The drive to Plymouth would take about an hour and a half. We left about . I had booked a Lantern Tour of Plymouth for , so we should have plenty of time to drive down there, eat dinner, and then take the tour. But, as we started driving south I started to wonder about Boston traffic. We would be hitting Boston at the start of rush hour. It was a Thursday, and didn’t have to go through the most congested areas of town, but still. I have driven in WashingtonDC, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Traffic can stop and crawl for hours at anytime. I had planned for us to stop in Quincy, MA, if there was time, and see the graves of the two Adams Presidents. They are buried at an old church, but I decided not to risk the delay. As it turned out things went according to plan and we were in Plymouth by about .
We pulled into town and found our hotel, the Best Western Cold Spring. It didn’t take us very long to get unloaded, and then we drove down to the waterfront to find a place to eat. We had grabbed a local guide map and using that as a guide we found a nice place to park, near an Italian restaurant named Mamma Mia’s. I don’t know what kind of food I thought I would be eating in Plymouth, (maybe Turkey and Stuffing) but pasta and pizza wasn’t it. No matter, it was good.
We really had only killed about an hour with the hotel and dinner, so we still had 30 minutes before our tour began. So we wandered a bit on the waterfront. The shops were all closed, but across Water Street is PilgrimMemorialState Park. The park covers just 11 acres, the smallest state park in Massachusetts, but it is the most visited on in the state as well. That is because it contains both a replica of The Mayflower and Plymouth Rock. We saw both, with Plymouth Rock being our final stop. Our lantern tour was going to start near there.
came and we met our guide and our tour group. This walking tour was called a Lantern Tour, because you really carry an old lantern. It serves the dual purpose of supplying a little light and to help traffic see you. My plan was take this tour, on our night here, because it would add some gravity and would educate us on what to see during the day. Since we didn’t take many (just one) pictures during the tour, and we ended up covering a lot of the same ground the next day, I’ll leave the history lesson for tomorrow.
But we had a great time. We saw and heard the stories of The Mayflower, Plymouth Rock, Governor William Bradford, Myles Standish, Massasoit, Squanto, Burial Hill, The First Winter, The First Parish Church, The Church of the Pilgrimage, The Engagement Tree, and BrewsterGardens. Our guide was very knowledgeable. He looked like a college professor with glasses and long thinning hair.The tour took about 90 minutes and we walked all over the waterfront and surrounding area.
We had gotten a look at Plymouth Rock while we waited for our tour to begin. It had been light then, and we weren’t terribly impressed by the rock. I kind of already knew that the Pilgrims didn't really first set foot on Plymouth Rock, so the bar wasn't set very high there. Plus with the Rocky Mountains in my backyard, seeing a large boulder is nothing to get excited about. And this was just a big rock, with 1620 carved into it. I guess I will be conferred to some circle of tourist purgatory for that remark. But, we were impressed by the columned structure they had built around it. To me it looked like a portico, with no building. But, it just seemed to project a sense of grandeur that seemed misplaced. But, after all, it is still Plymouth Rock, so just a wrought iron fence was not going to do. Still, I had to take a picture, which ended up being the only one we took today, in Plymouth. Tomorrow we would rewalk most of the tour to see it in the light, and actually visit Burial Hill.