On the second morning the kids and I noticed that Christian's very strange vacation habit of waking up at 6:00 a.m. had fully kicked-in. We had completely reversed roles. I don't know if it was the open windows, early sunrise, excitement of what the day would bring, or a combination of all of those things that made him do it, but the kids and I were in disbelief. This is a guy who likes to sleep. He is also a guy who does not like to waste any time or opportunities and his goal was to get the most out of each day of vacation. He did.
We spent the day at Plymouth/Plimouth Plantation, touring the Mayflower, and checking out Plymouth Rock (talk about anti-climatic). The kids LOVED it, particularly the faux Wampanoag Indian demonstration. I thought it was authentic, but occasionally it bordered on that Ren Fest type of feel which gave me the heebie jeebies. At one point I asked one of the employees/actors/role players a question about the operation generally and he gave a round about answer, careful not to break character. Ugh. The Wampanoag were not actors, they were actual Indians (Wampanoag or otherwise) - the real deal.
There were live animals, houses that looked like they were left precisely as the pilgrims had them set up, cannons, old-timey tools, and every type of eager historian imaginable roaming around the grounds waiting to offer tid-bits of information about their day to day life. The "actors" were very kind and patient with kids' often strange questions and concerns. At one point Pete remarked that it was "so sad" when he noticed cow hide laying atop a rudimentary bench, and the historian handled his comment with grace while the rest of us cracked up.
Me, with the kiddos in the settlement fort:
View of the settlement from the fort:
Christian and the kiddos in the Wampanoag cooking demonstration:
The visit to Plymouth Plantation was followed by a quick lunch in Plymouth and a tour of the Mayflower II. There was not too much to see on the Mayflower, but the kids seemed to enjoy it. We walked over to check out Plymouth Rock after touring the Mayflower and the kids were a little surprised to see how small it is (1/3 of the original size because for years people chipped away at it for keepsakes). It is also behind bars and below a gallery so that you cannot touch it, or get anywhere close to it for that matter.
Luz, James, Pete and Liam, waiting to climb aboard the Mayflower II:
Touring the Mayflower II:
Operating the pulley system - they loved this:
The rock. Yep, that's it. Really:
The trip to Plymouth was capped off with a stop at Ye Olde Candy Store (or some such place). The main strip of Pymouth is to the town what Bourbon Street is to NOLA - tacky t-shirts, taffy, expensive mementos, postcards - in other words, a kids' paradise. $20 later we emerged with enough saltwater taffy to last all week and couple of boxes of something called Bog Frog, something I wish I had never discovered (chocolate, cranberry, cashew, and caramel deliciousness).
Back at the beach we enjoyed a late afternoon swim, a few cold beers, and one of many incredible sunsets.