Greetings from America's Hometown - Plymouth, Massachussettes.
I was hoping to post this all last night, but as the number of hours of sleep we were going to get began to get down to the very low single digits I decided that sleep was of much greater priority than blogging... so here, today, is a quick recap of Day One of the 2006 Plymouth Faith & Freedom Tour.
Of course, bright and early we were up and about making approx. 150 roast beef sandwiches and 20+ sandwiches of the good old classic "PBJ." By 7:30am we were meeting with our group in the hotel lobby and then, all bundled up, we headed out the doors into the beautiful - and crisp - autumn air. The hotel we are staying at is just across the street from Plymouth's Atlantic coast, giving us a fabulous view across the harbor. Our morning excursion in Plymouth was a walking tour of the old town, and the monuments located there. Our first stop - Plymouth Rock.
As we stood around the famous rock, our guides - Doug Phillips & Bill Potter - discussed the historic, symbolic, and providential significance of this memorable and unusual stone.
From Plymouth Rock, we walked over to the Pilgrim Women's Monument. Here we learned of the faith and fortiude of these women, the very significant trials that they faced, the hardship and death endured. Interestingly, while only a handful of the Pilgrim women survived that first winter, yet their direct discendants number over 30,000,000. Here we also discussed the Pilgrims views of family life, marriage, child training and more!
Next we walked up the hill to the monument ereted in memory of those Pilgrims who did not survive that first winter in New England - those who had survived the painful journey across the sea but hardly stepped onto the land before being laid to rest beneath it. During that first winter when the colonists suffered a 50% mortality rate, the Pilgrims feared that if the nearby Indians knew how many of them were dying, they might chose such a time to attack. Thus the grieving Pilgrims would lay their friends and brethren to rest silently in the dark of night, careful to leave no trace of the graves. Thus, for many years no one knew where these men, women and children had been buried. However, in a providentially timed storm, some of the hill began to erode and the unmarked graves were revealed. Carefully enscribed with the names of those who died, along with quotes and scriptures, the monument is a sobering and quietly inspiring place to stand.
Moving along, Josiah and I (Jessica) parted ways with the rest of the company to head over to the Church of the Pilgrimage where Dad had driven with all of the lunch stuff - and the makings for lots and lots of hot cocoa. While the rest of the group went on to visit the Massassoit statue, and learn of the amazing relationship between the Wampanoags and the Englishmen; the Brewster Gardens, and see the Pilgrim maiden statue; and a couple other notable locations, we heated, mixed and prepared to serve the hot cocoa.
Thanks, Lourdes, for helping us fill all those cups! :-)
The Church of the Pilgrimage is the continuing congregation of the church founded by the Pilgrims in Leyden, Holland, in 1606. This week they celebrated their 400th anniversary! As their pastor - who is also a leading historian on the Pilgrims - was going to address our group they also opened their building for us to use as a place to serve lunch, and after the hot cocoa and the address from Pastor Gary Marks, we did just that. Lunch.
Following a relaxed lunch and another brief stop in Plymouth town, we headed over to tour the Mayflower II. Only a fraction of us could fit comfortably on board at a time, so we divided into small groups to tour through the Mayflower replica. Those not on board chatted on shore, visited the little gift shops, or (as in my case) talked to those back home!
Following our visit to the Mayflower II, we boarded our busses and were driven over to Plimouth Plantation, where we were in for a very exciting evening! Upon our arrival they ushered us into one of their theaters where we were addressed briefly by Dr. Jehle, who then introduced to us one of the directors of the Plantation, who talked to us about the preparation and study that goes behind each and every character reenacted in the rebuilt Plimouth Plantation.
He shared with us some of the incredible research they have had to do in their attempt to keep very accurate historically. He then also recreated for us two scenerios with two different Pilgrim men - acting them out in the first person.
After a few questions, they hurried us over to a banquet room where we were served an authenic 1620's dinner, with 1620's utensils (or lack of), and with a handful of Pilgrims walking around talking with us or singing for us while we ate. A very fun evening. We sat between the Zes and Reid families during the dinner and, of course, enjoyed discussions with them as well.
Bill of FareCiderkin
Bread and Butter
Mussels Seeth'd with Parsley and Beer
A Dish of Turkey, Sauc'd
A Pottage of Cabbage, Leeks & Onions
A Sweet Pudding of Native Corn
A Chine of Pork, Roast'd
17th Century Cheesecake with Dried Fruits
Fricassee of Fish
Holland Cheese & Fruit
We were more than satisfied with the meal and had a blast eating it with our fingers as we were provided with large napkins (which they called tablecloths) and no forks. Oh, and it was served family style - with no serving spoons, with the exception of a few of the dishes. A very unique and memorable experience!!
Our final event of the evening was a drive over to New Testament Church (pastored by Dr. Paul Jehle) for a hisorical pageant. Within an hour and a half through song and narration they drew us from the covenant God made with Abraham, through the apostolic era, to the spread of the gospel to England, Ireland, and Scotland, and ultimately to the landing of the Pilgrims in the New World. This was done with an emphasis upon the influence of the church and Christianity upon the legal documents and structures. They are hoping to produce the script and music from the evening as a resource for families, homeschool groups, Chrisian schools, etc.
So far, lots of fun, lots of fresh air, lots of laughter, lots of walking, lots of learning...