50 State Challenge Map

50 State Challenge Map
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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Rhode Island arrival

I had a fun commute today with my sister as copilot and Rich keeping me entertained from the backseat.  He may ask a million questions a minute (a lifestyle thing) but he sure is funny about it.  

So we headed out from Elizabeth around 10 am.  Like yesterday, today was a travel day filled with traffic.  New York was not bad.  It was Connecticut and Rhode Island that was a constant stop and go.  What should have been a three hour drive turned into a five hour drive, with us arriving at the RI Convention Center around 3:30 pm. 

We picked up my packet, walked around the Expo, and took the obligatory photos in front of the course map and Rock n Roll sign.  From there we headed over to the hotel (Providence Biltmore) which was just one block away.  Very convenient.  A nice hotel and close to the start line.  We checked in, dropped off our bags, and headed to dinner.  The front desk lady recommended a few restaurants in the Federal Hill area after I told her I wanted some good pasta to carb up for my race.  It's a short walk from the hotel so we headed out.  We ended up at Cassadrino's.  Considering we had not eaten all day (except for a banana for me) we were ready to go.  We started with the crab ravioli with a wine sauce and peppers.  Delicious.  My meal was the lobster ravioli with a lobster cream sauce.  Of course my sister could not finish her Frutti di Mare (sauteed shrimp and scallops in a tomato sauce over linguini pasta) so I did what any good brother would do and helped her out.  

From there we walked over to Waterplace Park and found a Bolivian festival taking place.  A lot of good Bolivian food in the air and dance performances taking place.  We walked toward the Financial District and came across the first Baptist Church in the United States (erected in 1638).  I took some great photos.  It's a beautiful church.

At that point I was feeling a bit tired so we decided to walk back towards the hotel.  We came across the WaterFire show that was about to begin.  This is actually a sculpture and work of art installed on the three rivers of downtown Providence.  It consists of over eighty bonfires, the scent of aromatic wood smoke, firelight on the arched bridges, torch-lit vessels traveling down the river, and international music playing along the paths of Waterplace Park.

Unfortunately, I had to get back to the hotel to get some rest (and of course put this entry in) so didn't make it to see the show. 

The Half begins at 7 am.  Maria will be walking with me to the start and her and Rich will meet me at the finish line.  It should be nice temps in the morning for the race. Weather is saying 60.  

After the race we plan on heading to Newport to see the sites and take lots of pictures.  A post tomorrow evening to go over the race and events of the day.

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