Sunday, April 20, 2008

catching up on vacation notes

Back to our trip to Boston. Where'd I leave off? Oh, yeah. Day One was travel, Day Two was TheFamilyHistoryTour2008 plus the trip into Quincy, Day Three was visiting Marblehead/Salem....and that is where I got sidetracked.

Well, Day Four was Plymouth. Today will be your basic tour, probably not all that interesting, but do turn in tomorrow for "Plimoth Plantation: The Gimp Perspective". I'd like to think it will worth your time ;-)

Ok, so this day trip into Plymouth was taken by my parents, MyFavoriteKid, and myself. On the road to Plymouth, MyFK got to see his first cranberry bog. It took him a couple of guesses to figure out what it was.

Our first stop was Plimoth Plantation, which is a basically an active exhibit depicting the lives of the Pilgrims and the Native Americans during the first years after the settlers arrived in the 1620's.

Now, it is this type of history lesson that typically makes me feel just a wee bit embarrassed to be an American. I'm not sure why. I mean, my family line isn't even remotely connected to the early settlers. As a kid though, when we got to this part of American History in school, I never did buy into the whole joyous Thanksgiving dinner bit. It's a good thing I didn't, because of course that isn't really how it went down for our Native "neighbors", now was it.

Anyhow, the Plimoth Plantation is divided into two sections. There is a site showing life in a Wampanoag camp,

and another section that depicts the early years of the Pilgrims.

The Wampanoag camp is staffed by native docents who are in full costume and performing daily activities, but they are not roleplaying. They respond to visitors from a 21st century perspective. They had no problems at all politely stating what a bunch of dingdongs the English were.

It went something like, "Our homes are simply built, and are made to retain heat in winter and keep the interior cool in summer.

Then they continue with, "Have you been to the settler's camp yet? Well, bundle up! The English built their homes close to the ocean where the snow is damp, with fireplaces that suck the heat right out! I won't even mention those windows and doors."

In fact, not only did the Pilgrims build closer to the water, but the location of the native camp being depicted was their summer camp. In the winter, they were farther inland.

The comparisons and observations of poor choices were endless. Here's another. The Wampanoag farmed their vegetables in the middle of the village, and young girls were tasked with scaring away the birds. The Pilgrims grew their corn outside the village walls. And starved to death.

As far as I could tell, the only thing the Pilgrims had going for them was the knitting.

Unlike the Wampanoag camp, in the Pilgrim village, the docents did roleplay, acting the part of an actual settler. When I asked this gentleman if I could take a picture of his stockings and garters, he asked me if I could knit, to which I replied yes...and then he asked me if I could cook, to which I replied that I was a trained which he politely let me know that I was in demand, and would I like to see his house, and that his name was, "Love".
"Your name is Love????"
"Why yes, I have taken a virtuous name."

Hahaha. Well, hopefully that will get you some new socks, dude...otherwise you are going to freeze to death.

I have more to say about Plimoth Plantation, but I'll save that for tomorrow's Gimp Perspective on the place.

Oh, I guess I should mention that on the way I out I just sort of stumbled into the gift shop and found this to bring home:

One of the many contributors to my suitcase being charged an overweight fee, to be sure.

Okay, so we left the Plimoth Plantation, and met up with my Unlce, his wife, and my Grandmother at Isaac's for lunch.

You just can't get clam chowder like this anywhere. I swear, I gained more than 10 pounds on this trip just on seafood. It was worth every bite, though.

Then we went to visit The Mayflower II.

You know, it was f-f-f-freeezing cold that day, and the bonus for sticking it out is that there were only two other people at the Mayflower exhibit besides us. That meant the docent was able to talk with me for a good 20 minutes or so while MyFK ran all around the ship, which I wasn't in the mood to do on crutches with hands so cold I couldn't feel my fingers (bad mix). I learned so much from that guy. He was an amazing wealth of information, and I was really glad to have his time.

We tried to see Plymouth Rock, but it's surrounding structure is being refurbished.


So that was Day Four, which ended with family gathering back over at grandma's and a bunch of pizzas ordered.

Tomorrow the Gimp Perspective, then next up, my day with Sara. After that, all I have left was one last lazy day with family eating more seafood, and then the travel day home, which I don't care to remember.


Gray said...

The local taqueria near my office in Boston is equipped to serve a tortilla-less burrito- really just filling on a piece of Matzoh in a foam take-out box. They also know that pork is out of the question, and they should ask about the beans and cheese. What a strange new world!

You didn't miss much with Plymouth Rock. It is no longer a rock and really just a smallish stone- most of it has been removed in little bits by souvenir hunters over the decades. I should have recommended eating at Woods' seafood. It's near the rock, and is very inexpensive and good.

I have been enjoying you posts, and didn't want silence to be confused with disinterest. Thanks for writing