For the last couple of years, I’ve been preparing to move 1,000 miles away from the only home I’ve ever known. And eight days ago, I finally made it.
Well, WE made it. Couldn’t have done it without the support of my ride-or-die, Tiny.
I’ve been unpacking, trying to re-start my regular workout schedule, getting feelers out for my future entrepreneurial venture, planning out the renovations I’ll be doing for my parents, and getting to know the area.
But I’ll have plenty of experiences to write about in the coming days, so consider this your warning. 😉
It’s been far too long since I updated my blog. No excuses other than I’ve been living a very boring existence the last few weeks. But now that I’m preparing to move to South Carolina on May 15, I knew I had to hit up some of Rhode Island’s treasures.
A life-long Rhode Islander, I had never heard of Stanley’s until I asked for burger recommendations a couple years ago on Facebook. (As much as people complain about their friends posting food photos and updates, I love hearing about good restaurants! And it sure beats angry political posts, n’est-ce pas?)
First things first: They have a parking lot. Having to find a place to park in an unfamiliar area stresses me out, so this was a bonus.
I walked in to find a retro-’60s-style diner restaurant. Amazing. And fitting, because the prices are also pretty retro.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about new restaurants, it’s this: ASK THE WAIT STAFF.
Brittany was amazingly helpful. All burgers are made with grilled onions and pickles, unless otherwise requested. I’m no pickle fan, but I still got my burger the Stanley Way, and it was a good choice. The flavors all work well together.
This is my first taste of the very tasty Stanley burger.
If you’re heading into or out of Rhode Island, check out Stanley’s. I hear it gets pretty crowded, so be prepared to wait.
Don’t you just hate sitting around in waiting rooms? Whether it’s a doctor’s office, an auto repair shop, or the DMV, you are at their mercy. Are they ever on time?
And who doesn’t feel resentful about it? You have to take time out of work, which infuriates your employer, or you’re losing money or precious free time if you’re taking vacation or are self-employed.
We are constantly running around and sometimes that’s the only thing keeping us from falling apart – inertia.
But while I was on my walk through the woods yesterday, I spotted a snow-covered bench and thought, “Let me clear this off today so that if I want to take a rest on my walk tomorrow, I can.”
So I did. And today, I was grateful. The point is that we’re all going Mach 5, and we never have the time to breathe, nevermind to plan. My work environment was like that. It was unhealthy and counterproductive.
Humans need many things to thrive – not just survive. A tree may get plenty of water, but without the soil in which to plant its roots, one heavy wind can knock it over.
We’re all very fragile these days. Can we at least agree to try not to be someone else’s heavy wind?
Listen, I’m not trying to pretend I’m the Dalai Lama or Confucius or any philosopher capable of deep, brilliant thoughts…but something about being out in nature enables me to think differently about a myriad of things.
Go outside. Take a walk. Change your perspective. You’ll thank yourself.
As a self-proclaimed connoisseur (not really, I just love donuts!) I was overjoyed to discover that there’s a gourmet donut shop in Bluffton, SC. I’ve been following Alljoy Donut Co. on Facebook for months. Of course I had to check them out while I was in Hilton Head on vacation.
Here’s my messy, one-take, unedited video review:
What’s your favorite donut shop, and where is it? Hit me up in the comments.
Oh boy *eye roll* another meditating, yogi-wannabe, vegan, soy-slurping, “peace-is-love” advice columnist.
I don’t blame you for thinking that, based on the title.
In all honesty, though, I’m way too ADHD to meditate, I HATED yoga, I love a good burger, and soy gives me gas.
I tried meditation and yoga because, like most Americans, stress was my natural state. There’s so much to worry about: Deadlines, increasing workloads, increasing costs of everything without increasing pay, physical health, mental health, family, pets…and the list goes on.
That’s when I decided to follow the inspirational poster:
It’s not original by any stretch of the imagination. Yet we can’t quite pull the trigger most of the time.
I pulled the trigger. But I still have times that I’m plagued with doubt. I still find myself distracted at times because I haven’t met all my goals yet.
But then I have moments like this one below (and the one above) that I’m able to capture with my camera because I was paying attention.
And it reminds me to be present so I don’t miss these moments in the future.
Saying goodbye to my favorite fella felt like my heart was being ripped out.
Smitty! Don’t forget me – I’ll see you soon!
What? You didn’t think I was talking about a human, did you?
I bought Smitty (my 2003 Harley Davidson 1200 Custom Sportster) in August 2003. That’s how long we’ve been together.
I experienced my first motorcycle ride when I was 6 or 7. My best friend’s father took me around the block, and I was hooked.
When I was a teenager, I sought motorcyclists to befriend.
It took an embarrassingly long time for me to realize that I could get my own motorcycle and stop relying on others to go for a ride.
The biggest obstacle to buying my own motorcycle was my mother. I can’t say I blame her… I’d been in 10 car accidents – one severe enough to land me in the hospital for two weeks.
My brilliant idea: Take Mom motorcycle shopping and have her pick it out.
You may think that was crazy, but my mother had a knack for choosing good vehicles. Plus, she was the best negotiator I’d ever seen firsthand.
So here I was, 32 years old – a homeowner – taking Mom and Dad with me to pick out my motorcycle.
She chose Smitty. I chose his name. She negotiated an unheard-of $4,000 off the asking price.
And, you know what? It worked. Mom doesn’t worry as much about me riding.
When I’m sad, stressed, or generally feeling unsettled, Smitty and I hit the road. No one has ever made me feel as good. His magical healing power is the reason I decided to move South – so we could spend more quality time together.
If you ride, you get that.
So remember when you hit the road in the warmer weather: Please pay attention to the road. My fellow riders and I are out there trying to shake off the blues, or de-stress.
Rhode Islanders don’t get out much. We (not-so-jokingly) say, “If I’m driving from Woonsocket to Westerly, I’d better pack an overnight bag!”
Woonsocket to Westerly is 57 miles.
“I’m not driving ALL THE WAY to Providence to go to a bar.”
It’s nine miles.
Leaving the state is challenging for Rhode Islanders because our roots are planted very deep. I’m the third generation of my family born in Woonsocket.
Woonsocket was known for its French Canadian population. We were a city of Canucks. But we don’t pronounce it like the hockey team. Or the rest of the world. We put the accent on the other syllable.
REST OF WORLD: kuh-NUCK
And yet, I’d never been to the Museum of Work and Culture in Woonsocket, despite the fact that it’s housed in the former mill building my grandfather worked his whole life.
SPOILER ALERT: Tiny opted to stay in the car.
My overall impression was that it’s pretty cool. But you’ve got to give yourself a couple of hours. There are video exhibits that take some time. And I got to chatting with a couple of the very friendly and helpful volunteers. Who, as it turns out, are mothers of former high school classmates. Small world.
Go to the museum. See how my city was built. Throw a few bucks in the donation box. Check out the interesting books in the museum shop.
And, by the way, it’s “wuhn-SAH-kit” not “WOOOON-sock-it.” There, now you sound like one of us.