Monday, May 11, 2015


One vacation my husband and I have always wanted to do is tour America's northeast, especially in the fall. The pictures are so beautiful with all the fall colors. Since we have retired, we haven't been able to get that trip scheduled though. 

Last year when we were making vacation plans for this year, one vacation we thought about taking was that trip to the northeast in the fall. The first trip we planned was to AZ in early April for Spring Training (one of my husband's dream vacations). Not able to find another place to go, we then just decided to go to the Boston area in May before school was out and the summer crowds settled in.

Well, we went last week. I have to say we weren't disappointed at all because we went in the spring instead of the fall. BUT we learned that one week is NOT long enough to see and do everything we wanted to do so we still might make it back in the fall sometime. But I have to say, we could not have picked a better time to go. Everyone we met agreed with us. We could even notice that the traffic was getting a little heavier by the end of the week.

You see plenty of pictures of the fall, but I don't think I have seen any of the spring. I guess I should start by saying we stayed on Cape Cod for the week which is really different from Boston. We had experienced spring in Kansas City before we left, but arrived on Cape Cod just as spring was arriving there. Tulips and daffodils were everywhere. Forsythia was abundant and so were the azaleas. Everywhere we turned, we were just overwhelmed with the beauty.

We (our traveling buddies, Janice and Leon, accompanied my husband and me again) arrived in Boston at Logan International Airport at 3:00 pm, picked up the rental car (a Ford Expedition), and drove to our "home" for the week, Cape Cod Holiday Estates in Mashpee, MA. Quickly unpacking the car and getting directions to restaurants (we were starving) and grocery stores, we were off. For dinner we chose a local restaurant called Wicked Restaurant. We like to eat at "local" places when we travel. The restaurant advertised their organic pizzas, but we chose other items on the menu. I would highly recommend it if you are in Mashpee or Dedham. 

Nearby was Roche Bros. (supermarket). After purchasing a few groceries, we were back at our cottage making definite plans for the next day. I had made tentative plans before we left KC, but I always like to include everyone when final decisions are made. (Leon always says, "whatever you (my husband and me) want to do is okay with me", but I like to include Janice in the decisions.) Decision made to go to Plymouth the next day, we finally "turned in" around 11 EDST.

Day 1 - Plimoth Plantation and Plymouth, MA

Plymouth is about 30 miles northwest from Mashpee where we were staying. Since Plimoth Plantation, a living re-creation of the 1600s , is south of Plymouth, the town, that was our first stop. The museum offers  a Wampanoag Homesite, a Craft Center, and a reproduction of the English village. Each year the actors recreate a certain year. This year it was 1624. Everyone you meet talks to you in that year. They do a fantastic job staying in character (even when someone asks a question from 2015). They are quite knowledgeable also since they never know what questions are going to be asked. BTW, if you were wondering why they spell it Plimoth....back then there were no rules for spelling. People generally spelled words the way they sounded (phonetically). Back in the 1950s when Plimoth Plantation was developed, they decided to spell it Plimoth like the Pilgrims did. It also wouldn't be confusing with the town of Plymouth (the way it is spelled now). Plymouth, the town, is the actual location where they settled though.

We first visited the Wampanoag Homesite. Here are my pictures of it. Enjoy.... (all of the actors here were Wampanoag descendants) 

Digging out a boat from a log
Women at work
Inside a winter home (outer covering - tree bark)
This will be a summer home covered with reeds
In these mounds are 3 herrings decomposing. Eventually corn, beans, and squash will be planted in the mounds.
This was an interesting story. After the herring decomposes, they first will plant corn. When it gets "hand tall", they will plant the beans. (That way the beans can grow up the corn stalks.) Later they will plant the squash.

In the village...

The oldest of the houses in the village

Outdoor oven

They burn a lot of firewood in the village

Governor William Bradford was really interesting to talk with. Very knowledgeable and I loved his dialect. You really felt like you were talking to Gov. Bradford.

We missed his sermon, but this was the elder of the congregation. He was also exceptional.

It was disappointing that we didn't get to see the Mayflower II, the full-scale reproduction of the Mayflower that the pilgrims came over on in 1620. (I knew before we left home that it wouldn't be there. It needed restoration - the first since it was built in England and sailed to Plymouth in 1957.) It will be back in Plymouth the end of the month. It is normally docked in the town of Plymouth here...

Also in Plymouth is Plymouth Rock...

Plymouth Rock is behind us  

Plymouth is a beautiful town on the bay and a must see if you are nearby. One of the streets we walked down was Leyden St. which is where the first houses built by the Pilgrims were located.

This sign was on one of the current houses on the street.
There were a couple of houses I planned to take pictures of when we walked back by. Unfortunately, we returned on a different street. I will know next time.

The oldest continually active congregation in the country....this is the church's sixth meetinghouse.
First Parrish Church (1899)
The Richard Sparrow House (1640) Plymouth's oldest restored house.
1749 Court House & Museum. 
This is the oldest wooden court house in America. It is built on the site of the earlier Country House from which the affairs of Plymouth Colony were managed before it became part of Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1692.

We enjoyed a delicious lunch at Carmen's Cafe Nicole, the cafe on the bay. Would highly recommend it (and did to a couple we met on Tuesday from Utah).

Back in Mashpee, we bought clam chowder and submarine sandwiches at Stop & Shop (supermarket) to take back to our cottage for a light dinner (lunch was so filling). We also bought an apple crumb pie and ice cream. We were going to buy some Friendly's brand ice cream, but instead got Hood's Fried Ice cream. Hood's ice cream is a New England ice cream that is very good, too.

We really enjoyed the apple pie and Fried Ice Cream after dinner while Janice and I beat the guys in our first night of canasta.

After a full, busy day on Sunday, we thought we would explore Cape Cod, but I will share my pictures and tell you about Day 2 tomorrow. 


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