Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Day 9 & 10- New York and a Coal Mine!

 We woke up the next morning and Kellie got a little surprise and needed to entertain Karl's bosses Wife and kids while he went and checked on how the Restoration Project was going. We figured it would be a great day to head back in New York and visit Kyle's brother Brent and his family who live near Rochester. We spent the morning with this cute girl being crazy and then headed out.
It's a good 3 hour drive to Brent and Jodies and we tried to break it up by stopping at some National Historical Sites (I do a National Stamp Passport- super fun- check it out!) but the only one that was on the way was closed :( We met them at their house and then headed to a Mexican food place. Marie can't go too long without some good Mexican food. Kyle got a chimi and said it was okay- and I really liked my fajitas. I figured you couldn't go too wrong with that. We had a lot of fun chatting it up at dinner while playing games with their daughter Emmalie on the iPad. She is such a cute girl! Nate ran upstairs before we could get a picture with him and Tyler wasn't too into taking pictures with Grandma, but we got some anyway. Then it was back to Kellie's- that was a long day in the car!

The next day (Day 10) we spent doing a little site seeing. We went to the Lackawanna Coal Mine in Scranton, PA. It is an old coal mine that is no longer in operation but they run tours through it. We got the whole experience with going down in one of that metal cars and a tour guide that used to be an actual miner. 

 We stopped by Steamtown to get a stamp in my passport and then went over to a REALLY yummy ice cream place. The ice cream place is owned by a Manning Dairy Farm and they use their own milk to make the ice cream. By far the best ice cream in the East. The photos on the wall is a timeline of how the ice cream is made from the planting of crops to the milking of the cows. It was neat!
  While we were on that side of town we stopped at the Restoration Site again so that Marie could get herself a tour. Here is Kyle and I in the visitors center. After construction is finished this room will be filled with statues, exhibits, and people :) The room with the light on behind us is part of a small theater that will show movies about how the Priesthood was restored to the Earth.

 Here is a replica of the Joseph and Emma smith home. The red part is the first section of the house and the white is a summer kitchen add on.
 The only part of the home that is original is this pot holder in the fire place. We got to touch it before anyone put a "do not touch" rope up!
 Kyle and I standing in front of a replica of the Hale Home- who is Emma Smith's parents. I just wanted to move into this house- I love the red windows and the siding. So pretty!
The first day we came to the site (day 8) the hired wall-paper people we just barely getting this gorgeous wall paper up. I was seriously in awe about how much I loved the wallpaper! It's not original, but it is all stamped- meaning it painted on the paper. Not the screen stuff they do now. It is very similar to what would have been in the home originally- and SO pretty!

 I love him :)

Since the Priesthood Restoration Site is so exciting to so many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints they have had a lot of people walk onto the construction site and trying to see the sites before they are complete. Because of liability reasons, no one is allowed on the site without site manager (Karl) approval, a hardhat, and a reflective jacket. They have two of these signs up saying no visitors, but people don't really pay much attention to those signs. Karl has mentioned that being something very hard about this project- people are trying to walk onto the construction pretty regularly throughout the day and it's really frustrating for the construction workers. Thanks for letting us bug you guys!

 Across the way from the houses is a church owned cemetery where one of Emma and Joseph's infant sons and the Hales are buried.  The original headstones were put into these larger headstones to help and preserve them. The original headstones are here in the picture.

Then we went over to where Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were baptized in the Susquehanna River. I never realized how huge the River is! It was beautiful and I'm so glad we got to visit.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Day 8- Pennsylvania

June 22nd we were heading to Kellie's house in Pennsylvania. Our flights were all leaving at different times (Kyle and I= 6:30am, Kellie=9:30am, and Marie=10:30am) so we all left the hotel at different times. The flight into Philedelphia went pretty smooth, but when we got to the terminal to go to Scranton they made an announcement that the places were overbooked and they needed volunteers to go to Binghmton instead. as compensation they would a $350 voucher for flights. We jumped on that offer and now had $700 in place vouchers and tickets to a different airport then Marie and Kellie. Luckily, Binghmton was closer to Kellie's house then Scranton so her Father-in-law Wayne came and picked us up. Kellie's husband Karl in in charge of the Priesthood Restoration Site in Susquehanna so we got to stop by there and get a tour. It is still in construction so it was pretty cool to get a tour of what the general public can't see yet. We spent a few hours there and then went back to the Kellie's house to meet up with the family.  Here is the chapel/visitors center building that is almost completed in this picture. We went back a few days later and I'll post pictures of the historical houses then. :)

 After Kellie and Marie made it home we went and got some ice cream. I was done with sweets and just had a few bites of Kyles.

Day 7- Salem and Boston!

June 21st we were back to jamming as much as would could in one day. We woke up in Boston and had planned to do the Freedom Trail and then head up to salem. Then we looked out the window and it was pouring rain- Plan B! Salem first and then Boston. We left he hotel around 8ish and stopped at Dunkin' Donuts for breakfast and then headed to Salem to check out the Witch Trial Museums. We stopped at the Salem Maritime NHS to check out the cool boats and then went to the visitors center to find out where to go next.
 At the visitors center there was this cute old man that told us what to hit and what to skip since we wanted to go to Boston that day too. We went to the Salem Witch Trials Memorial first. It's a small courtyard with benches to remember the victims. Between the town itself and the rain, it was the perfect setting. It was pretty eery! 

