Some of you may know that Lil Sis and I have an ongoing competition to see who can run in more states, countries and continents. You may also know that Lil Sis is currently engaged in a “12 Running Goals for 2012” challenge she concocted at the end of last year. Bored of regular training plans and chasing PR’s, she wanted something to spice to up her life (can I please tell you that ever since the Olympics started, I cannot get Spice Girls songs out of my head even though I have never been a fan of them and they have nothing to do with it!!) and the way she decided to make that happen was this: she took 12 slips of paper, assigned a goal to each one and at the beginning of every month pulls one out of a hat and has to complete it by month’s end. Check out her Facebook album documenting this quest and see how she managed to run in costume when it came up as her January goal 🙂
Anywho, July’s goal was “run in a new state”. Her schedule is crazy busy these days and she only had 2 states that are within a weekend drive away, so the choice became RI or WV. For a variety of reason, RI won out and a short Hotwire hotel search later, we were all set to rack up a new state! Well, I should say she was all set to but also grudgingly resigned to the fact that I would be too. I am currently on top of the state standings and since neither of us had RI, it would be a net zero gain for her in the competition. BUT neither of us can resist the lure of a sister trip, so she put her competitive fire aside and off we went!!
That makes the trip sound a lot faster than it was. Although we left early in the day (12:45pm), there is no winning against summer traffic on Friday. Connecticut pummeled us with 55 miles of traffic (that is not a typo – not 5 miles or 5.5 miles, but 55 MILES!!! It was insane!). We have now declared a personal war on CT, since although the way back was traffic-free, it was not easy due to the torrential downpour (< 1 miles past the state line) that forced us to slow down to “hazard lights on” speed for miles! God bless the people who live and travel around Rt. 95 in CT, you guys deserve a medal or a beer or that surgery from Eternal Sunshine to erase the memory of that mess!
Upon reaching Providence, the quaintness of the city usurped our bad traffitudes (that’s a new word to describe an attitude that comes from traffic. Yup, I made it up) and we soon found ourselves fawning all over it. We had booked a room at the Biltmore, a historic hotel downtown. We got in the room and Lil Sis immediately switched on the Olympics. We didn’t want to miss any more of the opening ceremonies, so we ordered an awesome delivery meal from Luxe Burger and happily chowed down as we contemplated whether Paul McCartney was finally losing his touch or if he was choked up at the beginning of his set (choked up – whew!). By midnight, we turned out the lights in our hot box, making the best of it by assuming the lack of working air conditioning was part of the historic experience of the hotel.
Room 720, where it was as hot as the 1700s
Dinner! Guess who ordered the Gorgonzola tater tots?
We woke up the next day ready to get a big check in this little state! I had not mapped out a route as I am apt to do, so with nothing to guide us but Laur’s innate sense of direction, a Garmin and an iPhone (“the devil’s instruments. you’ll rot your brain with those crutches!” shouted the ghosts of the colonists), we set off. We had a glorious run, enjoying the cool morning air and the picturesque sights. Here is what we saw:
An action shot at Burnside Park
Lil Sis tackles stairs at the Rhode Island College of Design
The Carrie Tower built in honor of one man’s deceased wife. I fully expect one of these if I go before GD.
Brown University was great to run through! I believe at this moment we were debating whether or not Michael Jackson was actually guilty. You can see the impacts of an Ivy League school on our intellect already!
Post-run sister self-portrait! We have more pics like this than we can count and I treasure every last one.
Upon our return to the hotel, we got cleaned up and went to do a bit more exploring:
Chowing down at Tazza while we watched some impressive and not so impressive teenagers do Parkour.
Going for a tour at the John Brown House and ending it by making the decision that Lil Sis must buy an old house to fix up and live in. I will do my part by visiting her and heaping compliments on her restoration and decoration efforts.
We both repeatedly remarked how much we enjoyed the feel of this city. There is just something about immersing yourself in historical places that makes you appreciate what you have and how far people have come. I mean, when the people of the 1700s wanted to check RI off their run list, they had no Google Earth, Garmin or iPhone to lead the way! They just put on their wool suits and set off into the great beyond! Seriously though, from dealing with their children dying, to no plumbing or electricity, to the very tumultuous political climate, they were clearly made of mettle far stronger than what I possess.
On the flip side, Lil Sis and I also spent time wondering what the people of the future will think about our way of life today. For example, we both think there is a lot of room for improvement in traveling and we like to picture people hundreds of years from now walking through a museum showing the fuselage of a plane and the docent saying “Yes, in their day, these people would strap themselves into one of these tiny seats and then sit for up to 16 hours with nothing but reruns of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and teeny bags of pretzels to get from one country to another! Can you imagine??”
We both loved Providence and would like to come back one day to do a race. However, unless teleportation suddenly becomes an option (can someone get on that? it is the 2000s now, the stories of my youth led me to believe my cells would be zapped from here to there and everywhere in no time by now!), we can guarantee it most definitely will not be on a summer weekend when traffic in CT will inevitably lead to us cursing the day it was ratified as a state!
Who is your road trip buddy?
How many states, countries and continents have you run in?
Where do you think the museums of the future will focus on about today?