my ongoing quest to visit all of the quaint beach towns in new england continues, unabated. back in early spring, my friend kathleen had asked me if i'd been to block island. i had not, and neither had she, so a plan was immediately hatched. i'm burnt to a crisp, all set with seafood for the next couple of weeks, and my right knee hurts for reasons unknown, but it was a great time.
i drove us down to narragansett town beach early on friday morning, as we decided to stay overnight there and just ferry over to BI for the following day because a) it was less money and b) the only options on block island had shared bathrooms and we're both too old for that shit. but anyway, the beach is the beach; it was relaxing, and the water wasn't too cold. despite my best attempts at thorough sunscreen application, my forehead, chest, shoulders, torso, knees, left inner thigh and the upper-side-area of my right thigh are red as a damn fire truck, which looks really really cool. oh yeah, and i took a 1998-style photo with my new favorite app, huji:
we grabbed dinner that night at turtle soup, the restaurant at the ocean rose inn. the location was absolutely perfect—right across the street from narragansett bay—and the place seemed to be popular with the locals, who were hanging out in adirondack chairs.
we started with a littleneck clam appetizer that had all sorts of peppers and was spicy and delicious. for entrees, i went for the georges bank scallops, while kathleen got the chowder and mussels. we were starting to get a little bit chilly sitting outside because we're delicate snowflakes, so we got coffees and a slice of the turtle cheesecake for good measure. i just want to take a moment right now to acknowledge the warm, cozy perfection that is coffee after dinner. coffee any time, really, but especially after dinner.
we spent the rest of the evening in the "secret garden" of our b&b, drinking canned sparkling rosé out of paper cups and chilling with the house bunny and cat.
our b&b (which shall remain nameless because i was less than impressed on the whole) didn't serve breakfast 'til 9 and ain't nobody on vacation got time for that, so we popped into the gnarly donut for some sugary sustenance and iced coffee. great name, great donuts.
we boarded the block island ferry, which ended up being surprisingly entertaining, mostly due to the loud, boisterous man with the boston accent sitting behind us. he was basically your favorite crazy uncle. some choice quotes:
funny guy's wife: "i want clam chowder."
funny guy: "it's fuckin' 9:20!"
[while taking a photo of basic bitches who were all drinking twisted teas]: "hold up your tweezies!"
once we arrived on block island, we promptly bought baseball caps (because my face and head could not handle any more UV rays) and rented bikes. mind you, i have not seriously ridden a bicycle for any significant length of time in foreva-eva, and i can verify that the phrase "it's just like riding a bike!" is only like 80% true. it was pretty smooth sailing after the first ride out to the southeast lighthouse, but the combination of the hills and the heat had me struuuuuggling. a break to sit in the shade so i didn't die and a couple more pauses later, we made it! i felt a bit better that random people who were biking down as we approached were congratulating us for arriving, so apparently it wasn't just totally me being weak and woefully out of shape. phew. mohegan bluffs were also in walking distance, and they were gorgeous.
all of that bike-riding made us pretty hungry (and, let's be honest, pretty much all there is to do here is eat and drink). we intended to stop at three sisters for lunch, but the menu had absolutely NO SEAFOOD AT ALL. are you kidding me?? as a restaurant on block island, having seafood is quite literally your only job. undeterred, we pressed on to poor people's pub, which was much more like it. a fun, no frills vibe, cold beer, fish and chips, and lobster rolls. or, as their sign below says, beers, burgers, & babes. sold either way.
then it was time for some retail therapy. i almost never buy clothing souvenirs, but i saw this cute long-sleeved tee with colorful boats on the back at one of the souvenir shops and just had to get it. ignore the fact that it's uber-wrinkled, i ended up sleeping in it last night because it was so comfy:
aaaaand oh, look at the time, it was almost happy hour! we biked up to payne's dock and scoped out some of the boats, and dogs on the boats, and funny boat names (one of my favorite hobbies)...
...and then headed over to the oar for their famous mudslides. there were also fun decorated paddles inside of the restaurant, fun buoys outside of the restaurant, and annoying, belligerent, drunk 50-something-year-old men asking for shots at the bar.
the day ended with a beachside dinner at ballard's. we began with "stuffies," a rhode island specialty: stuffed quahog clams with breadcrumbs, pepper, celery, and chorizo. it was sorta gourmet, but also somehow delightfully state fair-like. very into it. then it was lobster scampi for me, and the fire-grilled lobster for kathleen. THEY HAD LOBSTER 13 WAYS, YOU GUYS. oh, and i had a frozen del's lemonade with vodka, another RI classic.
funny story: remember the crazy uncle from the morning ferry? kathleen had jokingly commented earlier that she wanted to find out what ferry he was taking back so we could be entertained by him once again. and as fate would have it, he and his family were just a little bit ahead of us in the long-ass 8pm ferry line! wish: granted. we followed them up to the top deck and sat behind them (facing the opposite direction, because they were all wasted and we wanted to be out of the puke zone). at one point, apropo of nothing, he goes "i want a bong hit!"
joining him on this ride was an entire rugby team who was having a drunken singalong/dance party, which mainly consisted of them playing maroon 5's "wait" on repeat. we also made friends with the women next to us, who offered us twizzlers, and we gleefully snacked on them while observing the craziness.
back in port in narragansett, we finished things off with ice cream cones at the sweet spot, passing by this restaurant called "buster krab's" that i couldn't believe was a real place. the DJ on the patio started singing happy birthday to an 8 year-old child, which seemed very odd at 9pm on a saturday, but i digress.
once again, we didn't feel like waiting around for breakfast at the b&b, so we grabbed a hearty meal before hitting the road at the bike stop cafe, which had a half-hipster, half-diner vibe. it was great!
and, the vacation ended—as all great ones should—with us listening to the "my favorite murder" podcast on the way home for some true crime realness. we'll be back, BI!