On Christmas morning, I left a snowy Dalton and drove to Atlanta, boarded a MARTA train to the airport, and flew to Providence, Rhode Island to see my dear friend, Taylor, who now lives in Bolivia, South America. There were some firsts for me: first white Christmas, first time traveling on Christmas Day, first time visiting the Northeast United States, and my first time staying with a friend’s family for more than just a night. As it turns out, I beat the blizzard by about 12 hours and spent Sunday watching the snow fall…and fall…and keep falling. It was BEAUTIFUL. I was truly taken by the charm of Rhode Island, especially covered in a white blanket that almost felt majestic. The tiny state is full of Colonial-style homes, many built in the 1800s. And the food there–WOW! Quohogs, lobster rolls, clam chowder…yes, please. Again and again. The Bartons ushered me all over their home state: East Greenwich (where they live), Newport, Providence, Narragansett, Warwick, and Kingstown. Each town had its own unique charms and even though the 14-inch snow kept us from exploring much on foot, I anticipate a return trip to that lovely state. One day, Taylor and I took the commuter train to Boston, which lost its appeal amid the 40-mph wind gusts and temperatures in the single digits. (I have never ever been that cold before.) For those reasons, Boston remains on my must-visit list. As you know if you follow my blog, I do most of my traveling alone, but this time I was surrounded by the Barton family, and it was such a treat to have them as my hosts and travel guides. I love the pride they have in their home and the warmth with which they treated me as a guest in their home. Becoming a member of their family, even if just for a few days, was an honor and a pleasure.