Monday, July 1, 2013

New Haven, Connecticut, to Watch Hill, Rhode Island

Is it possible for me to go on a road trip to anywhere within 12 hours of a beach and NOT go to a beach?

Probably not.

On our final day in New Haven, Mac and I, talking over an audiobook of a Betty White autobiography (read by herself!), drove the kiddos up to Rhode Island to visit a famously kid-friendly beach there. Mac, who has lived on the East Coast long enough to develop such opinions, required for us a better beach, with better waves, than is apparently found near New Haven.

It WAS a great beach:

 There were gentle waves, a huge dune, two lifeguards who were vastly more invested in each other than in securing the safety of swimmers at the beach (they did glance at the water occasionally, but only in passing), a hermit crab and a snail who just LOVED the temporary sand castle home that Sydney created for them, and an absolutely epic carousel:

The horses are apparently vintage rocking horses, and they hang from the ceiling of the carousel; as it rotates, the horses don't bob up and down, but they do swing out mightily. That's not the best part, though.

The best part?

 Look at that girl who just grabbed herself a brass ring!

The carousel has a device with an arm that the kids can juuuust reach if they stretch, which dispenses brass rings--and one gold one! Each time they pass it, the kids can grab a ring, hoping for that gold one; the rings, as Willow discovered through careful study so that she could mimic it, are stored by the children on the ears of their horses until the ride is over.

Will could have ridden that carousel all day (it makes my heart so happy that my great big girl of almost nine still loves the little joys of small childhood), but Syd was worn out from the day, and a worn-out Syd is a grumpy Syd who does NOT love the little joys of small childhood, so the girls rode the carousel only once, walked briefly with us up and down the shopping area--Mac bought postcards, and I bought a butterfly net--and then spent an exhausting amount of time at the car changing out of their suits, making themselves sandwiches (yes, Willow DID manage to get apple butter all over my jeans that I had just taken to the Laundromat the night before, sigh), requesting endless snacks, and getting comfy. I swear, part of the fun of my friends who don't have children is the look of horrified amazement that they sometimes wear while clearly making internal observations like, "Holy crap! It seriously takes those kids half an hour just to get in the damn car!"

With the girls fortified with sandwiches, clementines, granola bars, peach lemonade, and Putumayo Sesame Street, Mac and I could have headed straight home, but...

Did you know that Taylor Swift recently bought a house in Watch Hill, Rhode Island? Obviously, we had to drive by it.

NOW we can head straight home!

Next stop: Philadelphia. We're going to pick up Matt from the airport!


Tina said...

That beach looks gorgeous! I grew up in NH, and so the beach was always a quick 45 minutes away. I miss it so much. I've been land locked for the past 15 years (oh wow!).

That's so great that Willow enjoyed the carousel. We got to ride one a few weeks ago in Missoula. If you ever get to Iowa, Story City has one of the original wooden carousels still in operation.

We love Taylor Swift! Emma even wrote her some fan mail a year ago (I kept a copy).

How exciting that Matt gets to take part in some of the adventure!

julie said...

I would LOVE to live within an hour's drive of a beach! I haven't given up the idea of making that move, although I'm still looking for an inexpensive, utterly perfect hobby farm just outside town here, too.