Exploring PVD: Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel

Immediately after I moved to a town outside of Providence this past Summer I looked up all the music venues and followed them on Facebook. I want to be completely immersed in the music scene while I’m here. Growing up in Connecticut my nearest concert venues were in New Haven and Hartford. Each of those cities were at least a one hour drive from home. For many years I (let’s be honest and change it to my parents’) didn’t find it was worth spending money on gas, food, and concert tickets all in one evening. You can conclude I didn’t attend many concerts in my youth. When I eventually went to college in New Haven I took full advantage of the musical acts that made their way to our school’s performing arts center. Those were awesome years.

Now that I’m less than a half hour away from what I’ll lovingly call it from here on out, PVD, I love it. I didn’t wait long to start attending concerts so I got tickets to see a band I’ve been wanting to hear live for a while: CHVRCHES. This couldn’t have been planned any better. I saw one of my favorite bands with the one friend who turned them on to me. I thought, this night is going to be magical. And it was.

I have a preference for smaller venues as opposed to big venues like arenas. I’ll still attend concerts in the bigger venues, but I like the more intimate feeling with certain bands. Here at Lupo’s there are two levels for standing room attendance and cash bars for those who wish to drink beverages while they watch. Many of the shows allow all ages and this is weird to admit, but sometimes I like seeing parents going to concerts with their teens. ANYWAYS, Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel is a venue that I really like and will be returning in the future.

This show was so awesome that I kept my phone in my bag for most of it so here are a few good shots from other concertgoers that night.

If you want to see the energy that the band brought out of the crowd, watch this video:

CHECK IT OUT:
Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel
79 Washington St., Providence, RI 02903
(401) 331-LUPO (5876)
Facebook / Twitter

The Arboretum

I feel like I am pushing my limit by posting these photos of the Arboretum at Connecticut College at the end of October. Better late than never! While I am embracing sweater weather I’m remembering when the summer had those perfectly warm days. One of those days happened on a day I was working at the art museum back in August. I decided to take a stroll at the Arboretum on my lunch break and snapped a few photos of the lush, green grounds. These photos only cover a portion of the area near the entrance, as there is a botanical garden and other nice trails to walk down if you happen to visit this place.

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It’s a beautiful space. I’ve watched plays here put on by the Flock Theatre, sat by the water for some quiet reflection, and took Aiden for walks here when he was younger without the stress of making sure we don’t get in the way of fast walkers.

Thanks to the people at Google Maps, you can now take a virtual tour!

Arboretum at Connecticut College
830 Williams Street
New London, CT 06320

Who/What/Where

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Who/What/Where is a series of posts where I tell you about local events that you may be interested in if you’re from the Southeastern Connecticut or Southern Rhode Island area. If not, just smile and nod and I’ll understand.

Who – The Chorus of Westerly, a community chorus comprised of at least 150 adult and youth singers. (I’m in it, so that’s why I’m telling you about it) A full orchestra and soloists also perform alongside the Chorus for most of their gigs.

What – The Chorus of Westerly will present two performances of Antonín Dvořák’s Stabat Mater on Sunday, May 18th. Conductor Andrew Howell leads the chorus, orchestra, and dynamic soloists as he closes the Chorus’ 55th indoor concert season.

Where – The George Kent Performance Hall is located at 119 High Street, in Westerly, Rhode Island. Get directions here.

Get tickets – Children and Students only cost $7, and various seats start at $22. That’s a bargain! Purchase tickets online or call the box office at 401.596.8663

Stay connected – Read our blog, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Who/What/Where

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Who: The Brown Derbies, an all-male a cappella group comprised of students of Brown University.

What:This group of fine looking and sounding guys will be performing for one night only this Saturday, May 3rd at 6:00pm in Westerly, Rhode Island.

Where: Kent Hall- 119 High Street, Westerly, RI 02891

Every Spring the Chorus of Westerly invites a collegiate a cappella group to perform in the area. If you’re a fan of a cappella music, or Brown University, or cute guys who can sing, you should attend this performance! The tickets are cheap and they’re singing in a space with the best acoustics. Close your eyes, dance along, have fun. I’m sure the guys will be having fun up on stage themselves.

Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube

[ image via brownderbies.com ]

Listen: The Lorelei Ensemble

I’m so excited to be hearing this group of all-female voices this weekend. As part of the regular performance season, the Chorus of Westerly hosts a Masters Series in the Spring. (Previous guests have included the Harvard Krokodiloes, Yale Whiffenpoofs, and the Dartmouth Aires) A professional vocal group comes to perform in our performance hall for one night only and it’s an honor to have such talented people grace us with their presence in little ol’ Westerly, Rhode Island. Especially when these groups usually only tour major cities here and abroad, we’re really grateful they would choose to include us in their touring schedule.

Dedicated to the expansion of repertoire for women’s voices, Lorelei Ensemble works to expose lesser-known early music from the Medieval through Baroque periods, while collaborating with living composers to produce innovative programming that speaks to a wider audience.

If you’re in the area on Saturday night and like what you hear in the introduction video, swing by the George Kent Performance Hall to listen to the Lorelei Ensemble live. It’s even better in person, trust me!

Go.
Kent Hall Masters Series – Lorelei Ensemble
Saturday, March 8, 2014 from 7:30pm to 9:00pm
119 High Street, Westerly, Rhode Island 02891
Purchase tickets online ($14 to $55)

That llama had really huge balls.

Aiden loves to reminisce about everything we do. It could be two weeks later but he still talks about it like it happened the day before. We went to the Durham Fair last Saturday and on Sunday morning I heard the most unique retelling of events from our trip to the fair. He made sure to remind me that we saw a llama with really big balls. In addition to the agricultural aspects we introduced Aiden to carnival rides and fair food. We also brought home a buttload of deep fried snacks. I think we finished the last of it not even forty-eight hours later.

Here are some photos I snapped:

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Aiden & Adam

Fried sign

Aiden and me

In the grand scheme of things it’s just one of the many activities we do as a family but in my heart I’ll cherish this day forever. Something about they grow up so fast and don’t want to do fun things anymore like hang out with their parents and all that jazz. I’m living more in the moment these days because these kinds of days only happen so many times in life.

Buy Tacos, Insert in Mouth

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I have a feeling that tacos are about to get their 15 minutes of fame soon (if not already) because everywhere I look there’s tacos on menus. I’ve had a love for fish tacos for the longest time but now people are getting really creative with flavors you can put on a simple dish that is basically cole slaw, a type of protein, and sauce on a corn tortilla.

If I’m correct in thinking that the “it” food at the moment is tacos, then it can only mean one thing: they’re cheaper when they’re the “special”!! I love when my fave dishes are ‘on sale’ because then I can buy and eat more.

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The Washington Street Coffee House in New London has a taco night on Wednesdays where their tacos are $2.00 each between 4pm and 7:30pm. The night we went they offered chicken, beef, pork, and lime shrimp tacos. We ordered two of each. We did not stop eating because the tacos were too delicious for us to break for a second to tell each other our reactions. We inhaled tacos, caught our breaths, then exclaimed how “f*cking delicious” they were. Seriously. Taco-licious. Wacko for tacos. TACOOOOOOOOS!!!!!

Aiden didn’t really care much for them, so more for Adam and me.

It’s totally worth a trip to downtown New London. Their coffee is great, the iced coffee is cold-brewed, and I really don’t need to tell you any more because it’s all good.

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See how crazy we are for tacos?

Go. Just go.
13 Washington St, New London, CT 06320
(860) 437-0664

Mon – Sat: 7:00 am – 8:00 pm
Sun: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
Keep up on Facebook & Instagram

New Hampshire – Part Trois

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How was that for a 5-day cliffhanger?! Let me get the rest of my stories out about good ole New Hamps.

The last couple days a few more kids came to camp. Aiden met a boy Charlie who was about a year younger than him but Aiden loved him like a Bro. Broskis. Brohams. Brodo Baggins. One night while I was feverishly working on a 1,000 piece puzzle of the Muppets during community snack time, Aiden took a big bite of cheese and pepperoni then saw Charlie and went to go play with him. When Charlie walked up to him Aiden realized he was chewing on more food than he can swallow and pushed Charlie away to avoid spewing on him. Charlie was confused at what made Aiden upset and tried to give him a hug but Aiden ran back to me to spit his food out. It was funny because nobody but Aiden knew what was going on and poor Charlie had the most concerned look on his face.

The last night I had one of those bad dreams that seemed so real I woke up crying because I still thought it happened. I dreamed I left Adam and Aiden to marry and move to Paris with an older man who looked exactly like Big from Sex and the City. He swept me off my feet, hired a moving company to pack and move our stuff (I hate moving so much, doing it twice a semester in college was a pain the buttocks), and bought me a brand new white Mercedes. The whole process was painless but a part of me was thinking the everything we did was frivolous and excessive and I felt guilty about it. I woke up to Aiden jumping on and hug-attacking me and that exact moment made me realize I’d be the stupidest woman in the world if I’d have actually let go of the two people who basically make up “my riches.” Yeah, that was a really beautiful Mercedes but a sugar daddy’s money wouldn’t give me a lifetime of happiness like my boys would. I felt so guilty having the dream that I went to go cry in the bathroom after I woke up.

OH. I have to get this on record. Adam and Aiden sat in on a rehearsal one night and afterwards I asked him what he thought about it. He went on to tell me how beautiful I looked when I sang, that I looked ravishing and happy. I was floored at his response because 1.) I didn’t know he saw me (they were sitting in the back corner) and 2.) I make interesting faces singing certain vowels and high notes but I didn’t know the same facial expressions made me look remotely attractive. I was expecting to hear “it sounded okay,” and end the conversation there but then he floored me with the compliments. Talk about getting a confidence booster! I love that man.

All in all I think we had a pretty good time. The food was fresh and delicious and the weather was fine when it wasn’t raining. Other things could’ve been better if only I planned them better, so I’ll keep them in mind for next time.

The last of the photos! Hooray!

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The Dining Hall and assorted jams made and sold at the camp
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A short hike up Wendell’s Way
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Playing soccer with David Hill
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The ride home
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There’s a few more photos I didn’t post. You can see the rest of them on my Flickr page.

And Then It Rained

New Hampshire.

It took us a day or two to get settled and when we were ready to do stuff, it rained. One day it was just wet all day and the next the weather flip flopped with rain and sun that it drove us crazy. I’d be in rehearsal while the sun shined beautifully but when I got out and wanted to hang out with my family it started to rain. It was frustrating. Aiden was frustrated and literally got cabin fever when he couldn’t go run around.

So if we couldn’t do outdoorsy stuff we got in the car to do indoorsy stuff. There was one instance where we drove to a liquor store to get booze, then another time we found a cute little historical town called Bath. Bath has The Brick Store, apparently America’s oldest general store. The store had their own smoker so as soon as we parked and got out we fell in love with the smell of smoked meat. Adam walked out with maple fudge-covered bacon on a stick. It was good; I recommend it if you ever come across this anywhere you go.

(Also, Why do tourists love fudge?)

It had the usual tourist stuff, penny candy, and Coca Cola in glass bottles. I also found a mirror to take a photo in. You’ll see the fudge-covered bacon stick make it into the photo where Adam should be standing.

It was just an adorable small town with a museum, ice cream shop, a church, public library, and post office next door, and a covered bridge (under reconstruction, sadly so I couldn’t get a photo) behind the building.

The maple fudge bacon on a stick was delish. I will remember it forever.

But then we ate the most amazing peach shortcake for dessert at dinner later that night and I confirmed my girlcrush on the female staff member who baked all the desserts at the camp.

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I’m back, but I think you knew that already.

A few things have slowed down my writing process here on the blog after we returned from New Hampshire. Dirty laundry! A messy house! Hungry boys! Sleepy people! TV! I’ve personally been reacquainting myself with episodes of Sex and the City since we got HBO Go on Apple TV.

So last week we went to New Hampshire. I attended a choral workshop that the Chorus of Westerly holds up there every summer. I went for the first time in 2009 when I didn’t know I was pregnant. Finding out about my pregnancy later explained why I was so tired the whole week at camp. Four years later and the baby is no longer inside my body, I went back with Adam and Aiden in tow.

Adam was a trooper and spent time with Aiden while I went to rehearsals. We did a few outdoorsy things when the sun was out and when it rained we ventured into the surrounding towns. The nights were a little rough because it was chillier than usual and we didn’t pack for colder temperatures. Hot showers and delicious meals helped make it better. I’m pretty sure I gained weight from desserts alone.

The first set of photos are of our arrival and a canoe trip around the lake. It was Aiden’s first time in a boat and I was terrified we were going to tip over and drown! Except we were wearing life jackets so I don’t think that would’ve happened.

Click through to see the photos. (there’s a lot, and this is only the beginning) Continue reading