Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pilgrims Progress

Sorry for not blogging the past few days, but we took the kids up to Plymouth, MA to learn about life in 17th century Massachusetts after the Pilgrims landed there.

I have to say, Plymouth Rock is very underwhelming. It's just this big rock under a big, Roman Doric portico designed by McKim, Mead and White. They don't even know for sure that it was were the Pilgrims disembarked. It's never mentioned by the Pilgrims, but 121 years after the landing some church Elder made the claim saying that some of the original Pilgrims told him it was.

The highlight of the trip with Plimouth Plantation--a recreation of the English settlement from around 1627 and a Wampanoag Native American homesite. In the English settlement section of the museum, interpreters dress, act and speak like 17th century settlers. In the Native American homesite portion, the staff dresses in authentic Native American garb, but interact with visitors from a 21st century perspective.

Notice I said "Native American" not "Indian." From the minute you walk into the visitors' center at Plimouth Plantation they make it known that you are not to call the Native American interpreters "Indians." They say it on signs, in the initiation movie, on more signs, etc.

So you can imagine my embarrassment when my daughter raises her hand to ask one of the Native Americans a question and starts it "Why do Indians . . . .?"

Ah well!! That's life.

The good thing about vacations is that you definitely do move around more than you usually do. I brought my pedometer with me and clocked that we walked just over 2 miles around Plimouth Plantation.

The bad news is, of course, that we often feel that caloric indulgences are justified by that extra activity. According to the calorie counter my pedometer the walk around the English settlement and the Wampanoag homesite did not justify me having a large, chocolate dipped cone with sprinkles at one of the ice cream shops in town (don't worry I didn't).

So while the extra walking on vacations is a good thing, you still have to be careful about what you eat. I probably would have to walk around Plimouth Plantation ten times to walk off that cone.

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