Friday 7/19/19 - Waking up to 2 giggling toddlers is better than, well, an alarm clock telling you to go to work. Perspective. A good night’s sleep, even though glued to a wiggly 4-year old, can really recharge the battery. I was ready for our first true day of vacation.
We all threw on clothes, finished our grocery order for the boat that would be delivered later in the day (after boarding), and we were off to breakfast. The sun was shining and the puddles from the previous night were slowly dissipating, as we followed the same path from the previous night, along cobblestones streets next to the harbor. In the daylight we could see the hundreds of boats at anchor, moored along countless docks, hear the seagulls squawking good morning, and watch the tourists bustling along the waterfront. The town was abuzz with activity already and it was only...11am?! Holy sh*t, how long did it take us to get ready?
Our first stop was the Marriott, the sister hotel to 41North, which allowed use of it’s pool. Avery has a national swim meet in California when we return, and requires a few workouts while we are on vacation. I just hope the big guy in undersized-trunks and his screaming children don’t get in the way of Avery’s flip turns.
Leaving her to dodge the family of water creatures, we made our way through the lobby to breakfast. Before exiting the hotel, we ran into some sea creatures of our own, as there were two teenagers from the Newport Ocean Museum with several local aquatic creatures on display. We held onto a few hermit and spider crabs, a non-poisonous (according to the pimpled-teen) sea urchin, and a well-fed snail. I’m learning that the unplanned surprises are all that keep the girls entertained. And thus began the endless requests from Charley to receive a hermit crab as a pet. So you’re not on pins and needles, Tara caved later in the day to purchasing a couple crabs for the children upon our return to Denver, assuming they’re well-behaved through the week. Not that anyone with a child would take the other side, but I’ll give anyone 100-1 odds that they misbehave and lose the crabs. The fact that we’ll cave into their endless requests and excuse our changed mind to some moment of brilliance during the week is not up for debate.
Finished with the zoo, we headed next door to a massive pier that housed Belle’s Cafe and the Newport Shipyard. We watched a crane cradle a massive yacht as it slowly lowered her into the water. We walked by a shrink-wrapped 80-foot sailboat, while tourists were replaced by men in hazmat suits carrying legitimate boat gear. Newport is more than a facade, or a historic sailing Mecca. This is an active port, bustling with lobster boats, fishing vessels, sailboats, and ferry’s. My normally dormant sense of smell is alight with the salty scent of the sea. I love Newport already.
While waiting for breakfast, we visited the Newport Shipyard gift shop, picked up some new sunglasses for the Captain, sandals for the 4-year old, and I think a sweatshirt for the teen. Around that time (noon), I received a call from a sweet young lady from 41North asking where the f*ck we were, as checkout was an hour ago. I explained that another gal in the lobby granted me late checkout the night prior. What time? Err, how about 12:45? Great, we’ll see you with our bags just before 1. Ok, Team Z, we need to hustle back.
7 Gift shops later, and numerous requests for another stuffed-animal, we walked into the lobby and hustled to mask the tornado that obviously struck room 24 the night prior, before handing off our luggage to valet, promising we would return in the afternoon to retrieve our items. Kyle, a college-aged guy in a bow tie, smiled and said he’d take care of us. Joking aside, we loved the hotel. We noticed that the Dr. Seuss quote that had been written on the mirrors of all three hallway floors had been erased and replaced by a Steve Job’s quote. Very clever. The lobby check in/check out consisted of a girl with a laptop at the entrance who knew us by name when we arrived and checked-out, pleasantly filling my water bottle with ice/water before departing for the day. We’ll definitely return to Newport, and 41 North is our adopted home away from Denver.
We would learn a couple days later, in Martha’s Vineyard, that we were experiencing a 75 year record in heat and humidity. Record or not, it was extremely uncomfortable walking around town, without frequent stops into whatever store front offered air conditioning and a half-amused smile at our noisy children. “Yes they all are mine. Yes I do know where they come from, thank you for asking.” I’m sure that conversation happened more than once, and more than in my head.
If I haven’t lost you already, I won’t bore you with an account of every store we entered, said no multiple times to requests for something that was our kids’ favorite, before caving, purchasing, swearing we would never buy anything else in this town, before repeating the offense minutes later. 5pm couldn’t come soon enough. After my second bowl of clam chowder in fewer days, we headed to the hotel, grabbed our luggage, and Ubered the 5 miles to the scheduled dock
Mike, an agent of our charter company, greeted us with his Boston accent and his “let’s get this over with so I can go watch the Red Sox on TV” attitude. “Perfect Summer” was sitting on a mooring ball in the harbor, so I was instructed to follow him in our dinghy to the boat. I was given a quick refresher on starting, troubleshooting (how to bail water?), and running the dinghy before grabbing Charley to join me on the briefing. The rest of the family remained on shore with half our luggage, awaiting one of two grocery deliveries.
An hour later, we had been briefed, Mike had left, and I was making my second or third run to shore in the dinghy, “all” family and luggage on the boat when I discovered that I had not seen my fishing pole in 24 hours. Shit! I called 41North to ask whether it was left in storage. Nope. I called my Moroccan Uber driver from Thursday, who might as well have continued speaking in his native tongue, as between the wind in the background, the dinghy engine going, and our language barrier, we couldn’t understand one another. A couple minutes later, profanity on both our ends of the call, we arrived at the conclusion that a four-foot canvas tube had never been on board his minivan. Back at the boat, Tara confirmed the suspicion that we left the pole sitting against the concrete piling of the parking garage in Providence. I considered blaming the children, alerting them to the likelihood that we would all starve at sea, or resort to cannibalism, but decided it was as much my fault as theirs.
The night ended with a pizza dinner (my fourth trip to shore - I’m now an expert with my dinghy...just ask the shopkeepers in Newport). One of my favorite aspects of sailing has to be sitting at anchor as the sun sets, the still waves in the harbor lapping at the side of the boat, the children gagged and tied down in their respective bunks. Now, where is that bottle of wine...
We're the Zimmerman Family!
Home Base | Denver, CO
A family of six that
LOVES to sail !
Follow our crew (Royce, Tara, Avery, Charley, Nora & Ruby)
as we blog our sailing adventures
Set Sail 4.22.23 | Las Palmas - Across the Atlantic - Island of Antigua
Set Sail 9.22.21 | Sweden - Germany -
Set Sail 7.18.19 | Newport, RI -
Martha's Vineyard, MA -
Nantucket, MA -
Thanks for reading !
Previous Trip Posts: