Rode on a Rhode Island Bus!

by Heddi Cundle / Jun 18, 2012 / 0 comments

(Photo - Clingstone House - Built 1903 in Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay. Gorgeous home but what if they ever run out of toilet paper or want a pizza delivery? Total ordeal!)


I went to Rhode Island recently for a friends’ wedding. Actually I know the bride & groom so that means I have extra ammunition to be at the wedding comparted to the ones who only know one side of the family. It’s good for my ego and confidence!


I’ve only ever been to Boston once before and it was in the middle of winter – actually 2 November, where the chills have chills and the freeze is a deep freeze. The type of cold that bites you right to the core and then laughs in your sorry frozen face.


But this was my 1st time to Rhode Island in the summer so a: I knew it’d be nicer weather and b: I didn’t want to fly to Boston and then spend 2 hours in the car driving down south. I wanted to make the most of Jamestown and the surroundings within the 72 hours – including naturally, the wedding on the Sunday.


So I arrived at Providence Airport and got the bus to Jamestown. The bus driver was called John and I discovered that after dropping the locals off at downtown Providence, John then had finished his shift and was driving via Jamestown to Newport. I perched myself on the baggage section at the front of the bus and had a 45 minute chin-wag with John. John’s worked for the bus depot for over 39 years, has been all over Europe (most recently driving around Czech Republic to and from Munich, Germany and the stunning Marienplatz Square), happily married and wakes up a 4am to do his bus shift. 4am?! Unless you’re a pilot or a host on a morning tv show, no one should legally be up at that time….unless you’re John!


John was a tiny bit sneaky (coaxed gently by myself) as he drove me past the legal drop off Jamestown bus stop at the top of the island…yet drove into downtown Jamestown and tipped me at the side of the road 1 block from the fantastic home I was renting with friends, for the wedding (FYI, MaryBeth, realtor is the best!). This was serious ‘cross it off your bucket list’ service – VIP door to door limo treatment that pretty much resembles a bus and a 1 hour drive for the extortionate fee of $2.00.


The weekend was a blast, spending an amazing amount of quality time with great friends who also visited from San Francisco, eating way too much, drinking more than that plus a tad extra and catching the bouquet from the bride. Actually, it fell to my feet, I stared at it for about 13 seconds, picked it up, shook it and when one rose fell out in panic & 5 petals flew off in distress, I then felt calmly confident that this was just a minor glitch for a commitment-phobic gal. The world would be fine now a rose lost its footing.  The wedding was at the most beautiful & oldest synagogue in the USA (Touro), the drive to/from the wedding included amazing scenery and friends who veered off the beaten track saw some of the most gorgeous homes in the State.


Don’t just think of Rhode Island as a one stop shop.  Rent a car and go off the beaten path through Providence and Jamestown. The people are so insanely happy and hospitable, the locals all work for each other’s aunt/uncle/family business and keep the local industry alive…and people like John will make a 3000 mile journey feel like a breeze once you get chatting on a 1 hour bus that cost 200 pennies! And for everything else, there’s MasterCard.  



Heddi is the Social Butterfly Travel Editor for Wandering Educators, and runs,
an online travel gift card where you gift, save, plan, share and book
travels. You can do any or all this on myTab & it’s a whole new way
to travel.