Back to our Utah adventure! I had already blogged Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. We now come to Wednesday!
Once again, we set our alarms and got up early so that we could get as much accomplished as possible. Monday we went north, Tuesday we stayed in the city, and Wednesday the plan was to go south. We could not have planned things better. Whereas Tuesday was sunny, warm, and gorgeous (perfect for taking pictures and walking around temple square), Wednesday was cool, overcast, and rainy. In fact, by the afternoon on our way back, it began to rain really hard. There wasn't much to take pictures of on Wednesday, so it was a great day for rain. (Lynne and Rudy weren't so lucky... it was barbecue day for them... the rain was a major bummer for them!)
We had breakfast and then headed over to pick up my mom. Our first stop on the trip south was the Jordan River temple! I was surprised at just how packed the temple was on a Wednesday morning. What a testimony to the faithfulness of the saints in that area. Seeing how crowded it was, it came as no surprise that South Jordan, Utah will soon become the first city in the world to have two temples on its land once the Oquirrh Mountain temple is constructed.
After seeing the Jordan River temple, we continued south and stopped in Lehi at my mom's request. She wanted to stop at the Lehi Roller Mills store and pick up some of their famous mixes. They have so many mixes for all sorts of breads and cookies. The place smelled wonderful. It was very tempting to purchase one of everything but once again, the thing that saved me was knowing that we had limited room in the suitcases. In fact, we ended up buying another bag prior to leaving just to hold all the things we got. I was disciplined... I wasn't going to buy any. But my mom was sweet and bought me a chocolate chip cookie mix. I was sold on it after tasting the freshly baked sample cookies they had. They're very smart. I can admit my weakness... I got sucked in by the fresh baked goodness! I haven't made my mix yet. I'm saving it for a rainy day when we're stuck inside!
Next on our stop was the Mount Timpanogos temple in American Fork. It was the fifth of six temples we would see on our vacation. I loved the quiet neighborhood that the Mt. Timp temple was located in. It's a beautiful temple. The glass was so beautiful. It was colorful and quite unique to any other temple I've seen (not that I've seen many!) Once again, because of the rain, we didn't really walk around. But I can say that I"ve seen it and photographed it! It really was a highlight for me to be able to see so many temples on this trip. It reaffirmed my desire to get busy and get to the temple more often.
We continued on our journey south and stopped in Orem next. Mike stopped in the Missionary Mall store and picked up a tie and something else (I think socks maybe?) for Elder McKell from our home ward. He is currently in the MTC but soon headed to Mexico. What a treat... we found out that the store would deliver the items to Elder McKell THAT day! Yay! While he was there doing that, my mom and Ethan and I headed over to the Desert Book store in the same shopping complex. WOW... it was so fun! It's the nicest LDS bookstore I've ever been in. I found a few treasures there that I just had to have. In the meantime, Ethan decided to have a meltdown... a really, really bad one, unlike I've seen in a very long time. Not sure what the trouble was, but it was bad enough that I had to hand all my stuff to my mom and walk him out to the car. He screamed all the way out to the car. My mom (naughty girl) ended up buying my things for me, even though I had sent Mike in to do it for me! Thank you mom!
One of the best treasures I found in the store was a book called "I Walked To Zion". There are MANY books on the market about the pioneers and handcart companies. But what makes this book different is the fact that it is told from the perspective of children. Every few pages, there is a different story, told by a different traveler. All the featured authors were children or young teenagers at the time they crossed the plains or the ocean. It is so neat to read about the experiences from their point of view. Many of the authors ended up becoming famous, including one child who grew up to become the prophet!
I digress... Mike also visited the distribution center there. He was picked up some different garments while he was there. Then Mike and I walked over to the Emergency Essentials store. It was fun to see an actual store. I've seen their website and catalog a hundred times, but never the actual store. It gave us some good ideas (and fueled my preparedness bug!) We also went into a toy store and picked up a couple of plastic mugs for the kids. The mugs had their names on them... one said Ethan and one said Evan. Evan can recognize (and spell!) his name now and when he saw the mug he said, "Hey, that's my name!"
