October 15, 2011

A Family Dinner

The sun came out today, and it was glorious.  Mary had graciously given us the use of her car during our visit to Providence, and Tim and I headed out on our own today, without having to worry about finding a place to park the RV.  Mary had told us about the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, so we decided to check it out.  This is a different type of national park, since the Federal Government neither owns nor manages the land.  Instead the National Park Service works with a local commission to protect the identity of the corridor and prepare for its future.  I continue to be impressed with the way the National Park Service develops new and innovative means to preserve the nation’s heritage.

The Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor is considered to be the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution, and the corridor extends from Worcester, Massachusetts, to Providence, Rhode Island.  We visited one of the sites, the Slater Mill, which was America’s first factory.  It was interesting to establish the link between this early mill and the ones that were built a short while later in Lowell, Massachusetts, which we visited last week.
Wilkinson Mill at the Slater Mill Museum Complex
We made our way to downtown Providence where we visited the Roger Williams National Memorial, one of the nation’s smallest national park units.  Williams was the founder of Rhode Island, which was based on religious freedom and the idea that religion must not be subject to state regulation.

Roger Williams National Memorial
After a great deli lunch at Geoff’s on College Hill, we made our way down historic Benefit Street to the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, southeastern New England’s only comprehensive museum of art.  The museum dates to 1877 and includes a wonderful collection from ancient to contemporary art.  We found Jane’s favorite mummy from her childhood years, and I discovered works from several favorite American artists.  Jane met us downtown and gave us a tour through the historic neighborhoods of Providence.

Chiluly Chandelier Against a Palladian Window
at the Museum of Art

Roger Williams Overlooking the City He Founded
(What Kind of a Dance Is He Doing?)

Providence State House

Why Are Tim and Sarah Posing With a Cow In Downtown Providence?
The main event, however, was dinner at Jane’s mother’s home.  Jane’s mother is one of the nicest women I’ve ever met, and she makes the best lasagna and apple pie.  Five of Jane’s siblings, as well as spouses, nieces, nephews and a few friends, were present, and Tim and I just sat back and tried to listen to multiple conversations going on at the same time.  It was a bit overwhelming since I’m not used to such a large family, but everyone was wonderful to us, and we enjoyed the evening.  Thanks Mrs. C.

Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkins Are Everywhere

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