Sunday, September 7, 2014
Birthday celebration Part I
I started celebrating early with a Sunday adventure to the state next door to the south – Rhode Island!
The weather was perfect – clear with a few high clouds now and then, breezy, 70… it looked like the opening of “The Simpsons!” The sun made everything look so crisp and beautiful! It was especially appreciated after the muggy 90’s and fierce thunderstorms of Saturday.
Hubby and I made a day of it, heading out early! I had planned to only go down for dinner, but Hubby suggested enjoying the whole day! Whee!
I have never seen the roads so empty! It was glorious to sail down I-93 and Rte 24.
Lunch at Quito’s
We started the day in Bristol with a parking spot right out front of Quito’s, a fun seafood restaurant with a covered deck right on the harbor!
We shared a flight of chowders! We got a great table right at the front looking out over the big boats and beautiful water. It was great to compare the Manhattan, New England and Rhode Island versions of this classic. I liked the tomatoey Manhattan more than I thought I might, did not really care for the clear broth briny RI and adore their New England.
Hubby had the grilled chili lime shrimp which I found tough, dry and hard to get off the skewers. The stuffed quahog was not great either… the stuffing was packed down and dry even after a liberal dosing of lemon juice.
Our second course was better with crunchy clam fritters and coconut mango shrimp. Hubby’s fish and chips had two huge squares of perfect fish.
South Beach wading
We motored on along the little roads of Tiverton and Little Compton, past the cow pastures and wineries and beautiful bays to the fantastic secret South Beach. Hubby played “I’m All About the Bass” for me until we crossed into the area were there is no cell signal or wifi, so we went off the grid! They’ve stopped charging for parking! We pulled most of the way down and got a beachfront parking spot. I took a bunch of photos and a video!
The ocean water is usually way too cold to wade, but there were a lot of people in the water, so I decided to be brave. I rolled up my pant legs, shucked my socks and clogs and waded in! It was lovely! Hubby went in too! It was a little hairy getting back to the car through the stones and getting our feet cleaned off and back into our shoes, but we managed together.
After a quick look at the peaceful Tuniper Pond across the road, we headed back North.
We pulled in at Walker’s Farm Stand. I hadn’t been there before. It’s a quintessential family farm with a mix of their homegrown veggies and stuff from elsewhere, with some cheeses and milk and goodies for the tourists. I got a couple ears of corn, then popped in to Wilma’s Bakery for walnut pumpkin bread and a fresh lemonade!
The displays in the farm stand were so pretty, I dashed back to the car for my phone and snapped a few photos, then walked down to the fields to look out over the bay and take some more!
Grinnell’s Beach Beauty
They’ve locked the gate and the bathrooms. Bleh! But the views of the little island and the big house and the boats and the water are still spectacular.
General Store Treats
We went on to Fall River to find the Sky Beverage General Store. It’s a beautiful rehab of an old factory building with a convenience store, frozen yogurt shop, candy store and cigar shop!
We got a few Jelly Belly Beans with odd flavors like “Movie Popcorn” and made use of their strong wifi signal to upload photos.
Then it was time to go back to Tiverton for an incredible dinner overlooking Mount Hope Bay at The Boat House.
We had the corner table overlooking the bay! Sarah was our waitress – a bubbly geeky enthusiastic server with a passion for a clean table.
We started with their warm sourdough rolls and whipped butter in the cute little paper bag. Hubby had their Hall of Fame spicy corn chowder with chorizo, while I tried their clam chowder. Both are delicious!
We shared the field greens with goat cheese and pecans in a champagne vinaigrette and then splurged on the raw bar sampler with 4 cocktail shrimp, 4 Point Judith Oysters and 4 Little Neck clams.
I gloried in the baked stuffed lobster with bay scallop and shrimp stuffing… so divine! He had their sirloin steak with fried parmesan gnocchi and the fries.
The impossibly young looking handsome manager with the braces stopped by to wish me a happy birthday. He got a little verkelmpt when we told him this is our “go-to place” for special days. We watched the sunset over the bay as they brought me a little dessert with a candle – the dark chocolate budino (mousse) with hazelnuts and whipped cream, which was free! They didn’t have hot chocolate so I had an ice cold glass of skim milk. Such a special place!
There was heavier traffic going back, but it moved along and I managed to “make a pocket” away from cars most of the way. We made it home in record time – just 66 minutes! Whee!
I uploaded way too many photos to Facebook. The sunshine made everything look spectacular!
This is the life!!!!