Matunuck Oyster Bar

There's nothing quite like a plate of lobster.

The whole lobster at Matunuck Oyster Bar.

Personally, I prefer a lobster roll. But it seems that once every summer, I have to order a full lobster despite how much effort it takes to eat it. For me, this needs to be prefaced by a day at the beach so that I’m sandy and salty while I eat it. Matunuck Oyster Bar happens to be located down the street from East Matunuck State Beach, so the location is ideal. Plus, they prioritize fresh, local seafood and local farm produce, which results in a fine meal.

Point Judith Calamari: Lightly fried calamari with cherry peppers, tossed with arugula and fried capers, and topped with citrus aioli

Point Judith Calamari: Lightly fried calamari with cherry peppers, tossed with arugula and fried capers, and topped with citrus aioli

We began our most recent meal with the perfectly tender calamari, which they lightly fry with cherry peppers and toss with arugula and fried capers, and top with citrus aioli. Their clam chowder (New England creamy or Rhode Island clear) also makes a great appetizer, and if you enjoy fresh oysters, you’ll find plenty to choose from here.

Next came the lobster — a monster of a meal, but delicious, of course. I’d also recommend the pistachio-crusted Atlantic cod with curry brown butter, saffron rice, and local roasted vegetables. Somehow, we still had room for dessert. We chose one of the best fruit cobblers I’ve ever eaten (that Geoff didn’t make). A day at the beach followed by a meal like this — I couldn’t ask for more.

Matunuck Oyster Bar
629 Succotash Rd
South Kingstown, RI 02879
(401) 783-4202

Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches at Ellie’s Bakery

Espresso ice cream in a chocolate macaron cookie from Ellie's Bakery.

Espresso ice cream in a chocolate macaron cookie from Ellie’s Bakery.

Cookies and ice cream — it’s pretty much always a winning combination, in my opinion, even when it comes in the form of a Chipwich or a Cow’wich.

The ice cream cart is parked outside of Ellie's Bakery most days from noon til 5 pm.

The ice cream cart is parked outside of Ellie’s Bakery most days from noon until 5 pm.

But Ellie’s Bakery in Downcity, Providence has taken the ice cream sandwich to a whole new refined level. They’ve created a “macaron ice cream cart” and parked outside their bakery to serve up homemade ice cream packed into homemade French macaron cookies.

On my most recent visit, I chose a chocolate macaron filled with espresso ice cream — a small, but perfect treat. My daughter chose the raspberry cookie and ice cream, which was gone before I saw her eat it. They also offered a pistachio cookie/ice cream combo, as well as a blueberry frozen yogurt in a blueberry cookie.

Ellie’s Bakery
61 Washington Street
Providence, RI
(401) 228-8118

Surfing at Narragansett Town Beach

The waves at Narragansett Town Beach.

The waves at Narragansett Town Beach.

I have been surfing for eight years. I’ve surfed in Miami, Hawaii, Cape Code and Rhode Island. Yet if I counted up the hours I’ve spent surfing, it wouldn’t match even one summer for a dedicated surfer. That’s what happens when you learn to surf while going to graduate school, raising two children, and running a business (not to mention, writing this blog). Consequently, there seems to be no end to the amount of surfing lessons that I need.

Plus, the truth is that I’m terrified of surfing. And I am absolutely addicted to it.

So, yesterday, I joined a group lesson with Narragansett Surf & Skate instructor Mike. I had been watching the water for the previous two hours so I had seen surfers of every age, gender, shape and size paddle out and catch some waves, with or without an instructor.  I met a family visiting from Quebec, and all three daughters (the youngest of which was only six-years-old) started with a group lesson, but afterwards stayed in the water with their rented boards catching their own waves. Their father even wound up renting a board to get in on the action.

At Narragansett Town Beach, the waves are clean, modest (1-4 feet) and consistent for beginners. And even though I’ve been surfing for years, I still consider myself  a beginner. Mike pushed me into a few waves, but I also caught some on my own (and missed some on my own). And next time maybe, I’ll even venture out without an instructor — maybe.

Narragansett Surf & Skate
74 Narragansett Ave
Narragansett, RI
(401) 789-7890

Warm Winds Surf Shop
26 Kingstown Rd
Narragansett, RI
(401) 789-9040

Peter Pan Surfing and SUP Academy
(401) 575-0003

Slater Memorial Park: Fishing, Swan Boats, Carousel, Playground

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Our six-year-old has been asking to go fishing since last summer, and this weekend we finally got around to it. As it turns out, Rhode Island has several waters stocked with trout exclusively for children ages 14 and under.  However, for this trip, we headed out to Slater Memorial Park in Pawtucket.

The trip began with a stop at Benny’s — Rhode Island’s answer to Wal-Mart, Benny’s is a small store that often has exactly what you’re looking for (fishing poles, kid’s bikes, school supplies, large storage bins, automotive supplies, gardening equipment and seeds, etc.) There, Geoff bought two fishing poles and some fake bait. The next stop was the R.I. Aquarium and Pet Center for some lively worms.

The reaction shot after catching the fish.

The reaction shot after catching the fish.

We then staked out our spot along the pond at Slater Memorial Park. The first few hours involved our repeatedly twisting the fishing line, twice catching our hook in some tree branches, and reeling in our line repeatedly to discover the fish had once again taken the bait and escaped unhooked. Our two-year-old seemed to think we were simply feeding the fish and exclaimed excitedly each time the hook came back from the pond emptied. Perhaps that’s what made it so surprising when we got pull on her rod and reeled in an actual bass. You can see by the photo how enthusiastically she posed with her fish.

Even without such success, it would have been a great day at the park — we also took a swan boat ride (a bit pricey at $5/person), several carousel rides (only 25 cents each), and found a large playground. The park also contains a children’s zoo at Daggett Farm, a gallery within the Rhode Island Watercolor Society, and a seafood restaurant, not to mention tennis courts, baseball fields and a bike trail. Apparently, we’ll need more than a day to complete our exploration.

Slater Memorial Park
Pawtucket, RI

RI Trout-Stocked Waters for Children 14 and under:

  • Frosty Hollow Pond in Exeter
  • Geneva Brook & Pond in North Providence
  • Lapham Pond in Burrillville
  • Lloyd Kenney Pond in Hopkinton
  • Seidel’s Pond in Cranston
  • Silvy’s Pond in Cumberland

More information at


RI Aquarium & Pet Center
905 North Main Street
Providence, RI
(401) 415-0455‎

RI Fishing Licenses (Note: children do not need licenses)

Providence Flea

Antiques, handmade crafts, clothes and plenty of food trucks at the opening day of Providence Flea.

Antiques, handmade crafts, clothes and plenty of food trucks at the opening day of Providence Flea.

It’s exactly what Providence has been missing — a weekly flea market. Held every Sunday from 10 am til 4 pm (extended through September 15), you’ll find hand-crafted jewelry, lightly worn clothes, antique furniture, housewares, and the like. And there’s no need to wonder where to find the food trucks on Sundays. You’ll find them at Providence Flea.

Providence Flea