My husband and I just returned from traveling back to Nauvoo, Illinois. As a Mormon, Nauvoo is a part of my family history. I have relatives who were sealed in the Nauvoo temple, and ancestors who were born at Winter Quarters after the Saints were driven from their homes in Nauvoo. The highlight of the trip for me was being able to attend a session in the newly rebuilt temple. One of the temple workers told me how the church obtained the original building plans. When the missionaries in California knocked on a door, a man told them he wasn't interested in their message, but that the church might be interested in something that he had. He was a descendant of the architect and had a copy of the plans. The new temple was then constructed as close to the original plans as possible. I also took a tour of the Joseph Smith mansion now owned by the reorganized church and visited Carthage Jail where Joseph Smith was killed.
On our way back we stopped in Hannibal, Missouri, home of Mark Twain, for lunch. It always amazes me how towns capitalize on one person. They had a square set up with Becky Thatcher's home and the fence Tom Sawyer conned his friends into painting. Excuse me? Did the tourists understand that these places didn't ever exist except in Samuel Clement's mind? His boyhood home might have been authentic, but I wasn't curious enough to pay for a ticket.
I love the adventure of traveling and seeing new places, but I'm always glad to come home and sleep in my own bed.