Our Trip to Newport

Hi everyone!

I am adding a new element to my blog: my travels! While, I don’t travel too often or too extravagantly, I have visited a few cool places over the years and thought it would be fun to revisit these locations and memories and share my experiences with you all!

Recently we visited Newport, Rhode Island!

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We visited family for the night who were checked in at Newport Beach Hotel and Suites in bordering Middletown. We stayed in the historic building pictured above. The hotel is  part of Historic Hotels of America which describes it’s interesting history:

A massive hurricane in 1938 wiped out the town’s numerous beach establishments…the Toppa family decided to build a new inn on the beach, positioning the property 100 feet from the rocks and the ocean’s crashing waves. Over 65 years later, the Newport Beach Hotel and Suites is the only beachfront hotel in town.

The rooms were a little small but you can’t beat the location! Right across a (pretty busy, be careful crossing there) street from the shore. I liked the off road parking, signs pointing to the beach, and old timey photos in the hallways. I am a history lover and find it so interesting that there were once people in full suits and petticoats on the beach. It made me hot just looking at it! They had a tiny fridge which came in handy but we had to keep all of our snacks in plastic bags because there were ants that would come to eat it. They also showed up in the closets. There was a breakfast spot adjasent to the lobby manned by a lone millenial with a man bun. The food was okay but a bit pricey for some basic egg sandwiches and terrible coffee. The front desk was great providing seemingly endless towels for beach and pool use and parking passes for visitors.

 

 

Across the street was the hotel’s modern building. They had an indoor pool which was accessible with our room key. The option to be indoors was helpful with the kids because it was hot. And I mean 90’s, air quality alert hot. It was nice that they could escape the blazing sun of the beach but still enjoy fun in the water. The pool area was humid but clean. Floor to ceiling windows framed a nice view of Newport Pond.

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Easton’s Beach, or First Beach to the locals, provided a scenic backdrop with turn of the century mansions and the beginning of Newport’s famous Cliff Walk. There is a pier with concessions, bathrooms and a carousel. I didn’t go but the kids and their Grampy got a bite to eat there. The waves were gentle and sparkling. The beach was very clean, not much for shelling but, no litter and you could tell that the sand was maintained in the morning. But halfway down the beach, red seaweed was washed up. It was sticky and smelly and the seagulls liked it but my little princess’ toddler toes did not. Luckily it was just a band of gook sandwiched between the soft, sandy shore and the wet, packed sand near the ocean. There were people around having a good time because its a touristy spot, but the beach wasn’t crowded.

 

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The main drag offers a few restaurants a stone’s throw from the hotel. We were deciding between pizza and Americana type foods and chose Tickets. We decided against eating outside due to the heat but there was the option was there. They were good about our huge double stroller and a waitress even held the door for me. Once seated it took a while to get our drinks and put our orders in. The drinks came sans-straws and signs and employee t-shirts adorned with sea turtles encouraged patrons to consider going straw-less for the good of the environment. I appreciated the trendy but noble persuit. We ordered mozzerela sticks for an appetizer. They were good and came out in a flash but we had to cut them open for them to cool enough to be edible. My husband had a pulled pork sandwich that he liked and he is a picky eater so that says a lot! I ordered the chicken taquitos. The taquitos themselves were a little bland but came with a yummy mango salsa, guacamole, and sour cream which made up for it. Much like the appetizer the entrees came out quick but were too hot to eat right away.

 

Another establishment we visited was Flo’s Clam Shack. It’s a restaurant/ bar with a kitschy, beachy feel. Sand, tiki-torches and grass hut style umbrellas create ambiance for outdoor diners. Swaying sea grass and a mini boardwalk lead to a take-out window and the indoor dining room. Upstairs is the bar where we sat. There was an upper deck feeling with nautical details like porthole windows and buoys and fishing nets on the walls. We ordered drinks and split a quahog, french fries, and a fried cod sandwich. The food was fast and fresh and the best companion to a cold beer on a warm day. There were tourists and a few people that were clearly regulars enjoying colorful conversation. I asked the bartender what was in the crock pot on the bar next to him and he said “Buttah!” But, of course!

