I used to be that person who could only think of stories by hand-writing them first.
After multiple failed attempts to draft a blog while on a ferry (without my laptop), I realize I am no longer that person. Of the five pages I scribbled in a notebook, none were good. Here is the best excerpt:
“Friendship is a one-way street”
I was driving into downtown Providence this morning, and because I’m directionally challenged (particularly when traveling by car), I consulted my phone’s GPS.
[Quick side note: Even though everyone hates the iPhone’s Apple Maps app, it has served me well these last two years. Granted, I usually make simple things complicated, so this app particularly suits me, but it’s been fine as far as I can tell…it only took me down a street that didn’t exist once or twice. Besides, I find it a pain to download and maneuver through new phone apps; first I have to find a good one, make sure it’s free, then install it, and then figure out what the crap it does and how to use it, and all of this requires learning and change. RESIST CHANGE! PROGRESS IS RUINING THE WORLD!]
[ps. My 21-year-old friend had to set up Google Maps for me like I’m his 80-year-old grandma. But I admit—when I remember to use it, Google Maps does, in fact, work better than the Apple map.]
I knew the street “Friendship” was near where I wanted to go, but I wasn’t sure if I could get onto it from the direction I’d be coming from because, as I suspected aloud—to myself—“I think ‘Friendship’ is a one-way street.”
And it is.
#City planning poignancy.
So, I’ve been wanting to write a blog on my Match.com experience (oh yes, I went there), but first I want to give a shout-out to my aforementioned 21-year-old friend who not only installs apps on my phone, but is also a jet skier extraordinaire.
Yesterday, when I was on Writer’s-block Island ferry, I was acting a tagalong to Alex’s adventure: to jet ski to Block Island and back with his friend, KC.
A digression about Block Island
I had heard about Block Island from my Dartmouth friends who’d visited, but I didn’t know what it was (besides an island) or what it was about (besides tourism). Everyone seemed to love it, though, so I added it to my list of Rhode Island staples that I had to experience.
Last weekend, I saw that a meet-up group was going to BI, so I decided to take my chance on a website not designed for dating and check it out.
The experience turned out to be SO GREAT! First of all, the people were super friendly and I immediately felt a sense of belonging. They found out I was unemployed and started brainstorming higher-ed connections and ideas of jobs for me to pursue, and they talked of mission trips to Haiti and Guatemala and got all sorts of wheels turning inside my hamster-cage brain. Secondly, I got to go for a walk around the Island (JENNY LOVES WALKS), and toss a football with some folks by the southern lighthouse, and dance at Ballards on the beach, annnnnnd (drumroll) eat delicious gelato!
A moment brought to you by “Beckett’s Authentic Gelato”
As I am always questing for amazing gelato (or ice cream, or frozen yogurt, anything really), I was excited to find an “authentic gelato” shop on Block Island.
My new friend Moody and I had walked toward the Northern Lighthouse promising ourselves, as a reward, ice cream from one of the shops we saw along the way.
Well, upon our return to the Old Harbor, I kept noticing people with small cups of an ice-cream-like substance, and I figured people are the best advertisement for any business, so I stopped a couple and asked where they got their dessert from. “There’s a gelato place around the corner, next to all those shops downstairs.”
GELATO!? I KNEW it! Those little cups called to me.
We found it easily, but the hard part was, of course, figuring out what flavor to choose. I thought I scored big with the coconut almond flavor and the salted caramel with chocolate chunks (I got two, naturally), but I was proven wrong. Moody upstaged me with his no-taste-test-first Hazelnut, a true leap of faith. He offered me a bite, and suddenly there were angels singing. I’ve never had so rich a hazelnut, so divine a nut-flavor. Nutella lovers would fall prostrate at first bite and chant “Mmmm”s on the consecrated gelato store ground. Scratch that: non-nutella lovers might do that, too. It was like pure hazelnut essence wrapped in a rich and creamy texture.
It should be noted that I’m not usually a hazelnut-sans-chocolate person, but I would definitely convert. I plan to order Hazelnut on my next trip (which is this weekend! An ocean can’t keep me away from good gelato!)
Ps. The salted caramel was also delightful, so I’d recommend getting both.
Hmm. Where was I?
Oh, right. Block Island. Two other things to note:
There is a gluten-free pizza place there that wafted smells of Italian goodness down the entire block, but the pizza was only so-so. (I believe that was true of my friends’ pizzas as well and not just mine.) However, for those who are wheat/gluten sensitive, it’s a good option.
Not related, but related: Columbus, Ohio has the best gluten-free pizza I’ve ever had, and one of the best tasting pizzas I’ve had in general (!) HIGH FIVE.
The other thing to note is Ballard’s Restaurant/Bar/Inn, and actually, all of the restaurants on BI for their host of international employees. I was in a constant state of excitement given my I-Love-Travelling euphoria brain. I wanted to strike up a conversation with all these cute little Bulgarian and Irish and South African waiters (“I’ve been to your homeland! Will you speak to me in your lovely accent? Take me home with you!”), but I kept my creepiness to a minimum. I was too busy being jubilant because of the good food, good people, good fortune, the sunshine and the walking around to be had, and I was overstimulated. (!!!!!!)
I also received a really nice compliment!
Conversation with a new meet-up person:
S: “So, where are you from?”
Me: “New Mexico.”
S: “Ahh. I could tell you weren’t from around here.”
Me: “Oh really? Did my non-accent give me away?”
S: “Well, no. Mostly because you’re friendly.”
(Though some may argue, particularly after I write my blog about Match.com.)
Later, when we returned to Ballard’s after walking around all day, there was a great DJ, rum drinks were flowing, and Rihanna was playing, so it only made sense that I dragged Alex (the only willing one) to the dance floor. In the words of a Dartmouth friend, “DP over here!”*
*DP meaning Dance Party, not to be confused with other things**.
**If you know what I’m talking about, Shame. On. You.
So, yesterday! Alex and his friend made the fourteen mile voyage from Point Judith to Block Island on their jet skis AND managed to pass a football whilst doing so!
I felt so special being the person who knew them because they attracted quite a crowd (not pictured). Couples, young adults, kids, old folks, the whole gamut stood on the stern watching and cheering and taking pictures. I like to think I started the picture-taking trend by being the camera ice-breaker. Of course, I did it because I know them and it was Alex’s camera. It would have been weird if I were a stranger who just took pictures for half an hour.
Alex and KC also transported me via jet ski from Old Harbor to New Harbor, so I got my share of an adrenaline rush. We caught some air, but overall it wasn’t nearly as horrifying as the ride to Prudence Island, when I held on for dear life and was completely drenched in angry water ocean spray. I’m pretty sure at the end of it I looked like a defrosted version of Harry after his and Lloyd’s scooter ride through Colorado.
So, in the end, my hand-written Writer’s Block (Island) produced not a blog, but the kernel by which I could start this one. Hopefully I’ll get around to writing blogs more frequently now that summer is nearing its end. Soon I’ll have to stop playing outside and act like a real adult. But I must say, from Roswell to Europe to Hanover to the Ocean State, it’s been a good ride.