Today was intended to be a laid-back day, and it pretty much was. We were in the mood for a sit-down breakfast, and we hadn’t tried 2 Cats yet this year, so that was our choice for this morning. It was early enough that the restaurant wasn’t busy and we got a table right away (no thanks to the complete zombie girl “working” as the hostess).
I ordered my usual, the granola with milk and fruit, and Rich decided on French toast after I reminded him that he didn’t care for the egg sandwiches here in the past. We both ordered a side of bacon. As I’ve mentioned before, 2 Cats serves the best bacon I’ve ever had. Normally I could take or leave bacon, but this stuff is something special. We even asked the waitress where it comes from, thinking it might be from the Brown Family Farm in Otter Creek. She went to find out, but apparently all the chef told her was that it’s Maine-sourced, but not local. I guess we’ll never know?!
At some point while we were eating a gaggle of college girls came in and went upstairs. This will be important later.
After breakfast, we took a slow walk back to our room while we talked about what we might want to do today. It was still very foggy so we expected it might be another good day for photography. We decided to walk into the park via Spring Street today.
When we passed Glen Mary Park, we took another look for George Dorr’s mini-Precipice trail that was supposed to have been constructed on the ledges across from the park. Like the last time we looked, two years ago, we couldn’t find a single sign that anything had ever been there. If rungs had been present at one point, even if they were later cut off, we expected that we should see some sign of them, like rust streaks.
We came very close to the ledge, a foot or two away in some spots, so we should have been able to detect even a faint sign of old iron, but nothing was apparent. One part of the ledge is covered pretty heavily with moss and lichen so it’s possible the vegetation is concealing evidence of the old trail, but that particular ledge didn’t seem to be the best place to put such a trail anyway. The ledge we identified as probably the best one was completely clear of any evidence.
We continued on, eventually intersecting with the Great Meadow Loop at Cromwell Harbor Road. I think I’ve only hiked this eastern side of the loop once before, maybe ten years ago, so I didn’t remember quite what it was like. It has a somewhat different feel from the western side, deeper in the woods, and eventually crosses the road to meander through the wooded section east of Ledgelawn Avenue before crossing back over and making its way west adjacent to the park loop road.
We spent at least an hour slowly wandering and searching for interesting compositions before the fog lifted and it became sunny again—no good for woodland photos! By this point we were walking very close to the park loop road, but were still in the woods. Color is becoming sparse in the woods this time of year and everything is starting to look ratty. But we found a few subjects for photos, like some clumps of white birch, that would probably work on a day, or time of day, with better lighting.
We soon came to the intersection with the Hemlock Road, which we followed for a short distance on our way toward the Jesup Path. The road begins as a pretty wide path that very soon narrows. It’s also lined with birches rather than hemlocks. The view on either side of the path is similar to what you see on the Jesup Path: a meadow to the west with Kebo rising high in the background, and Cadillac to the south, and a grassy field to the east. The birches are so dense here that the trail appears to be a tunnel through them!
The Hemlock Road joins the Jesup Path at the northern end of the Jesup Path’s boardwalk section. We took a slow stroll along the boardwalk, hoping we might spot the owl we encountered here last year. We didn’t, but we enjoyed the walk, which was surprisingly quiet on a Saturday, even more so as we were getting closer to the hub of activity at Sieur de Monts Spring.
Our plan was to catch the next bus headed toward Sand Beach and take a quick hike to find the University of Rhode Island Great Head survey marker. It was still foggy at Sand Beach, believe it or not, although it had been clear for hours everywhere else. It was a pretty neat to experience such bright light with fog hanging over the sand and completely obscuring the ocean. Sand Beach was busy today, as you would expect on a warm September Saturday. We crossed the beach and headed up, up, up the bluffs toward the Great Head survey marker.
While we were climbing we heard a group of chatty girls sitting on a high ledge just off the trail. Guess what: it was the girls from 2 Cats this morning. They passed us while I was photographing the survey mark, and then they passed us again while we were headed back down! They seemed like nice girls, just so, so chatty! The survey marker was an easy find, in good condition, and perfect for me and Rich since it’s on Great Head (not in the spot where we were married, but still on Great Head) and it was set in 2011, the year we got married. We had to kiss while standing on the marker … just because.
We hadn’t intended to complete the entire Great Head loop hike this time, so we made our way down slowly and then wandered back across the beach. We were pretty tired by the time we climbed back onto the bus!
Tonight’s dinner reservation was at Havana, one of our favorites that we haven’t gotten to yet this year. We were avoiding big fancy meals at the beginning of our trip, just due to the fact that we both had nasty colds causing meager appetites. No sense going out for such interesting and innovative food if we couldn’t taste it or fully enjoy it. Tonight was perfect at Havana. We asked for the table by the window and started with a mojito for each of us, as always. They were such a treat!
Tonight we were extra hungry, I guess, since we ordered two appetizers: the crispy, earthy mushroom spring rolls, as usual, and something new, the proveleta, which is a slice of creamy provolone cheese grilled and topped with pickled onions. The appetizers came around the same time as the bread: multigrain (with seeds!) and cayenne-cranberry cornbread. Havana serves a “standard” bread along with an interesting cornbread (different every time we’ve been there!), accompanied by white bean dip and chili infused oil, and a flavored butter. Tonight’s butter was hibiscus honey, which Rich enjoyed even though it had a slight floral flavor. It goes without saying that I would like it! Everything was fantastic and we hadn’t even gotten our entrees yet!
Our main dishes arrived a few minutes after we finished our appetizers. Rich at first thought his filet looked really small, but it turns out it was just the perfect size. It was accompanied by these awesome squished fingerling potatoes with a cheesy, mushroomy sauce. They were rich and delicious! There were even a few purple potatoes in the mix, and some that were softer, sweeter and tinged with light pink. Maybe something like yuca? They were just great, and the meat was perfect as well. I had the tuna, rare, with a tropical salad that was light, tart and sweet. We both savored every bite!
While we were eating I heard some yakking outside, and looked out on the street to see the same group of girls giggling and eating ice cream from MDI Ice Cream across the street. What the hell, we thought, are they haunting us?! I joked that they would probably be partying on our porch when we got back to our room. (Fortunately they weren’t.)
After all this food, somehow we still had room for a little dessert: the tres leches cake with passion fruit sauce. I’m so sorry we forgot to take a photo because it was beautiful! We just dug in before we even thought about it. I also had a second mojito for dessert (Rich had a second one during the meal).
Thoroughly stuffed and satisfied now, we somehow managed to walk back to our room, where we snuggled in bed and watched some new videos from our YouTube favorites, like AvE, Cody’s Lab and Desert Plants of Avalon.