After we left Boston and PAX East during our first weekend of spring break, we spent a day in Plymouth, MA before heading up to Portland for a few days. Plymouth was kind of a trip; we had a great lunch on the waterfront, saw Plymouth Rock in its cage, and went to Plimoth Plantation.

My first real, noteworthy lobster roll. I’ve had lobster rolls before, but not like this. OMG, I could’ve eaten three.

So the Lobster Hut turned out to be pretty great for lunch with a perfect view. I loved Plymouth Harbor, and we spent some time on the docks after lunch taking pictures.

Such a great spot. And we were there on March 25th, so all the parking was free until March 31st. It was freezing, but still officially off-season, so it was quiet and lovely. But freezing.

I honestly didn’t know that Plymouth Rock was locked up in this cage under its own columned structure. As I said, we were off-season, so there were no tour guides or bustling signs of historic significance. I didn’t even realize the gazebo was The Rock at first. Hannah was clearly not impressed, but at least we can check off that American tourist experience.

Plimoth Plantation was fascinating, and also a little surreal. It’s a few miles outside of town and divided into sections, including the Wampanoag Homesite. This area of the property is entirely staffed by members of the native nations, mostly Wampanoag, who have built these structures to demonstrate what life was like in the 1600s.

Both of these women are Wampanoag, and they answered everyone’s questions about modern day native life, how they learned their history, where they live, etc. I wish I had understood this experience more fully ahead of time, I would’ve thought of more interesting questions to ask. Because this was truly an awesome cultural thing to experience. It wasn’t gimmicky, exploitative, or voyeuristic like cultural tours can often be. It really was fascinating, and I would have loved to know more. My mother-in-law Cora would be beside herself to visit this place.

Next you head to the Craft Center, where you see artisans working on a lot of the period items found throughout the entire plantation. Again, really interesting. There is a piece of me that wishes we could revisit this during high season, because it was so quiet and sleepy there that we didn’t get a tremendous amount of information about each of the sections. I didn’t even realize until later that the artisans were making items to be used around the plantation.

And finally you get to the village. This was just insanely cool. A complete recreation of the Pilgrims’ seaside community after landing at Plymouth Rock. The year here is 1627, 7 years after their arrival. Actors in period dress just inhabit this village, never breaking character. Apparently they’ll only answer questions relevant to 1627 and get confused if you ask about cell phones, but we only said hello. Seeing the living quarters, the attention to detail, and the incredible view that the Pilgrims had made this a very cool stop.

Overall it was a great day in Plymouth, and a worthy detour before heading to Portland. I wish it had been a little warmer, and a little livelier, but I think Adam and I were both surprised how much we enjoyed this little town. We packed a lot into just a few hours, and it was all really cool.