a partly cloudy week: part five

On Friday, we drove about forty miles south to the town of Plymouth, location of Plimoth Plantation and the Mayflower II, recreations of the Plymouth Colony and the boat the colonists used to cross the Atlantic in 1620. At the beginning of the week, I was really excited about visiting Plymouth, more excited than I felt about Salem, actually. And if I take the individual components of my Salem experience and compare them to individual components of our day in Plymouth, I guess I'd have to admit that Plymouth was a more impressive and worthwhile daytrip. Plimoth Plantation is much more impressive than the Salem Witch Museum, for example. And yet for some reason, maybe because I wasn't feeling well that Friday or maybe because it was a little more humid than it had been on Tuesday, I enjoyed Salem more.

Anyway, the plantation has been recreated according to the way things probably were in 1627. I'm not sure why they chose to freeze the plantation in time seven years after the colonists arrived. I guess it wouldn't be a terribly fun place to visit if they'd recreated the colony just months after they'd arrived. This way, the live action role players can talk to you about how the colony has succeeded and grown over the seven years. Talking to the LARPers is the best way to learn about how things were back in 1627. And I'm sure it is, if, of course, you don't have a head cold and a general lack of sociability that day. I did ask one girl what they did for bathrooms, quickly correcting myself and asking about toilets. She first asked if I was French (you see, they think it's still 1627 and I guess only the French were using les toilettes at that time) before explaining that you typically go where you are, unless you're inside and it's snowing outside or the middle of the night, in which case you use your chamber pot, of course.

From the plantation we drove three miles to the downtown area of Plymouth, where we had lunch before touring the Mayflower II and taking a look at the very rock the colonists used to step off the boat for the first time. The authenticity of the rock is, of course, highly questionnable, but that didn't bother me. To be consistent with the recreations of the plantation and boat, I think they ought to make a fiberglass replica of the rock and put that on view.

After a brief detour through a couple of kitschy gift shops (I almost bought a Plymouth Rock magnet that was little more than a gray blob of plastic with the year 1620 stamped on it...awesome) we headed home through a prototypically New England spring thunder storm. We couldn't have planned it better if we tried.

The next day, before delivering the inlaws to the airport, we had breakfast at Friendly's, a New England chain similar to Denny's but with their own brand of ice cream. Their ice cream's not bad and the great thing about Friendly's is the free hot fudge sundae you get with any of their featured sandwiches. And they make a decent burger. Breakfast, on the other hand, was not so exciting and, alas, no free hot fudge sundae.

The end.

P.S. In addition to all the historical stuff, I learned that week, in looking at the several batches of pictures after, that if I'm not posing obnoxiously for a photo, like this:

I look like this:

Or like this:

Have I learned nothing from America's Next Top Model?

No comments: