Sunday, August 14, 2016

Day 9.217: Exile #2's Sunday Column #118

Exile #2 writes...

Our summer has been pretty low key since our trip to the UK, with a dusting of classes and camps to keep things moving along. We are still hoping that we can manage a mini vacation before the the young Exiles go back to school, but in the meantime, we managed a couple of fun day trips this week.

On Wednesday, I revisited the Maine Wildlife Park with the young Exiles and yesterday, we all enjoyed a trip to Strawbery Banke. It was very engaging, and I appreciated the efforts of all those who defended this historic neighborhood, when so many were being cleared to make way for modernization (looking at you, Albany, NY ;) ). We loved the walk through history. The earliest house dated back to 1695 - one of the earliest surviving settlers' houses in the US. Another house had been preserved in two halves to show how it would have looked originally and how it looked in the 1950s, when it was last inhabited.

All of the houses had friendly docents ready to share information or answer questions, but in one or two of the houses were actors in period costume. I've experienced this a few times (and sometimes dread it!) but these ones were great. We particularly enjoyed talking to the daughter of the tavern keeper, who was a little concerned about whether we were loyal to the king when she heard our accents (the tavern name had recently been changed to reflect changing attitudes towards the British).

We also enjoyed talking to a member of a Russian-Jewish family from the 1920s, as she baked banana bread and prepared challah. E5N1 found these actors fascinating. I appreciated their focus, sustaining their characters whatever questions came their way.

Definitely a grand day out.

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