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Day 14: “On the Plimouth Plantation…” (an original song in the works)

08 Jul

It is 10pm, I am in a very nice hotel in Boston, I am completely knackered, and I just want to go to sleep. Tomorrow is going to be a jam-packed Boston day and I want us to get an early start. So, here is the quick, somewhat truncated update on our day….

We spent the day in Plymouth, Massachusetts, getting our Pilgrim (and Wampanoag) on. We started at the Plimouth Plantation. Why the funky spelling? We wanted to know the same thing. Apparently, there were no hard and fast rules for spelling back in the 1600s, and even within the same document, sometimes even in the same sentence, the name of the town was listed as either Plymouth or Plimouth. When they founded the living museum, they wished to differentiate it from the town proper, and thus Plimouth Plantation was born. Okay, the low dow: If you are in the area, go here. It was such a fun and engaging experience. Throughout the replica Wampanoag and English villages are role-playing actors (they call them Living History Educators) who are actively working and maintaining the villages as their characters would have done. And these people are GOOD. Those in the Wampanoag Village are all Native Americans of a variety of tribes, some are even descendants of the original Wampanoag nation. The young men were running around on this cool day in loincloths! But I bet they love that when the Englishmen are roasting during the hot summer months in their layers of woven clothing. They keep in character at all times – including lovely British accents (some may have been real, but some, if not most, must have been affected) for those in the English village. I did not develop a crush on Pilgrim Brewster who was sitting reading the Bible to pass the time, was very quick-witted, and had a roguishly cute accent. (Okay, maybe I did.) But it couldn’t really approach how delighted I was by the old man who was tending a garden. He was insanely good. So knowledgable, held to his mannerisms and quirks of language and personality, everything about him was amazing. We had a great discussion about all manner of topics, including telling him that we were visiting from Spanish Florida! All I really want to say is go there. Engage and interact with their Living History Educators. You won’t be sorry. I would go back and spend more time in a heartbeat. I think I spent my entire amount of teacher lead funds in the gift shop. I mean I really can’t resist a historical book!

Then we drove into Plymouth proper – the current city of Plymouth – to first visit the Grist Mill (which was a paid part of our Plimouth Plantation experience). The mill was interesting, but I had seen one before. We didn’t end up spending too much time there, but before going I most certainly bought a bag of Yankee Indian corn grits to share with my Southern father!

From there we walked down to the waterfront. Are you even allowed to visit Plymouth without being disappointed by the Plymouth Rock? Unfortunately, we were also disappointed by the fact that the replica Mayflower (the Mayflower II) is not in Plymouth as it is currently being restored for the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth. I really really wanted to see the ship, but we found other things to do.

Then it was off to the Pilgrim Hall Museum. Woah. This is a GREAT museum! I was not prepared. Small, but very well-curated. Interesting artifacts and biographical displays. Very nice informational placards throughout. And they have an excellent treasure hunt that they offer to all visitors – if you complete the questions in the glossy packet and show it to the person at the front desk, they give you a free postcard or folded card. I was very impressed with the whole thing.

After forcing my children to walk past the outside of the cemetery, when I truly wanted to go in and wander about for awhile, we got back to our car and headed in to Boston. This is my splurge city. Due to being in possession of a great deal of Marriott credit, I booked for us a Marriot property right on the wharf adjacent to the USS Constitution. The Liberty Trail literally runs in front of the hotel! I am very excited to delve into the US History aspect of our stay here. But first, to take advantage of our late arrival – when all historical locations had closed at 5 or 6pm, we went to the Prudential Center and visited the Skywalk Observatory. And we timed it just right to watch the sun set over Boston. This one was another part of our Go Boston pass, and I am definitely glad we chose to get out and do this tonight. The panoramic view over the rooftops of Boston is breathtaking. Because it was now so late (sunset was 8:23pm) we were in a bit of a bind to find a quick dinner. Problem solved! We went to Eataly and purchased fresh berries and a fresh-baked baguette. I felt like I was back in Europe. Though I was missing the cheese, wine, and prosciutto!

I’m fading fast here, but wanted to get some of it down on paper. I am not even going to read through to edit this. (At least not right this second. Who am I kidding? I will likely edit and update it tomorrow morning.) Action-packed Boston day tomorrow. We’re only trying to squeeze in like 2 weeks worth of sightseeing into two days. What could possibly go wrong? Sigh. All the things. All the things could go wrong…

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