We spent about 1 1/2 weeks this month in New York and Ohio, seeing all the church history sites. It was quite an adventure. I want to write down what we did before I forget, so here's a day to day break down of our activites.
Thursday, April 29th: Flew to New York City. Our plane was delayed because they had to defrost the wings and because some lady in first class had a panic attack and had to go back to the terminal. We didn't get to our hotel until 8:00 PM. We stayed at the Travel Lodge in midtown Manhattan; not the swankiest hotel we've stayed at, but it was clean and comfortable and the only place for less than $300 a night in midtown.
Friday, April 30th: Went to Liberty Island and Ellis Island. We had lunch at Ray's Pizza in Greenwich Village. We soon discovered that our jogging stroller was not subway friendly, so I spent much of the afternoon walking around Hells Kitchen and down Broadway looking for an umbrella stoller (finally finding one at the Toys R Us at Time Square), while Michelle and the kids rested at the hotel. Then we went and saw The Lion King. Any show that can hold Dane's attention for 2 hours must be good.
Saturday, May 1st: Went to the Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We had a hot dog lunch in Central Park. We had dinner in Little Italy. Then I decided to take the kids to the Toys R Us at Time Square. We walked up broadway to 44th street (or maybe 45th street) just as police officers were putting barriers up, preventing us from getting to Toys R Us. We heard someone say something about a "suspicious package" and so we turned around and started walking south. 30 seconds later we heard a small explosion and heard a few people scream, so we walked a little faster and went back to our hotel. It wasn't until the next day that we found out that this was the attempted car bombing by doofus, wannabe terrorist, Faisal Shahzad. If Al-Qaeda had trained him better, my wife, my children and I would all be dead right now.
Sunday, May 2nd: I picked up our rental car. We drove up to Yonkers to the cemetary where my first American Woolf ancestor, Anthony Woolf, is buried. We spent 2 hours searching in the St. John's section of the huge Oakland Cemetary and finally realized we were looking for a needle in a haystack. I called Michelle, who was looking on the other end, on the cell and told her I was giving up and to meet me back at the car. Right after I hung up I glanced at the grave to my left and found Anthony Woolf's grave. We took pictures. We then drove up to Valhalla, New York, where Anthony's wife Phebe Weeks Woolf, is burried. We had some trouble finding her grave too, but finally found it. Her remaines were moved, along with about 50 other bodies, when a freeway went through the old Dutch Reformed church where she was burried, and were reburried in a mass grave. My uncle James discovered this out a few years ago and found that there was no marker at the new burrial site, so he raised some money and had one placed there. It looked very nice. I dedicated the grave while I was there. We then drove a little ways and stumbled into Tarry Town, also known as Sleepy Hallow, of Washington Eving fame. We spent about 2 hours there, taking pictures and buying Ichabod Crane and Headless Horsement souvenir's for Michelle's Halloween decorations. We then drove up to Palmyra. The drive through upstate New York goes through the prettiest part of the country I've ever seen. We finally got to our bed and breakfast in Palmyra at about 9:00 PM.
May 3rd and 4th: We stayed at the Liberty House Bed and Breakfast in Palmyra, New York, and I highly recommend it. Our host, Irene Unterborn, was very nice, and the breakfasts were delicious. We went to the Hill Cumorah, the Smith Farm and the Sacred Grove, and the Palmyra Temple, and the Book of Mormon publishing site the first day. The next day we drove down to Fayette and saw the Whitmer Farm, where the church was first organized. I also took a walk just a few feet from our bed and breakfast to the Palmyra Cemetery and found Alvin Smith's grave.
Wednesday, May 5th: We drove up to Niagra Falls and stayed at the Sheraton on the Falls hotel on the Canadian side. We went on the Maid of the Mist boat ride. We enjoyed the Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum.
May 6th-9th: Drove to Kirtland. We stayed at the Best Western Lawnview Inn - very nice. We saw Michelle's great, great, great, great, great grandfather, Newel K. Whitney's home, store, ashery and saw mill. We saw the Kirtland Temple. We drove down to Hiram and saw the Johnson Farm. We visited Amish Country near Hiram and had lunch at an Amish restraunt. We saw the home where Lorenzo Snow was born. I went to the Morley Farm. We saw Joseph and Emma Smith's home and Sidney Rigdon's home. On Saturday we went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Sunday we went to church in Kirtland and then drove to the airport and flew home.
This trip was something that I've wanted to do for years and it was just as enjoyable and memorable as I ever imagined.
I hope you enjoy the pictures. I'm going to make a special post of my ancestor's grave sites later, so that any of my family members who want to visit them will have an easier time finding them than we did.