I just realized that I have not documented at least the last 3 or 4 trips with Susan so I will try to quickly write down what I remember.
Our Christmas present to each other was a trip to the Brick House on Main, a B&B in Gnadenhutten, OH. I think it was the first time we spent 2 nights in a row at a B&B, arriving Sat, December 26, 2015 and departing Mon, December 28th. I don't remember a whole lot other than a relaxing time with my sweetie. The weather wasn't great as you might expect, although no snow – just cold rain.
In May, we were planning to travel to Washington state for Curtis's graduation, but didn't make it. We arrived at the airport on Friday, May 6th, but the flight was delayed. If we had gotten on the plane, we would have missed connecting flights and the graduation, which was the following day. In fact, they couldn't find anything that would get us there before Monday and my return flight was Sunday, the previous day! Susan's return flight was Tuesday so she would only have had a day there. So, with great disappointment, we decided to cancel the whole trip. Susan really felt bad. She still has not seen her grandson, Oliver, who is now 1 1/2 years old. On top of that, Sunday was Mother's Day. As an effort to help make it up for Susan, I booked Saturday night at the Millersburg Hotel. It was a lovely old hotel in downtown Millersburg. We ate in their restaurant on Saturday evening, and strolled around the town on Sunday, enjoying the beautiful buildings, and a very old cemetery at the top of a hill not far from the center of town.
To finish the story about the messed up flight to Washington, we, fortunately had purchased flight insurance and were able to get all our money back, although it took quite a bit of effort in submitting claims, making phone calls, having the claims initially denied, and finally being successful in appealing the decision. That was the first time I have ever purchased flight insurance so it was a blessing, but not sure I will do it again considering the restrictions and hassle to collect. So now the plan is to visit Washington at the end of August, although I don't know how I will get the time off and Susan really hates to go without me. Also, I have gotten to the point that I hate long flights due to problems with restless legs, and now having the need for frequent trips to the bathroom. We have decided that, when we can afford it and have the time, we'll travel by RV (or maybe something smaller) to visit our children once or twice a year and hope to stay for a week or so.
On July 2nd, I realized that I did not need to work on the 4th or 5th because I had pretty well caught up with my inspection jobs and wasn't expecting anything additional until the 6th. Susan also had those 2 days off and we had no other plans so decided to take another trip. This time, we visited the Priesthood Restoration Site in Susquehanna, PA with a stay on the way at a B&B in Wilkes-Barre, PA called the Hillard House Inn. We left Monday around noon, arriving at the Inn around 6 PM, just in time, as it turned out, for dinner. We had planned to find a restaurant in town for dinner, but the innkeeper, Cecilia, told us everything was closed for the 4th of July, and then invited us to eat with her family, who happened to be there to celebrate the 4th with them. We were reluctant to impose, but happily joined them after some encouragement. The innkeepers were Gordon and Cecilia Williams. They lived in the home and visiting them were a mixture of about 8 children, spouses and grandchildren. It was a wonderful meal of chicken, ribs, corn on the cob, and more, and the family was very friendly. They even invited us to sit on their front porch afterwards as they set off small fireworks, and later to sit with them as a major fireworks show was put on by the city across from the river, which their house was right next to, although there was a levee wall between them and the river protecting them from possible flooding. Susan and I also squeezed in a walk along the river before the fireworks show. It turned out to be a very special and enjoyable evening. I joked that it was the first time we've stayed at a Bed & Breakfast & Dinner. As we left, we told them we'd be back when we go to the open house for the new Philadelphia Temple.
The next morning, we traveled to Susquehanna and were very impressed with the Priesthood Restoration Site. They have a beautiful Visitors Center/Meeting House, restored homes of Isaac and Elizabeth Hale, and Joseph and Emma Smith. The latter is where Oliver Cowdery helped Joseph translate most of the Book of Mormon from the gold plates. There's the grove where Joseph and Oliver received the Aaronic Priesthood from John the Baptist, the Susquehanna River where Joseph and Oliver baptized each other, and a cemetery where Joseph and Emma's firstborn infant son is buried.
We were given a wonderful guided tour by a young Sister Young, (no relation to Brigham, she said). First she showed us a video about the events during the time that Joseph and Emma lived there, and we got to ask questions, which cleared some things up for me. I wasn't too familiar with everything that happened around that time period. I learned that there is some confusion between Harmony, which is mentioned in the Doctrine & Covenants, and Susquehanna, where the site is located.
I found this in Wikipedia:
The Harmony in Latter Day Saint history refers to a township rather than the village of Harmony. The township boundary was changed in 1853, placing the Latter Day Saint sites in present-day Oakland Township. The site of the Hale residence lies about a mile and a half west of present-day Oakland, Pennsylvania, in Susquehanna County, along the north side of Route 171.
The video told about a 100 mile journey by foot that Joseph traveled alone from Harmony, PA to Palmyra, NY in an effort to retrieve the initial 116 translated pages from the gold plates that he had loaned to Martin Harris, only to discover that they were lost. He then had to make the long journey back and inform his wife, in despair, that the pages were gone.
Later, however, Oliver Cowdery was inspired to visit Joseph and help continue the translation. The video showed Joseph and Oliver sitting at a table while translating the gold plates with the plates also there covered with a cloth. There was no mention of a curtain between them or of the urim and thummin or seer stones that were used at times during the work of translation. The bottom line is that we don't know exactly how the translation was done, but it was certainly remarkable considering how rapidly it went amidst all that was going on, including the fact that Joseph had to work to support his family (I learned that he worked as a Cooper). Oliver Cowdery described how Joseph would pick up where he left off without the need to review the previous day's work.
The movie also showed Joseph burying their first born son in cemetery that happened to be located right next to their home, and is still there today, including the original headstone.