Posted by: yachtcrewsing | November 28, 2011

An Aerial Tour of Newport

It has now come down to crunch time for getting the yacht ready for sea and to take down to the Caribbean. Consequently, this has entailed that we (the crew) have been working long hours in addition to the past 3 weekends in order to get everything finished. This, in addition to the 5:00 onset of darkness, has contributed to significant fatigue and inactivity amongst the crew when pertaining to leaving the boat during non-work hours.

Today we had the day off, which was cause for breaking the cycle of indolence and partaking in all that Newport has to offer. The day began at Cornet Café, Newport’s best and coziest breakfast place (in my opinion). A few blocks down the same street is the equally adorable Empire Tea and Coffee, a quirky, artsy café where one is welcome to plop themselves on a big leather couch and sit for hours reading books or playing one of the many board games available (which we did).

Being the Christmas season, it was necessary to participate in some festive shopping which is readily offered by this adorable little town. Down each historic side street and Christmas-lighted waterfront lie shops containing gifts suitable for every taste.

Lunch was at my new favorite Maison de Coco, a tiny little chocolate shop and café selling incredible crepes (I had the wonderful seasonal pumpkin mousse special) and amazing coffee and gourmet flavoured ‘chocolat chaud’ served in rounded bowls. The friendliness and attentiveness of the lady owner add the perfect touch to this gastronomical gem; if visiting Newport, a stop here is a must.

The last item on our day of Newport experienced was a helicopter tour of the area. Considering for the past few months we have explored (nearly) every nook and cranny of the area by land and sea, it seemed appropriate to provide dimension to our understanding of the area by adding ‘air’ to the list. The airfield is located in Middletown, a mere 8 minute drive from the centre of town. There we were efficiently ushered to the helicopter at our allotted time, put in the passenger seats and told to put on our headphones with microphones. These enabled communication between us and the pilot, as well as background music. This also enabled a special moment I had when listening to Bob Dylan’s ‘Tangled up in Blue’ and beholding the incredible splendor of the Newport bridge below us with the sun setting in the background.

The tour only lasted a little over twenty minutes but seemed to stretch for eternity as we glided and banked over the shipyard (seeing our boat far below), the old forts on the islands, the mansions lining the cliff walk and the neatly farmed fields on the outskirts of town.

What a beautiful day in Newport to end a wonderful summer season in New England!

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