Editor’s Note: The following story is the fourth in an installment of six stories about the adventures of the Safford Educational Travelers. The students traveled with EF Educational Tours, the world’s largest private educational organization, to Boston and the surrounding areas, where they studied the American Revolutionary War and the Pilgrims. All stories are written by students who went on the trip.
I woke up feeling so excited about today; the trip is so much fun. At breakfast, my mom and I talked about how good the food was and how excited I was for today.
After I was full of bagels and potatoes, I waited outside with my mom for the bus. The weather felt cool, and there was a nice breeze — I wished it would have lasted the rest of the day.
Once our guide, Mike, got on the bus, the energy changed. We got used to having Mike get us all hyped and ready for the day.
We were off to start our adventure at Plymouth. On the way there, I stared out my window and could not help to notice nature’s beauty and all the beautiful houses. I asked my mom if we could move here, but she said, “No,” because it is too far for my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins to visit; I changed my mind and decided to stay in Safford.
After an hour, we finally arrived at Plymouth. We stopped at the Pilgrim Memorial, which is a big statue. The top said, “Faith” and on the sides are the words, “Wisdom, Education, Youth, Justice and Liberty.” This monument, I must say, was one of my favorite ones. It was so tall, it reminded me of the Prudential Skywalk.
Our next stop was the Lobster Tales Boat Cruise. I tried to imagine what this boat had in store for us. I felt nervous because I didn’t know if I was going to actually hold a real, live crab or lobster. Never in my life have I touched either one of these. My brother had the opportunity to make this trip a couple of years ago and told me that the crabs and lobsters wouldn’t pinch me, so this gave me a little peace of mind.
Once we boarded the boat, we met our instructor, Dave. He told us about crabs and lobsters. He had a bunch of stories — some were funny and some were also kind of sad. What I know for sure is that Dave is an expert when it comes to crabs and lobsters.
There was a tank full of all kinds of crabs and lobsters. I immediately felt nervous because I thought they were going to pinch me. At one point, we saw a lobster that splashed Mike, which was really funny.
After a while, Dave told us to help pull in the lobster trap. He said the girls were doing most of the work, which was true. Once the trap was in, he told us about all the things he used to make one of these traps and how the lobsters and crabs get in and out. We learned how to identify a boy and girl crab. The boy crab has a triangle on the bottom where its legs are and the girl crab has a circle. I don’t think I’ll ever forget this; I thought it was very cool.
Dave then handed all the kids a crab. I got a boy crab, and I think he liked me. I couldn’t believe that I was actually holding a real crab. The crab felt kind of soft in some places and hard in other places, which I thought was kind of weird.
After the whole crab and lobster-holding experience, it was time to head back to shore. We got back to dry land and loaded up the bus again. My mom tried, for the third time, to get me to try seafood and, once again, I refused.
Our next stop was Plymouth Rock. I felt so excited, as I thought it was going to be this big humongous rock. Once we got there, I ran off the bus ready to take pictures, but there was only one problem — the rock was not as big as I expected. I mean, I knew it was a rock, but I thought there was going to be a big museum. The rock just said 1670 on it, and it looked like it had been broken and put back together using concrete. We learned that Plymouth Rock used to be a lot bigger than what it is today, but people had been taking pieces of it as souvenirs. I think that the people who did this were really disrespectful. This piece of history is so important to our country and deserves a lot of respect. Many upgrades have been made at this site, and now people can no longer take pieces of Plymouth Rock anymore.
After a quick look at the rock, we went to go get ice cream. Mike has a talent for pumping us full of sugar, which made this trip even better.
We then headed to Plimoth Plantation. First, we went to the Wampanoag Homesite, which has little huts called wetus. At the entrance, there is a mishoon, which is a dug-out canoe. They burn the inside and carve it with their tools. To take out the ashes, they use seashells. I thought the way they make the canoes was pretty cool.
There was a place where we could ask questions, and one of the Wamponoag people said that the Pilgrims were not very clean. The Pilgrims believed that bathing would wash away their holiness. I thought this was odd. He also said that in the winter, they would not bathe at all because they were afraid to get sick. So they would only bathe once or twice a year. I cannot imagine what it would be like to not take a shower.
Next, we went to the 17th-century English Village. Here, the Pilgrims were musket training and building houses. There were chickens running around.
Then an amazing thing happened — I made a friend, a Pilgrim. She asked me if I wanted to help water the plants. They water the plants using a ladle; they scoop water from the bucket and swing the ladle over the plants. When they run out of water, they would go to the stream.
My friend told me a story about her friend, Jonathan. I really enjoyed talking to her and helping her water the plants. I am so glad that I got to experience this and learn some of the Pilgrim ways and traditions. This was definitely one of the highlights of this trip. Did I mention she talked funny? It was so neat; I felt like I needed to listen so carefully to everything she said to keep up. Her dialect was very different; she spoke like she was in the 17th century.
After we did all of the exhibits, we went to the shops and got souvenirs for my family.
We had dinner at Plimoth Plantation, and it was called Eat Like a Pilgrim. The food was OK. I just mostly ate the turkey, but I did not like the squash puree. The dessert was OK. They also didn’t have forks. I wish that my new friend was here at dinner with us; I am sure she would have shared more stories with the whole group.
After dinner, it was time to continue our adventure. Next, we rode on the subway to go to Prudential Skywalk. I was feeling scared and nervous because I have never been on a subway — I had only seen them in movies, so I really didn’t know what to expect.
When we got to the subway, Mike gave us a Charlie Card. We used this card to get on the subway train. The subway kind of reminded me of the shuttle train that we take at airports. We had to switch trains once. I thought the subway was really cool, but it was also confusing. The whole ride seemed fast; it was hard to keep up with the name of the stops. It was a great experience, but I am kind of glad Safford does not have a subway.
Once we got off the subway, we were in Prudential Skywalk. We took the elevator to the 52nd floor. Wow — this is a really tall building. You could see everything from up there. It was awesome. We were given little radios and told that there was a number above the window; when we put the number in, it would tell you about that place. We didn’t have time to do it all, which was pretty sad. I wanted to hear the narration on every window and wished we had more time to try some of the other things, too.
It felt good getting on the bus. Another exhausting, yet exciting, day was coming to an end. I felt that I learned a lot today. I will never forget my experience at the 17th- century English Village and the stories my new friend had told me. Being able to talk and interact with her gave me a better understanding of how life used to be in their times. I hope I never forget this and that I will be able to talk about this day to my friends and family back home for many years.
I was super tired and wanted to fall asleep so bad, but once Mrs. Hedges mentioned the pool, I was hyped and excited to go swimming. After a quick swim, I was ready for bed. I fell asleep thinking, “I can’t wait for tomorrow to come.”