i woke up at 9am. the couch was so comfortable and warm, i could've slept for a few more hours, but i thought i heard noises (like people were already awake) so i got dressed and went out to investigate. i found renata's parents in the kitchen, her mother making breakfast. renata was still sleeping, her father going to wake her up to let her know that her "guest" was already awake. when ms.sleepy-head wandered into the kitchen, we had breakfast, standard ham-toast-scrambled eggs affair. while her parents went out to pick up her father's new glasses, renata and i showered up and got ready for our day of rhode island naturing. renata, who habitually plays with her food (a very endearing quality), broke open my roll of necco wafers and placed them out on the patterned placemat like checker pieces. despite the fact that she repeatedly said she didn't understand why i liked necco wafers ("chalky," she said), she ate a bunch herself. when her parents returned, renata and i packed up our stuff and headed out.
renata took me to the amusingly-named beavertail point in southern rhode island, on the island town of jamestown. beavertail point is so named because it's a peninsula shaped just like a beaver's tail, surrounded by high waves crashing into the rocky shorelines. a lighthouse stands at one point, built in an atypical style of a rectangular block versus the more traditional tapering column. it was windy when got there, seagulls were suspended in the air fighting the air current, and even from the top of the cliffs you could feel the salty ocean mist. fuzzy autumn caterpillars were crossing the lawn, an unknown orange caterpillar and a woolly bear. renata didn't want to touch the caterpillars while i had no problems playing with them.
we walked around a little bit, down to the lighthouse. i was looking for tidal pools, but it seemed like high tide. the waves were also pretty rough, and i didn't want to get accidently washed out into the ocean. we saw large pools of foam, which looked like detergent suds, or the aftermath of one of those ibiza bubble raves. we rested on some rocks, where renata told me that if you lie down it's actually warmer (it's true!). there were some people fishing, but it seemed all they were catching were clumps of kelp. after getting our fill of the seashore, we got back into the relative warmth of the car and went to our next destination.
we tried to head back into town but somehow got lost. we ended up driving to the northern tip of the island, where according to the map there was a lighthouse but we couldn't find it. renata, hungry, started eating up the emergency trial i always carry in my naturing bag. we made an u-turn and tried to find the town center again. along the way we stopped by the side of the road when we saw some pretty salt marshes. there was a little fish shop nearby, but it was closed for the season.
approaching the town center we discovered this little homemade bread shop, runned by a happy hippy couple from the back of their converted garage. 2 of their children were running around, seemingly unaware of our presence. renata fell in love with the place and excitedly called up her parents afterwards to tell them about the place. she bought a cinnabun, while i had a most excellent tiramisu.
we had lunch at trattoria simpatico, deciding to sit inside even though a few hardy new englanders were dining outside. renata had been here before and said that we must get the corn clam chowder. we ordered that, as well as a plate of salad and some calamari. the waitress came back moments later to inform us they didn't have anymore chowder, so we had some leek soup instead. renata was a little disappointed, because she came specifically for the delicious chowder, but told me that she could probably make it at home. after the soup, it didn't seem like we had the appetite for the other stuff so we only pecked at the salad and the calamari, ended up taking home a lot of it. there was some excitement when an old woman fell down on her way to the bathroom, taking some time to get back up, circled by concerned restaurant employees.
hoping that the tide had gone down enough to see some tidal pools, we drove back south to beavertail point. along the way we stopped off at a little beach.
dramatic clouds were forming in the sky. the sandy shoreline was littered with smooth ocean-polished rocks. we saw see birds, and renata was the first to spot a group of plovers. they're funny little birds, their heads look squished, like baby heads, and when they run it's pretty funny, like olympic speed walking. standing next to the rocks, they were hard to see.
bonaparte's gull (winter)
eventually we made it back to beavertail point. the sun was starting to set, and it would've been nice to just sit there and watch it sink down into the horizon were it not so cold and windy. renata had her full foul weather gear on, the hood of her jacket tightly cinched around her face. the tide didn't seem to have changed at all. we walked around on the rocks a little bit, then decided to go back home.
leaving jamestown wasn't difficult: we'd already been lost once so we knew the roads pretty well by then; but finding route 95 north to get us back to boston once we were on the mainland proved to be a bit of a challenge. my gps had already run out of batteries at that point so it was pretty much useless in helping us find our way. i had a feeling we were driving further south since the setting sun was on our right (west) side. in a feeble attempt to be cool, i tried to throw out my gum through renata's open window, but i missed and the gum ball rattled back into the car, disappearing underneath the seat. renata, feeling tired, feeling sick, pulled over at a roadside farmstand and asked if i could drive. with renata as the navigator, we eventually found our bearing and got onto 95. i was trying to find an 80's station on the radio, but when that became futile, renata serenaded me with a mix of 80's tunes, taking requests as well. i lost my grip when trying to apply some lip balm and my chapstick fell underneath the driver's side seat, keeping the wad of gum company.
we got back into cambridge close to 8pm. renata drove me back home. i was going over to the cafe to have dinner with my parents, who asked me if i renata wanted to come as well. i dropped off my bags as renata was in bathroom making herself look presentable. i gave her my spare copy of stokes guide to amphibians and reptiles, a book that i rediscovered friday night when i saw it in the bathroom underneath a stack of magazines. we also had a quick slideshow of all the photos i took today, fed through the video input on the television. we then went to the cafe. renata was nervous to meet my parents for the very first time, although she's seen numerous photos of them before. unfortunately it wasn't just my parents, but my sister, and godmother, and her two sons (including one of their girlfriend), and her friend. we had bubble thai ice tea with senjianbao. renata impressed everyone with some of her chinese. after we finished eating, renata drove me back home, having spent a whole day together, morning to night, in two different states no less. "i'm not even sick of you yet," renata told me, which i take to be a good sign.
back at home, i watched game 3 of the red sox yankees game, a must-win for the red sox, so of course they lost it, digging themselves into a 3-0 hole, one game away from elimination. it wasn't just the loss, but the way we lost: the yankees spanked us, 19-8, at home no less. it was a long (and thus more painful) game too, 4 hours 20 minutes. red sox nation is in a state of shock.