|The Chevy Camaro I had in high school|
We had decided to head up to Providence to idle some time away in their two brewpubs, but that somehow turned into a trip to Newport, RI. The revised plans included a beer store stop in New Haven, CT, lunch in Mystic, a brewery visit near the Connecticut-Rhode Island border, a brewery visit in Newport followed up by dinner at a brewpub just up the road from that brewery. Connecticut and Rhode Island beers were the concentration as was trying whole belly clams and stuffed quahogs, or "stuffies" as the locals call them. We had a lot planned and set our goals high, but we held low expectations for completing all of them and thus we set out.
When I travel it isn't exactly off-the-cuff. I am a planner...an incessant planner...an over-the-top planner...a devil-in-the-details planner. I need to know as much about a place before I go there as I can. Some say that it ruins the sense of discovery and adventure, but I feel it's necessary and it actually aides in the fact that we spend less time trying to find the things we're looking for and wind up with extra time to find things we didn't know we were looking for. You can read that last statement a few times, but it will be more clearly illustrated as the trip unfolds.
|Getting a delivery, but not beer|
One of the most impressive aspects of Amity Wines and Spirits was their tequila selection. Yes, this is a beer blog, but I do enjoy a really nice tequila from time to time and their selection was overwhelming. It's entirely possible that it was huge only because they seemed to stock every intricately blown-glass vessel of tequila they could get their hands on. The tequila inside may have been a lot less impressive than the bottle, but there were some in plain bottles that neither The Control nor I had ever seen. We were loathe to purchase any without doing a little research first. We may need to go back for when NEBC ships Imperial Stout Trooper and to pick up some tequila.
|Notice, no Julia Roberts, or Eric either|
|Fried clam bellies = Blech|
We finished lunch and looked at our watches and realized we had some time to kill...we were a full hour and a half ahead of schedule! So we decided to backtrack and go into town. As we found parking we realized that those large sodas we downed needed to be addressed. Across the road from where we parked was a place called John's with Irish flags flying outside and a small group of people and a dog huddled outside. We decided to stop in for a pee and a pint. Stepping inside we noticed we were the only people there, that is until the group that was huddled outside all filed in, dog and all, and one of them went behind the bar to serve us.
I love these places: Small, local, casual, friendly and serving local beer. They had a Newport Storm and a couple of Cottrell Brewery offerings on tap along with Irish pub standards Guinness, Harp and Smithwicks. Perfect! We eagerly used the facilities, each had a pint and then headed out to see the town a little, saying we'd probably be back in half an hour. The looks we received were friendly, but seemed to say, "Not likely."
|Very similar to Cottrell's Mystic Bridge IPA label|
As we drove east out of Mystic on Route 1, we were grateful for four things: 1) that the traffic on the way to Mystic was really light, 2) the clam bellies didn't do anything to upset our bellies, 3) we found a place to pee after downing 24 ounces of soda to wash down the clam bellies and 4) that the place we found to pee was John's. We were fully aware that the experience there (not the peeing) had put us in a frame of mind that would allow us to just roll with whatever this roadtrip put out there for us. The planning had come in handy and we were right on schedule and we would stay right on schedule. What weren't aware of was that this roadtrip had a few more pleasant surprises in store for us.
NEXT TIME: ROADTRIPPING - TRIP A, PART 2: TWO DIFFERENT BREWERIES