Sunday, November 27, 2011

My Belated Thanksgiving Post

I meant to write this post and publish it last week because it's about Plymouth and the pilgrims, but my in-laws came to visit and things were busy and I didn't have time. So here it is now instead. Better late than never!

This past summer when we were back East we spent a day at Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts. It's a re-creation of how the pilgrims lived, and the Native Americans too, and it is an awesome place--an outdoor living history museum at its best. If you've never been, add it to your "Must Visit" list! We'd been before, but it was even better this time because my six-year-old was old enough to understand it a lot more than the last time we were there (when he was two!).

This is what the houses looked like back then. My husband and children are direct descendants of a couple who came over on the Mayflower. It was neat to explore replicas of what their home here in America may have been like!


The "settlers" are fun to talk with. They speak only in character as if it were the 1600s. You can ask them anything about life back then, and if you ask them about modern things, they act like they have no idea what you're talking about. It's funny!

Real working gardens are at many of the houses...

I was impressed by this cool log pile!

At the top of the village, there's a nice view of the Atlantic Ocean, which conveyed the passengers of the Mayflower to the wild and untamed lands of what was to become America.

 Nothing says "Welcome to the 17th century" like a kid in a Star Wars shirt!

After Plimoth Plantation, we drove into the town of Plymouth to go on the Mayflower II, which is a replica of the original ship. (By the way, in case you were wondering, "Plimoth" is spelled that way because that's how the settlers originally spelled it, so at the Plantation it's spelled like that to be true to history. It's not an error that I keep making, I promise! Or if it is, at least it's a sanctioned one!)

All aboard! (It actually doesn't go anywhere. It's just for touring.)


On display outside of the ship is a picture of England with the names of the Mayflower passengers and where they came from. Our ancestors are John Howland (at the top) and Elizabeth Tilley (third from the bottom). They got married once they arrived in America. Guess who else is descended from them? Among millions of others, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, President George H.W. Bush (and obviously his son too), the prophet Joseph Smith, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Humphrey Bogart, Alec Baldwin, Dr. Spock, and Christopher Lloyd ("Doc" from Back to the Future!). And Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford and Winston Churchill are descendants of brothers of John Howland. How cool is that!? We've got some awesome connections!

A view from the lower deck of the ship where the passengers lived...

The view today is probably a little different from what it was almost 400 years ago! 

 I'm sure the pilgrims would have loved to have had houses and buildings like these! (Including the amenities!)

I made a cute pilgrim friend before we left, but he wouldn't share his drink with me...

After the ship we walked over to Plymouth Rock. It's just a rock, but it's THE Rock!

 That pillared structure across the street behind Sam is the Plymouth Rock viewing place...

Plymouth is a beautiful seaside town today. I love it! And I love the widow's walks on many of the houses, which were built for women to look out to sea for their husband's ships coming in.

It was a lovely day at one of my favorite historical places, and we will definitely return in the years to come. Someday we'd like to have Thanksgiving dinner at Plimoth Plantation on Thanksgiving itself--they serve an authentic meal that's similar to the original meal that the pilgrims and Native Americans shared. Someday we will do that! For now, though, I'm just thankful to be an American and to be able to see these neat places from our history!

If you'd like more information on any of the above places, click on these links:
Plimoth Plantation and Mayflower II
Plymouth Rock
Plymouth, Massachusetts