Tag Archives: history

Cape Cod Day 5…. P’town, sand and a museum.

 

Day 5 of our Cape Cod vacation found us driving to the Outer Cape. About as out as you can get and still be on the Cape actually…

 

p.town

 

Provincetown.

Or P’town as it’s known to the locals.

I’ve heard it’s the place to be in the summer, but it was November and the wall to wall tourists were long gone. Sadly, so was most of the fun as many places were closed for the season. But we managed to have a good time all the same.

As you draw near, you realize it’s unlike other sections of the Cape.

 

IMG_9107

 

John F. Kennedy designated a National Seashore here…

 

IMG_9104

 

And there are miles upon miles of unspoiled beach.

 

IMG_9105

 

As well as some pretty impressive sand dunes along the road.

 

IMG_9109

 

But it was cool, foggy and threatening rain so we kept driving… keeping an eye out for this:

 

IMG_9113

 

Thankfully it’s hard to miss on the skyline. Wanting to climb to the top for the fabulous views, I was unaware of the museum at it’s base.

 

IMG_9110

 

Never one to pass up a museum, we began strolling.

 

IMG_9111 (1)

 

The first thing you notice? Pilgrims.

 

IMG_9114

 

And Pilgrim history. Figuring it was because they landed up the coast at Plymouth… I had to admit I was shocked.

 

IMG_9112

 

Whaaaat? You mean my grade school teachers got it wrong…

And I went all the way to Plymouth to photograph a rock for nothing! Yes ladies and gentlemen, the Pilgrims landed in P’town first. And believe me when I say they take that fact very seriously at the museum.

 

IMG_9115

 

But it wasn’t all Pilgrims.

 

IMG_9116

 

The building was filled with maritime history…

 

IMG_9137

 

And a musk ox, like any good museum should be.

 

IMG_9138

 

There were recreations of a Captain’s ship board quarters…

 

IMG_9117

 

Which aside from the chamber pot, looked pretty comfy.

 

IMG_9118

 

As well as his home on land.

 

IMG_9119

 

There was an antique fire engine…

 

IMG_9120

 

And a wreath made of human hair.

 

IMG_9124

 

Because who doesn’t want one of those hanging on their living room wall?

 

 

There were maps of the Cape..

 

IMG_9123

 

With questionable artwork.

 

IMG_9122

 

Is it me, or is that Griffon in dire need of a Jane Russell 18 hour bra?

 

IMG_9139

 

There was some Arctic expedition fashion…

 

IMG_9141

 

Shoes!

 

IMG_9130

 

Even a rooster hat…

 

IMG_9129

 

And a couple of local celebs who clearly knew how to have a good time.

 

IMG_9128

 

Yes, there was a Mayflower replica…

 

IMG_9131

 

But it was the antique doll collection that made me want to run screaming from the room.

 

IMG_9132

 

Holy Hell, those things are creepy.

 

IMG_9135

 

I mean, come on…

 

IMG_9136

 

You know this one will be feasting on your flesh long before you’re dead.

 

 

Quick…

Find the monument before she gets hungry.

 

IMG_9143

 

 

Cape Cod Day 3…. Plymouth harbor, The Rock and finally, some food.

 

So the lovely path through the park brought us to downtown Plymouth and the harbor.

 

IMG_8764

 

It’s a pretty spot.

 

IMG_8770

 

And at low tide you get a really good view of the rock retaining wall.

 

IMG_8758

 

There were more scallop shells…

 

IMG_8755

 

And piers..

 

IMG_8763

 

And a statue of the Governor who spelled Plymouth with the ‘i’ that drove me crazy the entire time we were touring the Plantation.

Seriously… it was painful.

 

IMG_8778

 

But then…

 

IMG_8771

 

In the distance…

 

IMG_8772

 

In the middle of what appeared to be a mausoleum…

 

IMG_8750

 

Surrounded by pillars and wrought iron gates….

 

IMG_8776

 

And guarded by a Ranger was…

Are you ready for what everyone who visits Plymouth Massachusetts has to see?

Brace yourself.

 

Here it comes….

