“to travel is to live” – the rhode island road trip

 

Our Rhode Trip

I’m sitting in my apartment by myself and just broke out into a genuine smile because I love puns that much.

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photo-op on the Cliff Walk

My boyfriend and I decided to adult and take a vacation together. We started planning this thing approximately 7.5 months prior to the main event. What can I say, making plans to travel is my favorite. It started out as a road trip to Maine with some stops in states along the way to get in Boston, Bar Harbor, Newport and Waterbury (Ben and Jerry’s Factory) just to name a few. A ton of financial changes occurred that were not in our favor leading up to said vacation, so we decided to make it a trip where we stay with family. I’ll admit free lodging was a factor, cause you’d figure that one out even if I didn’t disclose.

I tend to have a lot of enlightening moments when I’m traveling. Here are some highlights/life-lessons from our Newport Rhode Island Road Trip Adventure:

  1. Monday morning we already had plans to check out Mystic Aquarium in CT, but in between listening to new albums on Spotify, the topic arose and we decided to go to Mystic Pizza because neither of us had seen the movie but who doesn’t love Julia Roberts? I am sad to report it tastes exactly like Pizza Hut but the adventure of a spur of the moment stop to get pizza at a movie-famous location in the cutest town makes it fonder, that and the jalapeños and sour cream that our pizza was smothered in. There are few things better than new experiences with someone you love. This stood out in particular because I literally had an itinerary written out for the trip and we added something fun on top which made me feel like a super care-free, fun girl. Like the kind you’ve seen in ads with wind-blown hair, hands in the air riding in a convertible. I guess you can really be anyone you want to be.
  2.  On a rainy day during our trip we toured the Vanderbilt’s mansion, the Breakers. They had the whole headphone self-tour setup so we were walking room to room making a game out of pressing the play button at the same time so we were hearing the same things. Per usual we were the people laughing and showing expression unlike everyone else zombie-ing around (whenever I go to a movie-theatre, show, etc. me and the people I surround myself with are usually the ones laughing the loudest/most often.) It was so incredible to see and hear a little more about the lives of people we learned about in history books growing up. There was a room with these details painted on the walls with platinum. “Oh yes, this is the room I sit in for an hour on Sunday mornings, I needed the walls to be embellished with a precious metal that will never tarnish. Isn’t it devine, darling?” I pretended for a few seconds that that was my life…
  3. A trip just wouldn’t be normal without at least one minor incident. We were playing paddle ball on the beach one afternoon and to set this situation up, I get pretty into paddle ball. If you can call it a sport, it’s my favorite one to play. I was going low for the ball but somehow smacked my ankle instead. It made the loudest cracking sound but I tried really hard to play it off cause I’m in my bikini trying to be athletic here. I didn’t fool anyone. Matt asked me if I was okay and I stopped jogging after the ball to look down at my by-then purple ankle. He had to help me limp back to our beach towels where I moaned and groaned for a bit concerned I was going to be stranded alone on the beach with one leg out of commission while he walked back to the house to get the car and come pick me up. But in twenty minutes or so I stood up and was fine, crisis averted.
  4. We went on a boat tour of some lighthouses and got served mimosas while we cruised the harbor. Each time I’ve told this story not a single person was surprised that our boat was filled with old people. I still don’t get it. It was really fun and entertaining. I learned some history about lighthouses and pirates and an old lady who broke the windows out of this house in the middle of the harbor to survive a hurricane. I think I’m made for the boat life filled with bottomless mimosas….and apparently also for being old. Another majorly touristy thing we did was go on the Cliff Walk, in between the water and the mansions. After we got to the halfway point where we planned to turn around, curiosity got the most of us and we ended up walking 6.5 miles before we were back to the house. The views in New Port >>>
  5. Right before we left for the trip, the idea was expressed to me by some friends that my boyfriend may be using this trip to propose to me. I know that is in our future, but not our immediate future so I tried not to let the thought excite me too much. I do want a sparkly diamond, so how could I not entertain the thought just for a bit? A little over forty eight hours into it, I had to get the reassurance that I could forget about it and enjoy our trip proposal-pondering free. He told me not this time and that was that. Until we got to dinner. We went to this fancy place on the water, all dressed up. The venue wasn’t what alarmed me, it was the fact that we got seated completely by ourselves where we could romantically enjoy our dinner. I couldn’t stop thinking it was gonna happen. I was shaking and practically chugging my gin drink that tasted way too similar to toothpaste. I got breadcrumbs all over the table ( don’t worry I blew some towards him so the waitress wouldn’t just think it was me being a mess) and dropped my knife, oh wait that’s normal behavior for me. Anyway we had a decadent meal and got a little drunk. The next day I bought myself an Alex and Ani ring because I really wanted a pretty piece of jewelry. I was almost too embarrassed to admit this happened to me for fear of sounding crazy, but I had an epiphany that I am secure in my relationship where we openly talk about our future together so there is no need for worry. Secondly, I do not need a man to validate my self-worth by putting a ring on my finger. I think the translation of what that really means gets lost sometimes in the culture of big over-the-top weddings most girls dream of from the day they receive their first Barbie in a wedding dress. Either way, I’m happily in love and for $28, have the cutest little starfish ring to admire all summer long.
  6. Meeting new family is always terrifying, but my boyfriend’s aunt and uncle welcomed me so graciously. I got to hear a lot of stories about him as a younger kid and even some about his dad. Sometimes life gets busy and you forget how truly important spending time with family is.

. . . . . . .

This was a super budget trip where we got treated to clam chowder, lobster rolls and savory seafood donuts. Win, win. The scenery was seriously magical and we came home with full hearts feeling really refreshed after some much needed time off of work. I finally even gained enough trust that my boyfriend let me drive his car on the way back home!!

It never ceases to amaze me how much I grow as a person when I travel and for that reason alone I’m never going to stop. And I’m extra happy to be in a place where I have my best friend to share these new experiences with.