Well, I'm back, and getting back into the swing of things. We had a wonderful trip, and I can't wait to tell you all about it. But I will have to do it in parts, because there is a lot to tell! Everything was perfect, including the weather (mid-70's and clear skies the whole week), and we all had a great time. Grandpa and Grandma were the perfect hosts (of course), and we were all so glad to see them and spend time with them.
Day 1 - Wednesday, July 11th
The kids were absolutely thrilled to take their first airplane ride. They were very anxious to board the plane (thank goodness for pre-boarding for those with young children) with their backpacks full of snacks and activities to keep them occupied on the nearly 4 hour flight from Phoenix to Cleveland. The 3 kids sat in their own row, while Jay and I sat across the aisle. They starting giggling when the plane began to taxi down the runway, which led to hysterical laughter when it started to pick up speed, and increased as we lifted off the ground. They finally settled down when we reached cruising altitude. The passengers around us were all quite amused (thankfully). The kids were super well-behaved on the flight, and lots of people commented afterward at how impressed they were, since it was obviously their first flight.
My parents picked us up at the airport, and since the next day was their P-Day, instead of returning to their house in Kirtland, they took us on a lovely drive through Holmes County to "Dutch Amish Country," stopping for dinner along the way. We checked-in to the Dutch Host Inn in Dover, Ohio where we spent the night. We explored the lovely grounds, and as evening came the kids were delighted to have their first experience with fire flies!
My mom also caught a small toad for them to hold, which my city-raised kids thought was very funny... and a little scary. It all brought back wonderful memories of my days in Nauvoo, Illinois. It's a magical world when the sun goes down.
Day 2 - Thursday, July 12th
The next morning we visited the Warther Museum there in Dover, which was fascinating! I had no interest in wood carving or trains before we went, but I was absolutely enthralled the whole time. The kids really enjoyed it too.
The grounds were lovely, and we found the old play house hidden in the hill that "Mooney" Warther made for his children. He was a fascinating man! We bought a little replica (made by his grandson in the family owned and operated business) of the wood pliers that Warther first whittled, and a little Christmas ornament to remember our trip.Then we drove through Amish Country to Guggisberg Cheese in Millersburg where we watched them make cheese and sampled some of their delicious cheeses, including their famous original baby swiss, which is wonderful. I bought this wonderful cheese planer that my mom said was excellent, and it is.
We continued through the countryside, marveling at all the Amish along the way (especially the cute children), and their quaint clothes and method of travel. (Though it would be hard to give up a lot of our modern conveniences, I can't help envying them their simpler life... especially not feeling tied to a computer. I had to read 61 emails... and reply to most of them.... when I got home. Arghh!)
Then we made our way to Lehman's in Kidron, a sort of Amish department store, where we looked at the amazing variety of products while sipping old fashioned sodas. I couldn't resist buying these darling cookie cutters... for only 69 cents each! (2nd from bottom on left is Arizona)
Then we made our way to beautiful Kirtland, Ohio to my parents' cute little 100 year old house just a few yards away from the Kirtland Temple. We settled in and then sat down to a delicious dinner that my mom threw together in just a few minutes, out of practically nothing. (I don't know how she does it.) They have a large yard surrounded by trees and a gully where the kids had a great time playing. I fell in love with the area, and I would move there in a heart beat if Jay had a job there.... and if we could live in the gorgeous nearby neighborhood of Waite Hill. (There's the catch.) But I think I would hate it there in the winter. Maybe just a summer home......
I'll be back with more tomorrow.... and the day after.