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Perhaps my favorite part of the trip was going for a sunset picnic at Brenton Point State Park. A short drive past pastures and stately Newport mansions leads you to there. It’s known for it’s wonderful shoreline breezes and it’s common to see colorful kites flying over the grassy hilltops. The views are nothing short of stunning.IMG_1793 (3) This place is special to me because when we were kids our parents used to take us there for day trips all of the time. The sun was gorgeous over the water and though it was cloudy there was still a decent sunset as we ate. Some nice people gave our kids a couple of kites to on their way out of the park. Before it got dark I took my daughter and nephews past the rock wall through the field to walk the forest trails that I used to play in as a girl. Though I hadn’t been there in years and years when I started to walk it all came back to me. I told my nephews that we were on our way to the castle (the lookout tower) and we pretended that we were in medieval times riding horses on our way to see the king. We got to the lookout and everyone climbed to the top with a little encouragement. There is something that is so enchanting to me about a woodsy path, the beauty of nature takes me in and ignites my imagination. It makes me feel small and full of childlike wonder. there is another old abandoned structure back there but I didn’t bring them there. Its not safe for climbing and with my two nephews, fearless and rambunctious, I was looking to avoid injury at all costs. This place is great for families but could easily serve as a cool date location.

 

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Overall we had a great time. Though this destination was familiar to me and not too far away as I live in Massachusetts, it still felt like enough of a change of scenery to make it feel like an escape. Make sure you follow the blog for more travel stories coming soon!

What’s your favorite place to visit in Rhode Island?

❤ Cait

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Choose Your Own Adventure

If you’re an 80’s baby like me you might remember those “choose your own adventure” books. The whole idea is to assume the role of the main character and the book periodically presents you with options. The choices you make determine the story’s ending. The thrill is in the mystery and anticipation; not knowing what will happen next! I being an eager child (& now adult) often decided to skip all of the build-up, and stress by flipping to the back and reading all three endings at once. That way I could choose the ending I liked the best and enjoy reading the story with the comfort of knowing how it ends. Only, once the adventure book lost it’s mystery it also lost its excitement. It ended up on a cluttered bedside table with a tangled up yo-yo and an abandoned braid of gimp. My impatience and need to know rushed the book and took all of the joy out of it!

Continue reading “Choose Your Own Adventure”

Boobs Traveler

Last year I got an extraordinary gift! My dad paid for a ticket for my youngest daughter and I to come and visit him at his home in Florida! After a long New England winter I was more than happy to accept! I was excited to go but a bit nervous to leave the other half of the family up north while the little one and I enjoyed the fun and sun. I pushed back the guilt. I deserved a little rest and was determined not to get in my own way.

The day came and we made it to the airport. In the spirit of saving money I attempted to pack light and avoid checking bags. I also decided that the stroller would be too clunky compared to my comfy baby wrap (which she loves) plus, it freed up my hands. We didn’t have long until boarding time but it was a 6 am flight and I desperately needed a coffee. I waited in a long line for a $4 coffee I practically had to make myself and my babe was starting to squirm. “I’ve totally got this”, I thought to myself as I rushed back to the gate.

So there I was stomping through the airport, and what a sight I must have been! I had baby snug in her carrier on my chest, a hiking backpack filled to the brim on my back, a cross body purse on my hip, and an over stuffed diaper bag on my shoulder. She was crying and fussing and the let down feeling let me know what she was in need of. So I stopped for a moment and did what I knew I had to do; I pulled out my breast and let her feed as I continued with all of my gear still in tow to the gate. I had my reservations about feeding in public before. I had hid under blankets and stood in toilet stalls but during this trip all of my hesitation disappeared. My baby’s nutritional needs were much more important than my misplaced shame or other people’s perceptions about what was or was not appropriate.

Sure, I got a few looks but, I realized that most of the hang-ups I had were coming from within myself. Most people didn’t notice, didn’t care or gave me a knowing nod of solidarity or a smile of support. Once we were seated in the plane (me in the middle seat of course! Just my luck!) baby had fallen asleep and I was glad to have some time to exhale. The flight from Boston to Florida is thankfully short just about 3 hours. As we ascended the baby inevitably woke due to cabin pressure affecting her ears. The best way to relieve that was to cause her to swallow by feeding her and I did so without reservation. Hey, it was either see the boob, or hear the babe! If you have ever been on a plane with a crying baby you know that it was an easy choice! No one cared and I didn’t expose any more than the model on the cover of the magazine the woman next to me was reading.

When it was finally time to deplane the man that was sitting to my left helped me to get my carry-on and over stuffed backpack down from the overhead storage. I strapped my baby back to my chest, and he helped me put the backpack on my back while saying, “Wait a minute! You’re going to carry all of this yourself!? Are you sure you can really do that?” and I turned to him with a grateful smile and proudly exclaimed. “Yes, sir! I am a woman! I can do anything!” And we can, sisters! We can put aside our hang-ups to do whats best for our children, we can tenderly feed and comfort our babies and remain strong enough to carry the weight of our baggage. We can be soft and strong and fearless and amazing! Just as we were created to be!

What are your most memorable breastfeeding moments? Share below!

❤ Cait