A few weeks back, my friends and I embarked on a little Providence history tour: Crimes and Cuisine on Federal Hill presented by Providence Tour Company!
I am a newbie to the Ocean State - I moved here five years ago. One of the things that caught my attention when I was researching where to move back in 2018 after 20+ years in the Pacific Northwest, was the plethora of history found in this part of New England.
And, we didn't even get to Federal Hill! That's where the Crimes and Cuisine comes in to share some of the stories of a few of the interesting characters from days gone by on The Hill.
My friends, Melissa and Jenny, joined me and others on a walking tour that included some fascinating tidbits of history about Raymon Patriarca, Sr. In the mid-fifties, he was the newly appointed boss of the New England Faction of La Cosa Nostra (Now known as the Patriarca Crime Family), and he moved the family's base of operations from Boston to Atwells Avenue. He ran the 'business' from 1954 until 1984 from the National Cigarette Service Company and Coin-O-Matic Distributors, a vending machine and pinball business. It was known to family members as "The Office". We also enjoyed several stops along the way to enjoy world-famous Italian cuisine in Providence's Little Italy.
It was a fantastic opportunity to learn more about my new home town and also spotlight some of the Creative Capital's colorful history to out-of-town visitors. If you have family coming for a visit for vacation, or for the upcoming Thanksgiving holidays, check out this tour for their visit. Providence Tour Company offers it on Saturdays through November.
Learn more about Crimes and Cuisine on Federal Hill by visiting PVDTourCo.com. They also offer tour for folks who are new to Providence!
So, I got this idea to be The Adventure Broad about a year ago when I was in Scotland visiting my daughter who goes to school there. And I had this ‘a ha!” moment: I am going to be 60 years old very soon. And I started thinking about it. I thought, wow, I most likely have about maybe 20 good years left. I mean, think about it, in 20 years I will be 80 years old. Now I hope as an 80-year-old, I'm still traveling around the world and having a hell of a good time. But I know as we get older, our body starts to fail and health issues come up. As matter of fact, I know one friend who is in her 80s and she's pretty much chair bound. Whereas I know that another gal who is in her 80s, and she travels the world. So, I'm hoping I'm more like her when I'm 80.
But in any event, when I put it in the context of I only have a couple of decades left, I didn't do so with the feeling that, “oh, no, life is ending too quickly” but putting some context around what I want to do with the rest of my life. And I decided that I want to live my best life.
As we all want to do, right? Well, I am determined to do so. So, I'm traveling. I am working on a film. I'm working on a book. I'm a business owner. I'm an actor. These are a few of things that have come into being over the past couple of years.
I want to share some insights that, perhaps, might inspire other women ‘of a certain age’ to live the biggest life possible one small adventure at a time, perhaps inspire you to tap back into some long-lost dreams that you might have had.
Now, I know we don't all take the same journey. But I know that many of us struggle with trying to reconnect with a dream, that little voice inside of us that gets buried under all the obligations, all the life experiences. Maybe you chose a path to get married and become a mother and have children. And in many cases, when that journey is pursued, we put a lot of other people's needs in front of our own. Years go by, the kids leave, perhaps you get divorced, your partner passes away, and you can't even hear that voice anymore.
I'm hoping this blog will help you reconnect with that long-lost voice so you can reconnect with your inner dream, that voice to help motivate you to reclaim that journey.
Just today, I had this wonderful moment, and I want to share it with you. I was visiting with a friend of mine who lives nearby, and she owns this beautiful property that sits on the edge of a lake. And I was staying in the one apartment which was right on the edge of the water. We were expecting Hurricane Lee to come through and fortunately it pretty much stayed out to sea. But we did get some residual weather from it. Namely, a little bit of drizzle and a little bit of wind -nothing too dramatic. But I woke up this morning to the sound of rain and the sound of wind - it was so peaceful. Just to get up and go to the window and hear the rain hitting the water. Hearing the wind rustle through the trees. As I was standing there enjoying this moment, taking it all in, I noticed a family of swans were heading in my direction. They got close enough to the shore, which is about 20 feet away from the house. And just being in that moment with nature was both so invigorating, yet calming.