 Then we went over to the Salem Witch Trial Museum. It took you through the trials time line and talked about how the witches got a really bad wrap. It was pretty neat!
 Marie had seen a street sign for the House of the Seven Gables and insisted we tour it. It is the actual house that the book was based off of. It was a mansion built in 1668! It was cool to compare a 1600's mansion to the 1900's Breakers mansion.

 I was obsessed with the grounds. There were flowers and shrubbery everywhere- it was gorgeous!

Right across the street from the House of Seven Gables we found the oldest chocolate store in the country! Kellie was in Heaven and got a pound of chocolate for everyone to try.

 Time for lunch again! We stopped at the Witch's Brew. Kyle and I had sandwiches and Marie and Kellie had soup and sandwiches.

 We could've spent more time in Salem but we were burning daylight- off to Boston is was! First we dropped the car off at the airport rental place and then we took a bus to the Rapid Transit to the Freedom Trail. It took a little bit to find the Visitors Center to find out where we were actually going but we found it :) By this time it was like 5pm and the places were going to start closing so we knew we had to start going quick. The thing about back east is the sun stays up way longer then everything is open for! Not good for tourists :( We stopped at the Paul Revere house first. Compared to the mansions we just saw it was a pretty tiny house :) They were renovating the grounds so it had construction stuff all around, but I'm glad we went in.
 Then we followed the trail to the Old North Church. We stopped at an old-fashioned chocolate store that gave us cocoa with a bunch of spices in it- like they are in the olden days instead of adding sugar to the cocoa. Kelly and Marie really liked it, but Kyle and I prefer sugar. :) Next up was the Copp's Hill Burying Ground. On the way there we remembered we forgot to stop at the famous Mike's Bakery. Marie and I found a bench with Kelly and Kyle went back to get the sweets. They came back with a cupcake, 2 pieces of cake, and a slice of Boston Cream Pie. We all agreed that we'd take Mike's in Boston over Carlos' Bakery in Manhattan.
 We were all getting pretty tired and kept debating whether or not we were going to walk all the way up Bunker Hill. Finally Marie said "we are here! we are going!" and so we did. We made it all theway up and enjoyed the benches for a while. By this time it was about 7 o'clock so we called an Uber and called it a day.

 Here is the end of the Freedom Trail!

Days 5 & 6

June 19th, Day 5, was a really good travel day. In the morning we hit the Statue of Liberty and Castle Clinton- and that took up the whole morning. We had missed the boat out to the statue so we had to wait another hour for the next one. 

We went back to the hotel, picked up all our luggage, called an Uber to take us to the car rental place, waited 2 hours for our car, and then started up the coast. We wanted to make it to Maine that day but we weren't able to get on the road till 5ish. We stopped for dinner at a really really yummy place called Cheeseboy for some yummy grilled cheese sandwiches and then found a hotel in Newport, Rhode Island and called it a day.

June 20th we were up for some more adventure then just driving. We started the morning off at a place called Kitchen Scratch for breakfast and it was pretty good. The chef was a guy that just made up his own menu and I was impressed. I had what he called stuffed french toast and I'm craving again. Guess we'll have to go back :) In a brochure we saw some advertisments for some Mansions that looked really cool so we went and checked them out.  On the way up we found this cool Indian Statue and got a picture. 

We only went into one Mansion called the Breakers. It was where the Vanderbilt's summered. It was very impressive on the inside, but you can't take pictures. We took an audio tour that was pretty impressive. With each room there is a different story that you can listen to about the children in the summer and the staff that worked there. It was gorgeous. 
 Then we stopped at Plymouth Rock. Marie wasn't very impressed- it's pretty little!

 Part of the reason Marie wanted to drive up the coast was to find this statue. It is a statue of one of her ancestors named Hannah that scalped like 10 indians. They came and killed most of her family and kidnapped her and her 3 day old baby. After the killed the infant she (as one story said.. thoroughly pissed...) scalped them and took their scalps back into town to get paid the bounty for them.
 By this time we were hungry! We stopped at a BBQ place just down the road from Hannah's statue called New England Country Market and were super impressed with this huge turkey leg! I got a BBQ sandwich and it was pretty good- but Kyle got some corn on the cob that was REALLY good.
After our BBQ we made our way to Boston and to our Hotel- The Courtyard Marriott to change to get ready for the temple. Kyle has made it a goal to go to the temple once a week all summer. He started back in April and we couldn't be so close to a temple and not be able to keep his streak going- so we did a session at the Boston Temple. As I was changing at the Hotel I realized my recommend was in my bag- in Arizona. Luckily the temple got ahold of Bishop Reidhead and they let me in. yay! I think this is like the 3rd time he's had to bail me out. 

And that's a wrap for Day 6!