Visiting Our Forefathers Land

Nov 23rd, 2017 | By | Category: Entertainment

By Melba Bracken Frequent contributing writer, Melba Bracken, describes her recent trip with relatives to the New England states. She traveled with her family – Frances Smith from Bossier City, LA; her daughter, Gwen Princehouse from Plano, Texas; Bob Petrie of Bartlesville, OK; Ted Petrie of West Helena and her daughter, June, were on the trip which included stops in: Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Plymouth. They were on a Diamond tour bus. Here are some highlights: Departing First Baptist Church Beebe, AR on Saturday, October 7, 2017. Traveling through TN – dinner at Golden Corral. Sunday, October 8, 2017 – Departed for Roanoke, VA Virginia is a state with a deep connection to its historical roots; to those who helped shape the course of American history. The Blue Ridge Mountains had beautiful majestic views and over looks the Shenandoah Valley. The mountains are noted for having a bluish color when seen from a distance. Autumn leaves there hadn’t reached their peak season but the various trees of Aspen, Spruce, Oak, etc. were a collage of bright reds and golden hues of the Hickories. An unusual sight was the Roanoke Star, which is perched atop Mill Mountains. It is the largest freestanding man made illuminated star in the world. It is a popular place in the region because of the stunning view of the surrounding mountains. We arrived at the Roanoke Farmer’s Market and on this day my family and this writer wore “Petrie Reunion” tee shirts to honor our father on his birthday. Departed for Shippensburg, PA A bit of learned history about the town of Shippensburg: Pennsylvania’s Chief Justice Edward Shippen IV’s (for whom the town was named) daughter, Peggy married Maj. Gen. Benedict Arnold in 1779. Arnold’s home served as the Presidential Mansion from 1790 to 1800, and to America’s first two presidents until the White House was built in Washington D.C. Monday, October 9, 2017 – Departed for Warwick, RI Traveling Day – arrived at Cape Cod. Tuesday, October 10, 2017 – Cape Cod It was “cranberry Time” in Cape Cod. The native cranberry is very prominent in the history of Cape Cod. We were told by our knowledgeable tour guide, Don McIsaac, that their Cranberry Festival is one of the most popular events; that there are dozens of products (remember Ocean Spray), that are fashioned from these berries, even jewelry. Another “learned fact: Their name is derived from the crane.” Early America settlers developed a style of houses here that are proficient today. They feature a clapboard white siding and a front chimney. By 1740 such houses had been built throughout New England. Even the millionaires adhere to this style; there is no shortage of millionaires here. Real estate is in a very high-income bracket. Most towns and villages (all are named after towns in England) offer a breath taking view of the ocean. Tuesday, October 10, 2017 – Sandwich, MA We watched a very interesting glass blowing demonstration at the Sandwich Glass Museum. There were some unusual and colorful pieces of glass works. Sandwich glass is very coveted by collectors today. Generations of children can thank Sandwich native, Thornton W. Burgess fro Peter Rabbit. Departed for Hyannis There was a festive atmosphere in Hyannis similar to a good street fair. Lots of shops and galleries; many restaurants, some featured outdoor café style dinning. It was here that I had been waiting to try the crab cakes. In the center of the town we found the John F. Kennedy Museum. It was an excellent museum dedicated to preserving the memories of J.F.K, his family and their days spent on Cape Cod. The Kennedy’s compound was viewed that same day. The Hyannis Harbor was a beautiful picturesque setting of classic sailing boats and yachts. Our tour guide spoke of the many racing events held there “We take our racing pretty serious” , he explained. My niece, Gwen spotted a small pirate ship in full dress, which sails daily from Hyannis Harbor in search of sunken treasures. The Kandy Korner had a large section of old fashioned candies, it brought back some good memories. The brothers, Pete and Repete (Bob and Ted) were spotted trying some salt-water taffy. We arrived for dinner that evening at the Cape Cod Irish Village. Bob had more than a meal; he had an experience with a lobster. We were all surprised as our waiter came at full speed, grabbing Bob’s lobster, he gave a twist and a snap and it was ready to be eaten. Now I’m sure Bob will claim this expertise as his own the next time the family has lobster. June and I opted for a “lazy lobster” casserole. Wednesday, October 11, 2017 – Depart for Martha’s Vineyard. Arrived at the Steamship Authority to take us to Martha’s Vineyard. The ferry was quite congested due to the number of tourist. The famous Gingerbread cottages gave a special Victorian flavor and the quaint winding streets added to its charm. Martha’s Vineyard has many beautiful beaches with the Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop. Many famous people have summer homes here. Thursday, October 12, 2017 Departed for a guided tour of outer Cape Cod. It featured the Chatham Lighthouse, Eastham Windmill; Cape Cod National Seashore. Friday, October 13, 2017 – Departed for Plymouth, MA Arrived at the Pilgrim Memorial State Park. It was a northeaster (I’m Sure) when we arrived at the park. The wind was blowing with a vengeance as the temperature dropped. The weatherman on TV last evening had plainly said, “the Sun will be out tomorrow and it will be milk”. As I stood with my family viewing the “rock “ this writer felt a sense of reverence toward it. The Plymouth Rock has emerge as a Colonial symbol for religious freedom. In 1741 the town of Plymouth officially designated the boulder as the landing place of the Pilgrims; in 1880 the top was engraved with 1620. History abounds here in Pilgrim Memorial State Park. Nearby on Cole Hill is the statue of Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoag’s Tribe. This chief was instrumental (along with Squanto) in the survival of the Pilgrims; housed here is a replica of the famous Mayflower Ship. Saturday, October 14, 2017 – Departed for Staunton, VA Arrived at the Frontier Culture Museum for living history demonstrations and Museum store. Sunday, October 15, 2017 – Depart for Kodak, TN and then home. There was a total of 44 friends on board the tour bus; six sets of sisters of which included myself and my sister, Frances. A special thank you to our colorful hostess Jaronda (Peanut) McEuen who engaged us with her spicy stories about her life and the bus driver, Bob Veach who has gone through fire for the passengers. Happy Thanksgiving to One and All!!!!