Monday, July 21, 2014

Providence Waterfire 2014

Dear Em,
Although our experience last year was a little hectic & a little crazy, we returned to Providence Waterfire a few weeks ago. Nonnie loves Waterfire, & I wanted to take her back. We also had a lot of other family visiting, & I was excited to introduce them to one of my favorite things about summertime in Rhode Island...even if it meant taking two young children with us.

Not wanting to make the same mistake as last time, I think I asked you & your adorable, little best friend to go to the bathroom 57,000 times before we headed to Providence for Waterfire. We parked at the Covention Center (parking there was a little more pricey than I remember it being, but I like how easy it is to leave the Convention Center & get on the highway) & walked over to the Waterfire basin. As we walked, I was pleasantly surprised to notice porta potties. I felt my body relax. This time there would be no potty emergency fiasco like last year (which of course meant this time you never needed to go to the bathroom...sigh).

Papi bought Dels for our whole group before heading to sit on the grassy lawn just above the basin. The grass would actually make a perfect Providence picnic spot. Maybe next time we visit Waterfire, we can pack a picnic dinner for the grass before the fire lightings.

After eating Dels, you & S got a little chilly. Having only the jacket I was wearing, I improvised.

We had a little more time to wait than I had planned for. You & S got a little antsy. While the people around us seemed enchanted by your little "performances," I was a little worried about the two of you launching down the hill & taking everyone out as you went. So, I allowed myself to use a little bit of technology to calm two very antsy little girls.

The lighting started at dusk, & we were in a perfect spot to watch it all. It almost seemed like the lighting of an Olympic torch as we watched the procession march in. It was just as they were ceremoniously lighting the first fires, that my aunt Wendy noticed smoke coming from Providence Place Mall, just to the right of the Waterfire event. Suddenly, everyone's attention turned from the Waterfire basin to the mall. "Is that part of the Waterfires too," my aunt asked. I assured her that the mall is not supposed to be part of the Waterfire fires as we heard sirens & saw firetrucks rush in. We watched the windows fill up with smoke, & I thanked God that we had parked at the Convention Center instead of the mall.

Soon the smoke died down, & the firetrucks began to leave (I guess a car had caught fire in the parking garage?). Everyone's attention returned to the beauty of the actual Waterfire event. We sat for a while, taking in the peacefulness of the music & fire. It was so much fun to enjoy it all with family.

Maybe it was because we had been sitting for a while, maybe it was because people had run over to the mall to check the status of their cars & the fire, but much of the crowd had cleared out by the time we began walking. For the first time I think you were able to really enjoy walking through Waterfire, because you didn't have crowds standing in front of you blocking the beautiful views. You got to see the boats of people loading the firewood. I pointed out the beautiful chandeliers under the bridges. You loved seeing people ferried around on the gondolas. I really enjoyed walking along, hand in hand with you.

We stopped & bought a ton of the World's Best Popcorn (Nonnie's favorite), before heading back to where we parked. We took the longer, scenic route back- walking along the water & taking in our last glimpses of the fire.

We made it back to our car & dressed you in your PJs before heading home. You fell asleep with a sweet smile on your face during the drive, & I thought about how fortunate we are. I love the state we live in, the fun & beautiful things Rhode Island offers, & that we're able to share it all with so many people we love. Thanks, Providence Waterfire, for an amazing experience & a fantastic family memory.

I love you so,

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