 

The one, the only….

 

Plymouth Rock!

 

IMG_8751

 

Yup.

 

IMG_8747

 

That’s it.

I can’t say I really even knew what I was expecting…. but I’m pretty sure it was more than this.

To be honest, it was a rather bizarre experience. You know you have to find it, you know you have to see it, you know you have to photograph it (though I resisted the selfies some people took) …. but when you finally sidle up to the railing and look down?

 

 

Okay, it’s a rock.

And we all know I have a soft spot for rocks, but…

 

 

But alas, that’s all there was.

The Ranger told us they had to protect what was left because for years people would come and chip and chisel pieces from it for keepsakes. My first thought was, you should have started sooner.

So there you have it.

 

IMG_8777

 

We came.

We saw.

We photographed the most famous rock in America.

 

YOURE-WELCOME

 

Plymouth, Massachusetts.

They have a park…. for a rock.

 

IMG_8775

 

Ya gotta love this country!

And now… for my oh, not so patient food photo people.

 

IMG_8782

 

Liquid refreshment at the East Bay Grille in Plymouth.

 

IMG_8792

 

A wonderful restaurant with a view, potent cocktails and seriously good food.

 

IMG_8784

 

I started with Risotto Balls.

And as balls go? They were top notch.

 

IMG_8785

 

After a pomegranate martini, I went for the Autumn Punch. It sounds sweet, but the tart cranberry and acidic orange juice cut it perfectly.

 

IMG_8786

 

The husband went with some kind of saucy fish…. blame the martini, but I don’t remember which…. brown rice and grilled butternut squash.

While I…

Can you guess?

 

IMG_8783

 

Cognac cream sauce?

 

 

Ooh la la!

 

IMG_8787

 

And yes, of course we had dessert.

 

IMG_8789

 

New York style cheesecake for the hubs.

 

IMG_8790

 

And a mouthwatering mountain of Tiramisu for yours truly.

It’s a shame we were only in Plymouth for one day because I could easily have eaten there every night.

 

IMG_8793

 

Vacation Day 3 officially over.

Only 5 more to go!

 

 

No worries, at this rate it will only take a few more weeks worth of posts.

 

 

 

 

Cape Cod Day 3… Plimoth Plantation grist mill and some (literally) corny jokes.

 

The tickets we purchased at the Plantation were actually in 3 parts. The site itself, a grist mill off site and a replica of the Mayflower down at the harbor. Three different locations for one price, how could we lose?

Apparently very easily as it turns out….because after we bought them, we found out the replica Mayflower wasn’t even in the state, but in Mystic, Connecticut undergoing an overhaul for the 400th year anniversary they’ll be celebrating next year. Thanks for that. It would have been nice knowing before I paid to tour it.

 

IMG_8703

 

And the grist mill?

 

IMG_8700

 

While attractive…

 

 

Turned out not to be so historic after all.

 

IMG_8707

 

Yes, the Pilgrims eventually built a mill in 1636 after 10 years of grinding corn by hand. And yes, it was somewhere on Town Brook in Plymouth, though no one knows exactly where.

 

IMG_8710

 

The mill pictured here was actually built in 1970 with many of it’s parts coming from a salvaged mill near Philly. How’s that for historical accuracy?

 

IMG_8713

 

But we paid our money so here it is… upstairs, big stones.

 

IMG_8716

 

And downstairs, big wheel.  I won’t bore you with the more technical details on the inner workings.

 

IMG_8717

 

But I will share the picture and video of this poor girl sifting cornmeal. The mere thought of having to do that all day makes me appreciate the little blue Jiffy box I use to make muffins soooo much more.

 

 

And it was even louder in person, trust me.

Naturally I had to visit the gift store and buy some freshly ground meal which is when we passed this:

 

IMG_8719

 

Feel free to groan.

I did.

 

IMG_8720

 

Sadly I only caught sight of this book when we were leaving and didn’t have a chance to flip through it. Who knew Yetis brewed beer?

 

IMG_8724

 

Leaving the grist mill, I spotted a scallop shell.

