Lesson 1: Days go by even faster when you are relaxed and enjoying them. We were sure that eight vacation days would give us plenty of time to see the sights... we're running fast and hard, and skipping half of our to-do list.
Lesson 2: Don't assume that because it's a popular national historic site that it will stay open late. We took a two-hour detour just to see Abraham Lincoln's hometown of Springfield. We arrived just as the park was closing.
Lesson 3: Don't trust 'Never Lost' GPS services to never get lost. Have back-up paper maps!
Lesson 4: Kids that are loud and obnoxious at home are going to be even louder and more obnoxious on vacation.
Lesson 5: Put _____ (fill in the blank with any of our kids) in a padded room and he'll still find a way to get hurt.
Every once in a while we like to poll the family to determine individual preferences. Here's the current list of vacation favorites:
Trent - Nauvoo Pageant (it really was spectacular!)
Davis - Coach House Restaurant (loved the candlelight dinner...and the shrimp!)
Kevin - Nauvoo Temple (made three visits)
Lauri - Land and Records Office (found the records for several ancestors' properties in the Nauvoo area)
Colton - No specific site or activity. His favorite memory is the number of times his mother swore over the course of the vacation. Sad, but true... remember lesson 4? That's my only defense.
Gratefully, most of the memories are happy, and the rest of them are the stories that we'll enjoy telling for years to come!