After a leisurely breakfast at the Pilgrim House, we stopped by the Trinity Church graveyard for a few minutes to view more headstones. We stumbled onto another Keith headstone, from Aberdeen (David thinks it might be his immigrant ancestor); some immigrants from Ireland and England of course, and one sad story about a man who arrived in Rhode Island from North Carolina for his health, but died just a few days after arrival.
The Breakers, Newport RI
We moved on to the shops, hoping to find a store to buy our Rhode Island ornament (we are collecting Xmas ornaments from each state visited). Newport is a sleepy town for shopkeepers—most places don’t open until 11 am it appears. We finally found an open shop and the ornament we wanted—right after we bought one we didn’t want but settled for. No worries; it was only $5. We hurried back to the Pilgrim House, checked out, and on the advice of a lady we met at one of the shops we visited, decided to take a tour of one of the mansions. The Breakers was built by Cornelius Vanderbilt II as a summer house. The original home he purchased had burned to the ground, so he rebuilt a much grander place in the Renaissance style. The Breakers was built in two years, completed in 1895. It is 138,000 sq ft, has 70 rooms, 33 of which are servants rooms. 50 foot ceilings with gilding and paintings and mosaics—it’s breath-taking and just incredible that it was someone’s home once.
The Mayflower II
Next we drove back up to Massachusetts to visit Plymouth. We stopped for lunch then stopped at Plymouth Rock. It’s been moved and broken and moved again and chipped away at by souvenir hunters, so there’s only a bit left, but it’s plenty, and the information signs indicate that, like an iceberg, only the top third is visible. We then walked over to the Mayflower II, a replica built in 1957 and sailed from Europe to its current location. I believe we read that it took seven years to build. It is absolutely amazing how small the ship actually is. And frightening to think of it crossing the Atlantic, worse to imagine being a passenger during the trip!
Pilgrim Village at Plimoth Plantation
Three miles south of Plymouth Rock is Plimoth Plantation, a replica of the Pilgrims’ 1627 settlement, and close by, a replica of Massasoit’s family village. We were very glad we made this stop. Actors are dressed in period costume, going about daily chores in both villages. Each home had a fire in the hearth, since it was a chilly day today. In the Indian village, real Native peoples are the actors. A grade school class was visiting today and we were tickled to see the children getting into the experience. We watched a small group playing with a hoop and stick, and were even more tickled to watch another group eagerly clean the goat pen, raking up “muck” and having the time of their lives. If only their parents could have seen them!The day had been overcast and it began to drizzle as we left Plymouth on our way to Boston and our next adventure. Traffic was not too bad, considering we arrived at the end of rush hour. We made it to the Constitution Marina after sunset, found our envelope of information taped to the dock office door as promised and after several minutes, found the marina gate and entered. The drizzle was now a light rain, and we discovered that our houseboat was at the opposite end of the dock from the parking lot. About a quarter of a mile along a dark, wet dock in a cold October rain. Talk about romance!
Houseboat on Constitution Marina, Boston
The downside is, the rain and cold affect my foot in a negative way. But, we found the houseboat, and after struggling with the lock a few minutes, made it inside. Lovely accommodations—very comfortable. We then hiked back to the car and took off to find some dinner. Luck was with us again. We turned the wrong way and ended up in an industrial dock district, yet stumbled onto Jenny’s Pizza & Subs, a tiny little take-out place somewhere in the dark next to the water. We had a nice chat with the staff as they made our dinner, then we found our way back to the Marina and holed up for the night. The slight rocking of the boat was very relaxing.