I spent years of my childhood dinners looking at a placemat that had a map of America and all the state capitals. Back then, I could tell you the capital of probably all 50 states. Now, I can tell you a few—Providence, Rhode Island is one of them, just because that’s a real cocky name to have as a capital.
I also knew that Rhode Island is our smallest state, so small that I didn’t even realize I’d never seen a Rhode Island license plate before until one drove by. Rhode Island is so small that doing an Ironman Triathlon in a straight line would take you into Massachusetts.
Anyway, I found myself in Newport, your typical touristy waterfront town, looking for a lighthouse. And I could tell it was a typical touristy waterfront town because it had saltwater taffy candy that comes in that white box you would see in any other typical touristy waterfront town.
I gave up looking for the lighthouse (there would be others) and finally made my way to Providence. In an odd turn of events, most of the city was closed but the state house wasn’t and politicians were actually working.
It was the last day before their summer break, the guard told me, so I got to witness last-minute deals, backstabs and back-room hand jobs.
My Rhode Island AirBnB host, Mark, told me he liked Rhode Island because everything’s so close. The airport’s only 15 minutes away, as is shopping and pretty much anything else, and I said, Yeah.
Then I thought, Yeah…my roommate would probably destroy a triathlon here all while running her errands.