It’s 10:30 in the morning and I find myself cracking through the outer shell of a blue crab, furiously digging for that perfect piece that gently slides from the fingers to my mouth. A comb has still not found its way to my head, there’s a chill in the air and the warmth of the sun and the now simmering stock pot is keeping us warm. Welcome to Rhode Island, the Ocean State, and as we can see down the hill, it isn’t too far. How in the world did I find myself back in the smallest state in the union? Actually the true name as we found out is the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. That’s a big name for such a small state! And here we find ourselves, happily.
I’ve mentioned before that your vacation experiences can really pay off if you’re social while on the road. Who would have ever thought that a trip to St. Croix in March would lead to an unbelievably cheap trip to New England in the fall? We certainly didn’t at the time but we’re well aware from past trips that making contacts can lead to big things, fun things and cheap things. As frugal travelers, cheap is always the best option. The cheaper you go, the more trips you can take. The one thing that makes it even more satisfying is the people you meet. We’ve been lucky enough to come across folks who think the exact same we do about this game of travel. From the credit card bonuses to a comparison of locales and everything in between. If you find that connection, travelers tend to want to keep in contact. For instance, the couple we met in St. Croix are so much like us, yet they live in a completely different area of the country. And it just happened to be a part of the country we’ve been waiting to see for some time. We do have a separation in age, but you would never know it. Does that mean that my wife and I act older than we are or do our companions act younger than they are. I’d suggest that we simply find that place in the middle, and that is we travel and enjoy life. And when you come across the same traits in someone, you tend to find that happy medium quite easily. The mentality of travelers is to leave a good impression and that’s it. When someone offers up a house to you free of charge, there’s a layer of trust there and the knowledge that we won’t take advantage of the generosity afforded us. That’s the key, we’re not freeloaders, although we do enjoy loading up on free things now and then (think shampoos, soaps and the occasional over-sized fork).
So, would you like fresh boiled crabs for breakfast at your temporarily free house with new friends or would you care for stale bagels and questionable sheets? Ohhh, the decisions. A no-brainer obviously, but had we not opened our mouths and engaged in such good conversation, I wouldn’t have a mouthful of shellfish right now. And that’s the difference between a good vacation and a bad vacation. Thanks to our friends in Rhode Island! Your generosity has given us renewed faith in mankind and a new-found love for shellfish in the morning!