To offset the amount of work that Grace’s history class requires, I am doing my best to supplement her book learning with real life, walk back through history learning. I thought it would be fun to start close to the beginning. We learned (and I write “we” because I am truly learning alongside her) about the differences between Jamestown and Plymouth; how they were founded by different types of people (merchants vs. religious pilgrims) and how their experiences were similar in some ways and very different in others. It was the perfect time for a trip north to Plimouth Plantation.
*I was not aware until our visit that is is not the site of the original settlement. The settlement was founded about three miles away, in the downtown area, closer to the Mayflower.
The trip for us is three hours one way so we booked a hotel room and drove up Sunday. It is peak foliage season in the North East and it was also a long weekend due to the Columbus Day Holiday. I was crossing my fingers the Plantation would not be too crowded since we are now accustomed to not having to share our outings with many other people! Spoiled...but true!
We arrived early and spent four hours visiting the Wampanoag Nation, the 1700 Pilgrim Village and the Craft Center. I had a engaging chat with a member of the Wampanoag Nation about the history we learned about the lead up to the “first Thanksgiving” and how uneasy alliances were formed between the Nation and the settlers and how all is not quite as it seems in the picture books that teach our children about the first Thanksgiving. Yes there was a feast and yes the groups were friendly but that relationship was not based on friendship alone but on a give and take between the groups based on needs and wants. I could have talked on and on for at least another hour but the girls were urging me on so that they could discover what they were interested in, the village.
The only disappointment I have in our visit was that I was expecting quality food at the Plantation. The website led me to believe that it was possible to dine on food, real food that would have been prepared and eaten during this time frame. As soon as I saw that Sodexo is the food management corporation running the cafe I knew this was not the case and we did not eat lunch at the Plantation but opted to spend our money in town at a lovely restaurant where real whole food was served.
We visited Plymouth Rock, which is just a rock. Not even a large rock. I was more interested in walking up the hill across from the rock to view the Native American Statue and plaque of the National Day of Mourning.
We toured a replica of the Mayflower. The girls were amazed by its size and they had a very hard time imagining 120 people and livestock crowded below. For me, it is not fathomable. I don’t think I would have been strong enough in body and spirit to survive the trip....
This was a great adventure for us. We have not road-schooled in quite some time. It felt good to take our book learning and apply it to life learning. Being blessed to live smack dab in the middle of where our Revolutionary History took place, I know there will be more road schooling to come. I am already planning our next adventure!