Arrived in Quonochontaug aka “Quonnie”. After driving for twelve hours, I arrived and immediately felt right at home. This place is fabulous; so familiar, so dreamy, so charming! I knew where to unload, unpack, and store my items in the Quonnie cottage. As usual, before unpacking all of my belongings, I moved furniture around (lol). Yep, that’s what I do! The cottage is old. The furniture is old. Sometimes it feels good to move things around trying to make it a more comfortable seating arrangement -- especially knowing that I was going to be here for two weeks.
When I saw people walking down the street (in red, white, and blue attire), I knew I had arrived in time for the annual July 4th community parade. I was SO excited. In fact, I made a drink (a tradition) and followed the people down the street. Literally it’s a block away. It brought tears to my eyes when I saw the efforts of the community come together and how they executed an adorable, simple, and creative parade. The local fire department, horses, golf carts made into “something”/shells, people walking with Quonnie t-shirts on, throwing candy to the kids, some people just walking (lol)/not sure what they are supposed to be, other than part of the community :-). Since there was no parade last year, it was so much fun to see all of the people come together and celebrate. You’ll see a shortened version of the parade (dated July 6th).
There is a ballpark a couple of blocks away. This is where the parade ended. From the cottage, I could hear the celebration of the “float” winners and the singing of the National Anthem. It was festive for sure. I walked through the neighborhood later in the evening and saw so many people. Each home had family and friends sharing food, drinks and playing games outside -- it truly was amazing to see!
(Above is a screenshot from a video I took of the parade…)
Since I wasn’t officially supposed to be at the cottage until Monday, I spent the night at a hotel in Mystic (about 30 minutes away). The cleaning folks still needed to come into the cottage on Monday morning to get things set for me (the next guest).
The hotel was well done, and as always, hotels/resorts inspire me. The vibe that I got there was lounge-like, masculine (but not too much), classic, and well-done. Black and Butterscotch leathers, plaid and mens-wear like fabrics on the chairs and sofas, black marble on the tables, and gold/copper light fixtures. It felt luxurious (without being pretentious), mature, yet appropriate and approachable.
There were many guests at the hotel. Again, it was wonderful seeing people out and about!
Once I departed from the hotel (after enjoying coffee in the beautiful lobby), I headed toward Quonochontaug. However, I stopped at Home Goods to pick up some pillows!!! I really wanted to change out some of the old ones at the cottage. For the two weeks that I’m here, I wanted to feel like it was put together nicely :-).
In addition to dressing up a few rooms at the cottage, I clipped some flowers from the garden. HYDRANGEAS --- the BEST!!! And, many others … how nice it is to be able to decorate the spaces with flowers from the garden!!!
I started my day off with a walk on the beach, admiring sand castle creations and collecting stones :-). From there, I headed to Watch Hill. It is a favorite place of mine out here, only 20 minutes away from the cottage. I walked the docks of the Yacht Club, shopped for a bit and then spent the rest of the day at the beach!!!
Inspirations all around in this beach community. The coastal homes are out of this world. Even though I love many styles of houses, I have to say that the east coastal homes are by far my favorite. Cedar shakes (preferably natural / weathers naturally), gray tones, black shutters, stone with sunrooms, screened in porches, front porches, and an abundance of hydrangea plants; iconic to this region of the country! Classic, charm, warmth, and tradition come to mind when I see these homes. My family will be redoing a century old cottage in the upcoming years. I cannot wait to provide as much input as possible during the architectural and construction phases of the project. Furnishings will come automatically once the layout and structure of the house is determined --- something to look forward to!
As Elsa moves up the coast, we are feeling the effects. Nothing crazy, but misty cooler weather and apparently lots of rain predicted for tomorrow! No worries here -- a day in reading, blogging, and making meals sounds just right to me. I snapped a few shots of the beach with the fog (my favorite kind of weather here in RI), and it’s probably not too noticeable but the waves are kicking up. From the cottage, which is a few blocks from the shore, the sounds of Elsa are louder than normal. Awesome! And, why not enjoy a cocktail in the midst of all of this haziness?
