Thursday, November 29, 2007

Mayflower ll, Plimoth, MA

A short distance from Plimoth Plantation is the Mayflower II.

Mayflower II is a square rigged-vessel that is about 25 feet wide and 106 feet long, displacing 236 tons of water. She has 4 masts, including a mainmast, foremast, mizzen and sprit, with a total of 6 sails. You may walk around the main deck, orlop deck, and half deck. I was surprised to see how small it was , compared to our boats now.

Also found out that they did not drink water coming over, but instead beer. The living conditions were not very good. The Mayflower was a cargo ship and was not made to carry people, which meant that there were really no places designed for the passengers to sleep, they had to figure that out on there own. The passengers were incredibly cramped below deck and nobody ever went on deck because for the most part the weather did not permit this to happen.

The quarters below deck can be described as, “reeking of vomit and bilge.” Provisions also were never very good. Since there was no way to keep the meats and other foods fresh, passengers would be eating foods that were not as fresh as they were when they were purchases before the trip. It is this poor supply of food which lead to more of the passengers on board becoming ill.

For thousands of years before the English colonists built their town, the Wampanoag village of Patuxet had been there. From 1616-1618, many of the Wampanoag People who lived in Patuxet died in an epidemic most likely spread by European fishermen and traders. The few survivors of the sickness left Patuxet for other villages. This made it easy for the English to lay claim to the hillside in the midst of the Wampanoag homeland.

The tradition of “Plymouth Rock” was started over 100 years after the 1620 voyage of the Mayflower. In 1741, a local Plymouth man by the name of Elder William Faunce pointed out the rock that his father told him was the landing place of the “Pilgrims”. The Rock’s reputation only grew after the American Revolution, when it became a powerful symbol of liberty for a young nation looking for historical precedent. Very small rock, but a must see because of reputation.
As for the English colonists who were really there during the ship Mayflower’s arrival in New Plymouth, they never mention a “Plymouth rock” in their writings

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Plimoth Plantation, Plimoth MA.

Took train toPlimoth Plantation. It was about 1 1/2 hours on train. Saw a town while on train called Halifax (Nova Scotia has the same name). The Plantation is a replica of when the Pilgrims first arrived in Plimoth MA.

Found out from talking with one of the costumed roll players that she said they had between 400 to 500 ships come there a year. You really felt like you had stepped back in the 17Th century. They were English people who sought to escape the religious controversies and economic problems of their time by emigrating to America. Many of the Pilgrims were members of a Puritan sect known as Separatists. They believed that membership in the Church of England violated the biblical precepts for true Christians, and that they had to break away and form independent congregations which were truer to divine requirements. At a time when Church and State were one, such an act was treasonous and the Separatists had to flee their mother country. Other Pilgrims remained loyal to the national Church but came because of economic opportunity and a sympathy with Puritanism as well. They all shared a fervent and pervasive Protestant faith that touched all areas in their life.

The houses were so small for 5-8 people who lived in them. Most would have to sleep on the floor. One bed for husband and wife.

The roofs were very interesting. Roofs made of layers of straw, reeds or other grassy materials. The cattail home is waterproof because the cattails are aquatic plants and they swell when water and moisture hit them.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Salem Massachuttes

We were up and ready to go by 7:15 am, as we had to take the subway to catch train to Salem.

We found out that the shuttle driver was not available as he had over slept. We needed to be at the T at a certain time. The hotel clerk told us we could walk to subway, as it was only 5 minutes from hotel. We had no choice as we needed to get the Early T as it takes about 1 1/2 hours from Boston to Salem, and wanted to get off to a early start.

We proceeded to walk and it turned out to be 30 minutes of walking in some areas not very good, and also had to walk over a bridge across the freeway. What a experience that was for us. We were very upset as the subway he told us to take turned out to be the wrong one also. We had to take the subway back to the South T as he had us going North.

The subway is very crowded, and you hang on for your life when they make turns. But after a few times on the subway you kinda get the hang of it.

Finally got to Salem Massachusetts. What a very quaint town. We saw the Salem Witch museum. The Salem Witch Museum brings you there, back to Salem 1692. Visitors are given a dramatic history lesson using stage sets with life-size figures, lighting and a narration - an overview of the Witch Trials of 1692. Saw some other places and also looked at allot of shops. The Salem Witch Trials Archives

It started pouring down rain in the mid afternoon. Even tho I had my umbrella and a coat on I still got soaking wet. We decided to get a bite to eat, so we went into a cute restaurant called"Reds Restaurant" I had the best turkey sandwich. I always like to take stuffing, cranberry sauce and turkey with a bit of mayo. I always thought that I was the only one who made a turkey sandwich like that, but found out , that is how they make them there.

