Up north

Some how when I think about what I am going to write for the posts all the words flow together and everything sounds so, I don't know, more eloquent...no,no, no. Anyway it sounds less boring than this original opening sentence. " This weekend we rode the train up to Newport, Rhode Island," followed by this:"Nathan had some work to do at a tennis tournament so we went along for the ride."
So anyway Saturday afternoon we hopped on an Amtrak and headed north for our destination mentioned above. First almost got lost a couple times trying to follow mapquest directions ( I mean, who actually is capable of judging distances down to a tenth of a mile while you are trying to read signs that are saying the opposite of the directions which are changing every two tenths of a mile five or six times.) But we were able to tour some more of New Jersey that we would for no other reason get a chance to see, since the neighborhoods we drove through might not be too inviting once the street lights come on.
And on a side note, on our tour down Park Ave we passed a high school that seemed as if it could be turned into a prison over night with the addition of some twenty foot high chain link fencing and some barbed wire if need be. So I ask, if you want kids to go to school, why build a school that looks like a prison?
Where was I? Oh, so we find our way to the station and unload all our STUFF and lug it all into the station and up to the platform and wait for our train that is running late. We board an almost standing room train and wait for a couple stops for a family of four to reach their destination so we could all sit together, thanks for the tip of a conductor. Then once we are sitting we are on our way and then there is "police activity" on the tracks up ahead so we have to stop and wait which delays a bit more. Luckily we did not have anything to get to in Newport other than some dinner.
We get into Kingstown meet our driver who escorts us to our hotel that proclaims itself as a historic inn on the beach. Well, it is not exactly on the beach but across the street from the beach and though it is recognized as a historic building built in the 1930s, once we enter our room it looks like some one went a like crazy with that padded hotel wallpaper that sort of has a pattern in about four shades of beige that are just all about the same shade and some crazy eighties "wind in the sails" boat border in bright colors. "Beachy" would be a better way to describe it. like how I imagine the dark wood, eighties condos on Crown Point to decorated rather than a quaint New England beach historic inn, but it was clean and comfortable and offered free coffee and breakfast in the morning.
We went out to dinner at KJ's Pub which was sort of a seafood restaurant and I got pesto and Parmesan crusted salmon which was really quite good. Sadie and Emma were enthralled by the wall of fish tanks that ran along our table. Sadie especially liked the hermit crabs. She found one really big one on the way out and he was crawling all around and then he just stopped. She asked why and I told her he was worn out from making shells all day so he was going to bed.

And going to bed was what we thought the mini people would be doing when we got to the hotel but of course that would be totally against the law of hotel Murphy's Law. Kids never go to bed any time near their normal bed time and they wake up earlier , or if you are lucky, around the same time they normally would. Some how they are capable of going in to vacation overdrive which over rides any sort of schedule you may have.

The next morning we were up and down to breakfast and then we began our trek up to the event that Nathan was helping to set up. It was a pro tennis tournament at The International Tennis Hall of Fame, home of the second oldest tennis arena in the world.

Fila is a major sponsor and the adatto project is being featured in the Fila tent as it was in Rome. We walked a bit of a walk to get there, remember we had no car and did I mention no stroller as well. We had a quick tour of the facility and then the girls and I headed out to tour the town, which turned into me carrying everything including Emma everywhere and so the fun was lost about the time I reached the third store in attempts to find a cheap stroller. No such luck. We finally headed over to The Newport Creamery for some ice cream. By this time, ice cream seemed like a perfectly suitable lunch for Sadie and Emma, as long as it stayed the question that had been looming and falling out of Sadie's mouth every three minutes since we boarded the train, "When are we going to the beach?", and we could sit in some A/C and dry out. The Creamery was your typical diner with where all the tables are placed around the waitress run, for lack of a better term and the kitchen is in the center of restaurant. I enjoyed a greasy cheeseburger while Sadie and Emma ate ice cream and colored on their placemats. Emma sucked ketchup off some fries and Sadie refused any other food saying she was full. We had been waiting for Nathan to take a lunch break but I could not withstand any more toting and shuffling so we headed back down the hill to our room. Emma fell asleep while I was carrying her before we reached even got thru town and my arms were only holding her up because of pure will power by the time we reached the bottom of the hill and our room. On our way down, we walked along the beach in my desperate effort to cut off any tiny bit of distance by taking the straightest line to our hotel, and Sadie enjoyed chasing the "geese" (sea gulls). I can't believe how much she walked and ran that whole day, she was truly amazing. It had to be at least a mile each way and we walked around town a bit and then after returning to our room and Emma sleeping for another hour we headed out to the beach at 4pm and Sadie ran around and around for another hour and a half with out stopping. ( I love run-on sentences!) Here I should mention the wind! It was so windy at the beach by the time we got there that after a crowded Sunday afternoon almost all the footprints had been blown away. Our stuff was slowly being buried during our stay. It was truly amazing. Sadie and Emma had a blast but Emma was really mad that I would not let her run out into the waves like Sadie was doing. Neither of them could get enough of the beach, I really wish we had a whole week to just do that every day. We really want to return again when we are ALL on vacation and we have a CAR or most importantly we stay in town and bring the STROLLER no matter how hard it is to get on and off the train along with two kids, bags. computers and two carseats.

Finally after the beach, we went up and washed all the sand off in time for Nathan to be back and we went out to dinner with his co-worker, Lauren. Then we were back to the hotel where everyone was asleep rather quickly but not surprisingly. Now that leaves us with today, when we loaded up the hired car and headed off the train station at 9am to catch our train back down this way. It is just us girls here for a couple days while Nathan spends tomorrow in LA for another adatto premier in an event benefiting Parkinson's Disease and then back into New York for more meetings and adatto stuff.

Overall, I think we have discovered the joys of train travel. It seemed so slow but around here is can be faster and more convenient than traffic. We would love to do a cross-country trip with the girls when they are a bit older. There is more room than an airplane with no fasten seatbelts signs or lines for restrooms and a whole lot more to see.


Alisha said…
So I read the whole post and you know what stood out most?

Playboy Mansion.

I hope you get to go back to the beach soon!
1000hats said…
I am not surprised. I tried to surround it with good causes and lots of other stuff but it is like the whole Janet Jackson thing, nobody remembers the game but everyone remembers the "oops" during the half time show, even if they did not watch the game.
Papa said…
I spent the Winter of `68-69 in Newport, R.I.@ Navy OCS. It was a beautiful place even in Winter. It doesn't get THAT cold there, but the wind chill can be a killer. It is the first/only place I witnessed it snowing sideways. Also saw prople surfing on a beach there in February- B-R-R-R !My claim to fame wasn't the Playboy Mansion, but the small, ocean-front club, where the Cowsills were discovered.

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