no, not pomona.
no, not provincetown, either.
providence, rhode island!

potato: why is rhode island called an island even though it's not an island?
bear: i don't know. why didn't they just let it be part of another state, since it's so small anyway?
potato: silence. -_-

saturday--rolling, rolling, rolling...across the country
we left these gloomy skies in orange county,
to fly the friendly, non-turbulent (whew) skies.

and to compete in a trivia game against fellow passengers.
we both placed in the all time top ten in the first round. =D

he won.
[yes, a GTA reference.]

i won. a few times.

one of our toughest competitors,
just a row and an aisle away,
a cute older lady named dot,
turned around and said,
"you guys are great trivia players."
when we were saying, "YES!!!" under our breaths
(or so we thought),
and fist-pounding/guy-handshaking each other.

embarrassed at our competitive-ness,
we simmered down.

then, onto a two-hour layover
in out-of-the-way ATL.

we found a sam adams bar to have lunch/dinner/something.
we sat down. after all, it was time to prep for the boston area.

we each got beers.
regular sam adams for him.
summer ale (wheat) for me.

accompanied by chips+salsa
(tostitos and pace, fresh from the grocery store),
hot dog + chili dog
(most definitely frozen + reheated),

and some crazy southerners using the n-word
in a bar half filled with caucasians,
half with african-americans,
and us two yellows.
(i realized this was my first time in the true south,
as orlando, miami, and DFW airport don't count.)
you should have seen the look on my face.
too bad they were big and very scary looking.
i can be quite feisty in such situations.

all day on the plane.
on shortly before 12 noon. off at almost 12 midnight.
picked up our chrysler sebring convertible rental,
the only "economy" rental left.

missed dinner at hemenway's,
"the best seafood in providence,"
according to baby brother.

sunday--graduation day!

short drive from middle-of-nowhere-mass to college hill, providence.

clapboard siding in soft, drab, new england colors galore greeted us,
to remind us we were no longer in kansas california.

these guys set the tone for the outfit of the day.
[update on that photojournalistic project to come
whenever the bear finally uploads his photos.]
i love the 6-pack of newcastle he is holding,
in more ways than one.

parked at baby brother's "house."
pet my poor old car,
which he carjacked from me last summer.

snapshots from a bedroom
in an old, dirty, boy-filled house.
bear + a mac
(you never thought you'd see the day)
requisite posters
ugli doll
lots. of. flip. flops.
(of course i've seen worse--
my guy friends' places in college.)

walked through their version
of what we called collegetown. the bear and i felt so sorry for rhode islanders
when we spotted the above banners,
posted proudly at johnny rocket's.

johnny rocket's makes the best burger in the state?
seven years in a row?

mommy + her boyfriend crossing the street.
we dawdled along behind.
i was wearing 3.5" heels.
luckily, i had my tory burch flip-flops in my big bag.

under this perfect sky:
and in front of these venerable halls:

we baked.

we napped.

we walked back to johnny rocket's 'hood
for some sustenance.

we witnessed some crazy skillz
of others who made good use of their programs.
i tried.
the program fell off my head
at least five times.

for four hours, we sat,
while we watched alum from every five years
(having their reunions the same weekend as gradudation)
parade down ahead of the graduates.
90+-year olds to kids exactly my age.

then the profs. then the doctors.
then the masters. then the bachelors (?).
to some church somewhere else,
to move their tassels from one side to the other
and listen to the president speak.

we watched on the jumbotron.
well, i think others did.

then the grads came and sat among us baked potatoheads.

the president spoke again.
some students spoke.

robert redford spoke, without expecting to.
random, i know.
he was receiving an honorary degree,
and actually had some familial ties to this institution,
and said a few good, heartfelt words.
mommy swooned.
she's always thought him handsome.

then we escaped to catered, air-conditioned dining hall,
for the neuroscience department's thing.
perhaps they need to check out my nerves.
i can't take non-blurry photos.

in a totally warmfuzzy ceremony,
the type that huge-schooled me does not understand
nor fully appreciate (jaded, j-j-jaded),
each student walked,
as their wildly popular neuro 101 profs
read their accomplishments
(academic + otherwise)
during school
and plans for the near future.

they grinned and beared it, on stage,
while the blurbs were read.
(must admit baby brother is cute,
when grinning.)

each student had also prepared a slide.
baby brother thinks he's a pimp,
or james bond, or something.
see what new england does
to california boys?
sweet slide, anyway.
i got a shoutout on it, as did the bear.

photo time with the grad, but of course.
those are $20 flowers.
for seven small, short roses.

nap at hotel.

dinner at red stripe.
yes, you can drink red stripe there,
but you don't have to.
they have a good selection of beer,
wine (including some good half bottles),
and a full bar.
oh, and you can get a forty
in a brown paper bag, too.
(colt 45, to be exact.)

