Being a stay at home/work mom means that I, obviously, spend a lot of time at home. Somedays I feel like the soundtrack of my life should begin with Etta James singing Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.
But when cabin fever strikes, or my kids are having a no-nap day, I have begun a new tradition. I take the family on a Rhode Island Road Trip.
Growing up, my family didn’t have a lot of extra money to spare. Birthdays were frugal, big nights out for us meant we could go to a local pizza house, get a big pie and play a few songs on the jukebox. So quite frequently, on Sunday afternoons, my parents would take us on a road trip.
We would pack up in our station wagon or minivan, take a few snacks and drinks for the ride, and go explore parts of our state. Believe you me, the Ocean State has some gorgeous drives.
So I wanted to take you on one of my favorite Rhode Island car rides that I’ve been doing recently. It is pretty anytime of the year, but I prefer Spring, Summer or Fall, so you can roll down your windows and breathe in all of the different scents.
Because these scenic drives are becoming quite important to me, it’s also important that I keep my car in tip top shape. I frequent the Walmart Automotive Care Center so I can get an oil change while I shop and grab everything else that my family and I need for the week.
By doing this I can save time and money at the same time! We currently use the Pennzoil Platinum®: Full Synthetic Motor Oil with PurePlus™ , but once our vehicle is over 75k miles we will switch to Pennzoil® High Mileage Vehicle®. We use the Pennzoil® High Mileage Vehicle® motor oil on our other vehicle because it helps clean out the sludge lesser oils leave behind, and keeps our engine running clean and going strong. High mileage is on Rollback ($39.88 on Rollback to $35.88) from June 15 – September 28, so if you’re planning on taking a Rhode Island Road Trip yourself, you may want to check out your Automotive Care Center!
I begin my journey at home, on the East Side of Providence, and head on over the Waterman Bridge to East Providence. Which is always a pretty big gamble (this is when the trip is made or broken) because Rhys has developed this irrational fear of going over bridges. “No bridges, mama!” he’ll say, and while I don’t necessarily understand it, I do get that it may or not be the cutest thing mankind has ever done.
While driving on Veterans Memorial Parkway, you’ll have some occasional views of the Providence River. The stunning Metacomet Country Club Golf Course will be on your left (where I dream that someday I’ll be grown up enough to sit down, have a drink, and kibitz with the social elite.). Then we come to Riverside and the Crescent Park Carousel as well as the Rose Larisa Park.
Ok – another big gamble – but well worth taking. I usually have to distract Rhys as much as possible during this portion of the drive because if he gets his eagle eyes affixed to those spinning horses he won’t stop bothering me to “ride the horsies, mama! Ride the horsies!” Sure it’s cute for about a minute and a half, but we’re talking about an active three year old who’s an Aries.
Meaning – HE. NEVER. GIVES. UP.
My usual answer is to play the soundtrack from How To Train Your Dragon 2 as loud as I can and get him to sing along to the tunes. Most of the time it works, he is three after all, but there are those special days where he still spots it and we have to stop. Onward!
After spending some time soaking in the views from Rose Larisa Park, or a ride or two on the carousel, head on back in your car and turn on County Road, and jump on the Wamponaug Trail (route 114.) This road brings you through Barrington and Warren, and eventually into Bristol. (Again, more dreams of kibitzing with the social elite.)
End at Colt State Park, and take the time to drive throughout one of Rhode Island’s most stunning sights.
There are large grassy lawns, sunset views of the bay, plenty of space to run or walk, and also picturesque spots to park your car and just soak in the view!
Clearly, this is Rhys’ favorite part of the drive. As it would be for any reasonably functioning human being (but, again, he is three so I don’t count on his reasoning haha).
Rhys LOVES the water – although, if we go to the shore, he usually wimps out and refuses to go in.
I guess you could compare his love of water to a regular adults love of boats. Love looking at them. Heck, maybe even riding in them. But jumping in and owning one? No way. Too much work.
If you’re a busy parent like myself, and want your kids to fall asleep in the car while you have a gorgeous drive, I’d highly recommend taking the time to get to and drive around Colt State Park via this route. Even if the little ones wake up, by the time you get to the park you can have everyone stretch their legs and go on a little adventure.
And the best part, is that even after playing around looking at the bay, birds and boats – that you can take the same stunning drive on your way back home!
If you’re up for even more of an adventure – I suggest continuing down route 114 in Bristol.
If you get the timing right during the summer, you can actually see how gorgeous this area can be because of their preparations for the 4th of July. Red white and blue striped roads, flags and banners draped everywhere and daily concerts at Independence Park are all part of the awesome East Bay atmosphere.
Visit Blithewold Mansion, or even head on over to Tiverton and Little Compton. There you will find even more stunning water views!
You’ve probably noticed by now that I have not mentioned my daughter Felicity. That’s for a very good reason. She’s perfect. I don’t have to entertain her, or keep her in check like I do Rhys. She’s just happy to be in the car, see some sights, and best of all – she’s not afraid of bridges.
Although, I will admit, that would be cute…
Talk soon, friends!
Rhode Island has been on my to-visit list for quite a while now. Thank you so much for sharing these photos…I've got to make my way over there soon! #client