NorthEast Coast Road Trip. First Stop: Rhode Island

Here I am in Portland, Maine, second week into my road trip and I haven’t posted a thing. So let me catch you guys up on where I’ve been.

June 17, 2014. Providence

After a long drive from Michigan I rested my head for the night just outside of Providence, Rhode Island. The next morning I made a jaunt to the Rhode Island’s capital and briefly strolled through the green grounds and brown buildings of Brown University. Established in 1764, this Ivy League school is the seventh oldest university in the United States. It was a beautiful campus that sits on top of a hill overlooking the city. There was a freshman visit event going on and eager young people explored the campus with me. I took a quick picture of the Brown Bear guarding the College green and headed over next door to the Rhode Island School of Design museum.

Brown Bear***

Design, typography, notebooks, writing in general has always held a special place in my heart. I perused through some Andy Warhol black and white photographs and lingered in their Graphic Design gallery. I even saw a display of my favorite notebook, Field Notes, created by graphic designer Aaron Draplin.

field notes

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typography

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After Providence I drove to Bristol, because I like small towns, but since it was the middle of a workday the town was too quiet for me to enjoy so I kept driving to my next destination, Newport.
The Claiborne Pell bridge was a sight to see on its own. Fog covered the Newport half of it and it felt like I was driving into a dream. It was a foggy late afternoon and I decided to acquaint myself to the city by car. I drove through Broadway Street, passed each opulent Newport mansions, the imposing black gates of Salve Regina University, the Ocean Drive (if there were views they were obscured by the fog,) and finally found my way to my apartment for the night. This was the first time I’ve used AirBnb to find a place to stay and it did not disappoint. The place I found ended up being a house with an attached apartment with its own entrance, kitchenette, and friendly owners to boot who stocked some beer in the fridge for me “after my long drive.”

newport fog

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June 18, 2014.  Newport

The next day was a beautiful day, sunny and unusually warm for this time of the year. First things first: I did a self-guided audio tour of The Breakers, the grandest mansion in Newport, built in 1893 by the Vanderbilt family. No pictures were allowed inside anyway one can only appreciate the gilded-age style and decor in person. I personally appreciated the design and attention to detail poured into every space of the mansion. My favorite was the shimmering platinum-leafed panels of the Morning Room. Here it is from the outside.

the breakers

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There’s a Cliff Walk that traverses the eastern shore of Newport. It’s a nice walk with the mansions on one side and the crashing waves on the other. My walk was cut short with construction so I backtracked and drove to Middletown for lunch and had a fairly decent lobster roll at Flo’s Clam Shack. The shack faces Easton Beach but it was too hot to lay on the sand so I went back to downtown Newport and this time explored the city on foot.

Flo's Clam Shack

lobster roll

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newport

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bowen's wharf

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aquidneck

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lobster

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salve regina univ

front gates of Salve Regina University

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The colony house

The Colony House in Washington Square

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The white horse tavern

The White Horse Tavern, the oldest tavern in the US

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It took a couple of back-tracking to get to my first lighthouse on this trip, but this one was worth it: The Castle Hill Lighthouse sits on the edge of a cliff, no one else was around when I got there so for this time it was my own private lighthouse and with the sun setting it was a perfect ending to my day.

Castle Hill Lighthouse

Castle Hill Lighthouse