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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Providence, Rhode Island

After touring the submarine center of Groton / New London in Connecticut, we headed inland from the coast and crossed the entire state of Rhode Island to arrive in Providence. This is not a long trip - about 55 miles. Rhode Island is only 37 miles wide "by the books" but that must be at the wide spot. I'd guess 25 miles is closer to the truth in the center.

We were headed for the state Capitol. Providence is a city of about 170,000 within the city limits but is the center of a much larger metropolitan area that reaches across the border into Massachusetts. (Boston lies a mere 50 miles to the Northeast.) The Capitol building sits atop a hill with a nice view of the surrounding town.

This was late on a Saturday afternoon so we didn't get to see the inside of the building. Here is the view of the surrounding area:
RhodeIsland-3 RhodeIsland-2

We circled the Capitol looking for a parking place. There was a concert scheduled for the evening nearby so both circling and parking were not simple. We eventually found a spot near Roger Williams park. This soon led us to the discovery that this Roger Williams was not "Mr. Piano." Say "Roger Williams" in Rhode Island and you are talking about one of the settlers of the Providence plantation in 1636. Parks, statues, streets and even a university bear his name.

Industry is a bit scarce in Rhode Island. Once a textile center, that industry is long gone. The local auditorium is called the Dunkin Donuts Center but Dunkin Donuts is headquartered in Quincy Massachusetts. Tourism is a big contributor to the state's economy and I'll highlight that in another post.

Leaving Providence to return to Baltic Connecticut we encountered one of the rare "black holes" that my Garmin GPS can fall into. It seems that Interstate 195 has been relocated in Providence.

"Miss Garmin," as I call her, was quite confused by this. Heading along the freeway, she kept saying "turn left" and so forth. We ended up doing a loop around, confusing her again and then just ignored her until we were back onto highway 6 headed West.

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