the last weekend in june found my roommate and i making the journey from westford, ma down to warwick, ri (which, by the way, was not as long as i had anticipated). we were headed down for four days of sojourning and sightseeing with our wonderful spiritual sojourner, melinda.

prior to moving to the new england region, i have literally never given rhode island any thought. i knew it existed, but honestly it was so small and far away that i didn’t think anything of it. it’s under the radar — and after my visit, i’ve realized that that’s what i love about it so much.

my roommate, a rhode island native, was super organized and created a whole itinerary for the three of us on our long weekend together, and i’m so damn glad she did. her insider knowledge of the state and what areas were tourist traps etc. came in handy in making sure that we had an authentic experience in her home state.

thursday: our first day consisted of working at our non-profit placements, waiting for rush hour(s) to pass, and then heading south to warwick. we arrived around 8pm and grabbed dinner at the crow’s nest restaurant, a lovely little joint right by the water with spectacular italian food and even better desserts. then it was off to our hotel to check in, get showered, and pass out.

friday: we began our morning with a drive over to little compton, where our spiritual sojourner, melinda, lives. the drive was hella adorable — apparently ri is much more agrarian than i had anticipated and it made me feel homey. (seriously, rhode island is the perfect mix of coast, forest, and farm land.) we spent the morning checking out melinda’s cabin, processing our time here in the yasc program, and then drove over to the sakonnet vineyard and winery for lunch. it was absolutely picturesque and a perfect place to enjoy a relaxing lunch. next we drove to blithewold, a gorgeous mansion/garden/arboretum complex in bristol that is breathtaking to behold. we spent a few hours wandering around, taking in the gorgeous architecture, the fragrant flowers, and the spectacular view of the sea. we ended our time there with a lovely life chat while sitting out on the back porch, gazing out at the sea. perfection! next up: driving to jamestown to grab takeout from a deli and then onwards to beavertail state park for a picnic. the food was refreshing, the sun was setting, and the sea was glistening. no better way to end a day!!

saturday: after sleeping in a bit, the three of us headed out to oakland beach for a few hours of much needed personal rejuvenation: we brought books, picked cozy spots near the sea, and read for an hour or two before grabbing lunch at iggy’s chowder house. (thank goodness they have stuff other than chowder — i swear, somehow i always end up being a non-seafood-eater in a seafood-centric place!) the afternoon found us wandering around the umbrella factory, which is not an umbrella factory at all but rather a collection of little shops set in a large garden in rural charlestown! for those of you in the columbus area: think comfiest type shops, but next to greenhouses and farm animals and gorgeous gardens to stroll through. seriously, magical! after our shopping trip we drove down for dinner at aunt carrie’s, a famous local place in narragansett with huge, homemade desserts that will blow your mind. seriously, so. good. to aid in digestion, we then took a stroll down to the beach (in the rain) and spent a few moments listening to the sound the rocks on the beach made as they were pulled back and forth by the waves. the sound was hauntingly beautiful — truly some divine music.

sunday: our last day in rhode island began with a church service at my roommate’s home congregation of beneficent congregational church in downtown providence. the service just happened to be on pride sunday and the words of the pastor that day struck a deep chord. we followed that up with lunch in federal hill in providence, and area known for it’s italian food. we chose trattoria zooma — a place with great ambiance, famous house-made pasta, and one that would facilitate a great last conversation between all of us before we went our separate ways. the three of us spent a solid two hours savoring our food and our conversations before heading back home. no better way to end the weekend! (fun fact: i was so busy being present on sunday that i completely forgot to take any photos. that’s the power of an intense, in-person connection.)

i absolutely adored my time in the ocean state — more to come on the journey soon.