Monday, September 27, 2010

‘Rude’ Island to Connecticut…

The fog looked like it was going to lift as we drove towards Rhode Island. Janice had been talking about trying fried clams before we got out of Massachusetts because we had been seeing so many signs advertising them so we stopped at Wareham at a place called The Lobster Pot. As evidenced by the stuff hanging on the walls it had won all kinds of rave reviews and awards for ‘Budget Priced Seafood‘. It was kind of cafeteria-style but service was fast and the food was good, for what it was. The batter was unlike anything we’ve had before but I can’t describe it, and they weren’t giving away any secrets.

Pictured below is Janice being bad - having fried food. I had fish and chips and we both had strong coffee. Of course the portions were American sized so we didn’t have to have dinner until about 8:00 o‘clock that night.

We pulled into Newport, Rhode Island around noon and Janice charmed the guy into letting us park at the bus depot alongside the Greyhounds and other tour buses, which is the only place we would fit. When we decided to skip Martha’s Vineyard because we’d had enough busy little tourist towns for the time being, we didn’t know that Newport would be even more so of the same. I’m pretty sure serious shoppers would have thought they’d died and gone to heaven, but neither of us are, so we spent an hour strolling the docks and a few blocks of the strip before hitting the road again.

Pictured are the docks at Newport, in the fog.

The fog cleared by about 3:00, just as we were pulling into the North Kingston Wal-Mart, south of Providence. We walked around for a while in the muggy heat before deciding, it being Friday and all, that we should find a place to have a drink, with some locals. The only place we could find within walking distance was The Junction Bistro & Trattoria. There were a few guys that looked like genuine working stiffs scattered around the granite topped bar watching big screen TV’s. Perfect. We sidled in among them. It turned out they were all waiting for Pizzas to go though so a few minutes later we found ourselves alone, except for the young bartender.

It turned out his name was Roland and he was a Flare Bartender (you know the kind that flips the bottles and all). Of Italian descent he was brought up in Providence, “Rude Island.” Speaking of rude - drivers in Massachusetts are surprisingly courteous while those in Rhode Island are otherwise.

We were undecided about what to drink so he put a Pumpkin Beer in front of me and he suggested a cocktail of his own invention for Janice. When he found out we were Canadian he not only had a lot of questions but also took great enjoyment in regaling us with ‘Rude’ Island euphemisms. When it was time to re-order he suggested that I try his other special drink, with two rums, while Janice should try the Ice Tea Twist. You probably know they free pour in The States. He had heard but couldn’t believe that we’re forced to use jiggers or liquor guns in Canada. He must have been trying to illustrate his point because I definitely felt a buzz after that drink.

Roland wanted to show us something uniquely “Rude Island” so, in his flare style, he used both hands while he quickly made up individual butter plates of a complimentary appetizer. First he put a basket of Italian bread in front of us and then began shaking olive oil onto the plates, followed by parmesan cheese from shakers, chili flakes from shakers and finally, salt and pepper from shakers. He didn’t have to instruct us to dip the bread in the concoction. It was unbelievably good.

When we overheard one of the waitresses wishing him happy birthday and then him replying, “Ya, twenty-two,” we decided that we were buzzed enough to sound off with a rousing version of Happy Birthday, cousin Mclachlan style, with fingers pointing at him on every “You” and then followed by both; For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow and Three Cheers.

Before we knew it we had two more strong drinks in front of us. A half hour or so later we walked/wobbled back to the trailer. It looked that, for the first time, we would be the only overnighters at the Wal-Mart, so we had some wine. That seemed to make our solitude a little less disconcerting. Regardless, it turned out to be an uneventful overnight.

The next morning we drove into downtown Provincetown but, as with most big cities, it was not RV friendly. We took a quick tour around the city centre anyway, (I’ve spared you another picture of the State Capital building). Well, maybe we were a tad hung-over and it was pretty muggy and… that damned little Italian bartender…Okay I never even took a picture of the State Capital Building.

We pointed the truck back towards the coast where we ended up at Fishermen’s Memorial State Park at Narragansett. I still don’t know why the park bares its name, but there was an excellent farmer’s market in the morning where we picked up some produce as well as Italian and Asiago/Pesto bread. Narragansett is famed for long sandy beaches. We were fortunate to catch them this late in the year on a nice hot and sunny Saturday, where lots of people were still enjoying the sun, sand and sea.

Below are a couple of images from one of the beaches at Narragansett.

The next day we were on the road to Connecticut and, soon after we crossed the border, stopped at a very cool town called Mystic, where there is a huge maritime museum and a lot of other history because, like other port cities on the east coast, it was settled in the 1600’s. We walked the town and had lunch there before driving to Lebanon where we camped at Lake Williams Campground.

It being Sunday it was nice that the campground had cable so I could catch up on a little NFL while Janice cooked baby back ribs with roasted potato, carrot, red pepper, zucchini and spinach. Don’t be so judgmental. We did go for a walk and Janice got to watch the season premier of The Amazing Race.

They don’t sell liquor in Connecticut on Sundays!


  1. I almost fell from my chair after all those drinks! What hospitality. I'm sure enjoying travelling with you both. Love cousin ljc

  2. My mouth is water from thinking about the clam strips we had in Halifax.
    Janice haven't you hid a bottle some where for emergencies like your Mother used to do?
    The linen cupboard is good
    Would you like to know the second verse to HB?

    XOXO Mom