma said she'd take a few kids and explore the finger lakes area. As we drove back, Levi fell asleep.  We opted to drive while he napped, and looked up Favorite Drives in the area, because it was SO BEAUTIFUL.  We saw rave reviews of the Watkins Glen hike and realized the my mom was headed there as well. It was one of the highlights of the trip.  It was like hiking through a Disney fairy movie...under waterfalls, through grottos, in carved out river beds.  We were all enchanted and so grateful we hadn't missed it. (The day was capped off by some of the best Chinese I've ever had, just outside of Palmyra.)

DAY 3:

We were all excited for Niagara Falls and, frankly, I think everyone was a little disappointed at first.  It really is so seedy at the State Park there and I think my kids were underwhelmed at the view from the top.  As I expected, though, everything changed as we did the Maid of the Mist tour.  It was awesome! People were thrilled and appropriately in awe of those falls, when viewed close up from the boat. We spent 2-3 hours in Niagara and then headed to Kirtland, OH.

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