Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Cape Cod: Where All the Pilgrims Summer

In a happy accident, my poor hotel booking skills resulted in our staying for two unexpected nights in Plymouth, where for some strange reason, everything is named for pilgrims. Kind of like Salt Lake City where you eat pioneer ice cream at the pioneer market in your pioneer bonnet.

The first night we were treated to the full eclipse just a half hour after we got to our hotel. We watched on the back deck with a few other friendly people sitting on dew soaked chairs. Our necks got stiff and still we stayed, awed by this ever amazing universe.

The Pilgrim Sands was a wonderful place. I felt like I was seeing in real life that preteen novel I read about a lucky family of city kids that left the hot city for a vacation at Cape Cod and then found buried pirate treasure at a clambake. The hotel was worn and old fashioned in a comfortable way. Their were beach sayings hung all through the halls. The paneling in the gathering room was painted 50's pink. At breakfast I met a woman named Lorraine and we bonded over our shared name, even though her name is spelled the French way and mine is spelled correctly.

The man at the front desk told me that people come generation after generation. There were guests upstairs that came on their honeymoon, brought their kids all through the years and now the grandkids were still coming. I could see why.

I loved my first taste of the Atlantic

Keith and Mark go wading while Carol heads for the surf.  She is so brave!

Amen Pilgrims. Amen

Ready, Set, Boston

Just before we flew in a puddle jumper from Newark to Boston, I had the sickening realization that the hotel I had booked for 3 nights was in Quincy Illinois not Quincy Massachusetts. FYI there are no hotels available near Boston on a Saturday night. They are quite pricey anyway and we thought we'd all be sleeping in Boston Common with some fragrant and interesting friends. 

We finally found a room outside Boston - a Hilton in Dedham that was still so expensive we decided to test our friendship and share a room. Don't worry kids, each couple had their own beds. 

The next morning we attended a great testimony meeting in the Roslindale ward, changed our clothes in the bathroom and snuck out during Sunday school hour like heathens. 

The two-brick wide freedom trail starts at Boston Common where we were treated to a festival honoring all things cannabis related. (That's what we got for ditching the rest of church.)

After a snack we continued walking the 2.5 mile trail through Boston.

Highlights included:
Paul Revere's statue (I love a man on a fast horse)

The old North Church where the lanterns were hung - one if by land two if by sea

Bunker Hill, where the colonists lost a bloody battle but realized they were tougher than either they or the British knew. 

We ended the day in the bustling Faneuil marketplace - which is a food court on steroids. So many places to choose from - so little stomach room. I ate a slice of wood fired pizza faster than you could say don't tread on me. 

Our Traveling Companions

This handsome couple are Keith and Carol Brook. They are from East Grinstead, which is a beautiful spot south of London, England. Carol joined the  church when Mark was a missionary serving in Gateshead. We reconnected nine years ago in a trip to England where we found that they are most excellent traveling companions; sharing our fondness for shortbread, fish and chips, mushy peas and a well told story. We've been sharing our families and travels ever since. 

We've been looking forward to this tour of Mormon church history sites for the last three years.