Marvelous Newport Weekend
I visited my second favorite place ever (after Las Vegas) – Newport, RI – this past Saturday to Sunday with my family and family friends. Though I struggled yesterday in the late afternoon and evening with the fun I had this weekend – the more I enjoy life, the guiltier I feel and the feel more anxiety about gaining weight and “misbehaving” – I am glad that I did not let fear stop me from living out each moment to its fullest.
I kicked off the weekend in the best way possible – with a blend meetup. The fabulous Alyssa mentioned in her blog post on Friday that she was going to be headed to Newport for a wedding. HUH-WHAT?! I messaged her on Facebook immediately, incoherently babbling with excitement, to find out when exactly she’d be in town. She was busy with wedding festivities most of the weekend, but we found time to meet in the parking lot of the Best Western for a few hot seconds of huge hugs, tears, and selfies. Can’t wait to see this girl again, and next time we better have drinks in our hands – and meet up for more than five minutes.
I took a walk around Newport with my parents and did a bit of shopping. I found a dynamite striped dress at Francesca’s, on sale for $22.80! It was the last one and in my size. Can’t wait to wear it ASAP, perhaps when I return to Newport this weekend?
I then had my SECOND blend meet-up of the day, this one thankfully longer…with the marvelous Sarah of Picky Runner! This girl is just as beautiful inside and out as she comes across in the “blog world”. We sat by the water at Bannister’s Wharf, outside of The Coffee Grinder (my fave place to grab coffee in Newport!) and chatted for over an hour. Then we took a walk to the restaurant where I was meeting my fam for dinner, and she met them all. I best see her this weekend when I return to Newport!
Dinner was quite a party! We dined at Gas Lamp Grille because they were one of the few spots in town that would take a reservation on a Saturday night – especially for a party of thirteen (which included our family friends the Cunninghams).
I’d eaten there once before and the menu had plenty of variety and consisted of some pretty good food. Nothing special, but not bad either. And I’m sure glad they took our reservation (the place was surprisingly not very crowded; we probably could have walked in).
The service was poor at times (we hadn’t even gotten our drinks by the time our orders were taken) but in the end, we had a fabulous time together and a yummy dinner. The first part of my order, the salad special, consisted of watermelon, balsamic, cashews, candied prosciutto, and cheese. I was surprised to find when I tried said cheese that it was whatever traditionally goes into cannolis…holy YUM! But a bit too sweet for dinner – I was hoping for something saltier. Also, not enough prosciutto! The dish was tasty but did not have enough salty components to balance the sweet.
To get some protein (particularly seafood) I ordered the Ahi Tuna appetizer. It came over greens with an awesome wasabi aioli! I shared some tuna with the table but killed almost all the rest of it.
The Cunninghams were in town to celebrate my sister best friend Abbey’s 21st birthday. We convinced our parents to come out dancing with us after dinner to continue the celebrations!
We hit up a spot that I for sure will be headed back to this weekend…The West Deck. The place was bumpin’ and I was pleasantly surprised to find they had a dance floor paired with a great DJ. He played the best stuff and I spent most of my evening breakin’ it down with some of the best dancing partners around – my parents!
My mom even made a new friend!
This was seriously one of the best nights of my summer so far. Being surrounded by so many loved ones, having a blast dancing, and being in one of my favorite places ever? I felt so lucky and happy.
My parents and I left before the rest of “the kids”, and on the walk back to the hotel I had one thought on my mind – I NEED AN ICE CREAM CONE. Particularly, Ben and Jerry’s. PARTICULARLY, Coconut Seven Layer Bar. My first ice cream cone of the summer (in August, I know, what on earth) and it may have been the best I’ve ever had because of how badly I was craving it and how happy I was feeling. Ending a night in Newport with a kids-size sugar cone in a summery flavor…I can’t think of a better nightcap!
The next morning I woke up at 10AM (probably because I went to bed after midnight, but still, wow!) and headed to the hotel gym. I knew I would not enjoy my treadmill run but also felt ready for it so I busted out a 5K on a 1.5 incline in just over 28 minutes! For that accomplishment I can thank a) the fact that “Anchorman” was on HBO on the treadmill TV and b) the fact that the decrease speed button was broken and I did not find out until I was running at 7.4mph toward the end, went to turn down the speed, and found that I couldn’t! I almost panicked!
