We took the boys to Historic Nauvoo. We had pretty reasonable expectations about the boys enjoying the trip. It's a town restored to it's 1840's glory, staffed by charming elderly volunteer couples in period clothing, talking about and demonstrating everything about the lives of these people from driving in horse-drawn wagons, to baking bread in a brick "bustle" oven, to children's games, to blacksmithery. Seriously. . . What's not to like?
To make it even better, all along the way there are little souvenirs you can keep. Tiny hand-dipped paraffin candles, a slice of wheat bread to eat, a mini horseshoe from the blacksmith demonstration, a gingerbread cookie, and your very own brick made from local clay. What fun. . . right? . . .right Owen?
I knew the boys wouldn't like walking through historic house tours, or watching the hour-long video in the visitors center, but we really struggled to get Owen to even tolerate anything we took him to! Consequently we were doing quite a bit of parental soul-searching about family vacations. Was the trip worth it?
Will Owen remember anything about Nauvoo? Probably not, but I don't remember much of anything from when I was 3 ½ either.
But will Owen remember anything about the trip? I think so. I hope so.
We've asked him, "What was your favorite part about the trip?" He said it was the Hotel. Is that so bad?
I think it's fun to stay in hotels too. We went swimming in their pool, watched their cable TV, and even ate dinner at their buffet. Owen got to pick out his own mini-box of cereal each morning, and got to eat Dora the Explorer snacks that he picked out at the grocery store, specially for our trip.
Hopefully somewhere in those memories of the parts he liked he will remember that his family was there too. Hopefully he will equate his good feelings to spending time with his family. Hopefully he will get the feeling that his parents cared enough about him to take time out from everyday life to do something that we thought he would really enjoy. Because we love our boys, and that's what it's really about.