Vacation Week

This is one we were really looking forward to. Starting today, Erika and I were to be on vacation in our favorite spot, Prudence Island. Not many people are really familiar with it, which is kinda how we like it, but it’s here:

You can only get there by ferry and there are no hotels or restaurants on the island. There’s only one small convenience store and a post office. Other than that, just houses. When we go, we have to bring everything we need for the week, so usually the car is pretty well-stocked. Here we are in 2015, our first time on the ferry, heading to the island for the first time:

Our rental agent warned us that some people do get “island fever” and just can’t handle how low-key it is on the island. You really have to find your own things to do. We both were pretty excited about that idea. And we sure did love it.

Here was the view from our deck in 2015, looking across the bay at Portsmouth:

So what would we do all day? One of the things we looked forward to and would actually plan for all year, was to build a few jigsaw puzzles. We usually completed about three in a week:

We’d also go for daily walks along the water, or sometimes in the water:

Erika was also a historian. She graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in history. She was always reading books about famous people and events like Frederick Douglass, Abigail Adams, George Custer, Eleanor Roosevelt and many more. But one of her favorite historical figures was Roger Williams. Erika lived in an apartment on North Main Street in Providence and we’d sometimes joke that Roger Williams himself lived there. Sometimes, we’d hear a weird noise in the apartment, one that you’d usually explain as being a ghost and we’d just look at each other and call out “Roger?” So it was really a high point for her to be able to stand up on Pulpit Rock, an exact spot where Roger Williams once stood, to preach to the indigenous people in the 1600s.

We went back two more times, always in late summer so we could do some swimming in the bay, knowing it’d be warm enough by late-July and August. But this year, we wanted to do something different. We wanted to visit the island in the off-season. When it wasn’t brimming with “tourists”, driving their cars all around the island at an excessive 20 miles per hour. We wanted to have a quieter, simpler time.

Just a few weeks ago, on September 1st, I booked us a house for this week on the island. I forwarded the confirmation email to Erika and here’s her reaction:

We were both really excited for this one as from time to time we talked about one day possibly buying a house on Prudence and maybe moving there full time. That was a discussion for another day, one that we’d talk about “later.”

I think I’ll go back some day. I thought about going this week anyway, just Jaro (our dog) and me, but I eventually realized it’s too much, too soon and I canceled the reservation. It’s partly because I’m not ready to be there without her. It was our special place, it was what we looked forward to each year. It’s where we spent entire days together sitting, reading, figuring out what to have for the next meal, watching the water, going for walks, working on the puzzles, me waiting for Erika to wake up from her daily naps (she was a champion napper), and then watching the sunset each night with a bottle of wine or sangria. We violated the “wine night” rule while on vacation. It was just great to be with her, sitting, talking, relaxing.

I’ll share more pictures from our trips to the island as this week goes on, and maybe someday I’ll go back and be with her in my memories.