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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Crazy Single Mom Tackles Plymouth and Boston!

Wow!  I don't know what to say about today. On one hand, it was empowering to accomplish so much in one day, but on the other, perhaps a bit insane.

We left the Grays at 7:30 this morning and drove 4 hours to Plimoth Plantation (speller that way because it is not the original) but a living history center depicting a Wampanoag village and also what Plymouth was like in 1627. At the settlers village all of the people talked and acted as if they were still in the 17th century. 

Amelia playing with a toy that Wampanoag children would have played with. Apparently it takes a lot of practice. 
These dugout canoes would have been burnt out and scraped continuously around the clock for about 2 weeks to make a complete one. The natives would have worked in shifts. 

One of the 17th century "Pilgrims."

We asked this woman about religion, and she was great at answering our questions. Plimoth Plantation is a great place to go and have the stereotype you learned all your life turned upside down, to realize these were a group of socialists. 
The kids up in the fort that doubled as a church. 
The woman explained the complexities of worship for both the Separatists and the "Strangers" who were in Plymouth. 
At the top of the hill by the fort with the Atlantic in the background. 
This tired one could have fallen asleep in this bed. She learned what it means to "sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite."
And then it was off to the coast, but first we stopped for a pizza. 
We have a ancestor, Thomas Rogers, who died during the first winter, buried in this mass grave. His sons came over later. It is up on the hill from where the Mayflower was docked. 
This statue was scultpted by LDS sculptor Cyrus Dallin. A copy is a BYU. It is of Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoag. 
What is left of the mythical Plymouth Rock is covered. 
Both sides of the kids' families have a Mayflower ancestor, one of the Fullers on the Griffith side, and Rogers on my side through the Weights. This map shows which county they came from in England. 
Aboard the Mayflower II, a re-creation built in the 1950s. 
What do you think?  Could these kids have made it on the ship?
Not sure she has still found a comfortable bed today. 
This will be a great memory for me. 
After a harrowing drive into downtown Boston, finding the rental car return and figuring out where in the parking garage to turn it in after hours (this is when I was wishing for an adult helper), we made it to the Park Plaza hotel, a great Art Deco historic hotel 3 blocks from the Boston Public Garden and Commons. It was such a great location and very charming. 
We grabbed a bite to eat and headed to the Commons for a little walk before retiring. On the burial ground on the Common is buried Gilbert Stuart, painter during the founding and of the famous Washington portrait the the White House's East Room, which was saved by Dolly Madison during the War of 1812. 
By Frog Pond on the Common. The real frogs are long gone. 
The Old State House. Also, John Hancock's mansion was next to it on the left, but it was sadly not preserved. 
Across from the Old State House is one of my favorite monuments to teach about. Robert Gould Shaw was a Boston son from a family of prominent abolitionists. He led the 54th Massachusetts Regiment of black troops on the assault of Fort Wagner in South Carolina. They did not capture the fort, and Shaw and many others were killed. Their discipline and valour were remembered however. This is the first sympathetic art done by a white artist for blacks and is magnificent. You can see the tribute to their discipline and heroism the way their guns and feet are lined up in symmetry and their heads are held high. You can sense the pride of Shaw by his posture. It is really a marvelous monument and wonderful to see in person. 

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