If you’re looking for an inexpensive getaway in New England I recommend taking a trip to the beautiful state of Rhode Island. I took a super short road trip there last weekend and it was a breath of fresh air.
It didn’t matter which city we stayed in, but the price for a one-night stay had to be right. We ended up staying in a super cute little apartment in Providence Rhode Island. The communication with the host was great, there was contactless check-in, and they even left disinfecting supplies for us to use (although we walked with our own). We were most thankful for the working furnace on the premises because it was CHILLY that weekend!
Dinner at Den Den Cafe Asiana
After perusing the web for local restaurants, we decided to grab dinner at a a Korean spot nearby that had great reviews and amazing food pictures. Since it was a Saturday night we called ahead to see what the wait was like. According to the staff member it would only be about 20 minutes, which was doable for us. We found street parking right next to the restaurant without a problem and was actually able to walk right in. As soon as we stepped in the door there were about 10 voices screaming “hi – hello – welcome!” We were pleasantly taken aback by all the greetings. I felt like Norm walking in the bar at Cheers (if you know, you know).
The seating arrangements were socially distanced and they instructed us to take one of the available tables. It was nice to not have other people all up in our space. That is certainly one aspect of pre-Rona dining that I do not miss. The food and drinks were POPPIN’! And by drinks I’m talking about their ginger tea! Both the hot and cold versions were amazing, and perfect for immune health, especially with Fall weather that was present. We stayed until closing and the staff was amazing throughout our dining experience. I am definitely making a pit stop there on one of my drives home to Boston. It’s worth it!
Breakfast at IHOP
Due to the day’s schedule, we needed to get breakfast super early, and the only option nearby that was open before 7:00AM was IHOP. Le sigh, it was so underwhelming. Their social distance table dividers were poorly handmade pieces of white styrofoam boards attached to the chair backs by duct tape. It was a sight for sore eyes but I decided to look past that. The waiter was blah, and the food was cold and wack. I know it’s IHOP and my expectations shouldn’t be so high but, I’ve been to PLENTY of stellar IHOPs in my day. This unfortunately, wasn’t one of them. I just want to have that portion of my life back at this point. All that being said. Stay away from the IHOP near Providence Place lol. #isaidwhatisaid
Activity 1: Apple Picking at Pippin Orchard
I had never been to an orchard before so I wanted to go before the season ended. Additionally, it was an outdoor activity that allowed for personal space. The goal was to get there close to opening time to avoid long lines and plenty of people. The parking area was pretty full but once entered the Orchard it didn’t seem too crowded. We paid $25 for our bag and headed on inside to get our picking on. It was a cute experience. I had a few gripes with this orchard.
- The apple trees weren’t labeled, so guests didn’t know what kind of apples they were picking (unless they were experts). It was annoying having to ask the available staff member each time.
- They had lots of signage that said “no climbing, no shaking”, but they didn’t have any reaching poles available for the juicy looking apples that were too high up.
- We were confined to a certain zone on the Orchard. There was a big field of trees that we didn’t have access to. If those fields were open there would have been more space for the crowd, and more varieties of apples.
Overall, it was a nice “first-time” activity. I would go again, but to an orchard of a higher quality. The apples were great though, I can’t lie! I made a few desserts with them yesterday and am WELL pleased!
Activity 2: Diamond Hill Vineyards
The initial plan was to grab a take-out from a nearby restaurant and have a cozy lunch at the vineyard. Buuuut, since we ate breakfast later than expected we scratched the eating idea. Diamond Hill Vineyards was a 20-minute drive from Pippin Orchard. Once again, the goal was to arrive in time to avoid the crowd and get a good spot. We were successful and arrived around 11:50AM and the vineyard was set to open at noon. We secured a picnic table, ordered a “flight” of four wine samples, then purchased the bottles of the ones we enjoyed. Like many vineyards during Rona-season, they were not doing any wine tasting events, which was totally okay with me. They had a quaint outdoor setup and a cute wine shop.
Due to the chilly weather I wasn’t interested in staying at the vineyard too long. In fact, I didn’t even feel like taking a picture in the fields because I was too cold. Nonetheless we had a good time at our picnic table chatting, listening to low music on our speaker, and sipping on Diamond Hill wine. After nearly two hours at the vineyard it was time to go. I was too happy to get in the car with some heat! Would I go back to this particular vineyard? Probably not. My next vineyard adventure will definitely take place in warmer months at a more lavish vineyard that specializes in sweet wines.
That’s it for today y’all! Have a happy Fall and stay tuned for my future Tasty T’ingz posts featuring desserts and drinks made from the apples and wines purchased on this trip.