Sunday, August 15, 2010

summer happy places

moving to a new area means discovering new places. most of my favorite places involve nature where i can take deep breaths. feel centered. and step away and reflect on what's really important in my life. my week truly feels fulfilled if i am able to get outside a couple of times and go to the beach, take a walk, hike, or go for a drive to see the beautiful sites around newport. here are some of my favorite places josh, the girls + i have enjoyed this summer. most involve nature, but some involve a little bit of air conditioning and self indulgence.

1. sachuest point national wildlife refuge in middletown, ri. there are over 2.5 miles of hiking trails that steer you right along the atlantic ocean with breathtaking views and lots of wildflowers, animals and birds to talk about with your kiddies. what's really cool is there are a couple shoreline access trails which lead you to the most beautiful quiet beaches with lots of rocks and shells to explore. for me, it's reminiscent of some parts of acadia national park in maine.

2. sweet berry farm in middletown, ri. we went peach and blueberry picking this weekend and had so much fun eating the fruit right off the tree. can't wait to make a peach cobbler and blueberry muffins this week. they have free outdoor concerts every tuesday night in the summer and we even saw an outdoor movie there through newport film. sweet berry farm is also home to susanna's ice cream. heard it's the best ice cream on the island. salted caramel swirl, toasted coconut, and fresh mint are some of the flavors that are served during the summer months. have to go back to try some!!

3. ocean drive. if you are visiting newport this is a must. 10 miles long. rugged coastline. mansions. we stopped at a kite festival at brenton point state park along one of our drives. it's a quick way to be transported from your everyday worries to unwind on the weekend.

4. second beach in middletown, ri. i know i have talked about this beach before, but we love this place. it's ideal for the girls because the water temperature is just right. we head early in the morning and leave @ 11:30 am before it gets too hot. lots of local surfers frequent this beach.

5. walk at "the point" in newport, ri. i swear every house in this area has a historic home plaque. many of the homes were built in the 1700's. we love taking walks in this area after dinner because the crowds aren't there. there is a pier filled with fishermen that the girls love to walk out to. it juts out into the ocean so you feel like you're on a boat when you get to the end. plus it's 10 degrees cooler out there with the wind.

6. carry out from thai cuisine in newport, ri. they have a green curry that rocks. when we're craving some spicy thai, we pick up the phone and call them.

7. jane pickens theater and opera house cinema on touro street in newport. both are walking distance from our place. i just saw eat, pray, love on friday night and had to pinch myself that i could put the girls to bed and walk 5 minutes before i'm transported to another place.

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