Monday, April 13, 2009

DAY 1 & 2 (Thursday & Friday, April 9th & 10th)...Trip to New England

We were out of town for the Easter weekend. We drove out east to visit (nephew) Nick and (niece) Erin.

Left work around 3:45pm and drove until 12:45am to Amsterdam, NY. We stayed at the Motel 8 that night.

I smelled like cigarettes in the morning…

Had their continental breakfast; tried to make an English muffin and run the microwave at the same time and blew a fuse. Too many electrical things going on at once. We met some old folk from Vermont that were driving through to Ohio to visit their cousin. I assume for Easter, but didn’t want to ask since they could have been Jewish…

We left around 7:40am.
Arrived Rhode Island School of Design at 10:40am. It was a beautiful day – parked in front of the Prospect Terrace Park on Congdon Street. Looked over the capital of Rhode Island. It was really nice view. Walked down to Nick’s house; The Carpenter House. Beautiful old wooden building painted several different colors; could be Victorian or Federal-style Architecture. Those seem to be the two styles that Providence is known for.
Nick took us on a tour of RISD – we got to see some of his classrooms and labs. Met some of his classmates and friends. We grabbed lunch at the Jolly Roger Cafe. I had a “Funky Monkey” sandwich wrap (made up of peanut butter, Nutella, a banana, raspberry jelly and chocolate syrup) and Jerome had a Chicken Fajita Wrap (with guaq). We took our food outside to sit by the river. Got to talk with Nick for a bit before he had to go to his 1pm class.

We had the greater part of the day to do some sightseeing. First we stopped at our Bed & Breakfast; Gilbert’s Tree Farm B&B. When we got there, stuck to the storm door was a note from our Inn Keepers.
"Welcome Yvonne & Jerome, here are directions to your room. Come into the kitchen; go up the stairs near this door, turn right. Your room is the first on the left. The entire upstairs is yours. Help yourselves to beverages in the refrig. Enjoy this beautiful day. Jeanne & Don"
As I’m reading this now, I’m realizing that we may have stayed in the wrong room…we stayed in the middle room. Oh well.

Anyway, they don’t have locks on their doors – just a little flimsy latch. However, they never leave the door latched, just in case guests are out late. The doors are thin wood doors; the walls are thin as well. I’m sure it gets pretty chilly in the winter. The house is a 170 year old farmhouse. It is styled like a “Cape-Cod” with the clapboard in the front and the cedar shakes on the other three sides. I asked about this, since I observed on all the houses in New England that are in this Cape-Cod style have one color of clapboard on the front (usually white) and then cedar shakes; some natural color which could be bright brown all the way to gray – others are stained. So it looked sort of out of the ordinary to me to have a two toned house. Jeanne told me that the settlers wanted to have the house in clapboard but it was expensive, so they would only put it on the front of the house; the rest would be shingled with cedar shakes. They just had two sides of their house re-shingled and it cost them nearly $8000. I think the cedar is more expensive these days.

Another observation that I asked about were all the rock walls. She said that they call them “stone walls”. When the farmers were first settling the area and tilling the soil; they came upon all these stones in the fields – so they created stone walls to keep their animals penned and also to make property lines. Some of the "stones" we came across were huge boulders lodged into the ground in some front and back yards.

Anyway, as we were getting ready to leave, the inn keeper, Jeanne showed up. So we got to meet her and then head out.

We drove around – wasn’t sure we could make it into the Cape, so we went to Horseneck Beach, Buzzards Bay, Mishaum Pointe and finally Scusset Beach.
I believe it was Buzzards Bay that was a “gated” community. We drove to the gate and turned around. Just then a truck pulled up. It was Vladimir the gardener. He asked in his broken English if we would like to go in. We said “sure, if we are allowed to”. Vlad said “follow me” – and we did. It was a long drive to the end; all the houses seemed to be vacation homes and since this was not season to be vacationing, most, if not all the houses seemed to be empty. The house on the end was a massive beach house.
We took pictures of some oddities: a stone wall, complete with a cast iron bathtub and a refrigerator and a large green dinosaur.
As we drove around, we were starting to become dog-tired. So, once we figured that we still had an hour before we needed to head back to the kids, we decided to find a beach and take a nap in the car. We raced to Scusset Beach and took our nappy-poo.
Woke up semi-refreshed and drove to Norton, MA. to pick up Miss Erin. She was already showered after her rugby game and we drove to pick up Nick. Tried to decide where we were going to eat. I told them that I wanted Lobster, so Nick suggested Hemenway’s, right in Providence. Nice place; nicer than what we were dressed for…I had the steamed Lobster and Jerome had the Pan-seared Scallops with Mushroom Raviolis. YUM! It was really nice.

Dropped off the kiddos and headed back to our B&B; in by 1am!

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