Monday, April 9, 2012

Rhode Island Family Get Together

On the day before leaving for RI I realized that the next day, Wednesday, was the day to snatch Ravelry ads.  Most of my ads are now automatically renewed but the notebook and special forum banners have to be claimed each month.  And by that I mean, that there is a list of what day and what time each month the ads will open to be purchased for the following month.  Alas I left a little before 9am and the ads opened at 1pm.  I figured I'd be on the Mass Pike by then so hoped I didn't have to sit for half an hour in a rest area waiting.   As it turned out I got to the Lee rest stop at 12:50, enough time to leisurely set up my trusty Mac laptop and sign in.  At 1:02 already one third of the notebook ads were taken. I got mine and my special forum ad as well, grabbed an iced tea and continued on my way.

My ipod serves as an entertainment center while driving.  I can play music or listen to books.  For this trip I downloaded 4 just in case one or two were disappointing.  Listening to a good story keeps enough of my brain engaged that I don't ask myself every 10 minutes, "Are we nearly there yet?".  Also this was the first time I went to RI via Rt 88 to Albany and the Mass Pike.  In past times I always visited my mother in CT first but since she is now in RI a whole new route was experienced.

Google maps said the 380 mile trip would take 6.5 hours.  I stop to pee and get gas so it took me 7.5.  Not bad as the trip ends with my favorite Newport Bridge.

My sister and I caught up with each other Wednesday night.  She worked on Thursday while I worked on the On Fire sock and tried to read.  Usually my reading comes in snatches at lunch or before bed but here I had hours that I could read and read.  Very hard for me to have such unstructured time so it was a good exercise.  Oh and we took Maks, the miracle cat, for a 'walk'.  My sister explained that if I thought I was going to get exercise I should go by myself.   Cats don't go for walks like dogs.  Cats run a little, walk a little, smell a lot, back track, go under bushes, stop and eat grass for long periods of time, walk a bit, throw up, meander, eat more grass, try to go in people's back yards, shy at loud trucks and hide, run a bit, etc.   But Maks really loves his 'walks' as he no longer can be a street cat since he was hit by a car a couple of years ago.

Just about at dinner time Matt, Liz, Alicia and Andrew arrived from being tourists for a few whirlwind days in NYC.  They got to the city on Sunday and managed to see the Daily Show, Ghosts and Spiderman, plus visit 9/11, the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Plaza and Macy's before they came up to RI on Thursday.

We went for dinner at a great Clam Shack, Flo's in Middletown on Aquidneck Island which is the island Newport is on.  Time with the Lents is always energetic, fun and funny.  We ate clam cakes, lobster, clams, salad and hot dogs while doing some catching up and hearing about their NY adventure. Andrew wanted a lobster, not lobster roll or salad but a real lobster to eat.  Flo's won't have them on their menu until later in the season and Andrew was adamant about not tasting lobster until he could crack one open.

Friday was the big day to visit my mother at Tamarisk, in Warwick.  My mother is often in a wheel chair these days so not very mobile but her aides and care are superior and the atmosphere and attitudes at Tamarisk are so positive my sister and I both say we would move in there tomorrow.  All meals are in the dining room with tablecloths and cloth napkins.  A waitstaff person recites the menu as many times as is needed and offers alternatives if you don't like what is offered.  Since Friday night was the first night of Passover things were a little different at lunch as they got ready for the first seder.  The silverware was plastic and so were the dishes which was a bit odd with the cloth napkins.  However the blintzes were homemade, the fruit salad fresh and the honeycake moist.  What's not to like.

My mother was so delighted with the visit she told everyone she saw, "These are my family from California and my daughter from NY."  Oh and she LOVED the sweater I made her as my Iknitarod Challenge.  She told me on Sunday that she had shown it to several people already. We stayed with her through the afternoon until the grands were too antsy to sit still any longer.

To help Andrew with his quest we went to dinner at the Lobster Pot in Bristol. Bristol has the longest running consecutive Fourth of July parade and celebrates that year round with a red, white and blue stripe down the center of their main street.

Liz doesn't eat anything from the sea or water but she is easy about anyone else eating fish, etc and Matt loves fish so the kids like it too.  Andrew ordered a lobster and we patiently waited for him to be served the reddened creature. Our waiter joined in by tying on his lobster bib.

Then Matt showed him how to crack and pick.
Alas lobster turned out to be very disappointing for Andrew so he ordered a hamburger and was happy again.  Poor Matt had to eat not only his own oysters but Andrew's lobster as well.  

Saturday morning we all went out for breakfast together, 

then for a drive along the shore to show them the mansions from afar.  After breakfast it was time for the Lent's to start back home so they went off to the airport while Ellen and I went to deliver some fiber to a spinner in Hope, RI (more about that another day).

My favorite picture from the weekend.

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