As a child growing up in New England, I defined myself by my heritage. The first question you would ask a new acquaintance was always, "What nationality are you?" I thought this was how everyone greeted new friends.
My standard answer was always "French Canadian and Lithuanian." I had no idea this question wasn't being answered everywhere. It was as common to us as "How are you?"
My father was born and raised in Quebec and my mother was the descendant of two Lithuanian parents. They were "purebred" so to speak, so I had two parts. One makes me tall and blond, one makes me strong with a penchant for working with my hands. Or so I was taught.
This past week, you may have noticed that I have been unusually quiet. The reason is that my family was here from Canada. This is a big deal. While I have always defined myself by my Canadian roots, I had never met my extended family. My father, one of eight children, emigrated to the U.S. more 50 years ago and has not returned home since 1964.
The visit was truly wonderful. We shared stories, discovered similarities in appearance and mannerisms, learned about our history, and (best of all) made new friends, all while exploring my hometown.
So many of the projects I do and the ways we live are influenced and inspired by where I live. I am always proud to share our beautiful city by the sea with visitors, and want to share some of it with you as well.
Newport is an active outdoor community. My husband and I have started running this past year, and this trail along the ocean is where we train. If this venue doesn't get you motivated, nothing will!
Rosecliff Mansion is one of our neighbors. You may recognize it from the movie "True Lies."
Nothing wakes you up like a little morning shopping on the wharf.
Flo's Clam Shack, my next door neighbor, is voted one of the "Best of RI" restaurants year after year.
It doesn't get much better than this.