Whee! Greetings from Boston, Massachusetts! Let me regale you with a little poem:
There once was a girl from Boston, Mass
Who went into the water up to her ankles.
(It doesn’t rhyme now, but wait till the tide comes in.)
That was my grandfather’s favorite joke. Go figure.
So anyway, Girlfriend and I decided a few weeks back that, since we weren’t going to have our kids for Thanksgiving weekend, we’d go away somewhere. And what better place to visit at Thanksgiving–where we’d stand a good chance of places being open and all–than Plymouth, Massachusetts?
I looked up some information and made a couple of phone calls, and next thing you know I have tickets to have dinner at Plimouth Plantation. GF made a few calls of her own and got us lodging at a Bed & Breakfast for Wednesday and Thursday nights. For Friday and Saturday we’d go to Boston and stay at the Tage Inn. (I’ve stayed at other Tage Inns and really liked them all, but this seems to be the best one if you want to be a Boston Tourist, based strictly on proximity and services.)
Let me tell you a little bit about the Mayflower B&B. It’s a really cool place to stay. The owners are Charlotte and Ron Schoen, and they are just the nicest people around. GF called a few places and let them know that we’d have to arrive late, and she was the only one who was willing to accommodate us. Plus they didn’t hassle us about late breakfast the next morning. It was that, plus a million little things, explaining to us where to go and whom to talk to and the local history/color and the chitchats we had and…yeah. If you’re going to stay in the area, go there. They’re great and they’re also one of the more inexpensive places to stay, besides. Because you know what? You could stay a little cheaper in a hotel, but they won’t feed you the next morning AND you’ll have to pay a horrific hotel tax, so it all actually cancels out. So, Mayflower. That’s the place. Tell ’em I sent you.
Plymouth, Massachusetts, is a town where tourism is definitely the main industry, although I also get the feeling that it didn’t occur to anybody until maybe 80-90 years ago. Before that, it seems like the town had no real interest in their past. But anyway, there are plenty of cool things to see in the town itself, including the Mayflower II (a reproduction, there’s a story why the original isn’t around anymore) and Plymouth Rock itself. Some people have said that Plymouth Rock was a disappointment, that it wasn’t as big as they expected, etc. but I was OK with it. I did find it kind of funny that, at some point, the rock broke and they repaired it with cement. There’s a whole story behind that, too. I’ll let you look it up yourself.
We also got to see an honest-to-god protest march. It being Thanksgiving Day, the local Native Americans (the Wampanaog tribe, don’tcha know) kinda-sorta have a problem with that whole White-Folks-Screwed-Us-Out-Of-Our-Land thing. Not that I blame them. So since 1970 they’ve held an annual Day of Mourning to make more people aware of what’s happened. They have a rally with speakers and such, and then they all march through the town. Again, I have no problem with that. What I did have a problem with was the banner regarding Native American homosexuality and how that’s a perfectly natural thing to have. And again, I don’t have a problem with that specifically, but if you’re getting into the whole "Broken Promise" argument, you really don’t want it diluted with other issues such as Leonard Peltier (a Native American political prisoner) and Wampanaog homosexuals. Stick to the topic, people. You can get extra marches out of the other two. And hey, at least the homosexuals got to march in this parade. Look at all the grief they get on St. Patrick’s Day.
OK, it’s late. More later.