Friday, October 8, 2010

How My Trip to Newport, RI Inspired my writing

Believe it or not, this trip played a major part in my world building for BANDITS.

I love to travel!!! It gives me so many great resources for my active imagination. Lots of times when we travel we do rode trips. Why? Because having four kids means living on somewhat of a budget. Let's face it, if I am going to bust my butt working a full-time job and teaching on the side, I am going to enjoy my life and eek out time to step away from it all. Now, I must admit, I am a little obsessive about traveling, and I try to go somewhere every month even if its just up the road. I've always had this obsession, but never really traveled until about seven years ago when my husband and I lost to cancer four close family members consecutively. My husband's cousin (upon realization of his impending deterioration of health) told us that if he had his life to do over again, he would have gone more places with his kids. He would have adventured places that he had never gone to before, and he would have made the time, taken the money to treat himself and his family first. Well after that talk with him, we decided we needed to re-focus our lives. Sure we both loved working hard, but now, we would make sure we played hard also.

Anyways, on my trip to Newport we stopped in New Jersey to Six Flags. It was packed and hot, but we are thrill seekers and sought out the coasters first hand, and waited no less than 45 minutes for each ride.

While my dear husband drives (because he doesn't trust my driving) I hook up my computer and write. I also read to them (hey a writer's dream is a captive audience) while we ride. My family is my first critique group and trust me, they don't hold back. There has been many of family arguments about the turn of events in my writing.

Newport for me was awesome. We arrived on a sunny day to look out of our room to a sea of boats. All kinds, big and small. I was awestruck, because I had never seen that many boats before. My kids, loved it, and we would sit out and eat while watching the boats.

The best, best, best and most interesting part of our trip was when we went to Brenton Point State Park, by way of ocean blvd. We went up on a bright sunny day, and viewed gorgeous historical mansions that we fantasized about living in. We made up stories of being royalty and waking up to see mermaids in the sea. WELL, let me tell you that all changed later...

We got to Brenton Point and the sky was filled with kytes -- ok let me take this moment to tell you that my dear husband is a big kid whose secret obsession is kyte flying -- we were in awe. So beautiful. We purchased a kyte while there, and launched it easily into the air. The breeze their was wonderful and before we knew we had been flying the kyte for hours.

Then it happened - THE FOG - ok, I have to admit, I didn't do as much research on this trip as I have done on many others. I was TOTALLY surprised at how quickly the fog came in, and how thick it was. Well we looked around and saw the vendors calmly pack up, as if to say, "The fog is not going anywhere, time to go". Well we were slow to get the message and we had lost our kite in the thick fog.

My dear son takes that opportunity to remind me that the fog is like in the movie, THE FOG. I am starting to get tingles from having a small freak out scared cat session, because I looked up and EVERYONE else that was at the park had left. Ugh....

Anyways, we packed up and left -- but was hooked, and made it a point to come back.
Remember, I mentioned that we wished we lived in the mansions that we passed on our way up to the park -- Well, those mansions turned REALLY spooky looking on the way back, and needless to say, we all said that we would never want to live in one of those mansions after the FOG sets in. Although, it was hauntingly beautiful, my imagination would get the best of me every single time the FOG rolled in.

This trip inspired the new world that I am building in EXPLORER X - Book 2 as well as aspects of BANDITS, because it was so beautiful, yet frightening for this new explorer.

Our Trip Report, just in case you would like to explore this wonderful place, and write your own story about your adventure.

Sat – Easton's Beach. The playground, carousel and snack bar were all a hit. There is also an aquarium. The beach is well-maintained but you may experience a little algae. Gooseberry Beach is more ($20 a car vs. $10) but is also a good option for smaller bathers. Overall, the beach was definitely a disappointment to us spoiled beach goers. So we played in the sand instead and made it a great time.

- Scenic Drive on Ocean Drive to view the Mansions - I really enjoyed this. Lucky for us we went on a sunny day, because the next day we went the mansions were draped in fog. Very eerie and spooky looking, which was great to see also. The mansions were all very different and impressive, definitely worth the ride.

- Brenton Point State Park

- This was the best part of our trip. This place is gorgeous. We were able to fly kytes for hours here, while looking over at the water crashing against the rocks. Bring a picnic lunch and hang out here, walk on the rocks and take pictures. Most of all, bring a kite. If you do not there is a guy that sales them. The sky was filled with them the first day we went. We loved it so much we went to Walmart and got everyone kites. However we did buy a nice cloth kite from the guy for $30 and it was worth it. We were able to fly kites and enjoy the day until about 6pm when the fog rolled in and took over. You could barely see in front of you. It was a great experience for the kids because they had never seen any thing like this before and neither had we.

Sun – The Cliff Walk is a public access road running three and a half miles along the shore of Newport, and offers a breathtaking view of the mansions and the Atlantic Ocean, sometimes aspiring to heights as high as seventy feet! This was nice. Definitely a must do, although we did not do the whole 3 miles.


Melanie said...

Oh man, I so wish I could be in that fog (btw, I like the movie The Fog :-)). The whole thing sounds so awesomely creepy. Love the image you painted. Sounds like a great trip. New Port is a bit too far for us with our girls being so young (4), but I'm like with the traveling. Unfortunately, it's been limited lately with lack of funds and the kids, but whenever we get a chance we do weekend gettaways. I can't wait until my girls are a little bit older so we venture a little bit further (although we did do Cabo, Mexico last year so that was pretty cool). Our next big major trip we want to do is Spain (my dh has family there), but that will require major mulah and traveling patience from the little ones. One day. Anyway, your trip sounds AWESOME. Thanks for sharing. Glad you had a great time with the fam and that you were inspired in your writing. I can't wait until we move to Puerto Rico (in another year or so). I know I will find insane amounts of inspiration there!

Bee said...

Sounds like you had a great trip. And I agree, traveling is not just rejuvenating, it can provide WiPspiration! :)