To spice up the pleasantness of my lengthy Thanksgiving visit to Chicago I got up plenty early Tuesday morning and hit the road...
My destination? Historic Nauvoo, Illinois!
I hadn't been to Nauvoo since my 17th birthday (which coincided with a YM/YW trip, I wasn't the sort of teenager who, given the choice, would choose a trip to Nauvoo to honor his birthday...but apparently I've grown into the sort of 30 year old who might) and back then the Temple was still just a grassy lot on a hill. For the past year or so there's been this buzzing in the back of my brain whenever I think of going to Chicago that bzzz's "And maybe I can get down to Nauvoo and check out that temple?" Indeed, it is an impressive structure and just really rather amazing to have back. I found the interior to be like the most elegant farmhouse you could imagine, very nice.
Can a place be said to be infested with ladybugs? It's hard to imagine ladybugs being a bad thing, but there were a bunch on the Temple steps. And I know this is just one ladybug and that hardly constitutes an infestation in and of itself but please believe me, this bug was one of many.
From the steps of the Temple you can see this statue and you think to yourself, "Hey, there's a nice looking statue, I wonder what it's about?"
Major buzz kill.
I prefer to look at the statue from this vantage point because now it looks more like "Hey Hyrum, why don't we ride our horses over to the temple? Wouldn't that be a nice sort of horse ride?"
Had time been on my side, I probably could have had a very enjoyable day being the only guest at every Nauvoo brickmaker or bootmaker, but I had to get back to Chicago quick. Before departing I gave the town a quick drive-around and admired certain sights. Famous old stores, the Mighty Mississip, and spots to begin your Exodus West from.
Farewell Nauvoo! See you again when I'm 43!
On my way back to Chicago I stopped at a Steak n Shake. Man, do you have any idea how great a Steak n Shake is? My only regret of my Orlando trip was not having time to get to the Steak n Shake that was by our hotel. So this middle-of-Illinois opportunity to Steak n Shake was greatly appreciated. I had a value meal, meaning that I got all of the following for less than the price of certain burgers in New York:
Milkshake (ENORMOUS, might I add)
Very very decent double cheeseburger (just so no-nonsense good, totally salt of the earth as far as burgers go. This is a burger that gets up and feeds the cows and the chickens before sunrise on Christmas morning with quiet dignity.)
And then I drove back home and the next day I flew back to New York. The End.