Thursday, June 01, 2006

Upon this rock, the Pilgrims landed!

Next stop - Plymouth, MA - The Cornerstone of the Nation, where everything began.

After our first night stay at my sister's home on Cape Cod, we spent the duration of our time hanging out altogether, and crashing at a friend's home in Plymouth, right on the ocean front overlooking the east coast's beach waters. (Thanks Haik!)

What an incredible view to wake up to, and sip our coffee in front of during the early morning hours. The sandy beach beckoned us to walk along it's shores, sit and relax beach side, swim in the water, enjoy the fire on the beach the last night, and drift off nightly to never-never land listening to the lull of the waves crashing into the sands. Ah, so nice!

Literally down the street from here, our next stop was Plymouth itself. With Provincetown's history still fresh on our minds from the day before, a few of us headed over for a trolley tour and walked literally on the same turf where Forefathers roamed.

Imagine walking over ground where many years before, history was in its earliest beginnings? Here we were able to do so this day.

Where Plymouth rock is now secure, because too many people were breaking pieces off the rock and destroying it.

All of those historical reads were right there before us, to see, to touch, to absorb and to snap photos of. Think of Plymouth! What do you remember reading from that historical time?

Here are just a few from there...

The Mayflower ship II

Plymouth Rock...all that's left anyway.

- Burial Hill (many greats buried here including "William Bradford".

- Cole Hill Monument - where the first burials took place the winter the Pilgrims arrived

The Sarcophogas
(tomb where the bones of the original settlers are buried after their bodies washed out of the ground during a substantial rain storm)

First house of 1627 - Richard Sparrow House
Notice the windows were the same as those on the Mayflower ship.
It's the original first home, still standing as the oldest home in the USA

- Howland house - 1666

- 1749 Courthouse

- Pilgrim Hall

- Brewster Garden

- Spooner House built in 1749

- The Plymouth museum, the only one with original displays from the Mayflower ship

First church in Plymouth
- the fourth on the site built originally in 1648

- First street in North America - Leyden, named from days living in Holland

- First named street later to be very common - Main Street

- National monument to the Forefathers

(SO INCREDIBLE!!! and so outstanding, I'll blog this one on its own)

- Massasoit statue (the Native Indian who assisted the Pilgrims very survival)

Jenny Grist's working mill (where the Pilgrims finally found their fresh water in a natural spring)

- William Bradford's statue

- and many more of course....

Looking over the vast expanse of ocean in the bay, seeing the Mayflower II before us in view, naturally one would try to envision how the first folks on the Mayflower handled life at sea. What huge sufferings the Pilgrims must have endured during their giant voyage to this land, yet high hopes and dreams lived on in their minds the entire journey west. I couldn't possibly fathom what the emotions could have been when the ship finally reached dry land.

All our distractions of the town trolley tour and walking expedition aside, my thoughts ran deep while I drifted in historical times for a brief moment of seriousness. Being right there, right there in that spot, I couldn't help but feel the intensity for those taking that first step off the ship, and naturally wanting to fall to their knees in thanks to God for this great, big NEW land. Faith must have been necessary for the journey. How else could they possibly have endured it all?

The rest as they say, is history!

"Being thus arrived in a good harbour and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of heaven, who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean, and delivered them from all the perils and miseries thereof, again to set their feet on the good and stable earth, their proper element.....But here I cannot but stay and make a pause and stand half amazed at this poor people's present condition; and so I think will the reader too when he well consider the same."

- William Bradford