Where We’ve Been & What We’ve Done: Part 3

We made it to Rhode Island!

The second month of our little adventure has officially commenced and it has been incredible so far.

We left Norfolk on a Friday afternoon knowing that we needed to be in Rhode Island by Sunday night. As usual, we easily made it to Annapolis and stayed the night there with family. We spent the evening lounging in the beautiful fall weather on the patio of a nearby restaurant and catching up over pizza and salads, one of our favorite meals. It was a perfect night.

The next day we took a trip to Josh’s old stomping grounds. Even though I’ve walked the grounds hundreds of times, the beauty of the United States Naval Academy never ceases to amaze me. In fact, it is more gorgeous with each new visit.

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The endless reminiscing of old happenings and distant memories are a pleasant, if not endearing, bombardment of relived images as we wander over rugged brick pathways and through musty halls.

We revisited old spots seeing them in a new light. A sweet light of memories past and a hopeful future. We remembered old conversations we had shared in those moments. We remembered the curiosity we had about what our future would look like….our present now. We couldn’t help but remark on the things we’ve been through and the people we now are since we first had visited those same spots.

We took a walk to see one of my favorite places. It overlooks the water and is usually rather crowded with people and sailboats. It’s where Josh proposed. As we turned back towards where we had parked the car I couldn’t help but feel as if it had all been a lifetime ago.

It was all wonderful and sweeter than ever. I wasn’t quite ready to leave, but it was getting late and we still had to drive a few hours to our over-night on our way to Rhode Island.

We packed the rest of our things up and said our goodbyes.

Back on the road.

The location we had originally planned to stop overnight on was reconsidered and we discovered a better and faster spot to stop: Manhattan. Hey, why not? It was closer and faster. Even if it is only for a night.

So we booked a hotel, made our way through the Lincoln Tunnel, and popped out in a bustling little city. Lights and tangible energy surged all around us the second we exited the tunnel, as we drove the few blocks to our hotel. It didn’t matter that it was after 10 pm. Everything was alive. It was so unlike the area of Jacksonville we had been living in where most things were closed for the night by 9 or 10 pm.

We reached a parking garage and then our hotel to get checked in. After dropping everything off in our room, Josh suggested a walk. I thought he was crazy but agreed and we set out on a walk at midnight through New York City.

New York City. At midnight. I spent most of the walk thinking we were crazy. And we probably were, but some things you only need to do once for it to be a memory. This can definitely be one of those things.

We strolled about seven blocks and before we knew it, we were standing in brightly lit, wildly busy for the middle of the night, Times Square. The number of lights made it seem as if it were day and the still open shops were full of customers.

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There was so much to take in. Sights, sounds, and smells all bombarded our senses in a frenzied manner that made it difficult to catch it all.

 

It was like nothing I had ever seen at midnight and already tired from the busy day, my capacity to take in such chaos was limited. But that’s what we have cameras for these days.

I do remember that I felt oddly safe in such a place. Although on constant guard, police and emergency vehicles lined the streets and officers were on nearly every corner.

We even got to see the beautiful horses that gallantly carry officers of the city. The horses carried their heads high and seemed to nearly respond to the awe that tourists bestowed upon them with flashing cameras and hushed bewildered whispers.

 

The morning brought a fresh day and we began it with a subway ride to Central Park. Words don’t even describe how wonderful it was. The weather was perfect and the sun peeking through the trees seemed almost out of place after so many endless blocks of dusty buildings and crowded noisy streets.

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We roamed the park for a couple hours, taking in the oddly peaceful scenery.

The giant rock formations were perfect for resting on, and surprisingly cool to the touch despite being in the sun.

The park had green grass and trees that billowed in the slight breeze, and the pond was gently stirred by the numerous paddle boats occupied by small families and couples out for a Sunday float.

We had both been to Central Park in years past, but never together and not during such beautiful weather which definitely made a big difference.snapseed-16

When we finally had walked across the park we popped out on the other side. Ironically, we had found out last minute from Facebook that some extended family was also in New York City that week. We caught a subway back to Times Square to meet them for lunch. Amazing how truly small the world can be at times.

After a fun lunch, it was time to get back on the road to complete our journey to Rhode Island. We still had a few hours to go and it was already starting to get a little late. We got back in the car, drove through the Bronx and eventually made it to the main highway again.

The three-day drive from Virginia to Rhode Island proved to expedite the seasonal changes and the endless roads through Connecticut were encompassed by beautiful fall leaves.

 

We arrived at Newport, Rhode Island around 7 pm and managed to get checked in and settled at our hotel. We had failed to stop for dinner and so we decided to go out to find something.

But oh, man. We knew we were in a small-town area when we discovered even the Walmart was already closed for the night…. Nothing was open except for the Dunkin Donuts and thankfully one grocery store for another 25 minutes. We wandered around looking for something quick to grab for the night.

Although not the preferred way to spend our first night, we were just happy to have food and to have finally arrived.

The incredible fall weather and beautiful waters we discovered the next morning when we stepped outside the hotel left little room to wonder why this was the sailing capital of the world.

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And as we settled into the routine that would define our days over the next month, we couldn’t help but think what a wonderful adventure we were on.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Joshua & Allison

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