Sunday, October 14, 2012

Arriving in Chicago

When we arrived at our apartment we were blessed to have the elders and 5 men ready to help us!  Our apartment complex is very old. There are two elevators that can only fit so many boxes.  We're on the top floor (the 5th).  It was a very tedious process.

The front room.

The dining area.

The kitchen.  Oh, help.

The bathroom.  

The bedroom.

After a lot of work in organizing (thanks to my wonderful parents!) we felt comfortable and settled in our cozy little apartment.

At night, after a day of organizing, we would play Mexican train with my parents. And Matt would wear my pajama bottoms because he couldn't find his own. :)

The Kirtland Temple

There are practically no restaurants in Kirtland!  We finally asked a local and they directed us to the Kirtland City tavern which is just down the street from the temple.  Nice.  It ended up being super yummy!

We stopped at the visitor center run by the Community of Christ (who actually owns the Temple building).  They have a beautiful center with lots to see and do.  We watched a video inside and saw replicas of equipment and materials used to build the temple.

Here we are at the N.K. Whitney store which is owned by the LDS Church and includes lots of other beautiful buildings that have been restored or rebuilt. Lots to see here as well!

 The top picture is the room Joseph Smith received revelation for several sections of the Doctrine and Covenants.  The bottom is a picture of the room where priesthood leaders would meet.

Here are pictures of the Saw Mill and Ashery. These are replicas that look VERY real. In fact, they are fully functioning buildings. You can actually cut wood here!

These sister missionaries were our tour guides.

And finally here is the LDS Visitors Center that includes very nice videos, pictures, and historical artifacts. The Church does a very nice job of maintaining the area. 

Driving to Chicago

Here are a few pictures we took on our drive to IL.  Some (if not all) of them you may have seen posted on Facebook.

We first stopped in PA to spend time with Matt's family.  Here we're enjoying Mexican food and the beloved Rita's!

One morning we had a delicious brunch prepared by Julia and Katy!

Visiting Matt's friend Dean in Pittsburgh.  His wife Andrea was having contractions during this photo!  They couldn't join us for dinner because they had to have a baby. :)

Enjoying some Pittsburgh grub.

New Hampshire road trip with the Smiths

Our good friends Pete and Bev Smith (sorry, no pictures of them; they do exist though!) took us on a beautiful scenic drive in northern NH that took us to some famous stops including Polly's Pancake Parlor, Sugar Hill Sample, and Chutter's Candy Store. There are some awesome places to go in NH during the summer.

Here we are at the Pancake Parlor, home of Polly's famous maple syrup and pancakes. The horse ride was free.

Here we are at Sugar Hill Farm, which includes a terrific antique store that was converted from an old barn. Of course these masks are NOT antique (Matt is David Bowie and I am some 1920s flapper girl).

You can tell here that Matt is very excited to be at Chutter's.  They apparently have the world's longest candy counter.  It stretches all the way behind Matt to the end of the store. TONS of delicious candy. We purchased over $14 worth!

Mount Monadnock - White Cross Trail

For Matt's 30th birthday we hiked Mount Monadnock, a beautiful little mountain an hour away from Concord. According to the website, Monadnock is one of the most popular or most hiked mountains in the world! That was a little hard to believe especially since we mainly saw chipmunks. 

Here we came across some cool rock monuments that past hikers had put together.

We also came across some very colorful fungi growing on a tree. A nearby hiker told us that he hadn't seen those yesterday when he was hiking. So they must have been brand new!

There truly is some beautiful scenery in New Hampshire. Lots of stone but also lots of greenery.

At the end of the day we celebrated our successful climb by treating ourselves to some Boston-style pizza. We're gonna miss this goodness!