 

IMG_8728

 

In Tennessee we saw painted bears, in Vermont painted cows, somewhere I can’t remember painted lighthouses.

In Plymouth?

 

IMG_8723

 

Painted scallop shells.

To each their own…

 

 

 

 

Cape Cod Day 3… Plimoth Plantation. Goats, beer, a cranky llama and the Mooflower

 

Continuing through the English settlement we saw garden plots…

 

IMG_8651

 

And goats.

 

IMG_8663

 

Who liked a good chin scratch.

 

IMG_8658

 

I mean really liked a good chin scratch. This guy followed me the entire length of the fence.

 

IMG_8662

 

We met a young man chopping firewood…

 

IMG_8665

 

Who when asked what was in his flask, replied “Beer, of course. The water will make you sick.”

 

IMG_8667.JPG

 

We discovered beer was quite popular in those days.

 

 

 

And if I had to cook all my meals in that contraption behind the women?

 

IMG_8666

 

I’d drink beer everyday as well.

 

IMG_8676

 

Colonists popped out at you everywhere…

 

IMG_8672

 

Some friendly…

 

IMG_8673

 

Some not.

 

IMG_8674

 

This woman was the Governor’s wife and therefor had a slightly better home. With wood floors and a proper chimney.

 

IMG_8675

 

Although the quality of workmanship seemed about the same.

Finished with the colony, we moved on to the museum with it’s eel pot…

 

IMG_8684

 

It’s sea suit.

 

IMG_8688

 

And because I knew you’d ask…

 

IMG_8689

 

And it’s Mayflower provision list.

 

IMG_8690

 

250 lbs of bacon and 280 lbs of butter… That will hold me for 8 weeks, but what will the rest of you eat?

 

roses-are-red-bacon-memes

 

Though I do have to say, that list seems a little suspect. Considering margarine was invented in 1868 and Rice Krispies in 1927…I highly doubt they were aboard the original ship in 1620.

WTH?

But the museum did have the Mooflower….

 

IMG_8687

 

And an anatomically correct, trouser wearing, sea going cow vessel?

 

IMG_8686

 

Makes up for a lot of historical inaccuracies.

 

IMG_8685

 

Last up was the petting barn where we found…

 

IMG_8691

 

Yes.

One rabbit…

Apparently the pilgrims ate everyone else before we got there.

 

 

But then we saw…

 

IMG_8692

 

So we met Hyacinth.

 

IMG_8696

 

And may I just say?

 

IMG_8697

 

She was a bitch.

I tried to pet her and almost lost a finger. She tried to head butt a few children and looked ready to go 12 rounds with a service dog that walked by.

 

IMG_8698

 

If you’re approaching that age when you yell at the kids to get off your lawn? Don’t get a shotgun…

Get a Hyacinth.

Cape Cod Day 3, Plimoth Plantation English colony.

 

Done with the Indian village, we walked through an exhibition hall full of 17th century replica pottery.

 

IMG_8611

 

It was a bit odd. But there was a still…

 

IMG_8610

 

And an 8 handed mug…

 

IMG_8609

 

So that probably explains it. That, and the fact water was often polluted so they drank mostly beer and/or alcohol.

Onward to the colonist’s settlement….

 

IMG_8681

 

First, the fort which commanded the high ground.

 

IMG_8625

 

With it’s wonderful old cannons.

 

IMG_8628

 

Then down into the settlement.

 

IMG_8622

 

It was explained to us that all the employees would be playing the parts of characters based on the original inhabitants, wearing authentic clothing and speaking in the language of the period. We were encouraged to interact with them as such.

 

IMG_8623

 

Before visiting here I was under the impression that the Pilgrims came to the new world to escape religious persecution. And while that’s true to an extent, it’s not the whole story. They actually fled to the Netherlands first, which explains all the windmills you see in this part of the country.

Read about it here.

 

IMG_8632

 

The settlers in Plymouth were actually sponsored by England to colonize America. They were given ship’s passage and supplies and were expected to send back goods (mostly furs and pelts) to repay the investment. After 7 years of this, they were granted land… something working class people had no hope of obtaining back home.

