Rhode Island, 2015

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Every year, we take a nice long road trip back to Jason's home state of Rhode Island.  He grew up in the picturesque town of Bristol, which is home to the oldest July 4th celebration in the country.  And let me tell you...the 4th of July is bigger than Christmas back there.  They replace the yellow lines on the streets with red, white, and blue, bands [drum and bugle corps] come from all over the country to compete and march, a huge carnival comes to town, and the military is honored like nowhere else.  It's America at it's best! This year, we took a different route than in the past.  We started out with roadside visits to the World's Largest Wind Chime in Casey, IL [the World's Largest Rocking Chair is still under construction], and the Kaskaskia Dragon in Vandalia, IL.  A humongous dragon on the side of the road that breathes fire when you insert a token?  How could we not stop for that?!?  Our first overnight stop was in Cleveland, where we visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  If you haven't been, it's definitely worth a visit.  Next up was Niagara Falls.  None of us had ever been, and it was incredible!  The Maid of the Mist boat ride was awe inspiring [and very wet].  Niagara was followed by a flat tire [which needed replacing] in Utica, NY.  What a cool little town!  If we hadn't gotten the flat, we never would have driven all the way in to get it replaced.  Thus, never discovering how awesome the city was.  Every cloud has a silver lining, right?  Finally, it was on to New England.

We did all the usual stuff [carnival, parade, had lots stuffies, chowder, and coffee milk, hung out with family], but this year we also took the littles in to Boston for a day.  The boy is a huge Red Sox fan, so we indulged him with a premium tour of Fenway Park.  It was a truly awesome experience, and we even got our own private concert by the very talented young lady who was rehearsing to sing the National Anthem at the game later that day.  The future will definitely include taking him to watch a game from the Green Monster. We also made our annual trip to Newport [one of my favorite cities].  We went down 40 Steps, and Avery discovered her favorite place on the face of the earth.  I thought we were going to have to bribe her with a large sum of cash to get her off that rock.

On the way home, we made our annual pilgrimage to Mystic, CT to eat at Mystic Pizza.  Yes, this part deserves it's own paragraph.

In nearly 20 years of going back there to visit Jason's family, this might have been the best trip yet.  I already sorely miss the ocean air and the fresher than fresh seafood [but not the traffic].  Although, the traffic wasn't even as bad as usual, this year.

'Til next year Rhode Island!

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