Fun at the Volvo Ocean Race Stopover in Newport, RI

We told my parents that we were headed to Newport, RI for mother’s day weekend and they asked if we were going to the Volvo Ocean Race. We had never heard of it so we went to their website and after a little research we decided to check the event out while we were in town. Well, it was SO fun. I hadn’t even intended on blogging about it but you know when you have exactly zero expectations about something and it turns out great and that makes it even greater? That’s sort of what happened with the Volvo Ocean Race Stopover event in Newport, RI at Fort Adams National Park.

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First, the Volvo Ocean Race is basically a group of 7 sailing teams racing around the world (actual ships are pictured above). There are 9 legs of the race with 11 ports (the only port in the US this year is Newport). In each port they set up a race village where you can learn more about the boats, the teams, and have a little fun with the activities. The village at Fort Adams in Newport, RI will be set up through May 17th so there is still time to go!

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The event is for all ages, we were pleasantly surprised to find a decent amount of fun activities for kids like this one – M sure did love “driving” this little Volvo truck through the course.

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There is an area where you get carded (children are allowed in) that was just lovely – all sorts of lounge areas set up, each one based on one of the countries where the stopovers are with coordinating games. They sell food, beer, champagne, and yummy mixed drinks. Again, we had NO expectations of this event so we ended up bringing in our own food (which you’re welcome to do) but the menu looked great (this area sold higher end food like flatbreads and fresh burgers, another food area had clam chowder and hot dogs).

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It was great to sit, eat, have a drink, and let Z play some of the games they had set up.

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Also, she was obsessed with this pirate on stilts (who was there to promote the rum sponsor)!

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Of course the event is really all about the sailing. It was neat to visit the cross-section model of one of the ships that’s racing. Once you took your shoes off you were free to roam through, see where they sleep (tiny bunk beds!), work (tiny desk!), and basically crawl around the hull to get everywhere.

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The last fun area was within the actual fort on the park. There were life size chess and checker boards, giant Jenga, and more. There was also this little bumper boat area for kids to “sail” their own boats, which was great for us since Z had been asking to ride a boat all morning. She jumped right in and zoomed around the pool, it was pretty hilarious.

The Volvo OCean Race Stopover event in Newport was really very fun. The event is free to attend and you’re welcome to drive, take a boat shuttle, ride your bike, etc… to get to Fort Adams. We drove and it was only $10 to park (next weekend will be $20 to park but free if you drive a Volvo). Next Sunday is when the ships take off for leg 7 on their way to Lisbon. Let me know if you go!

Goodbye, Summer!

The end of summer is always an inevitable bummer. We had a particularly awesome summer (summer of us) that ended with a big bummer (accident) so we decided to really live it up as best we could on Labor Day weekend. We were down in Newport, RI and made sure to do all of our favorite things…

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One last beach day…

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“mommy, take a pick-cha of my toys…”

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…a picnic at Newport Polo. This wasn’t a huge highlight as it was crazy crowded and both our littles ended up spitting up and my husband and I both got hit…but hey, we hadn’t been yet this summer (we did go last summer too!).

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Walking down Thames Street, popping into shops…

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Dinner at Diego’s our fave Mexican place, I almost always get the quesadilla, Z gets the calamari, and my husband gets the enchilada of the day.

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And last, it was a little breezy some nights so we dressed in some fall fashion to get us in the mood for fall! You were a good one, Summer of 2014!!!

Summer of Us – Go Fly a Kite

Last summer when we took Z to our favorite park to fly a kite, she had a blast. We knew this year would be even better now that she’s older and could (potentially) fly a kite on her own so we added to our Summer of Us list. Over the long holiday weekend we paid a visit to Brenton State Park to fly a kite!

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Getting the kite ready…

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…Daddy helping to get it in the air…

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…and flying the kite all on her own – success!

 

A few notes if you go this summer:
– Brenton Point State Park is on Ocean Drive in Newport, RI where Narragansett Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. It’s easily a day trip drive from Boston, about an hour and 30/45 minutes.
– It’s a great kite park because of the winds because of its location right on the ocean. Be prepared with a sweatshirt or sweater, it can be chilly there even on the hottest summer days.
– There are public restrooms available during park hours (sunrise to sunset) from Memorial Day through Halloween.
– Bring a picnic along with your kite and make a day of it. There are quite a few places to get great take-out lunch in Newport, a few of our faves are:
Rosemary & Thyme, a great French bakery that serves sandwiches starting at 11:30am.
Peaceable Market, right on Thames St serving sandwiches and salads.
Flo’s Clam Shack, if you’re looking for traditional fried fish, this is the place but go early, this place gets packed!
Blue Rocks Market, really great sandwiches and pre-made salads and food. It’s also a little market with all sorts of yummy treats!
Ash Mart, looks like just a convenience store from the outside, but they make great, traditional sub sandwiches. Go here if the line is too long at Blue Rocks, it’s just across the street.

Polo Match in Newport, RI

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One of my favorite summer activities is to go to a Polo match in Newport, RI. Have you been? Matches are put on by the Newport International Polo Series every Saturday at 5pm. Gates open nice and early at 1pm and tailgating is highly encouraged.

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We went a couple weeks ago and had a blast – it was our Z’s first polo match (we tried to go last year, but the field was too muddy for polo that day so we had picnic in the park instead).

 

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She loves social settings with good people watching and yummy snacks, so obviously she loved this.

 

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We had a smorgasbord of snacks including an orzo salad, toasted bread with fig jam and blue cheese, and the delicious charred corn and zucchini with basil that I told you about yesterday. We served our snacks with beer and wine too – water for Z, of course.

 

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We even got to see this player up close…

 

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I will say, the highlight of the event for Z was when in the middle of the match we were let on the field to stomp the divots. We did a lot of chasing to make sure she wasn’t stomping any steaming “divots” if you know what I mean…

 

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All in all, going to a polo match in Newport is a great way to spend the late afternoon. There are a couple food vendors but I definitely suggest packing a cooler of snacks and drinks, bringing a blanket to sit on and maybe a few beach chairs.

 

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If you are in Newport this summer, you should check out a polo match, they run every Saturday through September.