Plymouth, MA

Trip Start Jan 06, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Massachusetts
Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wednesday, August 31st

We decided that we would check out Plymouth, MA today. The first stop on our list of things to do was the Plimoth Plantation. The Plimoth Plantation is a re-creation of the 1627 English Village and a neighboring Wampanoag Homesite.  We hit up the Visitor's Center first and watched the orientation program, which explained the different areas of the plantation. 

Our first stop after the Visitor’s Center was the Wampanoag Homesite. This was a re-created home and garden of a single 17th-century Wampanoag family.  We were able to talk with Native People about Wampanoag history and culture.  They were wearing traditional Wampanoag clothing, but were not being role players.  They were giving answering questions from a 21st-century viewpoint.  We enjoyed it here and had lots of questions to ask as we checked out all the different areas of the homesite.  I think Jim and Jared’s favorite was the burning out of a log to make a canoe.  I am pretty sure they want to try to make their own now.

When we finished up there we walked along the Eel River Boardwalk, where we did not see any of the abundant wildlife we were supposed to see.  The boardwalk did bring us to the 1627 English Village.  Here we met costumed role players, who have taken on the names, viewpoints and life histories of the people who lived in the colony in 1627.  We were able to explore the re-created homes, gardens, fields, storehouses, animal pens and work areas of the original town.  It was kind of cool to talk to these people and get the stories of the people who actually did live in the colony.  They were all busy working as we walked around.  Some were cooking dinner, sewing, and working in the gardens.  We also enjoyed all the furniture in the re-created houses.  Some of it was very elegantly made.  Jared particularly liked some of the mugs that had three handles on them.  I think this is because a while back I broke the handle off of one of our mugs and he is still upset about it.  If we have 4 people and have to use all 4 mugs he always makes me use the broken handle mug.

After finishing up in the English Village we headed to the Crafts Center.  This is where you can meet modern day artisans as they reproduce 17th-century objects.  Unfortunately when we got there the only one in there working was the Potter.  He did show us what he was working on and the picture he was using as a model. It did look pretty identical.  We checked out the shop here where they have the products they make on sale.  The 3 handle mug was a little more than we wanted to spend though.  Jim did end up buying some homemade fudge, which is delicious.

We then headed back to the Visitor’s Center to check out the stores there before heading out.  On our way out we stopped at the Nye Barn, which provides an introduction to Plimoth Plantation’s rare breeds livestock program.  The only ones that were in the pens were goats.  Some of them were the closest in heritage to the English goats that were brought over.  We finished up in there, ate leftover pizza in the RV for lunch and headed out for the town of Plymouth.

Where the town of Plymouth is located is the original spot of the colony.  There they have the Mayflower II which is a re-creation of a late 16th-century English merchant ship of the same size as the original Mayflower.  We were able to walk around the boat and talk to staff workers about the boat along with costumed role players portraying sailors from 1620.  We also read about the original Mayflower and how they built this boat and actually sailed it from England to Plymouth and it has been out on other voyages too.  It was definitely tight and I couldn’t imagine being 1 of the 103 passengers on the boat.  When we were heading out of the Mayflower II to check out the gift shops we happened to see a bus driver getting out of a bus.  Jared and I definitely think it was my cousin Jamie’s bus driver for her softball team.  I will include his picture that I took on the sly and maybe one of the Mingis family can confirm for us.

Right next to the Mayflower II is Plymouth Rock.  We got there in time to listen to a park ranger talking about the rock.  What you see now is way smaller then what they actually saw when arriving at Plymouth.  The rock was cut in half and the top half was moved to a museum for a while and then eventually reunited with the bottom half of the rock again where it is now.  But when it was cut in half and each time it was moved pieces of the rock either broke off or where given away for other museums, so it is about 1/3rd of the size it was when they saw it.  An interesting fact was that every other town in the US with the name Plymouth has a piece of the rock.

After finishing up at Plymouth Rock we walked around Plymouth just checking out the little shops.  Then we hopped back in the RV and the Bookhamers in their car and headed in to Boston to drop off their car.  They are parking their car in a parking lot near the airport so that when they fly out of Bar Harbor next Wednesday in to Boston they can pick the car up and continue on their way.  We got stuck in some traffic, but still made it to the car lot in pretty good time.  After dropping the car off we headed to New Hampton, NH to spend the night.
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