Our Family Trip to Nauvoo October 17-20, 2001

by John

In Minnesota all the schools except the University of Minnesota have a Thursday and Friday off in October for teacher training. We call it the MEA weekend. This year it occurred on October 18 and 19, during the time that Joy was home after her summer in Alaska. We decided to go to Nauvoo and see the temple construction.

I thought it would be fun to take a cruise on the Mississippi River, and made arrangements for us to board the Celebration Belle in Moline, Illinois, about two hours north of Nauvoo. We left on Wednesday afternoon after Jackie and Jerica finished up their classes that day and drove the Tacoma and Aero 5-th wheel trailer, as well as our Honda Civic. We arrived in Nauvoo on that evening, and set up camp at the Nauvoo RV Campground about a mile east of the temple.

On Friday morning we drove up to Moline and found the Celebration Belle, and got on board. The trip was called the Fall Colors Lunch Cruise. It was fun to see a few sights (although there weren't any spectacular colors), to go through one of the Mississippi River locks, and have some good food for lunch and snacks. They also had a good band which was a lot of fun. They sang some good old songs and some great patriotic songs at the end of the trip when we all joined in. Most of the people were fairly old, so Joy, Jackie and Jerica felt a little out of place, and sometimes a bit bored. John and Jill felt a little young as well, compared to the average age.

Here are all but Joy (who's taking the picture) on the top deck. It was a bit chilly in the wind.

Jerica decided to do a little sun bathing, but I don't think she'll get much of a tan.

Back in Nauvoo we got to see the Nauvoo Temple nearing completion. We also went to the Nauvoo Lands and Records Office and looked up some of Jill's relatives that had been in Nauvoo. We found interesting information on some of them.

On Friday we joined the Eden Prairie Ward in a service project they had set up. We moved the Nauvoo handcarts from where they were left at the end of the summer over to a place to wash them. Despite the cold morning (around freezing) we all got sprayed a lot as we scrubbed up the handcarts. We then took them over to a barn to store them for the winter. Later we met with the Eden Prairie Ward again next to the temple and listened to the construction supervisor describe the re-building of the temple. It was very interesting. I was impressed that members of the Church are sacrificing this time just as they did in the original construction. He mentioned that a family had just finished up a year in Nauvoo where the husband donated a year of his time working on the construction.

Since we had visited Nauvoo just a year before, we didn't feel a need to go around to the sites that have been restored, but I sure missed the usual visit to the blacksmith shop! On Saturday we got up and drove back to Edina. We're looking forward to going back again next year to attend the temple open house in May.