From the Orem mall, we headed into Provo. My mom and I got lunch at the Gandolfo's deli there in town. Very good sandwiches! Mike and the boys ate somewhere else. Then we drove up through the campus. That was a fun experience. It sort of made me regret that I never got to go to school there. But I did enjoy my experience at BYU-Hawaii immensely.
Next we drove up past the MTC. Mike had a lot of fun reminiscing about his days there. It was neat to see the throngs of families outside taking pictures with their newly called missionaries. I hope someday I have the honor of standing there with my sons! It was so strange to think that even as we drove by, there were two missionaries inside from our home ward! One is going to Mexico and the other to Germany. This coming Saturday, a sister from our ward (actually our R.S. president) is having an open house for her son who is returning from the Philippines.
Finally, we made it to the sixth temple on our vacation... the Provo temple! It was fun to see a temple alive and buzzing with so many young college students. It reminded me of my days at BYU-Hawaii when we'd walk over to the La'ie temple whenever we felt like it. Although I was not endowed at the time and couldn't just go in whenever I wanted to, I really enjoyed the spirit of the temple grounds and when I was going through a particularly rough time, I could always find peace and comfort just by sitting outside.
The boys really enjoyed being on the grounds there. By the time we got to the Provo temple, Ethan had become quite adept at finding the angel Moroni on each temple. He also enjoyed the many fountains we were able to see at so many of the temples.
We drove through campus over to The Creamery for some really good ice cream. It was interesting watching the people there. There was no doubt in my mind that we were in an LDS college town! If someone had blindfolded me and put me in that store, I would have known it was a LDS college town anyway. At one table sat a couple who didn't look older than 19 or 20. The mother held a newborn in her arms as they ate their ice cream. The girls behind the counter had nametags on that boasted their hometowns. And one young mother walked in with two small children. When the cook behind the counter saw them, he came out and hugged them as they shouted, "Daddy!" Too cute. We enjoyed some really delicious ice cream there and then headed out.
On our way back to Salt Lake, we stopped in draper. There were signs along the freeway that excitedly exclaimed "Draper Outlet Mall!" Boy were we disappointed. It was the most awful mall I've ever been in. Many of the stores had a bunch of dust-collecting junk in them! In the distance, we saw the Draper temple construction site, but when we tried to actually find it we got turned around. Oh well, we saw it from afar! We finally made it back to Lynne and Rudy's house in time for the big barbecue. Poor Lynne... she was stressing hard. It was POURING rain and when I saw her she was near tears as she said, "It doesn't matter. Nobody's coming anyway." Poor thing. Boy was she wrong... over the next couple of hours, the house filled to the brim with people! She thought there was too much food. Almost all of it was eaten. It was such a nice get together. I got to meet a ton of new people. Mike left me there and took the boys to the nickel arcade to work out some bugs. It was nice to be able to socialize and not worry that they were getting into things!
Jeff flew in that night and it was fun to see him again! But cuter than that was seeing Maggie with her dad again! It was so cute... she had the 7th marked on the calendar as the day her dad was coming. Each day we'd ask her when her dad was coming and she'd joyfully point to the 7th on the calendar! We also got to see Sina that night. She had driven up from AZ with a couple of friends. It had been so long since I'd seen her.
After the barbecue, Mike and I took the kids to meet up with someone from Mike's past. Her name is Anne and he has known her since he was a kid. She was a very, very close friend of his parents. He's told me many stories over the years about her and her family. She lives in Payson and we were actually going to try and visit her while we were down south. But when we called, she said that she was working in Salt Lake! She was finishing up work at 8pm and we decided to meet at the Costco parking lot. It was my first time meeting her and she struck me as a very sweet person. We talked for a long time while our boys ran around the then-empty parking lot. We talked about a lot of things and I got along really nicely with her. She is also a nurse and she's into a lot of natural things like I am. We finally said our goodbyes and said we'd try to get together once more before we left.
We took the boys swimming that night and intended to sleep in the next morning! I'll be back tomorrow to talk about Thursday... wedding day! What a beautiful, beautiful experience that was!!
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