Rhode Island and Salem

26 Aug

So, I just got back from my road trip to Rhode Island last night. In all honesty, other than some rich neighborhoods/streets (which are actually very few and far between), New England did not seem to live up to the internal visualization I have had of the region my whole life. Parts were beautiful, parts were gross; parts were rich (yet old), parts were poor (and still old). Actually, I rather like North Carolina’s trees better. Trees are a big thing to me (purely from a visual perspective). Granted, this is purely based off of the limited regions I visited and drove through.

There are a few things I have noticed about Rhode Island as a whole (and may be applicable to other New England states, I am not sure):

1. Left turns have the right-of-way. I am not sure who decided to set this precedence, but apparently Rhode Islanders seem to think that coming to a complete stop in the middle of a road in order to let a car on the opposite side of the road turn is acceptable. Maybe they need a refresher course from the driving manual, but I’m pretty sure that is universally absurd. This happened on several occasions during our short stay.

2. Driving more than 20 minutes is considered a road trip. Actually, I think this applies to everyone outside of larger states. And maybe I view a destination three hours away as a day trip because Texas is just so damn big, but I’ve noticed residents of smaller states just simply do not will not drive more than 20 minutes to get to a place. If it takes any longer, you can hear faint complaints or a frustrated sigh in the distance. Maybe this has just been my experiences with a few people, but it seems pretty consistent. (I’d like to point out that our road trip took upwards of 13 hours in one day. Also, We do weekend trips across the state back in Texas.)

3. Speaking of how big Texas is, Rhode Island is a baby. I don’t mean this in a bad way; it’s so damn cute! And I seriously love how in a span of the 13 hour road trip to Rhode Island, we went through 7 states (North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island). You could drive 13 hours in Texas and still be in Texas. No joke.

Lists aside, the trip was fun. Newport is gorgeous. The drive (although painfully long on the way back) was not too horrible. I put a dent in my wallet (the size of a boulder, but whatevs).

While up in Rhode Island, Adam, Elysia and I decided to visit Salem, Massachusetts… Mainly because witches are super fascinating, and because I love interesting history. Apparently 20% of Salem’s population are practicing Wiccans. Which is super awesome. It kind of makes you think that maybe they secretly (or not so secretly) despise the touristy Salem. I mean, if I were Wiccan, I feel like I would kind of hate everyone who continues to stereotype witches. But at the same time, the town thrives off of that Hollywood version of historical inaccuracy.

My favorite part of our day trip to Salem was our walking tour by Jeff from Bewitched (the store, not the show). He was by far the best tour guide I have personally had.. ever. He is super knowledgeable and super informative about something so passionate to him. What I loved most about the tour was how often Jeff stressed the realities of the events in 1692 rather than play up to the stereotypical hype one would expect from a touristy town such as Salem. Having minored in history in undergrad, and being a person very much interested in commemorative memorials/testimonies, I very much appreciated his view of the Salem Witch Trials.

Did you know that the whole “witch” ordeal pretty much started because someone mentioned that a person suffering from fits seemed bewitched?

The town now embraces the attention by plastering the Bewitched statue/pictures everywhere.

The town now embraces the attention by plastering the Bewitched statue/pictures everywhere.

-Desiree

 

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