Rhode Island, 2012

So, every two years we travel to the Gordon Research Conference (GRC) and since few years back to the Gordon Keenan Research Seminar (GRS) attached to this conference.  This time around the conference was at Bryant University in Smithfield, RI.  Well, what can I say?  Excellent conference, exciting presentations, good connections, etc. Since Rhode Island is only a few hundred miles from Philly and since there are so many of us going (I had 6 people with me in the car) needed to rent something big.  I just love how the rental signs for this location do not show AVIS anywhere except for a pice of paper taped to the “Budget” door.  Took me a half-hour to find this…

Driving Ford Expedition, a tank, really, is no fun, considering my usual ride is a Mini Cooper.  Filling up the tank with 1/4 still left I have to put $84-worth of gas…  WHOA!

Well, this is new… Messages written in the sky using smoke from five (FIVE!) airplanes…  Apparently this service is called “skywriting” and is kind of expensive.

So, finally arriving at Bryant, a gorgeous campus opens up to us.  This campus is clearly a manifestation to the benefits of suburban universities.

GRC participants are always overfed and this is the only time I actually indulge in sweets.  Sigh.  Paying for it now having gained 11lbs…

Nice photo of the GRS crew.

More nature.

And the campus is kept continually flawless.

Still, this is a campus so naturally we find OBEY stickers and the like.

Interesting fact.  At a local convenience store condoms are on sale but seem to be unpopular since all the packaging is covered in dust.

While at the same store bongs are neatly clean…  Makes one think about the local college town life in Smithfield, doesn’t it?

Dragonfly landing on my foot.  I’ve always considered that to be a goodluck sign.  Doesn’t really seem that way but I still choose to think so :-).

Drove to Newport, conveniently located just over 40 miles from Smithfield.  Great small resortish town to visit.

And full of flowers.

And yachts.

Everyone gets photographed before a yacht ride and then they try to sell you fridge magnets.  Sigh.  Is there income in that, really?

The fishing industry is still quite alive here, along with lobster trappers, etc.

The rusted-out fishing boats, parked next to million-dollar yachts, are still quite functional.

Flags on these signify, apparently, the country/region where the boat is registered.  Apparently most people register offshore to avoid higher taxes.

I think everyone enjoys flowing bubbling water.

And, of course, I climb everywhere I can.

Gorgeous house on a rock.  Boat-access only.  I wonder how boring it can get there.  Well, I suppose some people would enjoy the “isolation” this type of location offers.

Gosh, these places have got to be gorgeous in winter as well, I would think.

Look at these two chairs.  Add a beer and this will be the absolute ideal for anything and anyone.

Nice and slightly overpriced tourist area is a must here.

And, of course, the obligatory Irish pub.

Great small local store, Alex and Ani’s, where they sell positive energy :-).

Nothing like a pint after a long day, right?  A great GRC tradition it certainly is.

That, and lobsters.

And healthy food.

Actually, highway food has been getting better over the last 5-10 years.

And I’m finally getting back home.

Great location, Rhode Island.  I definitely need to return here with a good camera.  Perhaps in the fall I will take another trip.

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