Plymouth, MA - 10/27/2012

Published at 7:41 PM in ,

Aboard the Mayflower II

This morning we drove about an hour down to Plymouth, MA, to see how the Pilgrims lived back in the 1600s.  Plymouth is a cute little town with lots of tourist attractions related to the Pilgrims.

The Mayflower II in Plymouth Bay

The first thing we did was tour the Mayflower II.  This ship is a reproduction of a ship like the Pilgrims would have used in 1620.  It was hand crafted in England in the 1950s and crossed the Atlantic under its own sail power.  There are 'crew' members aboard that share all kinds of knowledge about the ship and the passengers.

There were also 'cast' members; these people were dressed like Pilgrims or crew from the 1600s and totally played the part.  They were happy to answer any questions from their viewpoint.  We asked to take a picture and their response was that they didn't know what that was and would it hurt.  It is unbelievable that 102 Pilgrims, plus the ship's crew, fit on a boat of that size.  There really wasn't that much room.  Plus, when you factor in having to use chamber pots and that there were three pregnant women on board....yikes! 

This is a perfect example of what our trips are all about.  What the kids learned about the Pilgrims and their travels can't really be learned in a book. We don't think they will ever look at Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims in the same way again.

After the boat tour, we walked the few blocks to see the actual Plymouth Rock.  There is a long story about how people came to believe that this was the actual rock where the Pilgrims set foot on land, but I truly can't remember the details.  However, more information can be found HERE.  Anyway, there is a very nice portico built over the rock, which is etched with the year 1620, the year the Pilgrims landed.  There was a state park ranger that gave a little ten minute talk about the rock and the Pilgrims.  The rock is in the smallest state park in the state of Massachusetts.  Pretty neat, even if it wasn't as impressive as some might imagine.

Peter Brown's Tankard

After the rock, we went to the Pilgrim Hall Museum.  This museum chronicles the life of the Pilgrims in the new world, as well as housing some artifacts from the actual Pilgrims themselves.  We were curious as to how the items were preserved for so long before they wound up in the museum.  The docent said that most of them had been passed down through the families for generations.  We have a friend that is an ancestor of one of the original Pilgrims, Peter Brown.  The museum had a tankard, basically a mug, that belonged to Brown, and I was able to sneak a picture of it - with no flash! - for our friend.  The museum also had a neat scavenger hunt in it, with different hunts for different ages.  The kids always like doing those, and it gets them a little more involved in the museum, plus it really got them thinking about not only the trip across the Atlantic, but also about that first, harsh winter.

Mamma Mia's Restaurant

By the time we finished at the museum, it was time for dinner.  We have another friend, that's from Massachusetts, and recommended a restaurant in Plymouth for us to try.  It is called Mamma Mia's and they serve pizza, so it was a go for us.  We all had different things, and it was all really good.

The original Dunkin Donuts

On the way back to Boston and the RV, we stopped in Quincy, MA, at the very first Dunkin Donuts.  It was remodeled last year to look like it did originally in 1950.  We enjoyed our donuts and hot chocolate.

Tomorrow is church and more touring historical sites around Lexington and Concord.

More picture in the Photo Gallery.

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