Dave and I got back last week from our summer vacation in New England. I thought I would share some of our adventures in and around Rhode Island.
To see the Summer Sky
Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie –
True Poems flee.
Our home base for the week was at a beach house in Bonnet Shores in Narragansett, Rhode Island. Dave has been spending summers at Bonnet Shores since he was a kid, and I’ve been up here a few times since we’ve been together. In previous years, a tiny beach cottage was rented and each kid was given a week. This year though, a big beach house was rented, and all of my in-laws stayed together.
We had a busy week planned full of adventures and catching up with Dave’s high school and college friends.
Right when we arrived, Dave and I went to NBX Bikes to pick up some wheels for the week. Bonnet Shores is as beautiful neighborhood with steep streets, beautiful old cottages, and breath-taking views. I enjoy running through Bonnet, but this year I thought renting bikes would be a great way to explore even more.
As with any New England summer, rain seems to be par for the course. Monday morning’s run was perfect, but when I hopped on the bike, it started to pour. Since I was already sweaty, I kept going. A nice 3.5 mile run and 6.5 mile bike was a great way to start the day.
That afternoon was sunny skies, and the weather held up for the Paw Sox game that evening. The Paw Sox are the Red Sox’s minor league team. Tickets are cheap and parking is free. Dave thought this would be a great place to gather his friends and their families for a little reunion. There was 35 of us in total. We were in the lawn seats in the outfield so the kids could run around freely, and the adults could catch up. Great idea Dave!
The next day we were up and at ’em early for a 9 am ferry to Block Island. We packed up our bikes and boarded a high speed ferry for the short ride. In less than 45 minutes we were ready for adventures around Block Island. For those who don’t know, Block Island is “a 10-square mile gem of a seaside resort located just 12 miles off the Rhode Island coast. It has been heralded as ‘one of the twelve best unspoiled areas in the Western Hemisphere.’ The island’s rolling green hills and dramatic Mohegan Bluffs are reminiscent of Ireland.” (source)
I had no idea what to expect of Block Island, but our day trip was one of the highlights of our vacation. Next time Dave and I decided we should stay for a night or two to get in more hiking, biking, and relaxing. Time seems to stop on Block Island.
After a morning of exploring, we had a great lunch at Froozie’s and then headed to the beach for some R&R. Beaches in New England are very different than the powdery sand and bright blue water that we’re used to in Florida. Despite the colder water temperatures and rocky shorelines, these beaches take a little getting used to. It was a pretty hot day, so we were looking forward to jumping in the water. Dave must have been a little too eager, and in he went with his nice Revo sunglasses I got him as a wedding present. I saw it happen. He took off his hat, but forgot the glasses. He came right up and realized what he did. (Since he lost his wedding band 3 months after we were married, he was pretty bummed about this.) Back in he went, eyes open, looking for the glasses. I started feeling around with my toes, but the only thing I felt were sharp rocks on my toes. The current was really strong that day (and every day probably), so I was looking on shore as well to see if they washed up. I think a good 5 minutes had past. I was still feeling around with my feet when I grabbed them (thank you long toes!). I said to Dave, “I have them… oh wait. No, I dropped them.” (I guess my toes aren’t long enough!) Dave went right down and started feeling around. He found them! We couldn’t believe it. It was a great day!
We boarded a 5 pm ferry back to Narragansett where we then biked around town a bit. (Oh, did I mention Dave’s sunglass flew off his shirt and landed unbeknown to him on the bottom floor of the ferry where a kid came up and said, “whose glasses are these?” Um… they were inches from falling into the water. Sunglasses saved again! We couldn’t’ believe it. ) We then went to the “State Beach” for sunset where Dave was Captain (back in his glory days). Dave and his friends always talk about their life guarding days when they are together. At our wedding, our groom’s cake was a life guard’s chair with Dave’s MVP trophy from the life guarding races. I originally planned for a Peace Corps groom’s cake but seeing how much Dave and his friends talk about “the beach,” I couldn’t resist.
On Wednesday, we headed to Boston for the night. We had tickets to the Ray LaMontagne and David Gray concert. Before the concert we met up with Dave’s friend for coffee, checked out Dave’s law school, quickly walked through Fanueil Hall, and met an old colleague of his for dinner. The concert was wonderful! The venue was fairly small for an amphitheater, and the music was superb. Ray LaMontagne is so mellow while David Gray totally rocked it out.
The next day we went on a run through the Boston Commons, the Public Gardens, and along the Esplanade. Then we met my friend Julie for lunch at the totally yummy – The Friendly Toast. Julie and I used to eat at The Friendly Toast in Portsmouth, NH after going to concerts in our college days.
That evening we had plans to meet some friends for dinner at their house, but we arrived a bit late due to the valet people bringing our rental car back to us in this condition. Needless to say, every vacation has to have a snag somewhere along the line. The hotel ended up being free, and the valet company is fully responsible for the damage.
Thursday was a beach day at Bonnet Shores. That morning Dave and I went on a 4 mile run, and then he went off to swim and I walked the beach (too cold to swim in the morning). That evening we went to the Theatre by the Sea with my in-laws. Theatre by the Sea is such a cute little play house. My vacation to Rhode Island isn’t complete without seeing a play here. This year The Full Monte was playing while we were in town. I wasn’t sure how Dave’s parents, particularly his dad, would like this play, but they LOVED it. Honestly, my favorite part of the night was the walk we took down a path to the beach during intermission. It was a full moon, and we stumbled upon a house literally feet from the ocean. It was crazy, and one of those moments I’ll never forget!
Saturday, after a nice run, we met up with two of Dave’s friends from the Peace Corps who happened to be vacationing nearby. We had a nice lunch by the ocean and caught up on life. Their little one is doing great and Lynette is 3 months pregnant! Life is good.
Saturday afternoon we had a cook out for our neice’s birthday. It was nice to have all the family together.
Since most of our vacation was on the go, I was looking forward to having Sunday as a beach day and then taking off that evening back to Tampa. The weather didn’t really like that plan. The weather gods did let me get in a 5 mile run (half was in the rain though), but the rest of the morning was spent reading indoors.
Dave and I went to eat at Crazy Burger for lunch. This place simply rocks. Plain and Simple. It reminds me of all the little hole in the walls that I would eat at in college in Austin. It is funky and unique, and their menu is a mile long with tasty options (many which are vegan). We even had a piece of vegan carrot cake for dessert. YUM is all I can say.
With a full belly, we packed up, headed over to one of Dave’s friend’s house for a quick hello, and then off to the airport we went.
Summer vacation 2010 was packed full of excitement, family and friends!
Next on the vacation calendar is…
– Missouri camping/rafting trip over Labor Day
– Texas for Christmas
– TBD Anniversary trip in February 2011
– Hiking the Grand Canyon in April 2011
If you made it this far…. you done good!