Friday, July 18, 2014

Travel: Providence and Newport, Rhode Island

Since we’re in a completely new environment, we decided take small trips to explore the area.  Last weekend, we went to Providence and Newport, Rhode Island and had a fabulous time.

We kicked off the trip with a 2 hour coach tour of Providence through Explore Rhode Island Tours-it was a great way to learn more about the city.  Our tour guide spoke a lot about the history of both Providence and Rhode Island, and we drove through the city including the “Little Italy” area and Brown University.  We stopped for a quick walk through the Arcade Providence (a revitalized shopping and living area), at India Park Point for the view and a photo opportunity, at a local café for a snack and then by the Roger William statue for an incredible view of the skyline.

For dinner, we met my long-lost (I say that because we haven’t seen each other in decades) cousins at Hemenway’s Restaurant, a local seafood restaurant.  The food was fantastic, and the company even better.

After dinner, we walked through the Starry, Starry Night Exhibition in Memorial Park and along the canal to experience WaterFire.  Starry, Starry Night consists of hundreds of lighted blue stars hanging from the trees with luminary lanterns on the ground.  WaterFire is a series of braziers in the canals, each containing a lit bonfire.  Though it doesn’t sound like much, the beauty of the bonfires, along with the new-age music and smell of the burning wood make WaterFire a multi-sensory experience with an almost medieval feel.  It is truly an impressive experience, and my words don’t do it justice!

The next morning, we drove down to Newport and took a tour of The Breakers, the former summer mansion of the Vanderbilt family.  Built in only two short years, this 138,000 square foot home is the epitome of over-the-top and a fun place to visit! 

After The Breakers, we went into the downtown area, had a nice lunch, shopped a bit and headed home.  What a great weekend!
India Park Point

dinner with my cousins

Starry, Starry Night 
WaterFire: Before

WaterFire: After

The Breakers

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