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...