Wednesday, October 16, 2013

New York to Kirtland Church history trip.

So we drove to Niagra Falls and then headed for Palmyra New York. As we prepared for this trip I tried looking up info of things to do and places to stay along the drive and length of driving and didn't ever really find anything helpful. Hopefully, if you are planning a trip like this then some of this will help you.
When you leave the American Side of Niagra Falls prepare for about 2 hours in the car. Be sure to stop in Pittsford, New York. It is right on the way to Palmyra (about 20 minutes to go) and you will be in store for a heavenly reward. Stop at the Pittsford Dairy on main street. They have amazing sweets and homemade icecream (and it really does taste better if that was possible) and get some chocolate milk.
 Then you have just a short drive to Palmyra. If you are ready for dinner stop at the Yellow Mills diner right on the main road just before town. It is a mom and pop shop and worth the visit.
 We started our day by heading straight to he morning sunshine in the Sacred Grove. There was a big tour inside so they asked us to start at the Sacred Grove. It was peaceful and not crowded and I loved every single minute of it.

 This is the view at the end of the loop in the Sacred Grove. There is also a bathroom here (if that applies to you like it did to us and our little bladders)
 So when we got back we did the missionary tour of the smith home and farm. After the tour they give the guests an opportunity to now wander through the Sacred Grove. We avoided the crowds by doing it  the way we did, but it would have been kind of a nice succession of events to go through the Grove after all the inspirational stories and spiritual preparation. The sister missionaries were so amazing.
 If you can arrange a way to do a temple session in the unique temple. It is set on the original Smith property. It overlooks this gorgeous wooded field and the stained glass windows were one of a kind.
 Later that day after some resting. We heading to the Palmyra Visitors center which is further down the road. It is a typical VC for the church but the missionaries there prep you for seeing the Hill Cumorah and you can listen to the Christus Statue before you head out.
 We opted to walk up the switch backs to the site. You can drive but don't it you are remotely healthy and can push your little ones in a stroller. Out little "big" ones loved running up the hills.
 Words can't explain the events that happened here but the majesty of the monument and stunning beauty of the site and the views is rewarding.
 Then we headed to the Grandin Printing Press. I think this tour was one of the coolest. Again, you get a sister missionary to give you an informative tour. The kids and the adults found the whole printing process and divine help around publishing the book of mormon remarkable.
There is a candy store about 3 shops down but it closes around 5. We were disappointed in that. The Grandin Building stays open until 7 so you could go eat before if you needed a break. We ended up walking down the road to Nima's Pizza and ordered a whole pizza. During the 20 minutes wait we walked up the street about a block and on your right hand side there is a fun park set of the main road. It kept us all happily entered so we weren't drooling over upcoming pizza.
 If you are in to bed and breakfasts try the Liberty House. We were the only guests. They had two extra rooms but the owner doesn't usually rent those out if you have kids so they don't bother anyone. How nice. We had the place to ourselves. I will forever remember the taste of the homemade chocolate muffins, banana muffins, and fresh apple pancakes. She even had a whole bucket of action figures she brought out for our little guy to play with.

 As you leave Palmyra stop at the Grandview Farm. They let you feed the chickens and the bunnies. and you can pick fresh apples right off the road for a bargain. We would have bought cider if we had cash. No credit cards accepted.
 And then...if you're like us, you go back through Pittsford and buy some more icecream and rolls for the car to put your 5 day old, but still going, ham and cheese on.
 The drive to Kirtland is about 5 hours. Look at an atlas and find Prescue Isle. It is in Erie, Pennsylvania. It was about 3.5 hours from Palmyra. Just in time for the kids to need a break. It was only about 15 miles out of our way but sooooooo worth it. It could have been the kids favorite day. If you don't want to drive the 17 mile loop than look to the left and there are several break offs where you can go over to the beach side of the loop. That's what we did.

 Kirtland. People had told me touring the Kirtland sites doesn't take all day and they were right. We arrived at the VC and they told us the movie and tour would take about 1.5 hours and it pretty much did. I loved the significance of the Whitney family and store in our church history. Our kids were getting pretty tired so we left for lunch, but I would have seen the stone quarry if there had been more patience. we skipped the Johnson farm due to more car time but it would have been nice.
 We chose not to do a tour of the Community of Christ owned original LDS temple. However, siince we have been home many people have told us the tour was really cool/spiritual/ and worth the time and money.
 We ate at a place called the wrap shack about 1 mile from the temple. It was cheap but nothing to rave about it. It got the job done.
 Continue on your drive and head to Penitentiary Glen. It is run by the metro parks. They have a nature center with the only Albino Deer i've ever seen, and many other animals. Then they have a little center for rehabilitating animals. This little squirrel was one of the residents. Isn't he cute.
 We also drove to Squire's Castle. If you have the time it was pretty cool. Just a huge abandoned (one level) castle with enormous green space and hiking trails behind. It was about 10 minutes from the Glen.
 And if you are heading back west then stop in Cleveland at the original Christmas Story house. Do you recognize our costumes??? It was totally touristy but so fun for a family who loves that movie. we even bought several Christmas gifts in their gift shop for pretty cheap.

Comment me if you need any other ideas or advice.

No comments:

Post a Comment