Thursday, August 18, 2011

Wednesday's Wanderings

Having been hit with a small case of wanderlust being that I had been a good girl and stayed home my last batch of days off and knowing that Wednesday was going to be the best day out of the week, I decided that Amanda and I needed to take a drive somewhere yesterday. My initial thought had been to go up to Tewksbury Hospital, a former insane asylum and still active mental health facility, that Barb had written about in a recent blog post. Turns out that there's also a Public Health Museum there that is located in the former Administration Building which is only open on Wednesdays so it sounded like a great place to go but alas, neither Amanda nor I were able to get out of our own way and out of the house at an early hour.  We weren't ready to go until almost 11:00 and with Tewksbury being almost two hours away and the museum only open until 2:00, it just made more sense to save that trip for another day.

So ... what to do? What to do? As we were heading north on the interstate the thought occurred to me that perhaps a jaunt over to Rhode Island for some clamcakes and chowdah might be nice so after running the idea by the kid, we turned east and made our way over to Warwick in search of Iggy's Doughboys & Chowder House.  Regular readers of this blog will know that I've been to the location in Narragansett near Point Judith a time or two but this time I thought we'd try something different and hit up the original location on Oakland Beach overlooking Narragansett Bay. For those of you not familiar with Iggy's - I'm sorry, you have no idea what you're missing!

Thanks to my handy-dandy GPS unit, Amanda and I had no problems finding our lunch location and we were able to get there before the real lunch crowds arrived.  Granted, I still had to wait in line a little while before ordering and then had to stand in the hot sun awhile longer while the food was being cooked while Amanda went in to snag a booth but having chowed down on clamcakes and doughboys from Iggy's before, I knew that it was going to be well worth the wait.  Plus that gave me time to take some pictures!

Once we got our food, Amanda and I shared a cup of chowder, a small order of fries, a dozen clamcakes (a few made the ride home), and half-dozen doughboys (most of them made the ride home) along with a couple bottles of Iggy's own root beer - the perfect lunch!  As the only other time I had taken Amanda to Iggy's in Narragansett she had chosen to stay in the car while Jamie and I feasted, this was her first time enjoying the dining delight that Iggy's is. Whereas she quite liked the food, she thought that Iggy's mascot was just a little creepy ...

I dunno about that, I'd say that for a doughboy he's a'ight.  Definitely no Poppin' Fresh but a'ight! 

As you can see, by the time we left, the place was definitely starting to pick up business so it was good that we got there when we did!  I can only imagine what the line looks like on weekends!

After finishing our lunch, I decided to take a little drive around the area in an attempt to locate the old Rocky Point Amusement Park grounds.  Back when I was a kid, Rocky Point used to be the place to go if you wanted to hit up a roller coaster or funhouse or log flume ride.  It was at Rocky Point that my father first called me a chicken for not wanting to go on the rollercoaster (I later grew up to love them) and it was also where I was with my oldest brother and several cousins on the day that Elvis died (the anniversary of his death was just two days ago as a matter of fact).  Even though she really doesn't remember it, Amanda also went to Rocky Point as a toddler but sadly, the park closed in 1995 shortly after that visit and has since been torn down completely as the City of Warwick attempts to build a park where the rides used to stand.

As we drove around the area that looked "vaguely" familiar to me, I thought I more or less found the spot where the park used to be but there really wasn't anything to see or indicate that was the spot where thousands and thousands of families had spent many a happy summer day. However, at the end of a road ... and I do mean the end of a road ...

The end of the road on Warwick Neck.

I did find something that made me quite happy!

As we rolled up on it and I broke out into a big smile, Amanda groaned a little bit and no doubt rolled her eyes too but as you and she all know, I just love me a lighthouse!  

The lighthouse that currently stands at the southern end of Warwick Neck isn't the original lighthouse that first graced the grounds in July of 1826 but instead is a pretty little steel tower that was completed in June of 1932 after erosion had put the Warwick Lighthouse in danger of falling into the sea. Ironically, only six years after the new lighthouse was built the Hurricane of 1938 tore a big chunk of land off the spot where the lighthouse had been placed which put the new light in danger of toppling into the bay. In 1939, in a move that only took one day and allowed the light to continue to shine throughout the entire process, the tower was jacked up and relocated to its present spot where it was placed on top of an 8-foot tall concrete base so that ships could see its beacon over the top of the keeper's house - which didn't have to be moved.

No doubt the lighthouse is much prettier as seen from the water but I didn't exactly have access to a boat so did my best just to shoot a picture or two through the fencing while Amanda sat in the car and waited for Homeland Security or the a representative of the Coast Guard to come out and tell me to move it along.  Sometimes I think she worries too much!

All in all even though it was no creepy former insane asylum, we had a nice little jaunt over to The Ocean State and should I get a craving for clamcakes and chowdah in the middle of winter I know now exactly where to go as Oakland Beach's Iggy's is open year-round - and I bet there are a lot shorter lines then, too!


  1. Anonymous7:46 AM EDT

    Yum! Iggy's!!!! That's the location we visited. Good chowdah and doughboys -- cinnamon, please! We had ours out on the benches overlooking the bay (and teasing the gulls).

    Glad you got a great smile!

  2. Chowda, water, lighthouse, sun...yep, that was a great day!

    Big hugs, honey...

  3. wow you are a carefree happy girl! i just love it! and you are teaching the girls that and i hope it stays with them for life! good for you!

    smiles, bee

  4. Never been there, but there is always Nick's in Pacifica for some great clam chowder. I loves me some good clam chowder.

    Looks like you and Amanda had a great day.

    Have a terrific Thursday. :)

  5. I figured it either had to be a lighthouse or an old cemetery at the end of the road to put that smile on your face! lol What a fabulous day you and Amanda had, even though you started off having no idea where to go or do since you both got up too late to go to that asylum. I've never tasted chowder or clamcakes...I'm soooo deprived:-) You're the second person tonight that's mentioned doughboys, what are they exactly?

    Isn't it fun knowing where Fort Erie is when I mentioned I'm going there this weekend? hehe We'll be crossing that bridge on Sunday, going to the Erie County Fair across the border so should be fun. xoxo

  6. So many good seafood places, so little time!

    Well, perhaps another day for a creepy former insane asylum. Tewksbury State Hospital also use to be known as the place to go to die. They had the crazy ward, sure... but they also had the terminal ward. Sad, but true.

    I so wish we could go together!

    Big hugs xoxo

  7. Boy, what a great adventure - even more so that it include food! I'm assuming a doughboy is a donut but because it includes the word "dough" it's gotta be worth the trip. I've had some excellent crab cakes, but the best ever were in Hawai'i. Probably because we were in Mau'i. I think that made them the best ever. We both are nuts about chowdah! I even like the Manhattan version, but prefer New England. How can I turn up my nose at anything made with butter, cream and potatoes? Ha!


Thanks for visiting!