Clear blue skies. Rippling ocean waves. Cool summer breezes. Relaxed people walking past small shops; others riding boats and taking tours.
I have been dreaming of Newport, Rhode Island for months. I find the summer heat oppressive and draining, so I yearn for cooler temperatures, which always brings my mind to Newport.
But a vacation in Newport was impossible for this year. My father passed away in June and I needed to visit my mother in Providence every chance I could get away. Besides, Newport is extremely expensive. In previous years my family and I took vacations to Newport, but we stayed in nearby Middletown because hotel rates were more reasonable. Of course, we were then forced to drive to Newport where parking on the narrow, congested streets proved difficult. Yet the ocean breezes and comfortable temperatures always beckoned us.
Fortunately, we were able to take the last Friday in July off and visit my mother for the weekend. We were planning to stay at the same Providence hotel but it was all booked. Not only that, but the only days we were able to visit my mother at the nursing home, which was on lockdown, were Friday and Sunday. I began searching for an alternative hotel when my husband said, “Let’s spend a few nights in Newport.”
“No way!” I said. “Newport is too expensive.”
“Let’s look online to see if we can find a deal.”
The idea immediately took root in my mind and I logged onto the computer. We found a deal but it was still exorbitant compared to what we normally pay, so we continued looking for something better.
The other hotels charged even higher rates.
“Let’s stay in Providence,” I told him.
“No, this has been a tough year. We need to relax and enjoy ourselves.”
I shook my head. “It costs too much.”
“Let’s splurge for once. We need it,” my husband insisted.
I was unconvinced but went back to that original hotel deal by the water and booked it.
When we arrived in Newport, I looked at the water and the sights but could not appreciate them. My father loved Newport and now that he was gone, life seemed to lose all sweetness and excitement.
But after the first night, we woke up to the shining sun, the people strolling, and the boats sailing. We walked outside and I realized we had made the right decision. Everyone around us was relaxed and in vacation mode.
As tough as this year has been, even though life will never be the same again without my father, the world still held promise and hope.
Newport brought me back.