Head to Providence, RI

Headed to New England a few weeks ago and couldn’t help but look forward to the cold weather. Wish there was a Waterfire going in the state’s capital, but that is reserved for warmer months. Check out this site here: https://waterfire.org/

Waterfire lights up the Providence and Woonasquatucket Rivers in downtown, Providence. Such an artistic effect in Providence’s “Renaissance City”. Definitely something worth checking out if you are in Rhode Island.

River in downtown Providence where “Waterfire” is held, viewed from Providence Place Mall
Rhode Island School of Design Museum exterior

Another great place to visit in Providence is the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, a place where I first saw an Egyptian sarcophagus and a fragment of relief from the Egyptian Karnak Temple. This is where I knew I wanted to visit Egypt some day and planted the seed for my wanderlust.

Fragment from Karnak Temple in Luxor, Egypt

Check out the Museum page here: https://risdmuseum.org/

Coffin and mummy of Nesmin, 170-30 BCE, Rhode Island School of Design Museum

Providence is a magical city, where a statue of Roger Williams overlooks downtown near the First Baptist Church of Rhode Island.

Roger Williams, founder of Rhode Island and the first Baptist church in America, located in Providence, RI
First Baptist Church of America, 75 North Main Street, Providence, Rhode Island

Of course, Rhode Island is home to a couple of world famous colleges, most notably Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design

Brown University, an Ivy League university in Providence, RI
The courtyard outside the “Met Cafe”, Rhode Island School of Design’s cafeteria in Providence, RI

Of course, one can spend the day looking at many interesting examples of architecture in Providence, especially on the East Side. You can read more about the architecture in Providence here:

https://www.brown.edu/cis/sta/dev/providence_architecture/index.html

This is an example of one of many private residence homes in Providence’s East Side that looks like a dollhouse
Another example of interesting architecture in Providence

Providence is easily accessible by plane into T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island, although the airport code is technically “PVD” for Providence. You can ride by car to Providence from the Airport in about fifteen minutes. A train also connects the PVD airport to Providence for about $3.00-$8.00. Providence is a great city to walk around by foot. In fact, in winter time, you can even go ice skating in Kennedy Plaza in downtown. While you are there, check out some Rhode Island Italian food on Federal Hill, which used to be a little like a smaller version of New York’s Little Italy, but now is more multi-cultural. You can still get some of the best Italian restaurants here like Joe Marzilli’s Old Canteen Restaurant, Enoteca Umberto, Cassarino’s, Venda Ravioli (where you can also purchase fresh pasta in the store), among others. While in Providence, you might want to check out Cafe Nuovo if you want to dine by the riverside with “global dishes” downtown or Al Forno, which is a wonderful Italian restaurant near the river in Providence as well.

While you are in Federal Hill, don’t forget to check out DePasquale Plaza, which has a fountain in the middle of the plaza, which reminds me of a piazza in Europe where folks congregate on warm summer nights. DePasquale Plaza is a short walk from Pastiche, which has many wonderful desserts or Caserta Pizza, which has delicious pizza and Rhode Island style “spinach pies”, a variation of what is known as a calzone in the rest of the country. Simply delicious! Spinach pies are sold in many bakeries here as well as pizza parlors, too.

Several other foods to try while in Rhode Island are “quahogs”, a type of mollusk which is served in chowder (or “chowda” as the locals call it), clam cakes, baked stuffies. Rhode Island is known also for Saugy hotdogs (Cranston) and hot wieners, a type of hot dog served with Rhode Island’s special meatsauce and other toppings like onions and celery sauce. Don’t forget their “party pizza” which is typically purchased at bakeries or grocery stores, not pizza parlors, and is served at room temperature with sauce but no cheese. These traditional party pizza strips, which are often sliced in square or rectangle pieces, are often found at graduation parties, birthday parties, and other social gatherings.

There have been several movies shot in Rhode Island you might want to watch after your trip.

Dumb and Dumber (1994) directed by Peter and Robert Farrelly,

There’s Something About Mary (1998) directed by Peter and Robert Farrelly,

Dan in Real Life (2007) directed by Peter Hedges

The Great Gatsby (1974) directed by Jack Clayton,

Amistad (1997) directed by Steven Spielberg ,

Meet Joe Black (1998) directed by Martin Brestm

Me, Myself, and Irene (2000) directed by Peter and Robert Farrellym

27 Dresses (2008) directed by Anne Fletcher,

Moonrise Kingdom (2012) directed by Wes Anderson,

Irrational Man (2015) directed by Woody Allen

All in all Providence, and all of Rhode Island, is a delightful little place to visit. Consider visits to Narragansett, Block Island, and Newport while you are there, too. Boston is only about an hour away from Providence, and New Hampshire is about two hours away. Parts of Maine (Kittery) are only about two and a half hours away, and Mystic, Connecticut is only about an hour away. There are lots of options to visit New England if you start your trip in Rhode Island.

#wanderlust #Providence #FederalHill #RISD #RISDMuseum #travelinspiration #moviesfilmedinRhodeIsland #restaurantsinRhodeIsland #traveltoRhodeIsland #travelInspiration #BrownUniversity #ProvidenceArchitecture #RenasissanceCity #USTravel #NewEnglandTravel #travel #tourism #bucketlisttravel

Hot Air Balloon Ride In the French Countryside

“Together we touch the sky
Wherever we go we fly
Forever we know adventure’s in the air tonight
Together we touch the sky
Wherever we go we fly
Forever we know adventure’s in the air tonight”

-“Adventure” by Matthew Parker

It had always been on my “bucket list” to fly in a hot air balloon over the French Countryside. Recently we went to France, and it HAD to be done. My husband, daughter, and I all boarded a hot air balloon in the middle of nowhere in Maintenon, France. The ride was every bit as wonderful as I expected and so very peaceful. It wasn’t scary at all and so very silent until the gas forced the hot air into the balloon periodically. I felt like a bird when we took off at sunset. So much to see, from the ancient Roman aqueduct below, to the deer galloping through the forest, to the medieval cathedral at Chartres. There was this indescribable moment when we were airborne. Somehow, one minute we were planted on the ground, and the next minute we were in flight, yet the transition was somehow imperceptible. It somehow reminded me of life in general, and how wonderful it is whenever we get caught up in the moment without knowing what comes next. It was all about the “now”, not the flight, not the landing, not the weather. We flew for about an hour and landed without much warning in a field of rapeseed plants after assuming a “landing” position, crouched with knees bent, anticipating the worst before landing. Life is good………….