by Erin Swanson, Debralee Iacobucci and Mike Ryan
You’re recently married, deliriously in love and in debt up to your eyeballs. Who knew that wedding cake cost more than a mortgage payment? Who could have guessed that sweet Aunt Irma would slip a five-dollar bill into your card and call it a day? Sadly, no matter how badly you wish to sun your ass on the beaches of Bora Bora, you simply can’t afford it. Fret not, newlyweds, the perfect honeymoon awaits you right here in your own backyard.
Light That Waterfire in Providence
Book a room at the Old Court Bed and Breakfast (144 Benefit Street, Providence. www.oldcourt.com). The Victorian-themed rooms scream of old school charm and some come with both a fireplace and a wet bar. Enjoy a flute or three of champagne in bed before hitting the town.
Providence is chock-full of romantic places to share strands of spaghetti and stolen glances. Make a reservation at Al Forno (577 South Main Street, Providence. www.alforno.com) where the award-winning cuisine and rustic glamour may have you believing you’re in Italy. Or for a Parisian experience, try Chez Pascal (960 Hope Street, Providence. www.chez-pascal.com), the dimly lit French eatery featuring fresh local produce. Order escargot and some smelly cheeses – you’ll be feeling like you’re in Paris in no time.
Feed spoonfuls of decadent chocolate cake to each other at Pastiche (92 Spruce Street, Providence (www.pastichefinedesserts.com) then stroll downtown to Waterfire (www.waterfire.org) and find a secluded rock upon which to sit and make out like wayward teenagers. Finally, head to La Gondola (1 Citizens Plaza, Providence. www.gondolari.com) and be whisked away on a Venetian boat ride complete with Italian music. They provide the ice bucket and glasses; you bring the beverage of choice. How romantic.
Gallery night also can make a pleasant evening during your home-ymoon. Get a Tarot reading for something memorable, and then try a cooking class together – many restaurants and caterers offer them – and then you’ll have a meal of your own to commemorate the occasion each year. Remember persimmons and shellfish, or discover your own aphrodisiacal foods.
Class It Up in Newport
Make a reservation at the luxurious Hydrangea House Inn (16 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. www.hydrangeahouse.com) where you’ll bask in the glory of two-person spa tubs, marble showers, plush robes and complimentary wine and cheese served daily on the porch.
Head out on foot to the Viking Hotel (1 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. www.hotelviking.com), an elegant spot in which to dine and drink. Try the hotel’s Top of Newport Bar, a roof deck featuring views of the city, creative cocktails and pre-dinner plated snacks. Chilled oysters anyone?
Take a hand-in-hand stroll on the Cliff Walk (Memorial Boulevard, Newport. www.cliffwalk.com) and watch the ocean waves crash upon the shore as the sun sets over the Newport mansions. Or perhaps you’d prefer to take a Sunset Cocktail Cruise (Bannister’s Wharf, Newport. www.cruisenewport.com) aboard the Rum Runner II.
The Vanderbilt Grace Hotel (41 Mary Street, Newport. www.vanderbiltgrace.com) is the reincarnation of a historic mansion built by Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt in 1909 featuring roaring fireplaces, a billiard room and gilded artwork. Its award-winning Muse restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy a romantic dinner. After your bellies are full, head up to the hotel’s roof deck to enjoy a cigar and a nightcap before retiring to bed. It doesn’t get any better than this.
A more adventurous Newport option is to hit the spa at the Hyatt Newport for a mud bath, then take a sailing schooner around the bay or try a couple’s surfing lesson with Peter Pan. Or really feed your adrenaline junkie – if getting married wasn’t enough of rush – with Skydive Newport. You can land on the beach and arrange an equestrian retreat, where you ride horses along the beach from Sandy Point Stables. Or straggle to Portsmouth Saturday afternoon with some lawn chairs and watch a polo match in the Newport International Polo Series. Drop by Perro Salada, ideally on one of their honky-tonk nights, because trying something new together makes for lasting memories.
An Island Vacation on Block Island
Find a secluded spot inland, away from the beaches, and indulge in some fresh water pond skinny dipping. There’s some great biking too – test your communication skills by getting a tandem (available near the ferry). Just remember to put your clothes back on for that – you don’t want bike-seat chafing. Find each other in the Block Island Labyrinth, then visit Black Rock. You can scale down the rocks where you’ll find plenty of clay to create your own full-body mud-masks. Smear mud all over each other. It’s good for your skin. Wash off on one of Block Island’s famous beaches, then enjoy a Funky Monkey at Captain Nick’s and make some Dark and Stormys for the breezy ferry ride back.