7.21.2010

Western New York

My family (Mom, Stepdad, and two brothers) came all the way to New York from Idaho to visit us and to see the sights, of course! Last Wednesday Jed and I left Bron at home with a stash of man food and began our trek across New York State with our guests.

Our first pit-stop was in Rome. My dad was once stationed at Griffiss Air Force Base and that’s where both my brother and I were born; we’ve never been back. The base was closed years ago and my mom and I were curious to see what happened to our old home. As we drove through the neighborhood it became obvious that no one lives in those houses anymore. The lawns were infested with weeds and uncut. Broken glass lay everywhere and doors were left wide open. It was sad to see house after house like that! Finally, we arrived at our old yellow house to find it was no different from the rest. We went in and found that it had been stripped bare: no sinks, light fixtures, stove, anything. But despite the neglect, it was fun to hear my mom relive her memories and tell me how it used to be. She told me how I used to love to play in the swing that was attached to a certain tree branch outside. We looked up and saw two pieces of rope still knotted there, evidence that we really did live there once.

But Rome isn’t all dead. We ate at what my mom claimed to be the best restaurant in town, Savoy’s. It’s an old family owned Italian place that has been in business for over 100 years now. It was delicious!
Our old home in Rome, NY

Jed and I full and happy after eating at Savoy's

Thursday was the day we toured Palmyra, home of the young Prophet Joseph Smith. We hiked up the Hill Cumorah—quite a feat for my mom who is still wearing a boot on her right foot from her car accident last November—and toured the visitor’s center. Next we visited the Smith family farm and the sacred grove. We also toured the printing shop where the first 5000 copies of The Book of Mormon were made. There were sooo many people there from all over the United States, from everywhere but New York it seemed. They were all there to tour the historical sites and see the Pageant just as we were. It was fun though; there was a spirit of terrific comradery and friendliness. The Pageant itself was well done! I was thoroughly entertained, though I think my favorite part was meeting members of the cast all dressed up in their incredible costumes! Jed slept through almost everything.

The Hill Cumorah

The Smith Family Farm

The Sacred Grove

Ryan, Mom, Jed, and Michael

Friday we visited Niagara Falls. It was my favorite stop! We all went on a little tour boat called, The Maid of the Mist. We were all given plastic blue ponchos—including Jed!—to protect us from the torrent of water we were about to encounter. As the boat ventured closer to the falls, it felt like we were standing in a heavy shower! It would’ve been easy to get soaked without those awesome blue ponchos. Again, Jed slept through most everything that day. But he was there!

Niagara Falls

That night we visited my great Aunt Laurel and Uncle Bus in Buffalo. They are some of the very few family members we have living so far East. Laurel is struggling with a severe form of dementia. She wasn’t the person I remembered, but she perked up when she saw a baby! It was a good visit. I am so impressed with my Uncle Bus. He made us feel so welcome. He also visits Laurel everyday. He reads to her, talks to her, and looks out for her. If that isn’t pure love and devotion then I don’t know what is! Aunt Laurel is a very lucky woman.

On our way back home on Saturday we stopped in Fayette to see the small log cabin where the Church was restored on April 6, 1830. Now I can say both Jed and I have seen every church historical site on the East Coast!
Fayette, NY

It was a quick but fun trip with probably too much driving. Jed was a great sport though; he hardly protested at all! And as always, I love spending time with my mom. Thanks family for coming to visit! I think we did some pretty cool stuff.

6 comments:

  1. What a fun trip! The Rome/Utica area really went down hill once they closed it down.. I was actually out in Rome for a day when I was in NY.
    Glad you guys were able to see all the sights! Did you guys go and see the pagent this year?

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  2. Ooo! I love all those areas! I'm so glad you got to see all these places. So fun.

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  3. How awesome! That makes me want to come and visit you sooooo bad!

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  4. I've always wanted to see the Smith farm and the pleasant grove! Looked like a fun trip! and Jessie you're looking skinnier and skinnier! and I love how Jed's just a little plop in all the pictures :) it made me laugh. Hopefully we can come visit sometime soon too!

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  5. I've always wanted to see the Smith farm and the pleasant grove! Looked like a fun trip! and Jessie you're looking skinnier and skinnier! and I love how Jed's just a little plop in all the pictures :) it made me laugh. Hopefully we can come visit sometime soon too!

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  6. What a lucky girl you are! One day I will make it over there to see everything you have.

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