Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Enveloped in Northeastern Wonder: A Tea Party with the Adams Family and the Pilgrims on Cape Cod

Due to our numerous Detours in Maine it was nearly 10:00 pm when we arrived at Wompatuck State Park in Massachusetts. We again had the pleasure of both setting up and breaking camp in the rain, but were able to get a descent night’s sleep and still make it to the Visitor Center for Adams National Historical Park as soon as it opened the next morning.

John Adams Birthplace

Visiting the Adams site was one of our top priorities of our trip as both of us have a particular interest in the family, in part due to reading David McCullough’s book on John Adams. We greatly enjoyed the chance to see the houses in which John and John Quincy were born as well as the substantially larger and more ornate home the family inhabited after John’s stint as a foreign ambassador for the new nation. 

John Quincy Adams Birthplace

The "Old House"- home of three generations of the Adams Family

One of the particular highlights was the library on the grounds of the Old house, which still contains John Quincy’s substantial collection of reading material. 

The Adams National Historical Park is ideally situated right next to a stop on the “T” which we took into Boston in lieu of trying to drive into the city. We didn’t have long, but we wanted to at least pay a quick visit to the freedom trail and Quincy Market to enjoy some chowda’. We were quite successful despite a light rain, enjoying a particularly lovely lunch before making our way to the precise location Griffin’s Wharf used to occupy. What is Griffin’s Wharf you ask? Why, the very wharf upon which the tea laden ships were tied the night of the Boston Tea Party. 

Though the actual wharf no longer stands, we discovered a little water taxi station where we could walk out over the water. We proceeded to reenact our own version of the Tea Party with the assistance of a bag of Earl Grey Tea purchased for 34 cents at Starbucks. 

After our tea party we took the train back out to where our car was parked and continued south to Cape Cod where we spent the last night of our trip in the Bayside Resort (Alison had found a great deal for a single night a few weeks before we departed, so we planned our final days such that we could take advantage of it). We made one additional detour to pay our respects to the pilgrims at Plymouth Rock, which we discovered to be notably less impressive than we expected!

After a lovely night in the resort complete with a trip to the hot tub and pool, the sun rose on the last day of our trip to New England. We began the day with breakfast at the hotel and a quick walk outside to appreciate our surroundings. 

We then made a quick trip up to the beginning of Cape Cod National Seashore. We didn’t have long, but we got enough of a taste that we decided we need to go back and appreciate the seashore properly. We did get to see the ocean and some beautiful lighthouses, and also learned that the pilgrims actually spent a month on the cape before landing at Plymouth. I never heard that part of the story in gradeschool!

Then it was time to head for home, but not before one last state was added to the roster. As we crossed the border into Rhode Island I officially checked my 49th state off the list. Now all I have to do is find a way to get to Alaska…

We did have one particular stop planned for Rhode Island, one that we executed successfully and tastily. This final destination was “Bob & Timmy’s Grilled Pizza” in Providence, RI.  Inspired by Adam Richman and Man vs. Food we couldn’t pass up the chance to enjoy the pizza you see pictured.

As we drove south and west across Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania we watched the sun set on our Northeastern adventure, but knew that a New Adventure was right around the corner…

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