Ahh…Rhode Island, how I’ve missed you!! Whether you’ve known me for a while or don’t know me in person at all, you may not have any idea that Rhode Island is one of my favorite places in the country, and the closest thing I have to a “second childhood home.” My mom grew up in Newport and Jamestown, RI, so most of her siblings, and my Grandparents, lived there until my Grandmother (Gam) passed away when I was in university. Several of her sisters and brothers still lived in the state or did for some time in my past. I grew up in Texas, which, as you know, is incredibly hot all summer long. So escaping to the breezy seashore of my mom’s childhood for a few weeks each summer while I was growing up is one of my fondest memories. Even when I was in university I managed to spend time up there in the summer by having summer postings to the area with the Naval Academy (I sailed from Annapolis, MD, to Newport, RI, then Portsmouth, NH, and back down to Block Island, RI, one summer on a 44 ft sailboat as a midshipman.) After I graduated, I was in Newport, RI, for about a year, teaching math at the Naval Academy Preparatory School and attending the Surface Warfare Officers’ School. When John and I lived in Maine, both times we visited Rhode Island frequently, as now we not only had my mom’s family there, but new friends of our own from having lived there and even my brother and his family when he was stationed there with the Navy for several years. So to call it a second home is no real stretch.
We arrived last night around 6:30pm after having driven from Groton, CT, and we went straight to downtown Jamestown for ice cream at Spinnakers, which is right on the water by the little harbor from which my mom took a ferry every day to high school and where my Grandfather was the captain of the ferry to Block Island. Also by the water is the Veteran’s Memorial where my Grandfather gave a speech one Veteran’s Day right before he passed away. I was able to play Amazing Grace on the bagpipes down there Memorial Day four years ago for their remembrance ceremony. It is such a picturesque seafront. Here are a few of the sights:
The Newport Bridge, on which my Grandfather was one of the engineers when it was being built – goes from Jamestown to Newport.
In the background of the bridge is Naval Station Newport.
Getting some ice cream down at the ferry landing
Next we drove over to the other side of the island to show the children Beavertail lighthouse, a beacon that I used to navigate into the harbor on the sailboat, as did my brother when his frigate pulled in one year from Florida, as did my Grandfather, my mom, aunts and uncles before us since they all raced sailboats around the island back in the day.
Our van parked over at Beavertail
We ended up the night on the north end of the island at the home of my aunt and uncle (my mom’s oldest brother – the uncle in CT is her youngest brother. She is one of seven children.) They have a new playroom thanks to my cousin who stayed up there this summer with her boys – in the basement where it’s nice and cool 🙂 The children all slept down there and had a great time playing last night and this morning.
My Uncle’s house
Today I started out by driving back into town to park and go for a run along the water. I only did about 2.5 miles because I was short on time, needing to make it back for the next feeding with an added stop – I really wanted to go into Slice of Heaven after my run for an iced coffee and a pastry. I ended up coming out of there with this to take home to the family:
On the way back to the house I drove through town one last time to snap a few of the interesting sights. Here’s the house my mom grew up in on Jamestown (they had lived the first part of her childhood over in Newport.)
Gam and Papa’s old house
The side of my grandparent’s house
When I made it back to my aunt and uncle’s house, we basically just played around and packed up to leave by 12:30 for our next part of the trip.
Daniel chilling out on my aunt and uncle’s couch
Here are the kids playing on the zip line my brother put up in their backyard this summer when he and his family drove up to Rhode Island for a visit this summer:
Yes, this is Claire falling off the zip line – and the next one is blurry but is her on her face in the dirt 😦
Next we drove over to West Warwick to visit with good friends who have a few little ones and an amazing backyard which made for a really enjoyable afternoon in the shade. I took a few pictures on the way of more lighthouses in the water between the mainland and Jamestown.
Something deserving of special mention here is that we hadn’t eaten anything but our pastries for breakfast and fruit, veggies, and cupcakes at their house, so when I asked if there was anything like meat or cheese our friends gave me a leftover hamburger they had made last night. Can I just say – America – YOU KNOW HOW TO MAKE HAMBURGERS!!! That’s not to say that I’ve never had a bad burger in America, but I can definitely say I never had a good one in England. Homemade or otherwise, every burger I tried there was dry and rather tasteless. This was just the burger – with some cheese melted on it – and we cut it up and dipped it in mustard. God bless the USA. So so yummy.
Our kids together with our friend’s children – eating snacks at our their house with their Grandmother and Great Grandfather too!
Our friend Julie holding Daniel
John and our friend Gabe with the yummy iced coffee they made us
Eating a cupcake
Our friend Donna with Daniel
John had to climb the fence to recover Nerf gun bullets, and here he is pretending that he’s locked in jail
We had to stop in to a Del’s Frozen Lemonade to make our Rhode Island experience complete, which we just did after leaving their house to get on the road for Massachusetts.
Now we’re stuck in horrendous traffic outside of Boston (shocking) because of an accident a few miles up. Next stop – a cousin’s house for dinner. Also seen along the way – a Trader Joe’s and a Panera Bread. I’m coming for you guys soon! Two of my favorite places…
Trying to get a picture of a Dunkin Donuts – could have just gotten the next one 100 yards down the road, but my camera battery died.