Elsa has joined us this morning. Rain, little wind, and more rain -- creating massive puddles in the streets here. All of these roads are so old and there are many lower areas, allowing the water to accumulate. Of course in the midst of the rain, I still managed to get out and drive down West Beach Road to Dave’s Coffee :-). Oat milk lattes and muffins were calling our (my sister and I) names. This Tropical Storm Warning didn’t seem to impact too many (yet), as Dave’s coffee was as busy as normal.
A new painting project is also calling my name. It’s a perfect way to spend the wet day!
The past couple of days have been spent hanging out, working (yes, I have worked quite a bit here), walking, biking, and beach visits. With the amount of photos that I have taken, I’m sure it’s clear that I LOVE this place. The colors of the beach, sand, water, sky, mist or sun --- are spectacular. And, I love “trying” to capture them.
There were visits to Watch Hill, RI and Mystic, CT as well --- Shopping. And Food. I love the atmosphere in downtown Mystic at night. On a Sunday night, it was jam packed. Again, it was so nice to see people out and enjoying the east coast attractions; shopping, dining, ice cream, music (restaurants on the water included live music along with outdoor seating), etc. Very festive.
OCEAN HOUSE :-) All I can say is that this resort is one of the best ones I’ve been to. It is filled with tradition, beauty, classic east coast feels. It’s high end and it’s fun to be a part of the culture, even if for only a couple of hours.
Our trip to Newport was wonderful. The streets were filled with people. Parking lots were full, restaurants were full, and activity was all around us. It was hot and humid, but we had a beautiful time walking around, shopping, and grabbing a much needed healthy smoothie (to counter the effects of last night’s alcohol). Newport is a boating community. Many of the restaurants, ice cream shops, and stores are lined up in the bay.
Watch Hill is my favorite place to visit outside of Quonnie, the cottage. One of the restaurants on the main street is called Olympia Tea Room. They have awesome food, terrific cocktails, and the atmosphere is casual tradition with boaters, families, and couples enjoying the sunsets just outside the door. Outdoor seating is hard to come by since there are few tables and most guests would love to be a part of that sunset. Regardless of where I am seated, it’s the best place.
I even caught myself telling my sister, that if some day no one could find me (lol), they have the best luck looking here in Watch Hill. There is something about this place that inspires me and warms my heart all at the same time!
An added feature to the night was the local fire department “Smokey and the Bear” parade. This is an annual event that we got to enjoy. At least 20 fire trucks, ambulances, etc. headed through the main street area, stopping right in front of the restaurant. I went outside to take some photos. The kids loved waving to the firemen, and getting their photos taken with the officers, and all around heroes :-). It was a special night.
I truly have had a nice time here. However, I could stay for another month. I am just now in the relaxed zone. This place is special and I realize that even with it being hot and humid, sticky, and without the “normal” conveniences of life -- somehow I get into a rhythm and I could continue on this way ….. Until next year?
I have to say that this last day has been wonderful, but sad at the same time. It was filled with busy hands and feet moving around packing up the car, straightening up the cottage, and trying to take in the last few hours of the Quonnie home.
We got “dressed up” and ate at a favorite restaurant called The Cooked Goose. This breakfast/lunch restaurant has been around for years --- but, not as long as I’ve been going to Quonnie -- perhaps 10 or so? It is a favorite with wonderful traditional breakfast foods -- quiche, omelets, french toast, eggs benedict, etc.
Up at 5, on the road by 6 --- sweating till the time we sit in the car, but again it’s all worth it. Some day there will be a new house on the lot. Hopefully, we will keep the character of this cottage and make a more efficient, up-to-date home with modern conveniences, including air conditioning and a “real” outdoor shower!
Until next year…