Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Idaho Falls Temple Open House Family Adventure

When what could be a once-in-a-childhood opportunity comes along, you try to make it work. So even though we couldn't find an ideal 3-day weekend to drive the 5.3 hours to Idaho Falls for the temple open house, we decided to just make it happen on a regular 2-day weekend. The first miracle was that we actually managed to drive off at 6:04 on Saturday morning. Thanks to the Prince Caspian audio book, a banana and a big bro who's great at feeding his baby bro in the car, a husband who loves going for drives, and some great little travelers, the ride went by fairly quickly and we actually arrived ahead of schedule. I had the great idea to walk down memory lane and enjoy the taste of college by hitting up a Maverik for some frozen yogurt du jour. How great was my disappointment to discover that Maverik was no longer selling the creamily delicious frozen confection by the ounce. We left empty-handed, promising ice cream after the temple tour. After driving circles around Idaho Falls, we finally arrived at Parking Lot D and we boarded the shuttle bus with great enthusiasm on Oliver's part. The primary song aptly described the beauty and sweetness of entering the temple.

I love to see the temple.
[I'm going inside today]
To feel the Holy Spirit,
To listen and to pray.
For the temple is a house of God,
A place of love and beauty.
I'll prepare myself while I am young;
This is my sacred duty.
It was especially neat to see the sealing rooms and to wonder with the kids which one their Grandma and Grandpa Dahle got married in over 57 years ago. I am so thankful that we were able to make this experience happen. 

When we finished the tour, it was just after 3:00. Aaron noted that if we just drove straight back home we could actually make it by 9:00pm. How crazy would that be to squeeze such a long trip all into one day? But we had promises of visiting the zoo and overnight camping and ice cream cones to keep, so we decided to prove our integrity to the kids and not let them down rather than go the practical route. (Overall, I am glad we did, although in a moment of weakness in the wee hours of the morning when I was awake in the car in my snuggly sleeping bag with a screaming Kaleb next to me, I did call that decision into question.) After we divided and conquered, with Dad heading up the zoo/playground fun and Mom heading to Winco, we drove to a nice little mountain campsite just off I-15. Xander and Elodie were a great help in getting the two tents set up. 

We ate a delicious dinner of hamburgers, broccoli, and rice, though most people were so tired by the time camp was set up and dinner was ready that they couldn't enjoy it too much. Our children were actually begging to go to bed before we even had a chance to do the fire and s'mores. Oliver slept like a log, not waking up once in the middle of the night and getting up Sunday morning after everyone else had finished breakfast, after 8:00. Impressive little camper. I think his favorite part of camping was that he never had to go inside! Back home, this little outdoors-lover is known to put up quite a fight every time someone insists that he comes back in the house.

Thanks to Aaron's excellent survival gear, we all stayed cozy warm even though remnants of winter snow spotted the campsite. It got down to 34 degrees, nearly freezing, so the roaring fire Aaron built in the morning and the gourmet hot chocolate--Mexican or Mint truffle--were just what everyone needed to feel excited about getting out of their cozy sleeping bags. 

After the make-Aaron-a-happy-camper breakfast with heaps of sausage links, fried eggs, and biscuits (I wanted to serve the far simpler oatmeal but was overruled in the planning phase), every capable hand pitched in to take down camp and load up. At a rest stop up the highway, we washed up in running water and changed into our Sunday clothes. Still smelling mildly of campfire, we tried to get the timing of going to church en route just right. We just missed sacrament meeting in Lima, were disappointed when we discovered that Butte didn't have a ward meeting at 1:00, and felt truly blessed when after hightailing it to Helena and arriving at 1:15, we were just in time to partake of the sacrament. That tender mercy was a direct answer to prayer as we were doing all that we possibly could to honor the Sabbath. Sacrament meeting was a delicious spiritual feast. 

The drive home went so smoothly, with peaceful travelers happily enjoying the tasty Winco bin snacks and learning from CS Lewis' insightful allegory. We passed the little town of Augusta and cheered that home was just 20 minutes away! And then Oliver suddenly threw up all over himself and screamed incessantly. Tender-hearted Hazel had to join in the weeping and wailing because she felt so bad for Oliver.  Being so close to home and having no shoulder on that stretch of country highway, the only reasonable choice was to  just push through and get the kid home! The last 20 minutes were definitely CRAZY, but that just made us all the more grateful for HOME when we arrived! And really, what's a family weekend adventure without a little vomit?

1 comment:

Amethystp AJ said...

Hello! I'm sure you remember me, my name is Isabel and if that doesn't ring a bell, I was in your Jets class in 4th grade and I was Xander's friend in 5th. I found this because I was searching some of my old friend's names to see how they were doing (not stalkerish at all) and I happen to find this! I am glad to see that you are all doing well! Tell Xander I said hi!