A Day in Newport

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Hey, everyone!  I hope you’re all enjoying your week thus far.  It’s almost Hump Day!  Today I’ll be sharing some of the details from a recent day trip.

This past Friday, a few of my girlfriends and I spent the day in Newport, Rhode Island to celebrate a super special 20thbirthday.  (HBD, Ken!)  We planned to do lots of shopping, eating, and walking around the tiny coastal town…and that’s exactly what we did.  I had never been to Newport before, so I was especially excited about this much-anticipated trip.  Luckily, my friends knew where to go and how to get around.

By the time we crossed the big bridge and fought our way through typical Friday afternoon Newport traffic, it was close to 2:00, and we were ready for lunch.  The girls were ranting and raving over these signature nachos, so the decision about where and what to eat was a pretty simple one to make.  We went to Smoke House, a restaurant specializing in barbecue food and sweet summer cocktails.  The place was pretty much open, with a good-sized dining room in the back that probably would have been perfect for a shower of some sort.

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We sat in the open-air seating area and shared two portions of the pulled pork nachos between the five of us.  Soooooo yummy!  And it was the perfect amount of food to fill us up for the afternoon.  Even better was the fact that the drinks were served in glass mason jars!

Then it was time to SHOP.  We were all really eager to visit whichever small, seaside shops tickled our fancy.  If we saw something interesting in the windows, we went in.  It was simple and stress-free.  We were all just happy to be together celebrating a young woman officially hitting her twenties.

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Tibet In Port is a shop full of unique tapestries and clothing, Buddha and elephant statues, beautifully beaded jewelry, and other miscellaneous homegoods.  It was where I found my little gem of the trip, a handcrafted cloth elephant complete with a keychain loop!  I named him Wilbur, and he is hanging in my car as we speak.

We also discovered Jack Wills, which is apparently a pretty popular brand among young preps and Newport moms alike.  The “fabulously British” styles reminded me of the Hollister/Gilly Hicks types, but with a more mature, wearable twist.  I think each of us girls found items that we really liked and would be willing to spend the money on, if only our wallets had been just a little bit more endowed.  (Ballin’ on a budget, y’all!)  Finding this goldmine was bittersweet, though, because we don’t have a Jack Wills store near our hometown.

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We also popped into the newly opened Topshop and found ourselves repeatedly asking, “What would Bey wear?”  Most of what I found there was overpriced, but a girl can dream!  (Take thee to a sales rack!)

Next was Ocean Drive, a long, winding road lined with increasingly beautiful homes—and eventually, full-on mansions—and dotted by small, seaside cliffs stretching into the lapping waves.  We drove about halfway, then parked and walked out onto the rocks.

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In true Newport fashion, a beaming bride was having her wedding day photo shoot on one of the outstretched rocks, her groom holding her hand and helping her walk in her heels.  We all took pictures, and our hearts melted.  I have been suffering from wedding fever ever since!  Then we drove past the various homes and mansions-turned-museums and basically gawked at the architecture the whole way.

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For dinner we went to The Red Parrot, a restaurant we had had our eyes on for most of the day because of its incredible wooden sliding glass windows and giant flower boxes.  I was in the mood for a good salad, and the grilled chicken Caesar did not disappoint.  The whole dinner was so relaxing; we enjoyed the slight breeze coming in through the window and people-watched as what seemed like all of Newport trickled onto the streets for some nighttime fun.

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After some more walking around, we headed to one of the wharfs where many of the privately owned boats were beginning to dock for the night.  There we watched the sunset and people-watched some more, before doing a little bit more window shopping and heading back to where we had parked.  We enjoyed about a half hour of relaxation in the hot tub at the resort where my friend had gotten us day passes.  Then most of us changed into more comfortable clothes to prepare for the drive back.  Before we left, though, we had to walk back to the same wharf and grab some Ben & Jerry’s, as the delicious scent of their sugar cones baking had been enticing us all day.

The whole day was pretty incredible.  I was so relaxed, and Newport just felt like home.  No wonder people of all ages flock there every summer!  I’m so excited to possibly make another trip there for my own twentieth birthday this coming fall.

Have you ever visited Newport before?  What were your favorite features of the town, and what did you do with your day?  I’d love to read your restaurant/product reviews or click through your shopping hauls!  Leave comments and links below 🙂

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