July 2 – 5 2017
How We Got There
I flew on Jet Blue from Oakland to Boston and then took the “T” Commuter Rail from Boston South Station to Providence. Yuri flew on Southwest to Providence Airport via Baltimore from Cincinnati.
How We Got Around
The public transportation system in Providence consists of buses that arrive every hour and take you to all corners of the city. Lyft and Uber both operate in Providence. The train station and hotel were right next to each other and a few blocks away from downtown so we mostly walked around. Yuri did rent a car, and if you plan on exploring areas outside of the immediate downtown area, I would recommend getting a car as well.
Where We Stayed
We stayed at the beautiful Renaissance Providence hotel. The hotel was inside a classic building and directly across the street from the State Capitol. Our room had a beautiful day and night time view of the Capitol building. We’ve been blogging about the Marriott Autograph Collection, short of staying at one of those I think my favorite “regular” Marriott brand is the Renaissance. They are always located in spectacular buildings, the customer service is impeccable, and the bedding is heavenly.
What We Did
I took a red eye and didn’t get much sleep. Yuri didn’t arrive until the evening on Sunday. I checked in early and slept in. Once Yuri arrived we got dinner at the famous and quirky Haven Bros. food truck. The next day we got up bright and early and walked nearly twenty miles exploring the Capitol, Roger Williams Memorial, waterfront, downtown area and the hills around Brown University. We drove to Roger Williams park, checked out the Park Museum and the Zoo. We had a delicious seafood dinner at Hemenways before calling it a night.
The next day we went back up to Brown University and got lunch in the trendy restaurant packed main street of college hill. We explored the campus and stopped at the historic Avon Cinema to watch “The Beguiled”. Yuri had to leave early so we said our goodbyes shortly after this. I walked down to India Park, watched the Navy Band play some amazing patriotic tunes, got BBQ from a food truck, and watched the fireworks show at the harbor with at least one thousand other people.
The next day, I got on the T around noon and made my way back up to Boston to wait for my flight back to San Francisco.
What Was the Fuss
Providence is a wonderful city with a lot of historic architecture, beautiful parks, and some of the best seafood on the East Coast. It is one of the oldest cities in the United States and has undergone some major transformations throughout its long and decorated history. The most interesting thing that we learned about in Providence was the story of the man who founded it. Roger Williams was a radical in his time with “dangerous new ideas” such as freedom of religion which caused him to be banished from the Massachusetts colony and led to the founding of Providence. I don’t recall learning anything about him during my education, but I purchased a handful of books by and about him and I look forward to learning more. His dangerous new ideas form the foundation of some of the rights and liberties that we value the most in the country today.