104 Degrees - Happy Independence Day!

Trip Start Jun 29, 2010
Trip End Apr 07, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Massachusetts
Sunday, July 4, 2010

After our great sleep (we each had our own double bed) we were greeted by about 30 Chinese people all milling around having breakfast. 

There had be an influx while we were sleeping and they were eating all of the homemade waffles. With Chris’s new love for waffles he wasn’t missing out so in he headed and emerged with a dinner plate sized waffle – it was worth the scuffle it as he devoured them with pleasure.  

Our plan for the day was to head to Plymouth - this is the place where back in 1620, 102 pilgrims landed in the new world – so we thought it would be a great place to see the 4th July Celebrations. 

We had managed to get a room booked into the Pilgrim Sands Motel which was really fortunate as it gets booked up a year in advance as it is a perfect place to see the evening fireworks. 

Even though we had printed directions we got lost for about half an hour which was actually quite fortunate as we had chance to survey potential houses in New England (we wish!!)

Check in wasn’t until 5pm so we left our bags and headed to the main street to get a good spot to watch the amazing 4th July parade. 

Though the Americans do not have the length of history we have in England they really know how to cherish and celebrate what they do have.  We stood next to one guy in particular who for the sake of this blog we were will name Mr. America. 

He was wearing a shirt that was the American flag, his dog had a stars and stripes bandana around his neck and they were sitting on a Navy Seal towel. 

We think he was ex-military and seemed like a typical Republican pro guns, pro war etc.  It was so interesting being next to him as you never actually think there are people like that out here, but he was a patriot through and through. 

The parade was brilliant – so much effort had gone into the organisation and execution. 

It started with the county fire trucks all blowing their horns as they drove along the route, followed by the hells angels, antique cars, the police, local school bands, local businesses and there were a few political floats for candidates for congress. 

The most remarkable part of the parade for us was when an old convertible pulled up and a 98 year old marine got out and walked the main bit of the route. 

It was actually really moving and he looked really well for his age.  Just another example of how seriously America takes its traditions and beliefs – when they do something they really do it well.

The sun was absolutely scorching and we were near melting point.  To reduce our body temperature we bought our first snow cone to share – blueberry and pina colada flavour.  Another great American tradition – crushed ice with flavoured syrup over it charged at $5 – genius! 

We’d been out in the sun since 10am and it was getting on for 12.30 – the sun was getting hotter and we were getting pinker!  Definately time to head over to the Mayflower II for a break from the sun and a little piece of local history.

This was a reproduction of the vessel that brought the pilgrims to America. 

It was built in the UK back in the 1950’s and sailed over to the US and is one of the main attractions to Plymouth. 

It was really quite small, and there were rolactors dressed in period costume and speaking in a strange mix of English, Welsh, Irish, South African accents.

They spoke about what it would have been like living and working aboard the boat. 

After exploruing the boat we realised we were quite peckish and had heard there was a nice seafood restaurant not too far away – so off we headed, to be stopped in our tracks when Chris spotted a period dress photographer and we thought we would give it a go.  We had a great time dressing as early Pilgrims and had some photos taken to remember Plymouth by.

Lunch was at Woods Seafood Bar on the harbour.

Annabelle had lobster bisque and Chris Clam chowder - both trying the corn on the cob and the homemade coleslaw. 

Everything was delicious - very nice indeed!

The temperature had gotten so hot we were sweating without even doing a thing!! 

We need to get used to this quickly as it’s only going to get worse. 

Over lunch we spoke about how much we would like to live in America specifically New England, what we would do for a living and what a good life it would be!  We can dream!!!

When we’d been fed and watered, we headed back to the car and drove toward Plimoth (the early Pilgrim spelling as it sounds) Plantation which is part of the education of the early Pilgrim landings. 

It had a replication of a 17th century Wampanoag village – complete with Native people, and an English village as it was 7 years after the arrival of the Mayflower. 

Everything on site had been made in a traditional way and all of the staff stayed in character all day – the foundation had made such an effort to get people to understand the history of the Wampanoag and Pilgrim people – definitely worth the time and effort to visit. 

Then came  the time for us to check into our motel – so we headed back and the first thing we did was jump in the outdoor pool for a well deserved cool down. 

A quick change before heading back into town where cars were starting to arrive for the firework display the town was hosting this evening.  We manage to get a space to park and went over to the Unions Street Bar & Grill, essentially a seafood restaurant on the side of the port. 

Beautiful views and fantastic food at great value of money.  

We shared Calamari and a Seafood Bruschetta.   Annabelle then had Lobster Ravioli with shrimp, scallops and clams, whilst Chris had Shrimp Scampi on a bed of Linguini, fantastic. 

It was such a beautiful setting, eating whilst looking out over Plymouth Harbour, and even though it was getting late it was still very warm.  Not to worry, we’re in America and they’ve thought of everything. 

From nowhere a fine cooling mist was sprayed from above – initially we thought it was the fire sprinkler system, but actually worked out it was a cooling spray system built into the roof which systematically sprays everyone to.  Only in America...

We then headed back to the hotel, cleverly avoiding all the crowds in town to watch the fireworks out on the on our porch with a beer in hand.
What a day, what a life this can be sometimes.....!
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alex on

lobster for lunch, lobster for dinner.....

linda on

Phew your going to have to pace yourselfs im tried just reading it lol lindax

ricardo philipo on

on your return you should visit the spread eagle pub at rotherhithe street rotherhithe where the mayflower set sail from. the pubs been renamed the mayflower but the whole area around the pub drips with history. i believe capt smith, the mayflowers skipper, is buried at st marys churchyard near the pub. up the road is the blue anchor pub where judge jefferies used to watch his clients being hung across the river thames in wapping. a beer a meal and a hanging, thats entertainment of a bygone era, ah!

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