After attempting to do abs for 10 minutes and realizing I was texting in pigeon pose more than planking, I called it quits and took a walk to The Coffee Roaster again for an iced coffee and picture editing with the view you see above. It felt great to get in me-time in Newport! Exploring places solo is something I only recently started appreciating over the past few years.
After none of my family felt ready for lunch – and I certainly was – I decided to channel my inner Carrie Bradshaw and go grab a drink and eat solo while reading a book. I wandered into The Clarke Cooke House, a place I’ve walked by during every Newport visit but never entered, and ended up having an awesome afternoon. I also don’t know how I have never been there before, and already know I’m bringing Rachel back this Sunday for our Newport trip!
I was debating over where in the The Midway Bar to sit so that I could have the best view – did I want to look out over the water, or all the people walking around Bannister’s Wharf? The bartender Rich made the decision for me by pouring me a taste of complimentary champagne and sliding the flute by a particular seat. I do not mind people telling me where to sit if they give me free booze!
I snacked and drank while waiting for the fam to come meet me for a real meal, and also had great fun chatting with Rich and a nice couple from Massachusetts. This is the fun one finds while exploring a new place solo! Rich was quite generous with drinks and he made a mean cocktail. He let me sample his version of a Cosmo, which was nice and strong – I needed my parents to help me with it!
My family joined me so then I ordered a (very late) lunch – Sesame Tuna Salad (rare seared tuna, mixed greens, fried leeks, shitake mushrooms, sesame vinaigrette). I asked for the dressing on the side but it came on the salad – not too much of it though so I was cool with that. The tuna was fabulous and definitely blew the previous evening’s tuna from Gas Lamp Grille out of the water.
I asked for a bread basket because why does one get a salad for an entree? So she can eat bread, of course. The basket did not contain the bread I expected – instead it had some cinnamon twists and zucchini bread. Very “brunchy” and very tasty.
Now, this is where I started running into some problems. Rich made an offhand comment/joke while I was dipping a hunk of zucchini bread in ketchup (don’t ask, it was awesome). He said, “Man, you order that healthy lunch and then just attack the bread basket, ha!” I know he didn’t mean anything by that, but I’m sure some of you can understand that this comment was VERY triggering. I felt my mom tense up next to me the moment he said it, because she knows those kinds of comments have a power over me still that I do not like. Suddenly I felt awful about eating all that bread, and drinking the champagne. I immediately began to wonder if I should even eat any dinner later that night. I kicked myself for not running longer, and quitting on my core work.
The rest of the evening was a struggle. I drove home back to CT later (back to work today, boo) with my brother and sister, and we kept hitting traffic. All that driving time to think did not help matters. I ended up having to switch and have my sis drive toward the end of the ride because I just could not handle it any longer. I needed to take deep breaths and close my eyes. I didn’t eat enough later that evening and whatever I did eat was just veggies and fruit…which I was craving, but it also didn’t satisfy me. I couldn’t fall asleep because I felt hungry, but I hated that I did because of the bread and drinks. My ED mindset willed me to sleep through the hunger, but I ended up deciding to listen to my body and get out of bed and eat a little something so I could fall asleep. I really was dragging this morning and I’m sure if I’d eaten more yesterday I would feel better today because I would have slept better.
The weekend was amazing. I had a blast. As a result, I felt like crap mentally last night and getting through that was not easy. But I woke up this morning feeling ready to enter a routine week and reset before my second Newport weekend in a row. I’m glad I’m at a stage of recovery where I can at least have the experiences I want to have without fear stopping me, even though I know there may be mental consequences after. I need to keep working through these tough times of guilt and anxiety so that I can eventually (hopefully) not feel those things anymore after I take risks with food and drink and fitness. I want to one day be able to say, “I deserved that” and know that I truly did, and move on.
Writing blog posts like this about the marvelous times I had with loved ones sure does make it easier to reflect on the weekend as a good time had, not a bad time when I “misbehaved”. So thank you for reading this thing and giving me a reason to blog and keep up this battle! 🙂
Have you ever been to Newport?
What’s your favorite place to visit in the summer?