Saturday, May 15, 2021

Massachusetts Rental Car Domination

Thus far in Boston we've been at the mercy of the woefully understaffed Uber system. No longer!

I was impressed that all of the cities around here were founded in the 1600s.

First stop was Plimoth Patuxet Museums.

The museum was separated into a recreation of Plimoth Plantation and a Wampanoag home site. We started off with the Wampanoag area. There was a weird sign about not being racist to the historical interpreters which I found to be pretty condescending.

Burning out the inside of a log to make a canoe is pretty genius.

Seeing how their housing was built was pretty interesting. I wonder how long a structure like this might last.

On the Plimoth side we started off at the fort.

I've been to several historical villages like this but never one depicting this time period so I found it to be really interesting. They interacted with us like we were time travelers. For example this guy asked us where we were from and someone replied "Texas". The actor replied "I haven't heard of that colony". I thought that was pretty amusing.

A single asparagus sprouting in the garden.

You can never have too many Mayflower models in my book.

That damn historical village cost us $32 a person which I thought was pretty ridiculous, so I sure as hell wasn't paying to board the Mayflower II reproduction. I was happy to stand next to it though. It was built in Devon, England, the county which houses the original Plymouth, which I visited with British Mike back in the day.

Plymouth Rock. "Here is a stone which the feet of a few outcasts pressed for an instant; and the stone became famous; it is treasured by a great nation; its very dust is shared as a relic." - Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

I finally got ahold of a delicious lobster roll. It was wicked good.

We got some Bostony snacks for the car ride.

We returned to the land of my birth which was obviously a little more than just a tourist exercise. I haven't set foot in this place since I was two. Attleboro is a nice little town. We'd already eaten so we didn't have a real mission to accomplish here and so just wandered around a bit.

The city touches the border with Rhode Island. Attleboro used to be known as the "The Jewelry Capital of the World" because it had so many jewelry manufacturers. My dad was a chemical engineer and worked with electroplating sort of stuff so that's why they moved there.

Eventually we decided to hit the local brewery because why not?

I too was brewed in the Boro.

I ordered a Blue Bomber blueberry wheat and they asked me if I wanted blueberries in it. Yes, yes I did. I was excited about the existence of the brewery and bought a tshirt but sadly we didn't really like the beer that much.

We didn't end up going in here but I wanted a picture anyway.

The capitol of Rhode Island in Providence was too close for me to not make a pass in the car. Accomplished.

Woodman's of Essex had a monster line stretching around the building so I knew we must be onto something.

There was guy boiling lobsters right in front of the building.

The clams are spawning!! The clams are spawning!!

I think this place invented fried clams.

So fried clams were ordered. And another lobster roll!

Next stop was Salem. I'm also pretty excited that a place called Swampscott exists out there somewhere.

Friendship of Salem

Custom House at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site

"In my native town of Salem, at the head of what, half a century ago, in the days of old King Derby, was a bustling wharf,—but which is now burdened with decayed wooden warehouses, and exhibits few or no symptoms of commercial life; except, perhaps, a bark or brig, half-way down its melancholy length, discharging hides; or, nearer at hand, a Nova Scotia schooner, pitching out her cargo of firewood,—at the head, I say, of this dilapidated wharf, which the tide often overflows, and along which, at the base and in the rear of the row of buildings, the track of many languid years is seen in a border of unthrifty grass,—here, with a view from its front windows adown this not very enlivening prospect, and thence across the harbor, stands a spacious edifice of brick. From the loftiest point of its roof, during precisely three and a half hours of each forenoon, floats or droops, in breeze or calm, the banner of the republic; but with the thirteen stripes turned vertically, instead of horizontally, and thus indicating that a civil, and not a military post of Uncle Sam’s government is here established. Its front is ornamented with a portico of half a dozen wooden pillars, supporting a balcony, beneath which a flight of wide granite steps descends towards the street. Over the entrance hovers an enormous specimen of the American eagle, with outspread wings, a shield[4] before her breast, and, if I recollect aright, a bunch of intermingled thunderbolts and barbed arrows in each claw. With the customary infirmity of temper that characterizes this unhappy fowl, she appears, by the fierceness of her beak and eye, and the general truculency of her attitude, to threaten mischief to the inoffensive community; and especially to warn all citizens, careful of their safety, against intruding on the premises which she overshadows with her wings. Nevertheless, vixenly as she looks, many people are seeking, at this very moment, to shelter themselves under the wing of the federal eagle; imagining, I presume, that her bosom has all the softness and snugness of an eider-down pillow. But she has no great tenderness, even in her best of moods, and, sooner or later,—oftener soon than late,—is apt to fling off her nestlings, with a scratch of her claw, a dab of her beak, or a rankling wound from her barbed arrows." - The Scarlet Letter1850

There were witch themed shops all over the place, unsurprisingly.

When the sign says "Witch House" in a whole witch town you know something cool is going on. This was the home of Judge Jonathan Corwin who was one of the judges that took part in the Salem witch trials which sent 19 people to the gallows. It is the only structure still standing in Salem with direct ties to the Salem witch trials of 1692.

I don't think I realized how wild these trials were. Apparently one of the ways they figured out who was a witch involved having a Native American slave bake a cake made from rye meal and urine from the accused women, which was then fed to a dog. Save a slice for me please.

Nathaniel Hawthorne definitely liked to write about what he knew. In addition to the above quoted Scarlet Letter, he wrote The House of the Seven Gables which is named after this house. The house Hawthorne was born in was moved and now sits next door. House buddies forever.

Kelly's Roast Beef claims to have invented roast beef sandwiches. I decided that I needed to claim one of them with my mouth.

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