I recently mentioned visiting the mansions in Newport, Rhode Island, but not much else. It was school vacation week, and the Wife suggested that we could go to a timeshare of my parents-in-law there. The Wife, the Daughter and I had been to visit a friend of mine in another part of the state some five years earlier, and we briefly visited Newport as well.
What she didn’t tell me until the morning we were leaving was that her brother, his wife, and their twin 11-year-old daughters were ALSO going on the trip, staying at a different resort. Not that I minded; I just didn’t know.
We got to Newport in reasonably short order. As you enter the city, the first major street one is on is called Farewell Street. Can you guess what dominates the road? That’s right, a cemetery; someone with a grim sense of humor. Then we found the wrong part of Thames Street. The street, BTW, is pronounced as though it rhymes with ‘tames’, not like the river in England. The part of Thames we lived on was very narrow, streets like one might find in older parts of Europe. We eventually found our way, via a street called America’s Cup. But it took awhile because of the number of one-way streets.
On the second night, I was awakened at 12:34 a.m. by someone clearly trying the electronic key in the door at least a half dozen times; my wife, a much more sound sleeper, was oblivious to this. I looked out the peephole, and I see some guy in an orange jumpsuit – not prison garb, just loud colors – lying on the floor. I open the door tentatively, and he slowly staggers to his feet; even from a distance, I could tell he’s been drinking.
He sees me and says, “Is this your room?” I reply, “Yes. Would you like me to call 9-1-1 for you?” He says, “My name is Peter.” I say, “Hi, Peter. Would you like me to call 9-1-1 for you?” He says, “Nah. I must be in the next room.” I had the sense if I hadn’t spoken to him, he might have slept there all night, since the resort desk was closed from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. I went back to sleep, but my wife, overhearing my conversation with Peter, was awake for the next several hours.
The great thing about the in-laws on the trip was that we were only about five minutes away from each other, by foot. One night, they watched The Daughter so that The Wife and I could go out to dinner. Another night, we watched the girls while their parents went out. And the final night, we made dinner together, at their place, since they had an oven (we had just a stove top and a microwave). Their place also had a swimming pool, so the girls all swam together thrice. We also played a card game called Apples to Apples Junior, which was great fun. And we went to three mansions together, which made it easier for the grownups to switch off watching the three girls.
Of course, the worst part of vacation is coming back. This was literally true; we spent an hour stuck on the Berkshire spur portion of I-90, evidently as a result of an auto accident up ahead. But the vehicle looked awful, and sitting on an interstate is not the worst outcome at the end of a trip.