Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Thanksgiving Where It Was First Done

We finally went to Plimoth Plantation for Thanksgiving, the (approximate) site of the original Thanksgiving, and also an ancestral place for us since we're all direct descendants of Mayflower peeps. 🎩

Although it was fun to do that, Thanksgiving last year wasn't the best. John and I were starting to come down sick with what turned out to be a really nasty cold or virus (I have an admittedly silly theory that it was an early version of the coronavirus because of some of the symptoms we had and how bad it was), but we weren't sick enough yet to skip going to Plimoth, even though John wanted to. We went in the afternoon and it was cold and damp out, but other than that (and our colds), it was fun to be back since we hadn't been in years. (This is a post from when we were there in the nice warm summer eight years earlier.)

I thought this little caretaker's cabin (or whatever it is) in the woods was picturesque.

We stopped at a cafe/gift shop outpost on our walk to the plantation and got some hot cocoa to warm us up.
"History in the baking." 😂 I love good puns like that!

Everything is so authentic at Plimoth Plantation. It really does feel like you're going back in time when you're there, and all of the actors who play actual Mayflower people stay completely in character the whole time.

I like how the plantation overlooks the ocean.

It was nice to go in the visitors center, where it was warm and cozy. I got a kick out of another great pun, 
"The Mooflower."

Sam was happy about this gigantic pencil he got in the gift shop. 🤷

Then we ate a buffet dinner in one of the rooms there, and it was good. I'd still like to do the famous Thanksgiving meals they do at Plimoth Plantation where the actors are there and it's more of the authentic food that they ate back then, but I didn't get tickets soon enough for that so we had to settle for the buffet dinner instead. Hopefully we'll do it another year.

A few Thanksgiving things at home. Sam made this cute pinecone turkey at school.

We started a new tradition and did this Turkey on the Table where you write something you're thankful for on a feather in the days leading up to Thanksgiving until the turkey is full of gratitude feathers. It was nice and I plan on having us do it every year. 

By the next day, John and I were miserably sick with our colds/viruses/early COVID/whatever awful thing it was. At least it mostly held off for a day before it really got us so that we could mostly enjoy Thanksgiving Day--that was something to be thankful for! (And I really hope we didn't spread our germs to anyone at Plimoth!)

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Newport in November

I was very fortunate and enjoyed two fun weekends in a row with friends last November. The first was New Hampshire with my high school friends, which I wrote about yesterday, and the second was the following weekend when two of my friends from church, Meredith and Marjorie, and our book club friend Beth did a day trip to Newport, Rhode Island to tour two of the mansions, The Elms and The Breakers. I'd been there less than a year before with my mom and sister, but it was nice to be back. I love Newport. And we got to do the Servant Life Tour at The Elms, which I'd never done before and had been wanting to do for awhile.

We got to The Elms early before it opened so we walked around the grounds and took pictures.

Finally inside! I love this ballroom and its pretty ceiling.

Another pretty ceiling, this one a little more ornate!

White lights galore on this elegant Christmas tree.

For the Servant Life Tour, we got to go to the off-limits upper floor where the servants lived. It was so cool to see! Servants at The Elms were lucky (relatively speaking); their quarters were actually quite nice!

There were skylights and glass-bottomed floors in their top-floor hallway so that they had nice natural light. 

They also had access to the spacious flat rooftop that was hidden from view to the outside. How refreshing that must have been on hot summer nights! Look at that view!

We also got to go down to the depths of the mansion and see things like this coal tunnel. There was a weird sound that came from down there while the tour guide was talking and she didn't know what it was and seemed genuinely puzzled. Even before that happened, I had a feeling about this tunnel, and it turned out that Meredith did too. We believe that this is a haunted tunnel.

More cool things from the Servant Life tour, like this Louis Vuitton trunk that belonged to the owner of the house.

I thought this stocking-drying contraption was so funny.

Here's Meredith with the pastry chef, which is very apt since Meredith pretty much is a pastry chef.

Then we had a delicious lunch at possibly the oldest tavern in the whole country, The White Horse Tavern.

"In 1780, George Washington famously stayed at an inn just two blocks from the tavern and rumor has it that he and some of his soldiers planned part of the Battle of Yorktown in one of the tavern’s dining rooms." (from the restaurant's website)

I got clam chowder and roast chicken. I'm not kidding when I say that it was all sooo good. I ate up just about every single morsel of my meal.

And then I ate up every last bit of this fantastic creme brulee. I pretty much had to roll myself out of The White Horse Tavern. 

After lunch we went to The Breakers. It's my favorite Newport mansion.

The dining room gets me every time! 😮😍

This skylight window at the top of the main staircase is so beautiful!

The library, one of my favorite rooms here. 

Pretty in pink

This is partly a vanity shot even though I look kind of dorky--look how clear my skin is! 😄

Down in the kitchen there was an amazing gingerbread house mansion of The Breakers. It smelled so good!

We went out to the back at the end but didn't spend a lot of time there because the grass had a lot of goose poop on it and we had to get back to The Elms before it closed to finish our tour there.

The side of The Breakers. In the summer that arbor is full of greenery and it's so pretty.

Back at The Elms, there was a nice gingerbread replica of it, too.

A cute little mouse in the kitchen. Cute because it's not real!

I really liked this wreath in the gift shop. Now I wish I'd bought it. It's the wreath that got away.

It was a lovely day in a lovely place with lovely friends!