To escape the prospect of spending another spectacular sunny summer day at home in Sturbridge, my fiancé and I opted to take a jaunt to one of our favorite spots on the east coast. I must say, though, that I am a tad wary of disclosing this jewel of shoreline, for it is usually barren of many folk. It remains a place where one can usually find a place to plop, to just sit and admire the beauty that envelops this stretch of land. Usually.
Alas, it seems, someone has already spouted its secret. And so, quite reluctantly I, too, will mention it; it is called Brenton Point, located in Newport, Rhode Island.
There. I said it. But please, if you venture there, keep its magnificence close to the sleeve. The allure of this littoral land will, without doubt, enchant you.
Traveling here and there…
Wishing to avoid the exorbitant fee of the Newport Bridge, we decided to take a more indirect route to reach our lovely breadth of brine. But, I suppose, with our choice we ended up paying the fee in fuel anyway.
Taking 90 east to 146 south onto a slight stretch of 95 south, then headlong onto 195 south, we took 114 south to wend our way along the coastline, traveling at sluggish speeds through the picturesque town of Bristol, an immensely appealing hamlet with neatly trimmed and manicured lawns. Beautiful architecture can be found here, with old stout houses standing sentry to the sea, craftsmanship at its finest.
At this crawl, it was quite pleasant to immerse ourselves in the tranquility of this village, to see glimpses of boats in the harbor, the unfailing patriotic fervor that seemed to grip the inhabitants, and the generally calm feeling one gets in such coastal towns
But sightseeing was not our initial quest. No, we sought the comfort of a warm breakfast offering from the Bagel Boys Café, located somewhere off Aquidnuck Road. At least, that is where our GPS companion purported it to be. They do make an extraordinary bagel and, coupled with a healthy dollop of cream cheese, it makes for a perfect petit dejeuner.
Our initial quest, though, was soon thwarted. Oh, we did indeed find the bakery, but a long and tiresome line of pretentious folk dissuaded our desire. There was one particular woman who felt obligated to regale all with incessant queries to her children as to what they craved. “How about a toasted sesame bagel with lox, and light cream cheese, dear, and maybe a slice of tomato?”, she asked her 8 year-old daughter. And to her even younger son, “What about the cinnamon twist with sprinkled sugar?” It went on like this, ad nauseum, for 20 minutes. Luckily, we both espied a simple flyer, stating that Bagel Boys had a Newport location! Elated with that prospect, we fled to our car and crawled once more to seek this haven of boiled delights.
The Quest for a Roll-with-a-Hole
Traveling south, then west on 138 (also known as Admiral Kalbfus Road), we arrived at the roundabout and headed north on the J.T. Connell Road (which is also Route 114). We ‘reached our destination’ at the Bagel Boys…only to find out it was closed on Sundays. Foiled again! Not to be deterred, and determined to procure a bagel, we drove on through Newport and chanced upon a coffee shop that served what was called a ‘monster bagel’. Unfortunately, the name of the café eludes me, but we can highly recommend their bagels! They are, indeed, over-sized and quite tasty. Finally sated, we proceeded down America’s Cup Avenue, to Thames Street, and then past the Fort Adams State Park. From there, a few side streets, onto Ridge Road, then Ocean Avenue and there, a little further up, you will come upon Brenton Point, off of Ocean Drive State Park.
As I said much earlier, usually this place is free from the crush of humanity. But it seems that on this particular Sunday, a Kite Festival was in full swing, and hardly a parking space was available. We managed to squeeze between two vans and their occupants, despite the tremendous ocean vistas, chose to sit beneath tarps facing the park. Very odd. There certainly is no accounting for the whims of certain creatures.
The kites were in full breeze, with many fantastical creations blowing effortlessly in the offshore wind. Adding to the onslaught of folk, an obnoxious and vapid DJ droned endlessly, prattling on about absolutely nothing. Wishing to divest ourselves of this irritating bore, we gave up our coveted parking space and ventured onward, finding a spot off the embankment, and far enough away for the waves to drown out the sound system.
Why? Why would anyone choose to hear the nonsense spewed from loudspeakers over the transfixing caresses of the sea? Saddled with chairs and bags, we scuffled across the escarpment and plopped upon a shelf of shale, fixing our beach chairs just so upon the rocks. The sun, high in the blue heavens, soothed our traveling souls. We had arrived!
This then, is what Brenton Point is all about. Incredibly wide, open ocean views with huge expanses of azure skies and only a hint of ragged clouds, akin to the wisps of ‘mare’s tails’ found in a Hopper seascape. The gentle, constant ocean breeze comforts those who seek its healing touch. Bathed in the sun’s magnificence and, listening to mellifluous seas, calm descends and envelops a soul so supine upon the shore.
Quite littorally, the sheer essence of summer’s serenity.
© Paul Grignon – 2011; All Rights Reserved.