If you’ve been reading along, you know that Ben and I back east to NH for my brother’s mission homecoming this weekend. We had to do all fourteen hours in one day on the way back so we decided to make getting there an adventure.
We started our mid morning on Wednesday and got to Niagra Falls a little past three. We didn’t have time to find parking and do Maid of the Mist so we drove into the state park to enjoy the view and learn a little more about the crazy people who rolled down the falls in barrels. The power and beauty (and Ben’s giddy excitement – he’d never been to the falls before) made for a fun stop. Often I think of nature as a passive thing, as some still beauty I enjoy on quiet walks through the woods or as a peaceful grace I notice as a breeze catches a flower. Standing next to the falls, however, I was reminded that nature is powerful, awe inspiring (in moments like these I wish the word awesome had retained some of its original meaning), and humbling. God is great.
After Niagra Falls we got back on the road for our last stretch to Rochester for a fun evening with these two. Hayley and I met six years ago in cast for the Hill Cumorah Pageant and the last time we had a sleepover was three years ago, the week before she got married. It was so fun to catch up, fall in love with their adorable new house, and see a bit of the neat city of Rochester. Thank goodness for friends perfectly situated minutes off of our route who are up to last minute entertaining requests.
Thursday morning Ben and I were on the road by seven and to ‘the hill’ by seven thirty. I spent a few weeks the summers of ’07 and ’09 living, working, and becoming on this hill and for me it will always be sacred ground. It was so nostalgic showing Ben the place where my family camped for weeks those summers, the study shelter where we ate our meals and gathered as a 700 person cast after each performance, and the small path up the side of the hill we’d navigate in the dark between scenes. I can’t wait to go back to pageant when we have our own family. (you can read more about my pageant experience here and here)
By early afternoon we had made it into Cambridge for a quick tour of Harvard Business School and some needed leg stretching. We met up with Ben’s old roommate for dinner and I left the two of them in the city for the night and headed up for a sleepover with the sisters. In the morning I grabbed Ben before heading to the Boston Temple for our first visit together since our wedding day. Walking out of those doors I could almost hear our friends and family cheering and like on that afternoon two years ago, I couldn’t help by smile.
^^How beautiful is this place?
a very sleepy, but very happy elisabeth^^
jumping pictures at the top of the hill are pageant tradition^^
^the sun was just coming up over the trees
^^ ivy league for sure
^I love me some old new england brick
If only every trip we had time for such fun adventures along the way.