 

IMG_8630

 

Of course nothing went as planned. They were supposed to land in New York, but they landed in Massachusetts. They were supposed to land in September, but they landed in December.

 

IMG_8637

 

They were supposed to fish for food, but there were no fisherman. They were supposed to build a town, but there were no trained carpenters.

Piss poor planning if you ask me.

Hell, a large percentage of them didn’t even live through the first winter.

 

IMG_8650

 

But they’d brought some livestock…

 

IMG_8635

 

And as we know, managed to survive if not yet thrive.

 

IMG_8633

 

This fellow was trying to frame a window.

 

IMG_8638

 

On the exterior of this house.

 

IMG_8639

 

And if you think the Indians had it bad, imagine 15 people living and sleeping in here at a time.

 

IMG_8641

 

Check out the slight list of the house on the far right. If I didn’t know better, I’d say the husband had a hand in it’s construction.

Personally, I loved the roofs…

 

IMG_8645

 

Fashioned from rolled reeds, they begged to be petted.

 

IMG_8642

 

In the next house we found this fellow, and the husband initiated a conversation.

 

IMG_8643

 

I’m guessing the man had stage experience, because he was seriously deep in character.

 

 

Working there must be an interesting job.

 

 

 

Cape Cod Day 3, Wicked, Plimoth Plantation and some Indians.

 

(And before you laugh at my incorrect title spelling, it happens to be the old fashioned way Gov. William Bradford referred to the original colony and in order to differentiate it from the town of Plymouth, the museum chose the alternate version for it’s name. So there spelling Nazi’s!)

(And before you food picture screamers start screaming for food, here are the pics from the previous night’s dinner that I forgot to include in the last post.)

Wicked.

A restaurant and wine bar in Mashpee famous for their wood fired pizza.

 

IMG_8559

 

The first thing I thought of when we walked in was why do they have candy corn lights hanging over the bar?

 

IMG_8557

 

But then I tasted their fabulous Basil Lemon Fizz…

 

IMG_8560

 

And couldn’t have cared less.

Since they’re famous for pizza, we had pizza.

 

IMG_8558

 

Though the menu made me apprehensive about choosing the wrong combination. Who needs that kind of ridicule at the dinner table?

 

IMG_8561

 

We went with the grilled portabella with spinach, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, mozzarella, roasted garlic and truffle combo… and in a word? Yum!

The morning of vacation day 3 dawned bright and sunny although cold, so we actually left the Cape Cod proper and headed north to Plymouth.

 

map6

 

Yes, that Plymouth. Home of the Rock, the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving. We were going to get our history geek on.

 

IMG_8574

 

And just like Hyannis builds an economy around the Kennedys? Plymouth builds it’s entire town on the Pilgrims landing there first. ( The question is… did they? More on that later.)

 

IMG_8699

 

Entering through the visitors center, we began our journey back in time to the 17th century. This is a living museum and replicates what life would have been like through interaction with Native American and Colonists. It was a blast!

First up… the Indian Village, where we saw a dug out canoe.

 

IMG_8576

 

And a live demonstration of how they’re made.

 

IMG_8577

 

By Native American twins.

 

IMG_8582

 

No, they weren’t actors. Though their tribe was actually from New York state and not local to Plymouth. They patiently explained the process involved in crafting this sea going canoe and believe me when I tell you it was cold that day. All the tourists were bundled up and these guys were half naked. Which, to be honest…. wasn’t a hardship for me.

😈

 

 

This area is right on the water and there was a pretty stiff breeze. Yes, there was a little heat from the fire but not enough to make me strip… nope. Uh uh!

The fascinating part was, when I asked him why he wasn’t cold like the rest of us…. his answer astounded me. Diet, and conditioning. He told us that Indians traditionally pay close attention to nutrition, eating a mostly plant based diet supplemented by light fish and chicken in the summer and red meat only in the winter, when the body requires more fuel to maintain it’s internal temperature. He said the white man’s habit of covering himself in heavy clothing when it’s cold tricks the body to believing it’s summer all year long, therefor not allowing it acclimate naturally.

