We finally got out of the trailer around noon and drove nearly an hour to get down to Plymouth, Massachusetts and the waterfront where we could purchase our tickets for the days' festivities. We purchased a family pass called the Plimoth Pass; it was basically a group ticket that allowed us to tour the ship and go to Plimoth Plantation. Then we went aboard the Mayflower II. It is a replica of the Mayflower and has been there since 1957 when it sailed to Cape Cod from England. It is still seaworthy and goes on a few voyages each year. There were a few actors in character as crew of the Mayflower that you could talk to and some modern-day crew who would also answer questions and dispense knowledge. It was very striking just how small the ship was to have carried 102 passengers plus crew.
We drove up to Plimoth Plantation. We got to tour a Wampanoag village representation first. There was a native American woman there who told us about games that the natives would have played. Then we saw how they made their boats. There was a representation of how they cooked over the fire (some rabbit stew was bubbling and smelled really good) and we saw a native actor who was making a tobacco pipe from a Sumac twig. Then we got to go inside of a typical Wampanoag "winter house" made of bark and feel several different animal skins and talk to another actress who spoke about homes. She was working on a wampum shell to make a pendant as she shared.
From there, we went up the hill to the 17th century village of the first colonists. This was really fun because there were several actors there who were all in character as actual people from the 1627 in Plimoth Colony. We saw and heard from Miles Standish, William Brewster, and Constance Snow among others. It was really interesting to hear Goodwife Snow talk about how she and her husband were supposed to be on the other ship, Speedwell, and how it had to turn back several times and finally, all the colonists were crammed aboard the one ship, Mayflower. She was especially good at answering "spectator" questions in a really believable way. The character actors were going about doing activities that they would've been doing in 1627, mending clothing, creating a log beam, hauling hay for their animals (they even had sheep, a goat and a bull that were rare breeds similar to what the pilgrims would've had), sharpening an axe. We stepped into one of the houses and there was William Brewster. I felt really tongue tied in there because the kids and I have just finished reading a historical fiction book in which he was a main character, but he wasn't painted in a very positive light. He was the minister for the colony; he named his children: Jonathan, Patience, Fear, Love, and Wrestling. It was all very interesting to see with our eyes the things we'd imagined pretty recently.
Afterwards we went into the gift shop and things started to fall apart so I don't think I'll go into much detail. There were two busloads of girls from a school in NY that were on a 4-day field trip in the gift shop at the same time as us. I forgot to mention that they were also on the Mayflower II at the same time as we were too. Helped us to imagine how crowded those original passengers must've been. All the McFarlane kids wanted to buy something. One McFarlane kid had a COMPLETE meltdown lasting WAY too long over a bag of marbles. My minor headache turned into a MAJOR one.
On the way home, we had to stop at the grocery store. Since the fit thrower had recovered, we had all the kids stay in the car and Brock and I went after all the items on our list and we tried to come up with some idea of what we could make quickly for dinner tonight. My head was pounding and I was barely functioning.
We decided to make breakfast for dinner and when we got back to the trailer, I actually couldn't function. Brock made dinner and I ate, but then I was useless and Brock encourage me to go to bed around 8 pm, so I did. Boo. I hate headaches.