Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Rhode Island--a very long drive from Florida

September 10, 2019—Warwick, Rhode Island, is a long way from Jacksonville, Florida—1,205 miles, to be exact, according to our odometer. After leaving Jacksonville early Sunday morning, we drove the first leg of our journey—576 miles to Colerain, N.C., where Jim’s cousin lives. After an excellent dinner and a very pleasant evening catching up on family news, we left Monday morning on the second leg of our trip. After 12 hours of driving, we arrived within a 100 miles of Warwick.

It was an interesting journey, especially as we drove around New York. (I should quickly mention that we are driving our car—not our truck with truck camper.)

We planned our route so that we would not go through New York. Trusting “Garmina” (our GPS system), we followed her orders as she spoke them. As we approached the city, she directed us toward a bridge, where we had to pay a hefty toll. The view allowed us to see the new World Trade Center in the distance, as well as the Empire State Building (or was it the Chrysler Building?). After the bridge, however, Garmina somehow took us into Jersey City, through the Bronx, and eventually back onto I95, then onto some parkway that finally led us into Connecticut. We couldn’t understand why she was being some circuitous, especially since she had us exit I95, which would have been a more direct route. I guess the moral is, “don’t trust the GPS; trust your instincts—and a map—instead.” Of course, we weren’t exactly in a position to pull out the Atlas to challenge Garmina. There wasn’t anywhere to pull off the road.

It was a long day of driving that included a couple close calls by idiot drivers. We finally stopped somewhere in Connecticut, about 100 miles shy of our final destination, Warwick, R.I., the site of Jim’s naval ship reunion—the reason for our trip.

The good thing about our route was that it took us to areas of the country I had never seen before, such as the peninsula shared by Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. We were driving through this area around lunch time, and stopped at a local seafood restaurant. The fried oysters were delicious!
A view of Mystic, Ct. 

We arrived in Warwick by early afternoon today. After getting settled, we decided to drive around town and find the local tourist office, which was located in the city courthouse building. There was no sign anywhere directing the public to the office! After asking someone, we were told to go upstairs (no elevator that we could find), where we found a sign of the tourist-office door that said “employees only” and “knock before entering”—not very tourist-friendly. We scoured the brochures rack and found only two we thought were relative to Warwick. One turned out to be about Rhode Island, in general. Would you believe that it teased the reader with beautiful photographs of places to see and listed things to do—but did not tell where these things were located?

The second brochure was merely a list of some restaurants in Warwick. I guess this city doesn’t have much to offer. Perhaps Providence has more; we’ll find out Friday when we have time to ourselves.
This evening we went to a hospitality mixer for the reunion goers. Tomorrow we will tour, as a group, the Newport Naval Base War College Museum, the city of Newport, and the Breakers Mansion. It should be a fun day.
Warwick City Hall, where the local tourist office is hidden on the second floor.
Before I close, I want to add that this vacation is a shortened version of the one we had originally planned. We wanted to spend several days in Washington, D.C., and another couple days in Delaware. However, we had to cancel those plans when Hurricane Dorian blew into town. Well, almost into town. Fortunately, Dorian was a non-event. We will have to "do" D.C. some other time.

Until later,

Your Reluctant RoVer


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