My pilgrimage to Plymouth

My pilgrimage to Plymouth

This past weekend I visited the Pilgrims’ first landing site. I had signed up for a retreat with my college and it just so happened to be in this historic town. While it wasn’t exactly bustling with activity, it was a very quaint little area with plenty of sea-themed restaurants. If you’re someone who likes seafood, then I think you’ll like the cuisine they serve.

I stayed at Hotel 1620 which, I have to say, I found to be lovely. The rooms were spacious and cleanly kept, and the woman at the front desk was so helpful and sweet. And, don’t get me started on the food. It was amazing! (Maybe I’m biased because I’ve been eating the same college food for the past two months, but, I mean, my opinion still stands that the food was delicious.) The hotel was also a five minute walk to the beach, and I could see the ocean from the front of the hotel.

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We only had about two hours to visit the town, but I felt like that was plenty of time since there wasn’t much to do (in the area I went to) other than visit the main attraction: Plymouth Rock. This famous stone was bigger than expected and about ten feet below the sidewalk. To be honest, my friend and I walked past it before our other friend called us back. It was not really publicized other than the tall sign that read Plymouth Rock. We held on to the black metal fence as we looked down into the pit of sand that was separated from the ocean and saw the acclaimed rock with “1620” carved into it. It was neat but pretty underwhelming. Unless you think of how old it is and how long it has been there for. Then it’s pretty cool.

The town itself was quite quiet, and there was not much to do other than walk by the water or go into tourist shops. Most of the places I passed were closed, presumably because the town is situated on the water so most places are probably seasonal. There was, however, a cute little shop that sold souvenirs, and it sold candy for 15 and 25 cents! I felt like I was in the 1950s. Fortuitously, I had found a quarter an hour before in the conference room of the hotel, and I ended up using it to buy my favorite candy: Hot Tamales. They also sold Tootsie Rolls, Nerds, bubble gum, chocolate coins, etc all for 15 to 25 cents, and it was amazing. I think this was one of the best parts of the trip.

On Sunday, the day we were leaving, each group went out onto the jetty and walked the length of it, looking out into the ocean. The jetty was pretty long with a wire rope on one side for those who felt like they might fall off the rocks. It was a gorgeous February day, sunny and 60 degrees with a bit of wind on the water. It was so nice that I took my jacket off and walked along in just a sweater. It was the perfect day to see the ocean and this moment was the highlight of my trip. If ever you get a chance to visit Plymouth, I highly recommend walking along the jetty and observing the serenity of nature.

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Overall, it was a great weekend in which I met new people, reflected on myself and my thoughts, and explored a historic place. The town, while not terribly exciting in February, was fascinating in its history and its impact on America. It was fun to escape campus for a couple of days and stay in a nice hotel and to see the beauty of the natural world.

Ciao for now!

Book Some Time Each Day to Read

I. Love. Books. I love reading them, I love looking at them, and I love opening them for the first time. Books. They are a beautiful thing. Many people nowadays seem to think that they just don’t have the time to read, or they say that they “don’t read.” What they really mean is that they don’t make the time to open a book and maybe peruse a few pages each day. Because it seems like so many people can find time in their busy schedules to watch the latest episode of The Big Bang Theory or Quantico, but they just don’t have the time to read a book. This is an unfortunate state of being.

What I love most about books is that there is something for everyone. Whether you love romance or action or mystery or biography etc., there is a genre and there is a book for you. The moment I open a book my mind is instantly more engaged than it was a second before. I have something to focus on and something to enlighten me to a whole new world. Books make you smarter because they open your imagination and expand your knowledge of the world (even if it’s fictional). I learn new words each time I open a book because there are just too many for me to ever learn. That’s the great thing: each new book is a new experience waiting to happen.

When I was younger, I had an obsession with biographies. You know, the kinds that are made for kids that come in a small paperback. From these, I learned so much about some of the greatest people this country has had and about some of the world’s most fascinating humans. To name a few of the people I read about: Helen Keller (she was an especial favorite of mine), Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, John F. Kennedy, Charles Lindbergh, etc. I especially liked the fictional journals of historical princesses like Eleanor of Aquitaine, Marie Antoinette, and Cleopatra. Even as a child, I had a voracious appetite for words and stories.

This childhood hobby has now progressed into a passion for books. I am an English major in college because of all the books I’ve read and the impact they have had on me. Reading has shaped my life. Whether it is fictional novels or historical books, I’ll read anything I can get my hands on. At the moment, I’m reading The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling and enjoying it very much. Next up, I think I’m going to read The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. While there are occasions where I do not enjoy the book I’ve picked up, these only highlight my delight when I find ones that I truly love.

At this point in my life, I find myself reading novels that are beautifully written because I feel like I can appreciate the writing now more than when I was younger. I also like to read books that are just fun and entertaining because I do feel the stress of college life. Between class and homework and papers, I barely have time to read, so when I do I want it to take me away. That is the beauty of reading: it can transport you to a whole new world, a whole new time. Books are so magical. Take the time to read and take the time to love it because you won’t regret one minute of it.

I’ll leave you with some of my favorite books in case this post has inspired you to pick one up!

  • A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Chinese Cinderella (autobiography) by Adeline Yen Mah
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
  • The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
    • (this is more of a short story but it’s amazing so I had to include it)

Ciao for now!