This was the typical of the 17Th century New England clothing.

Since the weather was so bad, we decided to leave as we could no longer enjoy ourselves with being wet and cold. I wish the weather was better as I would have loved to stay longer. We took the T back to Boston, and then the subway. Stopped at Trader Joe's for a few things to take back to hotel, as we were to tired and wet to want to go back out to eat.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

New England Sea Coast

The unique scenery of the New England coast. We traveled north through Boston an it's "North Shore" communities, making our first stop at Hampton Beach, New Hampshire.Time for a light snack here. Our second stop was along the rocky coast of Maine, where we viewed the famous "Nubble Light" lighthouse in York.

The beauty of the Maine coast was so beautiful as we headed toward Kennebunk Village and Kennebunk's tree-lined streets are showcases of 18th and 19th century architecture built by merchants and sea captains. We then viewed former President Bush's summer home from Walker Point.

I like California beaches alot better. Did not see any surfers in water. I think because of the water colder and waves not as good as ours. We return to Kennebunkport for 2 hours of shopping and lunch and, was on our own at the many quaint shops and eateries in the village.

Had lunch in Maine "Lobster Rolls". For the price it was very expensive and not much of a roll. The Fall follage had only started so saw the tree's turning very slight red, and gold. I can imagine what it must be like when they are in full bloom. That is one thing we wished we saw. Over all a wonderful bus tour. Wish we had more time.

Got back to hotel and decided to get a bite to eat at the Cheese Cake Factory in downtown Boston. This is one place that gives you way to much food, but it was very good. Bought a piece of cheese cake back to hotel for later. Just relaxed the rest of the night

Boston Massachuttes

After taxie let us out at hotel, we checked in to the Best Western Roundhouse.This unique round building was built in the 1800's as a gas tank. The gasoline was used to light up the lanterns in Boston, then became a motion picture exhibition in the 20's and light manufacturing and storage in the 30's, it has been vacant for over 60 years, before it was transformed into a beautiful top-notch hotel in 2001. Another slight problem is the neighbourhood which is rather run down and seems to consist of old factory lots,truck loading depots and lumber yards.But the hotel's excellent and free shuttle bus helped to get people into most parts of town or at least the nearest "T" station very efficiently.

We found the hotel to be a little old school but for the price it would do, as we were never there except to sleep. The noise on the 2nd floor was due to the traffic and other rooms, also afraid of over sleeping as you never got a wakeup call after you asked for one. Can't say much about the housekeeping for their cleaning, as we would find the same bits and pieces on floors and end table everyday. Overall our memories of our stay in the Roundhouse were ok, But it is adviced to stay at least on the 5 floor because of noise. We were on the 2nd floor. Also not a good idea to walk around there at night.They did have the Continental Buffet Breakfast, which was very good.

The next day we took a bus tour to New Hampshire and Maine. This was with the Go Card Boston,Gray Line Tour. The Go Card that you can buy at different cities, really saved us alot of money. It was a beautiful ride on the bus. The weather was gray, damp and a little rainny. The only problem with going on a bus tour is the time alloted. Have to watch your watch for time, as the bus would leave with out you if you were not back when bus driver said to be back. Short periods of time given.

Boston Massachuttes

I made this blog so I could share my trip to New England with my friends and relatives.

This has been a journey that I wanted to take for along time so I could put together some of the missing pieces that have puzzled me for so long. I am the one who has been doing all the research on the family over many years. My mom always said she did not remember anything about her life or if anything very little. It seems like her life started when she met my dad. Before that seems to be a blank. I needed to make this trip to find out some things so I could try to piece somethings together.

It also has been very educational and a trip I will never forget. If you click on blue text, you will be able to read and see more about places.

After 5 1/2 hours we arrived in Boston, Massachusetts from San Diego California. Took a taxi from airport to Best Western Roundhouse Suites. The shuttle was not available so we had to take a taxi , the price was $27 dollars for 3 miles. My sister-in law( Edie) and I received half of the money back since they were suppose to pick us up. Talk about crazy drivers. All I can say is hang on tight.