Everyone is Invited!
There will be a special Travel Presentation at the Tallahassee Senior Center on Thur., Nov. 19, from 2-3 p.m.
To RSVP, call (850) 891-4000
Providence: Good things in a small package
Rhode Island may be our smallest state, but the Ocean State’s capital city of Providence, brimming with impressive history and architecture and diverse attractions, proves that good things come in small packages. And as I discovered, there’s plenty to explore.
Roger Williams, an immigrant minister from England, founded Providence in 1636 as a religious haven for people of all faiths, which labeled him as a heretic. Banished from Massachusetts for his radical beliefs, Williams developed a mutual friendship with the Narragansett Indians who gave him land that he named Providence. On that land in 1638, Roger Williams founded the First Baptist Church in America.
The current church, First Baptist Meeting House, is a National Historic Landmark combining an English Georgian style with that of a traditional New England meeting house. Completed by 1775 to replace two earlier buildings, it is still in use.
At Prospect Park, Roger Williams features prominently, thanks to a heroic-size granite statue of him with his right hand outstretched toward the panoramic view of the city below. Williams’ remains are protected within a small chamber beneath the statue.
Rhode Island State House (The Capitol) was completed in 1904 and features the world’s fourth largest unsupported marble dome. (The domes of the Taj Mahal, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Minnesota Capitol are larger.) The dome is topped with a gilded statue called Independent Man.
The State House’s guided tour led me to the full-length portrait of George Washington that was painted from life by Rhode Island native Gilbert Stuart and the Rotunda’s stunning mural of Rhode Island pioneers in scenes representing the Four Freedoms.
There’s more appetizing history (pardon the pun) at the Culinary Museum at Johnson & Wales University. For me, the museum was amusing and nostalgic for its 250,000 items reflecting the history of the kitchen, including vintage equipment, appliances, cook books, gadgets, etc. The museum is also nostalgic for its exhibit about the roadside diners many of us fondly remember from the ‘40s and ‘50s.
A walking tour of the food-related businesses and Italian restaurants in Providence’s Federal Hill – a neighborhood dating to the 1700s – was a highlight of my visit to the city. Ah, the aromas! My taste buds were tantalized as I watched workers making spinach gnocci and lobster-filled ravioli.
“When visitors walk through Providence, I remind them to look up because we have amazing architecture,” says Kristen Adamo, vice president of Communications for the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We never tore down old buildings when new was in fashion.”
That’s good. Otherwise, Union General Ambrose Burnside’s red Victorian house might be long gone, and so might 19th-century shipbuilder John Brown’s Georgian-Federal-style brick mansion and the more modest Stephen Hopkins house, built in 1743 for the future Rhode Island governor and future signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Riverfront shows and events, a repertory theater (Viola Davis got started there), an indoor botanical garden and Roger Williams Park Zoo (pronghorns, wildebeests and red pandas, anyone?) add to Providence’s lively diversions
For more information, go to www.GoProvidence.com or call (401) 456-0200. And, to visit Providence with a completely guided tour, reserve now for the Islands of New England, May 12 – 19, 2016; call 891-4018 or drop by the Tallahassee Senior Center at 1400 N. Monroe St. for a tour booklet. You certainly don’t have to be a senior to enjoy a Collette Vacations jaunt to New England and all TSC tours benefit senior programming in our area.
Editor's Note: Roberta Sandler is a freelance journalist and member of the Society of American Travel Writers.
Coach Tours with Travel Leaders
Contact Joanie at 701-3745 or Rosetta at 891-4004 for information on the following tours. Must have 30 travelers on each coach to confirm tour.
"Ragtime" The Broadway Musical / November 16 - 17
- $286 pp double, $335 single
- Macon / 1910 Neel House / St. Joseph Catholic Church / The Grand Opera House for production of ragtime / The Hay / Georgia Olive Farm.
All Money due October 20.
Florida Christmas Tour /December 11 & 12
- $320 single $270 pp double
- NON-REFUNDABLE $50 deposit is due by September 3
- The Singing Christmas Trees / Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales / St. Augustine Scenic Boat Ride
Honkey Tonk Angels / January 16
- Reserve now; Only 15 seats remain
- Join us for a day trip to the Alhambra Dinner Theater, Jacksonville
Georgia Olive Farm / February 16
- Travel to Lakeland, GA. Tour the olive fields and oil mill, lunch at an Italian restaurant that cooks with the farm’s extra virgin olive oil, and tour Valdosta, GA, with a local guide.
Collette Vacations Tours
All Collette Vacations tours include Roundtrip Air from Tallahassee, Fees/Surcharges and Hotel Transfers. Call Rosetta at 891-4004.
Islands of New England / May 12 - 19
- Price begins at $2,579
- Providence / Newport, Boston / Cranberry Bog / Plymouth Rock / Cape Cod / Martha's Vineyard / Nantucket / Hyannis / Provincetown / Whale Watch or Sand Dunes / Lobster Dinner
Alaska & The Yukon / August 14 – 26
- With early booking bonus price begins at $6,049
- Note: This is a land tour and does not offer a cruise. Price includes airfare from and return to TLH.
- Anchorage / Tok / Whitehorse (Yukon) / Skagway / Dawson City / Fairbanks / Denali
Colorado Rockies, Historical Trains & 4 Nat'l Parks / September 2 – 10
- Durango – Experience the Wild West
- Price begins at $2,989
- Ride aboard the famous Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad through southwestern Colorado's San Juan Mountains / Journey on the world's highest cog railroad to Pike's Peak, a stunning backdrop for Colorado Springs / Mesa Verde National Park / Arches and Canyon Lands National Parks.
Albuquerque Balloon Festival / October 6 - 12
- With early booking bonus price begins at $2,649
- Balloon Fiesta / Albuquerque National Museum of Nuclear Science & History / Indian Pueblo Cultural Center / Turquoise Traid / Santa Fe / Cooking school.
All tours benefit the Tallahassee Senior Center & Foundation. Call 891-4018 for tour information.