Wednesday, April 11, 2012

On the Road in Rhode Island

This past Easter weekend, Chad and I celebrated our 10th anniversary with a trip to Providence and Newport Rhode Island.  I've always wanted to see the famous "cottages" of Newport and Chad was on a mission to take a photo in Providence.  More on that below.

Our plane was to depart from Tampa at 8:40am.   We very nearly missed the plane.

5 Lessons learned from our trip to the airport.  
  1. Either spend the night in Tampa or leave much earlier than 6:00am.  
  2. Never underestimate Tampa traffic.
  3. Never divert from the Expressway even if you think you know a "faster" way on back roads. 
  4. Long term parking at Tampa International is difficult to attempt under duress.
  5. NEVER ride the monorail from long term parking to the terminal.  Trust me, a turtle could crawl faster. 
To say that the last 30 minutes of our car ride was tense, is an understatement.  We rode in complete silence.  My stomach was in knots.   We finally made it to baggage check-in at 8:10am.  The attendant  told us we could probably still make it, but the plane wouldn't wait on us.  We still had security to deal with.  We took our chances and RAN!  The image was pretty funny.  I would have taken a picture or video, but that may have been ill-timed and at the moment, possibly grounds for a divorce.  It went a little something like this.

Would you believe there was no line at security?  We furiously ripped off shoes and belts, then with the same ferocity, attempted to put them back on while running to the gate.  We were the last ones on, but we made it!  I was so winded that I wasn't even bothered by the takeoff (Typically, takeoffs and landings leave my hands sopping with sweat.) The flight to our layover in Detroit arrived 20 minutes early.  Take that, Karma!  As we were landing in Providence, Chad said, "I hope our luggage made it."

It did!  Thank God!

After a rather stressful beginning, we had a great trip.  We rented a car at the airport and stayed one night in Providence and two in Newport. Here are some photos to prove it.

First, the backstory on Chad's photo mission.  In 1943, Chad's grandfather was stationed in Providence for training as a Seabee. Either on a bet or a dare, he climbed up on the statue of General Burnside on horseback in Burnside Park.
Climbing up while his buddies cheered him on.
Fully mounted.
What we don't have is the picture of the MPs removing him from the statue with the help of a ladder.  Chad is not so bold as to also climb up on the horse, but we though we could get a picture of him standing at the base until we came upon...
Notice the handwritten graffiti.  Not written by us.
So we had to settle for this.

As we attempted to make our way through each city, Chad would declare, "I've been here."  Or, "I've walked this way."  I was like, "Chad, when have you ever been to Rhode Island?"  He said, "On Google Maps....virtual walk."  Oh Jesus, it's come to this.  Next, we'll be working out virtually.  Or worse, taking a vacation!

Now onto our attempt at photojournalism.  Unfortunately, the only picture of the both of us together was too dark.  The angle of the sun cast a lot of shadows on many of our pictures, but in some, it was a cool effect.  Please excuse my self-indulgence in thinking that the reader might actually want to see all of these pictures.
Lots of steeples and domes and really cool architecture.
The Capitol.
Not sure what flower this is, but they were in bloom all over the state.
A species seldom spotted in Providence...a blonde.
The closest I'll ever get to the gates of Brown University.
A typical old home near Newport's wharf.
The beginning of the Cliff Walk.
Beautiful view.  The Cliff Walk is 3.5 miles long and  backs up to many of the mansions.
Anyone who needs this sign to tell them to stay away from the edge, deserves to fall.
Just another day in the lap of luxury.
These thorn bushes are evidently meant to keep the lowerclasses from trespassing on The Breakers property.
Alright!  I get it!
For a portion, the path ends, and you must walk across these boulders.
Gotta represent!
On our walk, we came across an Easter egg hunt at Rosecliff, which was used as Gatsby's house in the movie.
Yes, that's a giant gold rabbit.
The eggs weren't very cleverly hidden.
Not your party, dad.
Another one bites the dust.
Chillin' at Alva Vanderbilt's summer "cottage,"Marble House.  It cost a cool $11 million in 1892.
Chinese tourists at Marble House taking a pic in front of....
No joke.  This was in the background of their picture.
St. Mary's Church where John and Jackie Kennedy were married.
Yet another Hookah lounge.  I have never seen so much drugparaphernalia for sale as I did in Rhode Island,
Amsterdam excluded. 
A Bedee trip tradition...a visit to every Irish pub in town.
It was a nice vacation and getaway for the two of us.  We definitely want to return some day.

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