cozy booth by the kitchen.
good thing, as it gets
up in thurr.
too many hard surfaces,
so the sound bounces,

the appetizers:
fried chevre salad,
with baby greens, raspberries,
and raspbery vinaigrette.
fried cheese? fried GOAT cheese?
yes, please!

best. moules (mussels). ever.
soft, tender, small,
sans the icky strong meaty flavor
the usual mussels can have.
served in a garlic, pesto, roasted tomato, amazing broth.
half order didn't come with the famous frites.

i ordered a croque madame.
delicious bread, topped with delicious ham,
hollandaise sauce,
and an egg.
yes, heart attack city.
(you can sing it to david bowie's suffragette city.)

not to fear! the frites are here!
the famous frites? eh.
too thin, too short, too salty.
the aioli was good, at least.
came unexpectedly with my croque madame.

bear + mommy needed to try fish + chips,
in new england.
flaky, fresh, yummy enough.
too salty, though.
accompanied by
delicious tartar sauce + aioli.
i've always been a sucker for sauces.

the grad's gourmet grilled cheese + tomato soup: um, wow.
thick, buttery bread, slovingly enclosing
melty cheese, prosciutto, basil, and roasted pear.
(fatty, salty, herby, and sweet all in one!)
accompanied by
the creamiest, smoothest tomato soup.

no one wanted to watch the laker game with us,
so we dropped mommy off at her hotel,
enjoyed downtown at dusk,
drove back to our random hotel
in random massachusetts,
then fell asleep while trying to watch the game
at an ugodly hour.
so late.
so weak.

monday | memorial day

wake up call blared at 3:30

got up.
got lost. i can read maps, really!
good riddance,
strange-blue chrysler convertible.

i got caught with a wanna-be leatherman
that cleared security
at good ole john wayne.
wtf. so much for better security
in areas that would most likely be targeted.
(it was in the depths of my big purse,
and i didn't see it when cleaning it out
the night before our trip.)

had to check baggage.
luckily, this airport has the friendliest
TSA agents and airline counter agents ever.

i had heard much hype during my college years,
from nyc'ers,
of the amazing, cheap coffee
and breakfast goodies
at dunkin' donuts.

i never tried as they didn't have 'em upstate.
whenever i was in the city,
there were so many other things to eat,
so i never got around to testing the hype.

wait, so you can order "beverage only,

the bear wondered out loud at the sign.
nearby lady guffawed in agreement.

we can get so much better at our local
cambodian-run mom+pop shops. or primo's.
living next door for years was dangerous for me.

bagels + breakfast sandwiches--GOOD!

better than mcd's new iced coffees,
and about the same price,
even in the airport.
better than starbucks.
not better than coffee bean.

more trivia on the plane.
this time the bear played as
and then as

home. pho for lunch/dinner. unpacking. vegging. ahh.

oh yeah,
i liked the patterns on the ground in p-town.

the end.


  1. [standing ovation]

    (For the post and for your bro.)

  2. Yay for tater-brother! Love the blurry + non-blurry pictures and poetic description :)

  3. loooved this post! congrats to your bro on graduation. ;-) i am going to have to forage for a grilled cheese now; that's all i'm craving after reading that description. yumm!!!

  4. What a cool post and I think that's a super cool trip.

    Did you like the Sebring? The hubs made fun of me because I rented one for our Napa wedding this summer - I just want to cruise around Napa in a convertible.

    And while the doughnuts here are better than DD, nothing compares to their powder sugar filled with frosting. My teeth hurt just thinking of its sugary goodness.

  5. There is so much to be said about this post, I don't even know where to start. First of all, don't ever, EVER, refer to a place as P-Town unless it's Provincetown. Gawd. Have you no shame?

    Second, your mom is gorgeous.

    Third, love the old lady on the plane.

    Fourth, I can't believe you lived on the east siiide and never had DD! I crave the Dunkin out here like you would not believe. At least having DD kind of makes up for not experiencing RI's state drink, coffee milk.

    Tater on the east siiiiide! Love it.

  6. I love that you got to compete on the plane. Love it! Yay for tater-bro and for a great, worth-it weekend. :)

  7. great recap, done in a very captivating style.

    congrats to the baby bro!

  8. awesome recap, tater.

    i'm still openmouthed at johnny rocket's, though.

  9. What a great weekend! I've been to provincetown before. Lots of, well, you know ;)

  10. That grilled cheese looks divine!

    (oh, congrats to brother potato!)

  11. great recap :)

    * such a cute family.
    * i had DD while hubs was in school out there and i found it just meh.
    * flying all day sucks :(
    * big huge congrats to your bro!

  12. Love the poetic style of this post.

    Love the cute pic of the tater clan. (I agree, your momma is a hottie.)

    Love the food! Yum!

    Love that little bro tater hangs the Korean flag above his desk. Way to represent the motherland.

  13. wow...AMAZING post!!!

    your family is so cute! looks like a fab trip!!!


comments are tasty!