Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Temple Road Trip

The new Gilbert Temple lit up at night on
February 10, 2014.

My last post about our road trip to tour the new temple in Gilbert was focused mostly on the two new couples in our entourage, what with Jacob and Danielle getting engaged and it being Ryan and Shera's first time to visit an LDS temple and travel to the Valley and all.

Also on the trip were Mary, Sarah, and Dylan.
Dylan and I are single, but Sarah's husband, my son-in-law Chris, 
missed out on the trip due to his work schedule.

There were three more of us along for the ride, though, and there are many more pictures to be shared. Lots, lots more.

A view of the Salt River at the bottom of Salt River Canyon.
From this height it looked more like a stream, but when we were quiet
we could hear the roar of the river's rushing waters.

This shot shows more clearly how far down it is to the floor of the canyon.
The river would be much deeper if we weren't under drought conditions.

My three boys--Jacob, Dylan, and Ryan--explored the side of the highway
while we were stuck for 30 minutes due to roadwork ahead.

Shera and Ryan posed with the Christus when we stopped by
the Visitors Center at the Mesa Arizona Temple.

Sarah and Danielle hammed it up while we took a break in the
Visitors Center restroom.

Shera and Ryan by a pool between the Visitors Center and
the Mesa Temple in the background.

Sarah wanders the beautiful Mesa Temple grounds while
Dylan, Jacob, and Danielle check out a plaque.

The temple is closed on Monday, so Shera and Ryan
have the steps to the Mesa Temple's entrance all to themselves.

Shera is pleased to have two new brothers in Jacob and Dylan.

Ryan and Shera had never seen saguaro cactus until 
we drove through the desert that morning.
They decided they must have their picture taken with one.
This cactus garden is located on the grounds of the Mesa Temple.
They were loving the 80+ degree temperatures in the Valley.
Their friends and family in Missouri are enduring temps in the teens.
(At home in the White Mountains it's been in the 60s and low 70s.)

Jacob and Ryan took a break at Deseret Bookstore near the Mesa Temple 
while the rest of us explored the delights to be found inside.
I asked Ryan, "Isn't that Jacob's shirt you're wearing?" He said it was.
I knew then that I'd truly gained another son. They're wearing each other's clothes!

My youngest, Dylan, checks out the tie selection at Deseret Bookstore.

Dylan, Jacob, Mary, and Sarah outside the Gilbert Temple after our tour.
Just me and my original 3 children. These days our family is exploding with growth!

Danielle, Jacob, and Dylan share a moment on the Gilbert Temple grounds.
Plenty of shady spots, benches, and fountains abound.

Ryan and Shera are feeling amorous as Jacob and Danielle watch from the left.
We were still anxiously waiting for Jacob to pop the question at this point . . .

What are Dylan, Danielle, Jacob, Shera, and Ryan pointing at?

They were pointing up at the Angel Moroni atop the Gilbert Temple!

Ryan saw this shot, grabbed my camera out of my hand,
and captured the moment!

The Gilbert Temple is huge and amazing. Utterly gorgeous.
The last time a temple of this size was built was 17 years ago!

Ryan and Shera plan to be sealed for eternity in January 2015, 
one year after their baptism. They were so impressed with the beauty of this temple,
they're considering coming here to be sealed.

Shera photographs Danielle, Jacob, and Dylan while Ryan stands by.

After our tour, and after the proposal, we went to my sister Karla's house in Mesa. After briefly visiting there, we all went to Mi Amigos for a delicious dinner of Mexican food. Our group included the 7 of us; my sister Karla; her daughter Genevieve with husband Scott and their 4 kids; her daughter Celesta with husband Riley; her daughter Brianna with husband Bryce and their baby son Carson; and her youngest daughters Mariah, Gabby, and Addison.

I wish I'd remembered to take pictures of everyone at dinner, but I was too busy quizzing Karla about her love life! However, all those dinner photos would have required another post!

Riley and Celesta met us at the Gilbert Temple after dinner.
These are my newlywed niece and nephew whose wedding we attended in November.
They were thrilled to announce that they are expecting their first baby next summer!

Ryan, still on the Gilbert Temple grounds.
It had been a long, full day. We didn't leave for home till about 10 pm.

One final picture of Shera and Ryan before heading back up the mountain toward home.

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