Thursday, April 5, 2012

Road Trip

For the last year or so I've been setting some of my photography money to the side to save up for a new camera.  When Sophia was born, I called one of my best friends to tell her about everything and we started talking photography as we often do since she is the one who really made me believe I could pursue it.  When I told her I thought I had saved up enough money for my new camera, she was so excited for me.

Then she called me again a week later to ask me what I thought about the Canon 5d Mark II.  She and her husband are Nikon folks so I thought it odd she would know about Canon cameras.  I asked their opinion and she said, "If we were Canon people, we'd buy it."  I told her I would have to look at it and see if that's what I would upgrade to.  Then she told me, "Well, look at it and then call me back and tell me if you like it.  Because we're going to buy it for you if you do."  Long story short - they had been setting money aside as long as I had to buy a camera for me.  Just because.  They are the most Christlike people I've ever met.

So now I have this incredible camera and lots of money that I was ready to spend.  I could have bought another lens or something, but I thought it would be even better to take a road trip out to see them and to personally thank them.  The timing worked out perfectly (we have no goats to milk right now and Tyler had a few days off work), so we went.

On the way out we stopped in St. Louis to see the Gateway Arch and the Museum of Westward Expansion that tells a lot about the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  We got to go up in the Arch (630 feet in the air - yikes!) and bought some penny candies in the little Mercantile they had there.  Then we drove another 3 hours to Nauvoo, IL and stayed the night.  That morning we walked around Nauvoo and learned some Church history.  The last time I was there I was only 12 and the temple wasn't there.  It is so beautiful!

We had the place pretty much to ourselves, so it was nice having personalized tours of things.  We didn't see everything, but hit the highlights we were pretty sure the kids would enjoy, including the blacksmith's shop where we all got a "Prairie Diamond." 

For those who don't know, it's a horseshoe nail.

After seeing a few more things, we headed off to Omaha, Nebraska.  We got there Friday night and stayed up until about 1 in the morning talking.  Saturday and Sunday we hung out and watched General Conference (which was AMAZING by the way!).  After the last session on Sunday, we went to the Winter Quarters Temple.  The lighting was beautiful, so we took full advantage of that.

 (Eliza and Emma helping clean up dinner.)

 We talked about going to the Omaha Zoo the next morning for a couple hours before we headed out to Ohio, but when we realized that we wouldn't reach our destination until about 3:00am, we decided to just start driving by about 9 the next morning.  Sad to leave, we said our good-byes.

And then 20 minutes down the road, we called them and asked if we could come back.  Our van just stopped.  We had it towed, and then towed again to the dealership.  So, we got to see the Zoo after all!  It was amazing!  Any zoo after that cannot measure up.  Oh, and did I mention it was my birthday?

So we had a huge, delicious Cheesecake Factory cheesecake, slept at their house for one extra night and miraculously our van was fixed and ready to go by 3:00 Tuesday afternoon.  Our stop in Ohio had been cancelled since Tyler had to be back for work by Wednesday night.  We hit the road again and were fine... until about 1:00 Wednesday morning.  The belt came off our alternator and through all kinds of craziness, we  couldn't get back on the road until 4:00.  Around 8:00 we stopped for breakfast only to stop again an hour later because Eliza was puking in the back.  Oh, the joys.   We finally made it home just in time for Tyler to shower and head off to work.

So, it was a wonderful vacation.  Other than the whole going home part.  Thank you, Johnsons for a wonderful time.  It was so great to see you again and we miss you already!