I've been fortunate enough to travel quite a bit over the last few years and I have to say this is easily one of the best trips I've been on. Newport, Rhode Island, is exactly what you'd expect of a small New England seaside community. It has a long history that you are reminded of on a daily basis as you walk around downtown and see the historic homes with plaques dedicated to the houses history. The food is incredible (even for vegetarians!) and while I was expecting it to be filled with boutiques that only the 1% could afford to shop in I was pleasantly mistaken.
The very first purchase I made was, sadly, at an airport gift shop. Since my trip to NYC 3 years ago I've started collecting Christmas ornaments from everywhere I visit. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to find one in Newport given that it's the beginning of Summer and I wouldn't have much time to shop around.
I was invited to Newport by SCA to help bring awareness to the all women sailing team they have sponsored in the Volvo Ocean Race. I'll talk more about the team and race on Wednesday, so today's post is more about my personal, or non-SCA related, experiences in Newport. The bloggers were hosted at the Marriott hotel in downtown Newport. We were about 50 feet from the waterfront! I loved the nautical themed rooms.
There were 7 bloggers/social media people there to help promote the event but I spent the majority of my time there with Erin from MyThirtySpot and Katja from Skimbaco Lifestyle. Meeting those girls, along with the girls who worked with SCA and showed us around while we were there, made the trip. Erin and Katja and I were able to talk a bit about the business of blogging, and Jeanette and Lucy from SCA were the greatest hosts. We all met up at the hotels restaurant for lunch on Thursday after everyone arrived. I had the best roasted curry cauliflower. If I wasn't trying to act appropriately in public I would have licked the bowl clean.
After lunch we took the ferry to get over to 'the Village.' The Village is basically a temporary city set up at every stop the race makes. There's a building for each boat, and one main Volvo building. All of the boats are docked there, and people were coming from all over to spend the day walking around the Village.
After spending a few hours at the Village we had a bit of time to relax at the hotel before dinner. I tried on some of the sweet SCA swag we got. When I first arrived the SCA girls said they loved my hair and that it was, 'so perfect.' I didn't realize then but it matched the pink in the team colors perfectly!
We met up for a buffet dinner at a restaurant across the street from the hotel. Some of the women from the sailing team were there with their families. The food was amazing (everything was so healthy!) and the view was spectacular. After dinner everyone was going to an outdoor concert but I had to pass and call it an early night. I had been up since 3:30 a.m. to catch an early flight out of Dothan so I was exhausted!
That night I had my first experience with leg cramps during pregnancy. I read that it was a common ailment but hadn't had any issues with it yet. When I talked about taking the trip with my OB she said it sounded fine, as the only potential problem (and a slim one at that) was blood clots in my legs from flying. Around 2 a.m. I sat straight up in bed with the most excruciating pain I've ever felt in my calf. It was like someone had stabbed it. I couldn't breathe it hurt so bad, and I certainly couldn't move. I even contemplated calling 911 but I couldn't talk! About 2-3 minutes later I was able to massage the knot out a bit and immediately passed out. I called my OB the next day and she said it sounded like a charley horse, and to up my water and potassium. She warned me that if I noticed any swelling in that leg that I'd need to get to a hospital asap, but thankfully that didn't happen.
Friday morning I met up with Erin, Katja and Jeanette (from SCA) in the hotel lobby and we took a 10 minute walk through downtown Newport to have breakfast at the Corner Cafe. I had these delicious multigrain pancakes with yogurt and berries plus a mixed juice drink (some sort of Vitamin C booster.) When we were there we were all wearing our SCA jackets and a lot of the patrons were pointing and talking about the all girls team. It felt great to be associated with such an amazing group of women!
Friday afternoon entailed a ferry ride back to the village and watching the ProAm (professional/amateur) race from a spectator boat. One of the many things I love about SCA is their commitment to sustainability within their own products, and being as environmentally conscious as they can. After the doc told me to up my water intake I went through about 4 of these in the few hours I was there that afternoon.
After another long day I was famished and looking forward to dinner. I got about an hour back at the hotel to kick my feet up and relax for a bit before meeting everyone to walk to the Smokehouse. It was this tiny BBQ-esque place on the water with picnic tables for seating and a great looking cocktail menu (the first time since I've been pregnant I really wish I could have had a drink!) I ordered the nachos from the appetizer list and everyone was shocked when they brought them out and it was enough to feed the whole table.
I am being 100% serious when I say these were the best nachos I've ever had in my entire life. The roasted corn and tomatoes were almost as sweet as a dessert, the guacamole was out of this world, and the sour cream was just every so slightly sweet. Combine that with ridiculously fresh jalapenos and a gluttonous amount of cheese and baby and I were in heaven.
Almost as soon as I had arrived the trip was over. Newport is gorgeous. It's quaint, but filled with shops, restaurants, and cultural activities. I hope I get the chance to go back sometime as I could have easily spent a week there.
At 5 a.m. on Saturday I met my driver in front of the hotel to head to the airport. I was exhausted. Thankfully, my flight from Atlanta to Dothan had the funniest flight attendant. She was maybe in her 50's, and started off by saying she was the "bag in charge of bags" and to "tweak luggage so it fits beneath the seat in front of us, but no twearking allowed." She then told us to call her Granbo (a combination of Grandma and Rambo) and that she was secretly a ninja. She said "brb as I change into my ninja costume" and came back a second later with a red strip of cloth tied around her head. She was freaking awesome. I also scored a seat in the back row, right next to the bathroom, and the person next to me didn't show so I had the row to myself.
How was your weekend? What is your favorite US city?