Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Plymouth Holiday House Tour

Sunday found me in historic Plymouth Massachusetts with my daughter and granddaughter for the Second Annual Holiday House Tour. This is the one time a year (for a small fee) you get to nose around some of the more historic buildings in town. Events like this are not unique to Plymouth. I have had the opportunity to tour homes in my own town in the past, and found it an enjoyable day out. Plymouth, however, by its very nature as being an historical focal point in our early American history, brings a charm and curiosity all its own.

I love historic buildings. The architecture, style, attention to detail in fine old homes is unlike anything you can find in today’s modern construction. If there were any disappointments at hand, it was that we did not find all the homes as elaborately decorated for the holiday season as we had anticipated. I did have my favorites in spite of this. The Bayberry Inn, Twelve Tribes at 35 Warren Ave, The White Swan Bed and Breakfast and Martha’s Stone Soup at the Tavern. The last on my list is not a home at all, but a restaurant in one of the town’s most historic buildings.

Martha’s Stone Soup at the Tavern was built in 1797 and was once known as the Wright Tavern. Originally, it was a stagecoach stop along the road between Plymouth and Sandwich. There are some modern renovations of course, that make it possible to run as a restaurant, like handicap accessible restrooms. Nevertheless, the early American charm is not lost among the wide pine floorboards or the two original fireplaces, one prominently located in the dining area. I want to come back here for their afternoon tea (or “high tea” as it is sometimes known.)

The most elegantly decorated for the season were the Bayberry Inn, and The White Swan Bed and Breakfast, with the White Swan by far the best. Baby had many brightly colored decorations to attract her attention and gave us an excuse to linger in each of the rooms. Baby was equally as popular as the houses themselves among the guests. Mirrors are popular with babies and I took advantage of every one I found so to linger longer, enjoy the home and the baby.

Lunch at the White Cliffs Country Club was one of the stops on the tour. The view of Plymouth Harbor is just beyond our table and we eat daintily, pretending we are members in our designer label clothing. Baby catches the eye of the chef and he flirts with her shamelessly. All the while, she smiles and coos in response, encouraging even more interaction with the guests.

With the last house, we enjoy yet more hot cider and sugar cookies, and then we are off to the real world again. It has been an enjoyable day filled with sights, sounds and smells of the season. While old homes may stand for decades, babies are babies so briefly. Baby’s presence brings to mind all the families that have lived inside these walls and of all the first Christmases enjoyed once again through the eyes of their youngest, as we did today.

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