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Trip Report: First time to New England--Part One

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Ozark, Missouri
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Trip Report: First time to New England--Part One

My husband and I like to take a few days each summer to celebrate another year of wedded bliss and surviving four teens. Our destination of choice the last few summers has been San Francisco; this year I decided to take advantage of an airfare sale from our small market airport & booked a flight to Providence. Unfortunately, work and family obligations allowed us only three nights, but that allowed us a quick look at a part of the country we have never visited. We are neither foodies nor history buffs, but we enjoy visiting anywhere that reminds us there is much more to the world than our tiny Midwest town. We almost never rent cars but prefer to use public transportation when possible.

Okay, enough background.

Day One: Simply a travel day. We arrived at the Providence airport just in time to catch the last bus of the day. We checked into the Providence Biltmore right at midnight. This is a nicely restored, historic old hotel that served its purpose for us.

Day Two: We grabbed a quick breakfast in the hotel's Starbuck's, then headed across the street to catch a trolley. With only a few hours, riding the trolley around to see what Providence had to offer seemed the only real option. We rode the green line around the east part of town and then over to Federal Hill. We stopped for lunch at an Italian restaurant/market named Costantino's Venda Ravioli. I had a stuffed eggplant dish that was quite good; my husband's ziti was okay. The atmosphere in the store was fun and lively--I truly enjoyed that. After lunch, I bought my husband a cannoli at the front of the store and we shared a table with a local man named Tony. (Tony seemed generally shocked that anyone would visit Providence as a tourist location. Unfortunately, we were already understanding why he was shocked. More on that later.) After lunch, we grabbed our luggage and headed to the Amtrak station to take the train to Boston's Back Bay station. I have never taken a train anywhere, so we chose Amtrak for one part of the trip thinking it would be that authentic train experience--whatever that may be. We boarded right after a storm came trough; it knocked power out to several signals so our 37 minute trip became 75 minutes. The ride was otherwise uneventful. The train was reasonably clean and less than half full; there was absolutely nothing to see out the windows so we rested and finished planning our time in Boston.

Boston in part two...

Boston
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1. Re: Trip Report: First time to New England--Part One

SuzyTraveler, I can't wait to read more of your trip report, it's well done by the way, also I'm looking forward to reading part two on your Boston adventures!

Did you get to see the WaterFire show in Providence by any chance:

www.waterfire.org

I'm trying to get there over a weekend in August hopefully to see this Providence Mall, their wonderful restaurants (one of them any way!) and this WaterFire show they have...

Thanks again for your trip report, it's really a good one! Looking forward to part two....

Ozark, Missouri
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2. Re: Trip Report: First time to New England--Part One

NoMo--we did not get to see Waterfire, but would have liked to. We were there just this past Tuesday; I think Waterfire is only a couple of Saturdays a month.

The mall did look impressive...even for this bona fide non-shopper.

Danbury, Connecticut
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3. Re: Trip Report: First time to New England--Part One

About Providence,

A couple years ago, this same time of year in fact, July 4th, my husband and I visited my sister who lives in nearby Warwick. We told her we looked forward to seeing how Providence celebrates July 4th compared to Boston and New York...

Well we found out there are two kinds of cities...those that are full with visitors for July 4th and those that empty out like ghost towns because their residents go elsewhere for the 4th. Providence was definitely the latter.

All the little shops were closed for the holiday.

Boston...
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4. Re: Trip Report: First time to New England--Part One

Hi Suzy:

Glad to see the Biltmore is still there and not under another name. I used to stay here way back. Providence is so close to Boston but so different. I do like it.

Boston...
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5. Re: Trip Report: First time to New England--Part One

In the last 10 years they've definitely improved the Providence downtown, restored buildings, revitilized the Riverwalk, are adding events like Waterfire to attact people there, etc. And the restaurants have really improved and there are some good ones. But it is a smaller place and just can't compete with Boston. We recently went to the Roger Williams Botanic Park and Zoo in Providence and loved it. This of course is on the outskirts of the city so you need a car to get there. So may be some day it will be able to offer more to tourists.

Boston
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6. Re: Trip Report: First time to New England--Part One

It probably still won;t make you feel better, but the rail trip from Providence to Boston was never 37 minutes, It's always been at least an hour.

AlanM

Dallas, Texas
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7. Re: Trip Report: First time to New England--Part One

Providence is a nice city too bad you didnt get to the Providence Mall that is one of the hightlites of the city.

8. Re: Trip Report: First time to New England--Part One

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