Saturday, July 27, 2013

Where will the day bring you?

It all started with a June trip to Sweet Berry Farm in Middletown, RI where rain or shine we were determined to pick some strawberries.  While paying for our 6 lbs. of  fruit, I spotted a pamphlet off to the left of the register.  Once unfolded, this little gem reveals a scavenger hunt with a map and picture clues for 28 participating RI farms.  Now it is quite possible to win something if you obtain a sticker from at least 18 of these farms by December, 2013.  But, we're really not in it to win any kind of material prize.  The adventure is what we are interested in and our most recent one proved to be a worthy start to our hunt.  

I will say this, though, before heading out on a trek, don't just scan the hours of operation.  When it says "Open 7 days a week", don't stop there.  The very next line may explain that they close everyday at noon. And getting there an hour after will not get the sticker.  Fortunately, we had other destinations planned for along the way.  After finding that our hopes of picking blueberries that day were squashed, we fueled up for where our travels would take us next, by stopping at Rita's Italian Ice.  If you've had Rita's you would understand our excitement that this worked into our travels.  If you haven't had Rita's...I'm sorry.

Once we were settled back in the car we decided, since we were already on Route 1, that Charlestown, RI was the place to be with it's Fantastic Umbrella Factory.  It doesn't sound like much of a farm, but if you check out the website, it seems to be quite the interesting place.   In any case, we were headed for the factory with other farms, according to the map, along the way.  As luck would have it, though, we lost some time to roadwork and traffic.  With that, we decided to navigate towards a farm closest to Rte 138. That way, we would head back to the south coast of MA by way of Newport.  

The Farmer's Daughter is where we parked to explore.  Although I wouldn't deem this destination a farm, I will say that this garden center did not disappoint.  First, they had greenhouse devoted to butterflies and for an extra fee, you could enter to see Monarchs and Painted Ladies at play.  Secondly, a small shed devoted to creating fairy gardens and tiny worlds for terrariums presented the possibilities for miniature magic. Finally, I cannot go without acknowledging this mysterious young lady that made her presence known despite the fact that she is made of cement.

Always a fan of myth and fantasy, this mermaid statue worked her way into my imagination......

 ....bewitching me with her stare.

Bidding farewell to my mermaid friend, and carrying a bag of items to start our own miniature world, we hopped back into the car to head home.  As I mentioned before, we chose to take a different route home. The decision to head back by way of Newport proved to be fruitful as the steering wheel impulsively decided to bear right off the Claiborne Pell Bridge to head downtown.  The stars were in alignment that day...we enjoyed Rita's italian ice and custard AND another favorite of ours: Cupcake Charlies!  It was just that kind of day.

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