New England Road Trip: Day 2

Picking up where we left off on the New England Road Trip.

We planned day two to be a bit more relaxed than day one.  There wasn’t as heavy a rush to leave first thing in the morning due to a long drive.  We set off around 9.00am towards Plymouth.

Now we didn’t really know what to expect from Plymouth Rock. We’d heard that it was just a rock.  Well, ladies and gentlemen, it’s just a rock.

Plymouth Rock is a boulder stuck in the sand at the bottom of a Greek Revival structure. Kimberly’s shock and awe of the rock was a great example of the unfortunate letdown that was Plymouth Rock.  But her dropping the lens cap was priceless.

After viewing Plymouth Rock, we wandered around the bay for a hot minute and then headed to Plimoth Plantation.

Plimoth Plantation was a small haven for me.  Everyone knows I’m just a giant history geek walking around dying to tell everyone everything that I know about this or that. #ICantHelpMyself

But for serious, Plimoth Plantation was fantastic.

First we visited the Wampanoag Homesite.

I work at a living history museum in Georgia, so I completely understand what it’s like to speak with visitors all day, answering questions (both easy and hard), and inhaling smoke.  Two staff members were in native dress behind a giant fire cooking duck soup and a fruit style oatmeal.  They looked miserable.  The smoke was blowing directly in their faces.  The girl was answering questions with her eyes closed.  Boy have I been there.  When the other visitors wandered away, I went back up to the two and told them what a great job they were doing and how I knew how they felt.  They seemed to appreciate my words of kindness. Hope they did at least. There really isn’t anything worse than trying to teach or talk to someone with constant smoke in your lungs and eyeballs.

After the Wampanoag Homesite, we wandered into the Craft Center. Again, working at a museum, I am constantly on a recon mission to see how other institutions present things. I was blown away by the Craft Center and would have LOVED to have spent more time.

I didn’t want to be super creepy and take a ton of pictures because several of the stations were not open. But they had a station for pottery, food, candle makers, linen, bakery, etc. All kinds of stuff!! A gift shop is in the Craft Center, as well as the most interestingly placed exhibit of them all.

Plimoth Colony - Massachusetts_12
Bathroom Exhibit

Y’all, they had an exhibit about restroom needs IN THE RESTROOM!!! Kudos to the curatorial staff for thinking that one up!! I mentioned it to my director when I returned to work, but he wasn’t too keen on the idea.  I’ll keep it in my pocket for later.

Next we wandered to the 17th Century English Village.  One of my classes this semester is on American Architecture, and we spent quite a lot of time talking about early homes in New England, including those from early settlements.  I bored Brooke and Kimberly with continued commentary on thatch roofs or smoke holes or open hearths.

We wandered around for a while speaking with staff members who knew a great deal about life in the settlement and poking our heads into the homes.  We all agreed that it was well worth the $28 entrance fee. I would LOVE to go back in the summer months when programs were more active to see more.

After our visit to Plimoth, we headed towards Cape Cod. We had lunch and met up with our Air BnB hosts (who were so awesome that they will get their very own blog post).  Jo Leal and John gave us advice for what to do for the evening, so we set off again.

We went to Coast Guard Beach, which Jo Leal told us is always on the top beaches of America list and part of the NPS. It was BEAUTIFUL!!! We saw several seals in the water bobbing in and out and the sunset was incredible. Couldn’t have been better.

After dinner, the three of us headed back to John and Jo Leal’s house for an early evening in to work on grad school stuff.

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