Before Edith came along, spontaneous vacations were a regular event for Lindsay and I. When we first moved to Vermont, there was rarely a month where you couldn’t find us traveling to Boston, New York City, Portland (Maine) or somewhere else in the Northeast. Sometimes we would travel to see a band or to celebrate a special occasion but it was usually because we were bored or stir crazy. Our babymoon to South Carolina this past March was thought to be our last spontaneous trip for quite some time. But with summer winding down, we decided this past Thursday to make the most of it and join Lindsay’s parents on a week long trip to the Ocean State. One thing is different about this trip, this isn’t the normal, whirlwind shopping, dinner and drinks trip that we used to take. We’ve rented a beautiful condo on the Narragansett Bay in sleepy Warren, Rhode Island.
We decided to take the trip to Warren on Thursday morning after debating it for, oh, about five minutes. We had decided that we were ready to venture outside the house for our first overnight trip and, well, make a week out of it. Friday night, we rushed to pack everything up and make last minute runs to the grocery store and last minute calls to our good friend Laura to check in on Boo while we were gone to make sure he wasn’t too lonely without us (he really is quite dependent). With a six hour drive ahead of us, we decided that wasn’t enough and went out to breakfast at Magnolia Bistro
with Laura and her boyfriend Aaron and then make the trip to Johnson so that Edith could meet her great-grandmother, great-aunt Carol, great-uncle Brian and her cousin Michelle for the first time.
After visiting with the family for a couple of hours, we decided we should hit the road and begin the long drive to Rhode Island for our first family vacation with Edith. Warren is about four and a half hours from Johnson, but with adult bathroom breaks, nursing breaks and diaper changes along the way we figured we had at least six hours on the road ahead of us. With Edie being gassy and upset for the last hour or so before we left, we really weren’t sure what we had ahead of us. But, we couldn’t have asked for a better trip. After fussing for a few minutes, she settled in and soothed herself for an hour or so until we stopped at the beautiful rest area in Randolph as she nursed with Lindsay for an hour or so and I just took the time to soak in the beautiful weather and enjoy the time with my family. We hit the road, making a pit stop in White River Junction at Tuckerbox for some fuel for the rest of the ride. Once we were adequately caffeinated, it was time to get back on the road and face the rest of our trip. We decided to take the “scenic route”, taking back roads through small, isolated towns in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. We stopped at a rest area or two to nurse and Edie even had her first road trip meal at McDonalds. Everyone has to do it some point in their life, right? (Disclaimer: She nursed in the parking lot of a 24 hour McDonalds just over the Rhode Island border, no actual McDonald’s touched any of our lips)
The First Night
After a rather uneventful six to seven hour trip, we were finally at our home away from home for the week in Warren. We settled in and took a tour of the house and it was even more beautiful than we could have imagined. It was obvious that there was thought put into just about every detail in the home with a nice, modern kitchen, paintings on every wall, books on art and anatomy throughout the bookshelves and nautical decor mixed throughout.
After we unloaded the car, we settled in and visited with Lindsay’s parents for a short while as they fawned over Edith. Before long, with all of being exhausted, we headed upstairs to the bedroom to get settled in and put Edith down for the night. Or so we though… After a long day of being in a loud restaurant, meeting a lot of new people, traveling for 6 hours and being in a new environment Edith had a hard time settling down for the night. Lindsay nursed and set up the pack and play and I pumped up the exercise ball and bounced Edith to sleep. After about a half hour to an hour, Edith was up again, letting us know she wasn’t comfortable with her new sleeping arrangements. I then ventured out to find us some food since we gambled on there being food we could eat at the house and had foregone stopping for food in Worcester, MA. When I mentioned that Warren was a sleepy town, I really meant it. There wasn’t an open kitchen to be found anywhere in the town at 10pm on a Saturday night. As I headed back to the house, I could hear Edith’s cries from down the block. Lindsay and I traded off soothing Edit to sleep in hopes that she could get some rest after a long day. After a couple hours of Edith waking up every hour or so, we decided to bring Edith to bed with us where she would be with us and more comfortable with our smells. We both figured the damp, salty, ocean air added to her feeling uncomfortable away from home. Once we moved her into bed with us, she calmed down and was able to sleep much more soundly through the rest of the night, only waking up to nurse.
The First Day
After not being able to find any food the night before, we both woke up extremely hungry and ready to hit the road in search of breakfast and groceries. We made our way to Wild Flour Vegan Bakery and Cafe in Pawtucket where we both got coffee, scones and a raw vegan raspberry chocolate cheesecake square to share. The coffee was great and the food was as great as I remembered it being the first time. The cafe’s staff and a number of customers all stopped to admire Edith and she calmly sat while we ate and napped off and on. After a long night, the first day started off really well.
After breakfast, we met up with Lindsay’s parents to do some grocery shopping together at Trader Joe’s in Warwick and Whole Foods in Providence. We were approached by several people, stopping to compliment us or talk with us about Edith and their children. It’s something you always here about happening, but not something we’ve ever really experienced at home in Vermont. The common theme of our discussions seemed to be that they “grow up way too fast” and I do find that I agree as it’s an amazing experience to marvel over how quickly Edith changes from day to day and week to week. She’s growing like a weed and her personality is developing more and more every day. After groceries, we headed back home and enjoyed lunch together on the balcony while Edith took a well deserved nap.
After doing a little work, I put Edith in the Ergo where Edith fell fast asleep and Lindsay and I headed out for a walk around downtown Warren to take in all of the cute little shops and restaurants in this quiet little town. We stopped in some of the shops (including one of the tourist traps where we stocked up on salt water taffy), got a coffee and made our way down to the wharf by the house. After a long day, we put Edith down to sleep for the night and enjoyed the sunset from the balcony off of our bedroom. After a rough night the first night, Edith settled in for long sleep, only waking to nurse.
Be sure to follow along on Facebook, Twitter and the blog as we share more of the great experiences we’re having together on our first family trip!
Rhode Island Vacation In Photos - Running With Tongs
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This is such a nicely written article Neil. It was a pleasure to read about your adventure 🙂
Thanks! I’ll be posting the rest of our trip soon! It really was a great first trip with E!