Sunday, May 22, 2011

Exploring Providence, RI

It's always hard to choose where to take someone when they come to visit. There are so many options throughout New England. When Sarah visited, we decided on Providence, RI. Providence is a little over three hours away from Albany. It is the capital of Rhode Island and is a really pretty city. The architecture is a great mixture of old and new. There are canals throughout the downtown area with a great riverwalk. It's home to the Rhode Island School of Design, Brown University, and also one of the campuses of Johnson Wales University. The city has rebranded itself the "creative capital." The city definitely has a hip vibe.

We got to Providence in the early afternoon and headed to the Roger Williams Zoo. Gavin is at the perfect age for going to the zoo and we thought it would be a great place for him to run around. The Roger Williams Zoo is one of the nation's oldest. While Gavin did enjoy it, I wouldn't put this on my list of "must sees" in Rhode Island. It was nice enough, just not the most exciting zoo or park.

After visiting the zoo, we headed downtown to get checked into our hotel. We then spent some time walking around downtown, shopping, and enjoying the views from the riverwalk before going to dinner. I had read about a restaurant/bar called The Red Fez in my latest copy of Yankee Magazine. It was said to specialize in gourmet comfort food. The restaurant was also mentioned in several blogs and articles online. When we arrived, we discovered that it's a very small restaurant with just a few tables and not necessarily family friendly. The lady who showed us to our table did not look happy to see us walk in with two small children. She gave me an absurd look when I asked if she had a highchair. We were kind of laughing about it as we settled in. Give me a break- just because we have kids does not mean we should have to settle for the likes of The Cheesecake Factory or Red Robin. This place had the cool vibe in full effect and Adam joked that it was too bad it was the one day that he wasn't wearing his black Misfits t-shirt. Instead, he was all prepped out in his short sleeved button down! But, once we convinced the waitress that our kids were well-behaved, she seemed to warm up to us. Adam and I ordered the Macaroni & Cheese with Chorizo. Sarah had the same, only without the chorizo. Gavin had a grilled cheese sandwich. And, little miss Liv had some red bliss mashed potatoes. The comfort food lived up to the high praise that I read about. I'd definitely recommend The Red Fez- just be sure you're cool enough to enter!

We spent the evening back at our hotel- Adam, Sarah, and Gavin went out and picked up dessert from a bakery. Olivia enjoyed the freedom to crawl around the hotel room and be crazy. The next morning, we had breakfast, did a little more shopping, drove through Brown's campus and then headed back to Albany. Here are a few pictures of our time spent in Providence. Enjoy!
Adam and Gavin, checking out the seals at Roger Williams Zoo

Livie Lou, scarfing on her garlic mashed...
Mmm... mac  & cheese goodness
College Hill- Providence, RI


Emily said...

I'm so impressed you've turned over a new leaf and are into dessert! Providence sounds very cool, snotty restaurant and all!

Missy said...

You should write a tour guide of the East Coast as a West Coast transplant. ;)

Michele F. said...

As usual... love reading your posts. I agree with Missy... SERIOUSLY... if we ever vacation that way.. I want to print out your whole blog for my tour guide!!