I love vacations. I use them as presents, when there is something to celebrate, or as a break from my regular life, and especially around the holidays.
In 2014, I could think of no better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than with a family trip to Boston, Massachusetts.
There were six of us on this trip and we left bright and early that Thursday morning. Of course I had our itinerary fully prepared and reservations made.
First up was Plimoth Plantation.
Plimoth Plantation is a recreation of a seventeenth century village including farms, houses, gardens, with accurate historic details as well as a replica of the Wampanoag homestead.
This was the largest place we would visit this day. The site is on beautiful, natural grounds. If the weather holds up you could wander around for hours.
First up you will enter through the Wampanoag site. Here there are no actors. Each person you see is actually apart of this historic tribe. Their clothing and activities are period appropriate as you learn how they lived, grew their crops, made their meals, and kept their traditions alive.
From here you walk down a ways until you appear at the entry way of a small seventeenth century village. You will see men and women in clothes of the day as well as several farm animals. You can walk in and out of the huts and buildings to see the different functions and layouts. Questions about their lifestyle and beliefs are welcome as each person as some information to impart.
At this point all that remains is the long walk back to the main entrance, a stop at the gift shop, and then to trying to remember where you parked. I strongly recommend getting here when it opens as it gets more crowded as the afternoon goes on.
If you want to add some extra fun to your visit you can eat your Thanksgiving meal here! Just be sure to make your reservations a couple of months in advance.
From Plimoth Plantation we took a short drive to the spot on the river where the Mayflower II is docked.
The Mayflower II is a ship that is a full scale recreation of the original that brought pilgrims to America. It looks tiny considering that it once held over one hundred people at one time.
The boat was very rocky for one that was docked and much smaller on the inside than it looked from the outside. To imagine that this is exactly the size of the real ship is incredible. How anyone fit, let alone traveled, and lived boggles the mind. It is a miracle.
The ship is not currently open to the public as it is undergoing a massive restoration in anticipation of the four-hundredth anniversary celebration of the pilgrim’s landing in 2019.
But when it does reopen be sure to get the pass that includes Plimoth Plantation for a reduced entry fee, if you plan to visit both spots.
I saved the best for last. This relic was just down the road and around the corner from the Mayflower II. It was also the object I most wanted to see in all of Boston, except for Donnie Wahlberg himself, which sadly never happened.
Plymouth Rock is as close to the actual birthplace of America as one could get. Originally this location, where the very first pilgrims landed, was fifteen feet by three feet. However, through the years, relocation, weather, and thieves who chipped off bits as souvenirs, the ten ton boulder that stood here untouched for over one hundred and twenty years, is half the size it used to be.
Plymouth Rock is surrounded by an iron gate and your look down to get a glimpse. The vantage point is a little difficult and you have to stick your camera around the bars if you don’t want them in your photo, which I definitely did not. Just be extra careful not to drop your phone/camera.
The portion you see is really only one-third of the actual rock, apparently the part that lies beneath the sand is even larger.
It is estimated that one million people pass by to see this famous rock each year. Considering that I was visiting on the Super Bowl for this relic it wasn’t too crowded. Without any effort I was able to get to stand right in front and take a nice long look, and then begin my photoshoot.
The last time I was this close to a piece of Plymouth Rock I was in my hometown visiting Plymouth Church in Brooklyn, New York (http://bit.ly/2BsdkUR). Of course the similarities in the name should be a dead give away. Plymouth Church got its name and a piece of the precious rock because this church was originally known as the Church of the Pilgrims. Both figuratively, and literally. This church was designated a National Historic landmark back in 1961.
After all of this important and enthralling sightseeing we were headed to the hotel where the only other itinerary item that remained was Thanksgiving dinner.
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