Day 5: Randomness
- The New Bedford Whaling Museum has more gory prints of whale hunting than you can shake a harpoon at. Whale skeletons are enormous, and drippy with oil if not cleaned properly. Today, fishing is still profitable and dangerous. Up to 40% of local high school guys drop out to make quick cash in the scallop market.
- John Rogers' 19th century plaster sculptures of sentimental scenes can be considered the forerunners of Norman Rockwell.
What can I say about Plymouth, MA, Jamestown's early settlement rival to the north? There are a lot of similarities - recreated ships, costumed interpreters, Native villages, totally inaccurate statues. Points to Jamestown for less emotional myth and more hardcore archaeology. (Oh, and being OLDER.) Points to Plimoth for house construction in action and the Plymouth Rock hot tub in our hotel pool. It was almost like a time machine.
Day 7: Salem
This town takes tourism kitsch to a whole new level. With a discount "Hysteria Pass" you can take ghost tours and visit a pirate/witch wax museum. If you look past the dozens of middle aged tarot and aura readers, however, the walkable downtown is full of historic houses. The Peabody-Essex Museum has some serious decorative arts, especially from Asia. The highlight was a 200 year old Chinese house, Yin Tu Tang.
Day 8: Sturbridge
Another big outdoor living history site, Old Sturbridge Village is like a cross between Colonial Williamsburg and the Henry Ford. The farmhouses, town green, and mills interpret the 1830s, which is a time period I rarely think about. The old-timey costumes seemed truly alien - think Amish style combined with the costumes in Wives and Daughters. Thanks to the welcoming staff, we had a great time exploring. It looked like the families out and about were having a good time too.
And then we drove back to Delaware. Classes start tomorrow - holy cow, summer is over!