July 4th Weekend in Newport, RI

This post is a bit delayed as I went straight back to work after the holiday weekend. The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays because it combines some of my favorite things: summer, barbecues, great food, outdoor parties, and fireworks! We normally go to a friend’s home or would host at our house in Philadelphia, but this year was a treat for us. We were invited to spend the weekend at the home of a good friend from residency, and another friend flew in from California whom I haven’t seen since we graduated one year ago! I was looking forward to this trip for weeks, and it truly surpassed my already high expectations.

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My friend’s parents live in Newport, an actual “island” of Rhode Island. I had been to Providence twice before, but had never realized that that was part of the mainland and that Newport was connected via bridge. Our first full day there was rainy and cloudy, but we still made the most of it with a quick tour by car and some indoor activities. We visited Fort Adams where our host’s father had been stationed years before, and we got a glimpse of the majestic Naval War College as we crossed the bridge. Although it was rainy, driving along the shoreline and seeing the crashing waves felt to me what native New Englanders must love about their pocket of the country. There is a calming effect of watching the slow churn of waves under a gray sky as rain pours down.

The rest of the weekend was delightfully beautiful. On Saturday we spent a few hours at the beach, and much to my surprise the water was much bluer than I thought it would be. After lounging in the sun, we decided to try out the Cliff Walk, a trail which snakes along the coast of the breathtakingly beautiful Narragansett Bay. We enjoyed ogling at the enormous (and I mean enormous!) mansions that look out onto the water. The clear blue skies, shore breeze, and sunshine did wonders for our souls and reminded us that a small break every now and then is worthwhile.

In the evening, after a filling barbecue dinner of gargantuan lamb steaks, we walked into downtown Newport for the fireworks show over the water. We visited the harbor with its beautiful sailboats, catamarans, and yachts. Downtown Newport has so much to offer in the way of restaurants, bars, and quaint cobblestoned streets that branch off from the main road. It was like stepping into a different era but still with the comforts of modernity.

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Two and a half days was too short, and we are hopeful to return again. We have a new desire to explore more of New England which is already known for its picturesque sights and great food. Who knows, perhaps someday we may even retire there! (Although I’m not sure the winters are up my alley…) In any event, the summers are lovely and we can’t wait to visit again! Many, many thanks to our fantastic hosts for making us feel like part of the family!

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