Sunday, October 28, 2012

East Coast Trip -- Plymouth and Boston

Well, during the last 3 days of our trip, my camera was about to die, so we didn't take too many pictures.  Here are the highlights...

We woke up in the morning at Gilbert's Tree Farm B&B, and headed down to our home cooked breakfast. It was really neat, because Mario had found this particular B&B on a Christian lodging website.  Donald and Jeanne, our hosts, were both believers.  We ate breakfast with about 4 other couples, and one of the men asked for prayer for his mom since she was having surgery soon.  One of the guys suggested we pray for her right then and there, and so we all had an extended prayer and share time right there at breakfast!  It was so encouraging!  We left the house that morning feeling so refreshed.

Our first stop was the National Monument to the Forefathers in Plymouth--the same monument that was featured in the Kirk Cameron film "Monumental".  This was one the of the main sights we wanted to see on our trip, and we certainly were not disappointed!

It commemorates the Mayflower pilgrims and honors their ideals and values.

On the main pedestal stands "Faith" pointing toward heaven and clutching her Bible.  Seated under her are figures who represent the principles upon which the pilgrims founded their Commonwealth:  "Liberty", "Morality", "Law", and "Education".

While we were there observing and taking pictures, this man was teaching a group of tourists all about the monument.  We couldn't help but to overhear that he was teaching the truth about our country--that these men and women who came over on the Mayflower loved the Lord and strove to live their lives based on God's Word.  After his tour was over, Mario introduced himself and struck up a conversation.  We found out that he (Leo Martin)  and his wife are believers, and their business, the Jenney Grist Mill also serves as their ministry, as  they do everything they can to inject God's truths into their tours.  In addition to reaching out to residents of and tourists to Plymouth, they also reach out to schools, churches, and other organizations with education on the Biblical principles in the development of our country.  

We were so inspired by the work that they are doing here, that we decided to visit the Jenney Grist Mill so we could sign up for Leo's walking tour on Plymouth's history.  Their ministry just struck such a chord in our hearts.  They had so many stories to share with us about how God is providing for them daily to continue to do His work there in Plymouth.

We had some time to kill before our walking tour, so we drove over to a little recommended seafood restaurant for some clam chowder.  Wow!  It was the best we've ever tasted!!!  That bread bowl was scrumptious!!!  Too bad we got a parking ticket while we were here, because we forgot to put money in the parking meter!!! Ooops!

We didn't take many pictures on our walking tour since my camera battery was getting low, but of course I had to get a shot of Plymouth Rock.  It was so small!!!  Apparently, it was much larger in 1620, but erosion from wind and waves did a number on it, as did people chipping off small portions to keep as souvenirs.  Today it is sheltered by a pavilion built in 1921 and guarded by a rail as it rests on the sand of the shore.
Leo was an engaging tour guide, and we loved every minute of our walk throughout the city.  We gleaned so much great information from him--he was knowledgeable and hilarious!  This was our best day by far!

We finally made it to Boston later that evening!  We were starving, so we immediately went down to the area surrounding Harvard--because we knew things would still be happening down there late at night near the school!  As we were walking around, we struck up a conversation with some locals who, upon learning we were visiting from Texas, exclaimed, "You don't look like you live in Texas!"  Ummm, I guess we forgot our cowboy boots when we visited Boston!  Haha!  But anyway, this lady said we should go to Mr. Bartley's for a burger, and some young guy overhearing our conversation seconded her opinion....so to Mr. Bartley's we went!

It was crazy packed, but it was super yummy, so we were not disappointed!  What a quirky little college town burger joint!  It was so tiny, and there were tons of tables jammed in there!  There was memorabilia all over the walls, and each burger had it's own special name, including humorous topics, celebrities, politicians, tv shows, etc.  The sweet potato fries were great!

Do I look smarter?  
We strolled through the Harvard campus on our way back to our B&B.

The next day, we were severely disappointed with a walking tour of the Freedom Trail that we had purchased--so much so that we walked off the tour and went and got a refund of our money.  This guide was terrible!  He was boring; he was bashing Christianity, calling it a myth; he was jumping all over the place in the few historical facts he gave; and he really was doing more fable/storytelling than giving the actual history.  We had already been on two historical tours on our trip so far, so compared to those, this one really stunk!

We decided to buy a self guided tour book covering the Freedom Trail and go through it ourselves.  The trail is a 2.5 mile brick-lined route that leads you to 16 historical sites in the city.  Much of the trail has a red line painted right on the streets and sidewalks, so it's kindof fun to follow.  Doing it ourselves was a little tedious, but we were definitely getting more information than we did on the tour we left.  

This is Paul Revere's house, downtown Boston's oldest building.

We were a little over halfway through our tour when we stopped for lunch.  We headed over to the next site, Faneuil Hall for a bathroom break and quick rest.  We were sitting in some chairs on the lower level when a National Park Service Ranger walked up to a few others who were sitting around and said, "Well, did everyone get a little break?  Are you guys ready to go?"  We weren't quite sure where "we" were going, but we decided to join along and try to blend in!  Haha!  We got outside with the group and realized they were doing a freedom trail tour, and not only that--they were picking up exactly where we had left off doing it on our own!!!

We ended the tour at the Paul Revere Monument depicting his historic Midnight Ride as well as the Old North Church where the "one if by land, two if by sea" lanterns were hung.  Our tour guide was an endearing young man who had such a passion for the facts he was sharing.  Sometimes he would get into telling a story and just crack himself up!  He was just so funny in a lovingly naive sort of way.  We tried to tip him at the end because we didn't know if this was a paid tour or not, but he couldn't accept it.  Later we found out all the ranger tours are free, so that made us feel better.  We still would've tipped him if we could have though...he was great!

pretty pictures of the Boston coast

New England is so refreshing.
Unfortunately, we had gray skies the whole time we were in Boston, and we were constantly ducking out of the rain.

pretty arbor we ducked under. 

We didn't feel like we got a good feel for Boston because of the weather and because we just had such a short amount of time there--which was mostly focused on history.  It's a good excuse to make another trip back to see the city again!

With our last bit of free time, we went over to the Faneuil Hall Marketplace for some browsing, snacking, and shopping.  It was huge (and crowded since everyone else was trying to stay dry too).  There were a ton of shops and restaurants.  I had to get a picture in front of the Cheers restaurant since Mandy bought me a t-shirt from here on a cross country trip in college.  :)

The next morning we got up and headed back to the airport to fly home.  We said goodbye to our rental car and our fun adventures.  We really did have such a great and relaxing time.  It was so good to just be able to have some uninterrupted time to talk!  But, of course, we could not wait to get our arms around those boys again!!!  My parents were driving them back down to Texas, so we were counting down the minutes!!!
So long, vacation!  We're already planning our next one!!!  :)