Last week my best friend, Megan, and I took an impromptu trip to Rhode Island. We had spent a whole 4 months of unplanned time in our home town, and we were dying to get out for a little while. We decided on Rhode Island for a few reasons: closeness to the ocean, closeness to NY, cases of COVID19 in RI, affordability of travel and lodging, and closeness to a mutual friend in the area. The trip was so fun. Megan and I had never been on a vacation by ourselves together, even with over 8 years of friendship backing us up. This was our first, and it was so awesome to spend some quality time together before departing from one another for the school year again.
Day one began with us leaving from our town in NY at around 7am. We stopped once in Massachusetts to grab some McDonald’s breakfast at a rest stop. Megan almost spilled hot sauce on my freshly thrifted white linen pants. Luckily, it landed on a napkin and all remained well for the start of our day. We arrived in Providence at around 10:30am, and promptly found ourselves a little flea market. We spent the next hour or so exploring the tents and fantasizing about a life where we both have more money to spend (ha!).
After making our way through the market and revisiting tents we had fancied most, we bought some veggie dumplings from a food truck parked right next door to the market. While we ate the dumplings we explored the immediate area a bit before it started to rain quite a bit. We found ourselves at a vegan conglomerate of restaurants called “Plant City.” The vibe was a little weird in the beginning of us being seated. No one visited our table for a good 15 to 20 minutes, and the rain was dripping from the tent roof onto our chairs and started to pool under our legs. Megan and I are not ones to complain, especially in a new place, so eventually we were discovered by a server and the rest of the lunch got on just fine. We each had these super yummy tacos.
At the end of lunch, we sprinted back to the car and crossed our fingers that it hadn’t been towed. Luckily it was still exactly where we had left it. We had still a few hours to kill before we could check into our Airbnb, so we visited some little shops in the area. Since it was a Sunday, a lot of the shops were closed, but those that were open had little to no other customers inside, so it was perfect for maintaining social distancing and safety in this new state. Eventually, we found this rather large antiques and thrifted items store. It took us almost two hours to walk all the way through it without missing any little nooks and crannies.
By the time we got out, we had 15 minutes before check-in to the Airbnb. So, we made our way across the river to East Providence to settle in a bit. The Airbnb was super lovely.
By the time we got in, we were already starving We brought a ton of food from home in order to cook for ourselves and save on food costs during our low budget trip. So, the first night we made roasted eggplant, with homemade pasta sauce put over ramen noodles (we didn’t have actual pasta, but don’t worry because it still tasted superb). We opened a bottle of wine, and as the sun went down we watched Midsommar. I am not a fan of horror, thrillers, or any movie meant to scare. Megan had to really convince me to watch this film, but it ended up being fine in the end. I closed my eyes at a few parts, and after some talking-it-over afterwards with Megan, I was glad to have seen it. It opened up some interesting topics having to do with cultural differences in how people view death. I could honestly write an entire other post picking apart Midsommar, so for now let’s stick with the trip. We went to bed not long after the movie finished, excited to start a full day in Providence the next day.
Day 2, Monday, began a bit later than planned. So our first activity of the day was a trip to the grocery store down the street to pick up some things for a picnic that day. We prepped a literal ton of food and beverages for ourselves. On the way to our picnic destination, we stopped at a bookstore in West Providence. The bookstore sold 2nd hand books, a lot of which fell into the category of social justice. We each picked out a book after about an hour wandering around acquainting ourselves with the inventory. I chose a novel by Charles Dickens for $4! Woohoo.
Next stop after the bookstore was the Roger Williams Park for our picnic. We set up near the lake and ate until we were green in the face, and then we laid in the sun reading and tanning ourselves.
After a few hours at the park, we packed up and headed a few minutes down the road to meet our mutual friend. He showed us around a bit in downtown Cranston. We got ice cream, visited wealthy neighborhoods to ogle, and once again spent a few minutes in an antique shop. The best part of the trip came soon after when he took us back to his house and we met his DOG. We all walked with the pup back over to the park and sat in the grass to watch the ducks for a little while.
After a long day of sightseeing and being outside in the heat, we left our friend’s home and his pup (sad) and returned back to our Airbnb to get started on dinner. On the menu Monday night was portabella and kale chips. Our friend joined us at our place shortly after we left him, and we spent the rest of the evening drinking vodka lemonades (ps listen to Vodka Lemonade by Bella Coppola), dancing, and enjoying eachothers’ company. I’m not sure how or when, but at some point I fell asleep and woke up in the morning not remembering too much from the previous night… my first blackout folks. It was kind of fun to listen to Megan and Sevi’s accounts of what happened the night before though, so I can’t really complain.
Morning of day 3, Megan was super amazing and made us all breakfast. After breakfast Megan and I left Sevi and headed off to the beach! He recommended we go to a private beach called Bonnet Shores Beach. We had to park the car on the lawn of a house in the midst of its construction phase. We drove around for about half an hour before deciding on the spot. The beach is located in a super boujee neighborhood, so there were no public lots or street parking. I wrote my number on a piece of paper with instructions to call if someone had an issue with our parking… we were very concerned about being towed or ticketed. Luckily, after sneaking onto the beach, spending a few hours in the sun, swimming in the ocean, and then ultimately returning to the car, no such call was made.
Drained and dehydrated from the sun exposure, we drove back to the Airbnb for dinner and Netflix. We ended up just ordering Chinese food and watching Sex Education for the rest of the evening.
Our last day in Rhode Island started late once again. Our alarms didn’t go off/ we didn’t wake up when they did, and we had to scramble to pack and get ready in time to leave the Airbnb on time so as to not incur costs. We got out just in time, thankfully. After leaving the Airbnb, we met up with Sevi again for brunch. We went to this super cute, and ultimately very tasty, restaurant called “Nicks on Broadway” in Providence. We all had an oyster (Megan’s first ever!), and then shared between lemon poppy french toast, veggies and eggs, and a veggie melt. It was all so delicious.
After brunch, Sevi drove us around West Providence for some more sightseeing. We visited a little café/pastry shop where we sat and spoke for a while about life and what makes us tick.
It started to rain a little so we piled back in the car and drove through the Brown and RISD campuses. We stopped at a monument square that overlooked the city and took some photos.
Megan and I were shown an abandoned tunnel which runs 2 whole miles under the city. Sevi told us he had once walked through the entire thing with a friend. When we got there the tunnel had been closed shut, but even still the abandoned train tunnel was quite ominous to be so close to. I could not imagine walking through the whole thing! We then visited an abandoned bascule bridge (drawbridge) and walked out some ways on it. The experience of walking over the river some 20 ft above the surface, heal to toe the whole way, on timber reinforcements was really special.
Megan and I had to leave Rhode Island after that in order to get home before dark. It was a really amazing trip and a really lovely way to bring our summers to a close.