The Staycation Spot At The Top Of So Many Bucket Lists

Because this past week in RI has felt like Spring, here's a flashback to the highlights (and lows) from our staycation on Rose Island (No doubt you've caught a glimpse of it while driving over the Newport Bridge.) last April. So, if you've ever wondered the least little bit what it's really like sleeping in (or running away to) a lighthouse, here's the inside story.

The Wow's

  • The Lantern Room (aka, the actual light and deck at the very top) - An outstanding view of The Bridge, Fort Adams, and the entire Rose Island from this vantage point. Fabulous photo opps at sunrise and sunset. Note: You will have to climb a steep ladder to get there. Be careful! 
  • The Fog Horn Room - Located one flight of stairs down from the tower. It's not attached to the main house, but it sure does look like something out of a Ralph Lauren ad. (Photo below.) With the exposed brick, rustic furniture and bedding, and water views, it would be perfect for a romantic night or weekend with your SO (significant other). Just make sure it's during the summer - and fingers crossed that you get 'good weather' - because there's no heat or a/c to speak of. PS - Need to use the bathroom or take a shower? Then it's back up the stairs and stroll over to the two toilets and the outdoor shower situated next to The Barracks. 
  • The Barracks - Ok, soldiers resided there during both World Wars and some were actually quarantined in the barracks during a Cholera epidemic. I hear ghost hunters still travel to the Island on occasion, searching for the ghosts of the soldiers who may have died in that epidemic. Now, it's booked out for things like corporate lunches or overnight stays. We say that the white brick, high ceilings, and great acoustics make it perfect for recording an album during the summer months. There's also lots of privacy because you're far, far away from the paparazzi and screaming fans. Just throwing it out there. #winks (Photos below.)

Prep, Pack & Plan

It was more like glamping than anything else. Also, not gonna lie, by around 6 or 7pm that night, we were desperately wishing that someone we knew would take a water taxi over and deliver some coffee, hot soup, and maybe a parka or two. Again, it was FREEZING. So, dress warm and bring an extra blanket or three. (Maybe we should have waited for the heart of Summer, but that time frame books up way, WAY in advance. And April is usually mild in the Ocean State, righttt?) We were infinitely grateful that there was cell service. (You can use your I-Phone as a hot spot if you plan on bringing your lap top to blog or whatever.) There was electricity, but bringing along a portable battery for your phone can't hurt. 

It would be fantastic for an intimate getaway or private party (Why not rent out the whole Island?) once the temps go above the 40's and 50's. There are picnic tables, grills, and kayaks. We also found pics on Instagram of some peeps who threw a party there a few summers ago and went to town, even setting up Slip N' Slides, so what we're proposing is not an original idea, but definitely one worth co-opting.

*Based on original posts that appeared on this blog in April of 2016. All photos courtesy of PattyJ.com.

Team Patty J

Something's Brewing On The West Side

Rhode Island is quickly becoming a Choose Your Own Adventure book for craft beer lovers. Whether you enjoy learning the process at a tasting room or just like having something unique at your favorite local restaurant, there’s no shortage of tasty alternatives. Along the winding streets of Providence’s West Side is where you will find one of the newest additions, Long Live Beerworks.

With their intimate tasting room that backs up directly to the large steel tanks, LLB feels more like your friend’s living room than your typical brewery. And as their popularity is clearly on the upswing, owner and brewmaster Armando DeDona is looking to upgrade from their 850 square foot space. Since he’s keen to keep it local and stay in the West Side neighborhood, you might just see an additional Long Live Beerworks in PVD soon. And they need it! On a Friday night in the middle of February it was standing room only at their location on West Fountain Street.

After starting out as a home brewer, Armando attended a brewing school in Northern England. Now with LLB turning a whopping one year and ten months old, he and his assistant Erika are doing their best to keep up with the high demand. That includes their recent collaboration with PVD Donuts. Intrigued yet? You should be because PVD Donuts “may or may not” be handing out donuts at the beer’s launch on March 14th.

Armando describes their brews as “newer style beers, not really traditional whatsoever.” While I was there, I had the Harry May and the Wesside. Harry May is an oatmeal porter made with Dave’s CoffeeWesside, a citra and centennial hopped IPA. Believe me when I say I’ve had a fair amount of porters in my day, it’s kind of my jam. The Harry May is on the smoother side of the coffee/porter spectrum, which was nice. And while I’m admittedly not a big IPA fan, the Wesside has a bright and clean finish that I think most hops fans would really enjoy. Regardless of your personal preferences, Long Live’s beer is definitely worth checking out with a few of your closest friends.

For their current menu, and any other information you might need, check out their website at longlivebeerworks.com or any of their social networks handles: @longlivebeerworks on Facebook, @LongLiveBeerRI on Twitter, and @longlivebeerworks on Instagram. Their tasting room is open to the public Wednesdays through Saturdays at 425 West Fountain Street, Providence, RI.

Thanks for Reading,

Colin Carlton

 

About Him

Colin is a local author and freelance writer. 

For more from him, please check out:

colincarlton.com

@colincarlton on Twitter + Instagram

@colincarltonofficial on Facebook

 

Photo Credits: All photos courtesy of Colin

This Restaurant Is Taking Farm To Fork To The Next Delicious Level

One key takeaway from my Feb. in Florida? Never mind the scary ride share experience from the other night (When your driver veers over into the opposite two lanes...), the fact that I'm currently sporting a Texas tuxedo (denim on denim), and some old dude telling me I need a tan, the crucial thing you need to know this minute is food and restaurant related.

Farmer's Table in Boca may not have been a fav of another of my Uber drivers (not the almost fiery crash one!), but who cares what she thinks? (Note: she couldn't even name any of her top restaurant picks in the area.) So, if you're going to bookmark a restaurant in the Boca Raton area, it's Farmer's. For me, back to the Sunny State means at least a handful of trips there. (Maybe more.)

Something that impressed me originally, besides their kick-ass coffee, inspired drink menu, rustic charming decor, and delightful back patio seating? They grow a big chunk of their veggies and herbs right on the premises. (How's that for farm to table or farm to fork?) You actually see part of their garden when you pull up to the entrance, where they also have a valet. (To quote Nicole Richie, I can't drive because I can't park, it's too stressful...Now, to clarify, I do drive, but hate, loathe, and detest parking, especially parallel.)

Also, unlike so many of my perennials back home in the Ocean State, FT serves chicken and red meat which I don't eat but most of my friends and fam do. Which means no more grunts, groans or sour faces when taking them to your (or my) current obsession for brunch, lunch or dinner. Happy faces all around! Clean, in-season, deliciousness for everyone! (For the record tho, I have won over many non-vegetarians with the Garden Grille's Squash Quesadilla.)

More to cheer about: This year, they've added a space, around the corner from the main entrance, called Farmer's Table Express, so you can bop in and grab healthy, yummy food to take home. If you aren't into cooking anything for din din (Pizza's vegetarian, right?) on a particular night, drop into the new mini storefront and choose from dozens of options, meat free or otherwise.

Even if you're on vacay and doing the FLA condo thing...

Speaking of which, another Uber drive taught me a brand-y new term, Condo Commandos, which refers to your neighbors in your development. Those who may or may not know all your biz. Or are upset because you tracked beach sand thru the main lobby. Or because you took their astronaut pen that writes upside down - Those Seinfeld episode arcs at Jerry's parents' condos were spot on dammit! I've flippin lived it! 

Find Farmer's Table at 1901 Military Trail, Boca Raton, FL 33431

Ciao for Now,

Patty J

 

Photo Credits: All photos courtesy of PattyJ.com