Seriously, I was shivering in 19 degree wind chill …. and he was bare chested.

 

IMG_8588

 

Another interesting fact? They were getting ready to submerge all the canoes in the water for the winter so they would freeze and be preserved for next year.

Any guess what this is?

 

IMG_8587

 

People were guessing hunting blind or something to do with food storage but believe it or not… it’s a jungle gym for children.

 

IMG_8591

 

There were multiple structures to explore…

 

IMG_8593

 

And I seriously hoped the husband wasn’t getting any construction ideas.

 

IMG_8595

 

No, we don’t need one of these at home.

 

IMG_8596

 

Though the dolls with their own dug out canoe were sweet.

 

IMG_8597

 

It’s strange, you can read all the books you want…. but walking through the village and experiencing how the original Americans lived first hand? Gives you an entirely new understanding.

 

IMG_8598

 

This was the winter long house….

 

IMG_8599

 

Where multiple families spent the colder months.

 

IMG_8601

 

Traditionally 3 fires would be burning at all times, and yes. It was a wee bit smokey.

 

IMG_8603

 

The woman in the middle was our guide for this section…

 

IMG_8600

 

And though in Native dress…

 

IMG_8604

 

You can tell she didn’t subscribe to the bare chested boys diet regimen. Wool socks and furs for her, even inside.

 

IMG_8603

 

I can’t imagine 20-30 people living and sleeping in there together for months on end… no less your entire family.

I’d be suicidal in a week.

 

IMG_8605

 

We sat on these beds/benches and let me tell you….

 

IMG_8606

 

I don’t care how many animals skins you throw on them…. they were hard as a rock.

Privacy? What’s that. You’d literally be head to toe with Uncle Joe and cousin Sue all winter.

To which I have 3 words….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resort hopping Part 2. The Mountain View Grand.

 

Hidden away in tiny Whitefield, New Hampshire is a gem.

 

IMG_8254

 

A sprawling hotel…

 

IMG_8255

 

Packed with old world charm.

Sadly they were renovating the front entrance when we visited so we had to sneak in the side.

 

IMG_8267

 

Look at those doors!

 

IMG_8258

 

Chess anyone?

 

IMG_8260

 

I’m a sucker for a good porch.

 

IMG_8265

 

And this one did not disappoint.

 

IMG_8259

 

I could happily plop here with a good book….

 

IMG_8263

 

A pitcher of margaritas…

 

IMG_8262

 

And never leave.

 

IMG_8269

 

Back inside, I checked out the wall of history…

 

IMG_8268

 

And some great old photographs…

 

IMG_8266

 

IMG_8273

 

While the husband continued his “I shall pee everywhere I can in Western Maine and New Hampshire” challenge with an upscale rest room this time.

And speaking of rest rooms…

 

IMG_8270

 

Even I had to check out the pink marble in theirs.

But ooh la la…

 

IMG_8272

 

There were private sinks inside the ladies room stalls.

Is that some chic shit or what?

 

IMG_8285

 

Moving on through the lounge…

 

IMG_8275

 

We found a dining room… and the place where we would spend the next two hours.

 

IMG_8284

 

The bar.

 

 

Don’t look surprised, you knew it was coming.

 

IMG_8279

 

One Lemonflower Martini…

 

IMG_8276

 

One Cranberry Orange Margarita…

 

IMG_8281

 

And one Melon Margarita later…

 

IMG_8283

 

(Don’t judge me.

They had a 6 page cocktail list and tequila soaked cranberries…. I had to.)

 

IMG_8280

 

There were some crab cakes.

Some smiley face crab cakes… and yes, that was on purpose.

 

IMG_8282

 

Crab cakes weren’t supposed to be served that time of day, or at all in the tavern for that matter….. but when you make friends with the bartender?

Anything is possible.

 

IMG_8286

 

An afternoon well spent, we poured ourselves out the door.

 

IMG_8288

 

And lamented the fact we wouldn’t be back anytime soon.

 

IMG_8290

 

Even mid facelift..

She’s an elegant old broad.