I made my coffee, a cappuccino, and I sat down and I turned on the electric fireplace for ambiance while I journaled, which I do every day. And I had to stop at some point, because I was filled with this feeling of gratitude but that wasn't quite the word. I paused to consider what it was that I was experiencing. Well, it was contentment. And I'll have to admit, I don't recognize moments of contentment very frequently. I'm always moving, doing something. There's never this moment of pausing, and being content in the moment that I'm in.
I savored that moment of contentment – it brought a smile to my face, to my heart, that I could be in that moment of feeling happy, safe, healthy, enjoying the solitude in nature, right outside the window, in this comfort, just joyful.
I decided that I'm going to make a point of being in that space more frequently. As a matter of fact, as I prepared to head home after such a lovely time, I have a lot of things I should do but I decided that the day would be about making my art. The day would be about creating something. I came home and recorded a video of the first episode of my BroadBand the Podcast Redux. I made a podcast and this blog from that recording, too.
I hope that perhaps you feel inspired to pause for a moment – actually, I challenge you to pause for a moment and ask yourself if you are feeling contentment. And if not, ask yourself, what do you need in order to feel it and pursue it
I hope you're inspired, even a little bit, to live a big life one small adventure at a time because there is no time to waste even if you have another 40, 50, or 60 years to live.
The Chateau-Sur-Mer is one of the summer "cottages" in Newport that offers a peek at the Second Empire French style, which is also known as the Napoleon III style and is known for its eclectic presentation of design and decorative arts. As a fan of maximalist design, I couldn't wait to tour this Newport Mansion's property!
This was my first visit to this home once owned by the Wetmore family who built it as their year-round family home. I learned that it was one of the biggest homes before the Vanderbilts built their summer homes in Newport. The grounds are expansive and to imagine 2000+ guests for a country picnic on the lawns is quite something. The home was one that ignited the Gilded Age.
One of my favorite rooms in the mansion is the dining room and apparently, others agree! The table can seat 24 guests. The fireplace was carved from a single pice of walnut and the ceiling offers a beautiful painting that took me right back to Italy.
The Great Hall with the absolutely stunning staircase was another favorite part of the house for me. The George Wetmore, son of William Wetmore, hired architect, Richard Morris Hunt to update the house in 1870. Many parts of the original structure were moved to accommodate the changes. The architect also designed The Breakers and the Marble House in Newport.
I attended my first Newport Flower Show, presented by Newport Mansions, the weekend of June 23 - June 24 and what a floral extravaganza of blooms to enjoy!
Every summer, the charming coastal city of Newport, Rhode Island, becomes a haven for flower enthusiasts and gardening aficionados from around the world. The Newport Flower Show, an annual event celebrates the beauty of blooms and the artistry of horticulture.
The Newport Flower Show showcases a series of themed exhibits that exemplify the creativity and artistry of floral design. Each year, a new theme sets the stage for a captivating spectacle. Whether it's a celebration of exotic orchids, a tribute to classic English gardens, or a whimsical display inspired by fairy tales, the exhibits never fail to impress with their sheer beauty and attention to detail.
This year's theme was The Grand Tour - named for the travel trend of the 18th and 19th centuries when the well-to-do would take in the great sights, arts and cultures of Europe, “The Grand Tour” concept was interpreted with dozens of floral designs and creative mixed planters on themes such as Wonders of the World, Bon Voyages, Versailles, the Alps and Venice.
Visitors also had an opportunity to learn from the masters as talented floral designers and horticultural experts take center stage, offering insightful demonstrations:
The event also provided an opportunity for guests to pursue their passion for plants and gardening by exploring the vendors' marketplace. The market area was on the back lawn overlooking the water and offered an assortment of unique botanical treasures, including rare and exotic plants, gardening tools, artisanal decor, and handcrafted accessories. W
The Newport Flower Show was a floral extravaganza that took us into a world of natural beauty and artistic brilliance. As I immersed myself in the gorgeous displays and marveled at the creative floral designs, I definitely left feeling inspired to expand my own patio garden this summer. So, mark your calendars for next year and prepare to be mesmerized by the Newport Flower Show, a celebration of flowers, gardens, and the power of nature's beauty.
Be sure to sign up for the Newport Mansion e-newsletter to get up to date information about next year's event and details for other events!