They have this great ferry shuttle barely more than a block from the visitor center that takes you to Fort Adams, Jamestown and Rose Island. That was my goal because it has a lighthouse you could tour and I wanted to do that. I was there so early I traveled over with the staff. I couldn’t walk the whole island because it is nesting season for island birds (mostly gulls). I had no idea it was also a fort, built during the Revolution but never used then. It was used heavily in WWI &II.
Here’s the cool thing about the island, it’s a living museum meaning you could STAY there. I would have loved to do that for a night or two. There’s some ‘fog room’ built into the cliff that I couldn’t find but I saw the downstairs rooms plus the museumy bits. What gave me true story fodder though is the that the second floor can be rented out for a week and you become a ‘keeper’ expected to chip in with the chores. I have in my head an author coming there to do that and meeting a supernatural fighting young woman of Narragansette background pulling from Native folklore. That could be fun.
I wanted badly to go into the lens room and out onto the catwalk. I got all the way up the ladder but saw you sort of have to lift yourself up and back down onto the ladder, I decided it would be unwise to attempt without help. Pouts.
From there I went down to the beach because it seemed too quick to catch the ferry again and I hadn’t seen everything so I know I have another hour. I decided to go to the back beach and be by myself. I sat on a boulder and scoured a million shells (and large bits of sparkly rock) because a) I’m a magpie b) my steampunk ball this fall is 20000 Leagues Under the Sea and I have plans for them. There were a lot of dead birds (I asked about it, the black backed gull is a predator). I wandered the barracks which you can also rent out (nope, no thanks) They had an honor system gift shop with higher priced items (really?) Got Dad (or maybe John) a shirt. I was thinking after seeing a sea glass display in the musuem that I've never found any sea glass ever. I went to the front beach and there they were about a half dozen pieces of sea glass all along the beach. Whee.
I could have gone to Fort Adams from the ferry, especially since I didn’t quite grasp how it worked. It made a weird circuit. Oh well, I got on and went for a ride because I got too hot (and was kinda bored because I can sit on a beach for 20 minutes and it feels like 20 hours). I love being on the water (too bad I get sick). I didn’t because I didn’t like being on their time table (I know I know, control freak) and gone are the days I can skip meals because of the diabetes.
It took so long to get back to port that I opted out of the cool restaurants so I went to panera which I don’t like much for lunch (pasteries are great) but they had a lobster roll and a watermelon feta salad with balsemic drizzled wheat berries that cost me an arm and a leg but it was delicious (and seriously had nearly a whole lobster on it).
I almost didn’t make the fort. My GPS freaked out, got me to the park turn off then took me into the housing plan….I found my own way there just in time. I had to run to get to the tour (or wait an hour and a half). It was fascinating. It’s a huge fort with a 6 acre parade ground and 4 million bricks in it. Sadly it was let go for decades and is in pretty crappy condition that they’re slowly trying to salvage. The French fellow who designed it made it so it would take 10,000 men to claim so it was never attacked. It had an outer wall then an outer ditch then a tenaille wall that lured attackers into a ‘weak spot’ that lead into a kill zone then the crown wall then the inner ditch them a ramp up to the pentagon walls of the actual fort with cannons shooting chain shot, grape shot and hot shot all the wall from the roof and two muskateers at each loophole. In theory cannons couldn’t make it from the sea over the wall so men would have to attack on foot. In the fort there were cannons on top and in the walls. Around each cannon were brick openings because unfired brick would turn to mostly harmless dust if a cannon DID manage to hit it (where the granite around the rest of it would chip off or shave off the cannon balls). They took us into the tunnels where the tunnel rats sat for 8-12 hours a day in utter darkness listening to hear if anyone was digging under the fort. This was a good story idea too. Doesn’t have to be this fort or even this world but a fort like it. Impenetrable and yet something is killing everyone.
I went to Thomas Tews (a real pirate here in Newport back in the day) / Storm brewery and went on a rum tasting tour. He really wanted me to do that and the beer (thanks but no). The rum and the chemistry of it, how it basically makes a tincture in the oak barrels leeching the flavors fascinates me. They use the yearly cycle of heat and cold do the work of aging the rum. It was delicious just as a sipping ‘whiskey’. I ended up buying a small (expensive) bottle. Pray for it in the luggage. I need to read up on Tews. They claim he was the fourth richest pirate. I had no idea that Newport had many distilleries for rum. Nor that it was such a port for the slave trade (unfortunately).
Dinner was at the Black Pearl (Mom insisted I had to go) which is probably the most upscale place I’m going to. I had the scallops in a mushroom bacon cream sauce that was to die for. I loved it. I could have eaten this every night. I didn’t appreciate the family next to me on the bench seat. It was Dad’s birthday and all he did was chow down his lobster and bitch about how small his beer was. Grandma was busy being a purse lipped bitch and mom was trying to control both kids neither of which HAD food and the boy kept jumping all over me. Sadly I also went into a diabetic crash and was soaked with sweat. Had to go to the ben and jerry’s before heading off for the ghost tour.
But it's after midnight. I need sleep, hope I remember the ghosts.