We seem to have hit a lull in our east coast travels. I mean, it can't all be exciting and awesome, right? We'd been having a pretty amazing trip right up until we found ourselves stranded on the side of the highway on our way to New Hampshire. And if you've read our last couple of blog entries, you'll know that our time in New Hampshire and Vermont were mostly taken up with repair appointments. And then there was that boring week at Normandy Farms . . . .
All that changed, though, the minute we arrived in Rhode Island. Who knew? Honestly, we were there just to get our map sticker. A couple of months earlier we had somehow managed to snag a week at one of the most popular campgrounds in the state, Fisherman's Memorial State Park in Narragansett. This place had been completely booked for weeks every time I tried to get reservations there, then one day -POOF! - a full week had opened up and I snagged it! This location turned out to be quite fortuitous as it put us in the perfect spot to take advantage of all there is to see.
Before we could get there, however, we had one final appointment for Scoopy. You may recall that her chassis did not get serviced while we were at Koach Kare in Concord, NH. So we made that appointment at a Spartan authorized facility in North Kingstown, RI.
The night before her service we arrived at the "yard" where we were told we could stay. But for multiple reasons we decided to move on. About three miles away we found the best Walmart we have ever stayed at! We parked overlooking beautiful landscape and next to a gorgeous pond filled with the sounds of frogs and crickets and lots of other pond-dwelling things. It was quite peaceful.
We delivered Scoopy early the next morning and took off for the day. You know, I keep forgetting that RVs share many of the same parts as big trucks. And those facilities don't really cater to us snowflake RVers who sometimes like to have a safe place to stay the night and with hookups, if that's not too much trouble. A comfortable lounge to sit in while we wait would be perfect too and maybe some free Wifi. Haha, nope! Not this place! In fact, not any place we've been to on the East Coast! But really, as long as they get the job done and done properly, we can manage.
So off we went to poke around Rhode Island and it was then we realized that we had arrived at a gorgeous place with lots to see and do. We had no problem filling the time during Scoopy's appointment, although it did take longer than usual due to lower staffing on Mondays.
With her chassis serviced and a couple of issues investigated and deemed "fine", Scoopy was finally given a clean bill of health! Wuhoo! We are free to roam about the country without worry, at least until something else breaks. For now, though, we're golden!
The Fishermen's Memorial State Park has four RV sections, of which only two are really good for big rigs. The problem is that many of the sites are completely and utterly unlevel. When booking you really can't know that and when you only have one site to choose from, you take what you can get and hold your breath! Our site wasn't the worst one but we lived a week at a downward slant. We did try to level somewhat, but any more effort on our part would have popped out our front window. Or shattered it, one or the other.
Just down the road from the campsite, Steven was thrilled to find photography mecca. The Judith Point Light was one of his favorite places to visit from sunrise to sunset.
I have been waiting to get to the coast to have some lobster and just two miles from our park was the very cute and authentic fishing village of Galilee. It was here that I had my first "twin lobster" dinner! So delicious! We also had a date night at a local restaurant and the next day took the ferry to Block Island where we had our first lobster rolls!
Block Island reminds me of San Juan Island in Washington state. The little town has the same vibe as Friday Harbor except there is no lobster in the latter that I know of. We rented a moped for two and took off to visit the sites, specifically two lighthouses. I drove, of course, and as we were screaming down the highway at 25 MPH, the little engine just quit. Within 10 minutes the company brought us a new one and we were on our way again! We had a really fun day on Block Island!
When Scoopy was at her chassis appointment, we drove to Newport. I have to say, of all the places we've been, Newport is at the top for scenic beauty. We didn't have time to visit but we vowed to return and tour the famous mansions. The Newport Mansions, many overlooking the ocean, were built by America's richest families in the era known as the gilded age (1870-1900). They are huge, ornate and built to impress and they were typically occupied only for a few weeks each summer.
The Preservation Society of Newport County now owns and oversees a majority of the homes and handles the upkeep and tours. They offer a fabulous deal for visitors. For the same price of touring two individually, you can tour five mansions! And, your ticket is good until it's been scanned five times, so you can use it over multiple days. It is exhausting touring each home, some of them are 30,000 square feet INSIDE and then there's the gorgeous properties! We made it through three but by the time we got to the fourth one, we basically did a drive-by shooting and off we went! I guess if we return one day we can still visit two more!
Rhode Island surprised us. We thoroughly enjoyed our week there and it's one of the places we hope to return!
NEXT UP: Bewitched in Salem