Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Old and Nauvoo

We had a whiny viewer who complained after seeing the last posting that there weren't enough pictures of little Samantha. This one should make sure the nanny-poos keep their pie-holes shut.
It's spring break this week, and the three of us took off last Friday to spend some time experiencing some of the wonders of the Midwest. We first drove over to St. Louis where we took turns with the Varones attending the temple and then we took the kidd-o's to see some captive wildlife at the butterfly house and the St. Louis Zoo.
The Tolmans then hopped over to Urbana, Illinois to visit Samantha's great-grandfather, Marlowe Thorne, who, at the ripe age of 88, could probably bench press a truck of potatoes. I suspect Sam managed to climb up the ranks on Marlowe's list of favorite offspring.
We took a detour on the way back and spent a day in Nauvoo. Nauvoo is an interesting little town. There's this humongous, elegant temple which looks like it cost more to build than did the rest of the town. Several souvenir shops with Mormon bric-a-brac line the main street along with a few unkempt restaurants, all but one of which are closed during the off-season. That one is a "family restaurant" with a tremendous array of liquors displayed behind the full bar at the front. The smoking poker players at the back added to the ambiance.
Anyway, the temple was really beautiful, and the nice elderly missionaries who explain how rope was made back then were very pleasant.

This is Samantha making friends with a couple southerners.
The reason our daughter looks so...celestial here is that in order for the butterflies to thrive, the greenhouse has to be kept at about the temperature and humidity of hell. The camera was immediately encased in a sheath of condensation when we came inside from the crisp Missouri morning.
It took Sam about an hour to warm up to "Super Papa." He may not be a limber as he used to be, but he still managed to get wrapped around a certain toddler's finger in pretty short order.
This is the front of the Nauvoo temple. The little pink blob is Sam. The gradually increasing blue blob is Becky. The wind (which also made the entire town smell like a camp fire) was pushing our stroller swiftly across the frame.
This is the one you can all use for your desktop backgrounds.
And this is her covered in shaving cream for some sort of reason.