When I started writing this blog, I was traveling alone through Spain and Italy in July 2009. I was happily single, loving the freedom of solo travel. (See my earlier post for my reflection on the glories of traveling alone.) While I still would enjoy a trip by myself, my affection has shifted toward a handsome, 6’5″ man who happens to love me and wants to explore the world with me. Jon and I took our first true vacation together last week, traveling to Boston and to Rhode Island over the span of seven days. Neither of us had been to Boston before, so each day was a new adventure of sightseeing, day drinking, relaxing, and walking…lots of walking. We absolutely loved Boston and all that it has to offer. The history is so rich, so tangible, and it makes you proud to be an American. Our favorite part of the city is how walkable it is–you can truly walk from the North End to the South End, from Fenway Park to Quincy Market. They also have a brilliant subway system, with stops around every corner, destinations anywhere you would want to go. We took the MBTA to Providence, Rhode Island from Boston, and for $10/ticket, we realized this is something Atlanta is severely lacking, and we winced when we got home to Atlanta and had to get back in our vehicles to go anywhere.
The second half of our week was spent in lovely, charming, beautiful Rhode Island. We were there to visit with the Barton family and celebrate the marriage of my dear friend, Taylor. The wedding festivities were lovely, and we tremendously enjoyed our time with family and friends. When we were not obligated with the wedding, we went to Newport for the day. Newport might be one of my favorite American cities–simply beautiful. The waterfront alone sets it apart from most other places I love, but add to that the charming homes, the cobblestone streets, and the restaurants and my heart swoons. Especially over the lobster. OMG, the lobster. But that’s a separate post…anyway, on Sunday, we saw a different side of Newport when we attended the Newport Folk Festival, one of the greatest music festivals in the country. It is where Bob Dylan first played the electric guitar. It is where up-and-coming artists draw huge crowds and win over new fans. It is set at Fort Adams State Park, just across the bay from Newport. There were four stages, spread apart enough not to interfere with one another. We bounced around from stage to stage all day, loving every minute of seeing some of our favorite artists: Of Monsters and Men, The Head and the Heart, Punch Brothers, Tallest Man on Earth, GraveRobbers…I could go on and on. Jon and I first connected over our love of folk music. He and I constantly seek out new artists to enjoy, and it is my favorite thing about us, that shared passion. Attending the folk festival with him was so special, such fun, and the perfect way to wrap up a fantastic week in New England.
I would love to go back overseas, but each summer that I spend seeing new parts of this great country, the more I realize how much domestic travel has to offer. What a wealth of opportunity we have here! And now I have my partner with whom I can enjoy all of these experiences…to say I am blessed would be an understatement.