For me "Home" is a "feeling". Home means the town where I grew up. It's what I know. It's an unchanging little New England town steeped in tradition and family. Where on Sundays the roads are slowed with cars moving to Church in the morning and streaming to the Soccer fields at midday. It's where you go to the grocery store on Saturday morning and you run into your Aunts who are in their hair rollers and your neighbors whom you either avoid because you don't want them to see what your buying or you smile and converse over the price of the ever rising cost of Chourico. Bristol is where you drive down the road and when you hear a car horn beeping you don't immediately cringe about a terrible traffic snafu but feel your heart lift and a smile come on, as it could be recognition of someone you know.
I've been in Florida 10 years and not once have I beeped my horn to say "Hi" if ya know what I mean. It was probably more like something that involved a little "hand gesture".
I'm from Bristol, Rhode Island. Yes, Rhode Island. I'm going to show you a map, but that might not even help as being from the smallest state really doesn't lend to quick recognition. Many times when I say I'm from Rhode Island, people say "oh Long Island...?"
I then have to choose whether I need to clarify or just let it go because it could lead to an explanation that would end up with the listener's eyes glazing over in more confusion.
Rhode Island is pretty popular even though you probably don't recognize it. Remember the movie "Conviction" with Hilary Swank? Well the lead character of the movie went to Law School at Roger Williams University (in Bristol) and worked at Aidan's Pub, also in Bristol. The Showtime Series the Brotherhood was based on Rhode Island Politics. (Not that this is a good thing to point out..lol)
Are your eyes glazing over?? Let me move on...
So I'm from Rhode Island, so what? Rhode Island is my home. What is so special about Rhode Island, you ask? If you had asked me before I moved away from Rhode Island I would be hard pressed t o answer you. But since moving to Miami (a very urban area where, the square mileage of the county I currently live in, is larger than my whole home State and the population double!) I have come to value having had neighbors who knew me before I was born! Yes, it was inconvenient to have to go out of town to go to a liquor store as a teenager because everyone in town knew I wasn't of age yet... Yes it was weird to grow up in a town where your Dr's secretary was someone who went to school with your Mom. Or the Police Chief 's wife an employee of your Big Brother but, where I live now I dont even know my Police chief's name. Heres one better...I dont even know where my police station is! My county is so large, industrious and urban that to go to the beach I have to pay two tolls for a 20 mile drive and then I have to be sure to time everything just right so not to be caught in commuter traffic. Have you had a long drive home after the beach? I mean an hour+ ride home from the beach? Sand in all your crevices, face so taut that smiling or blinking could cause cracking? Traffic so dead slow that when the horns beep it's not your neighbors saying Hi... It's not all fun. Miami is interesting. The beach is beautiful, and I can go in the water. The waves wont knock me over and the temp of the water wont render me frostbite in May. The price of a house wont leave a mortgage that I would have to pass on to my children. Miami has also been educational! I have learned a third language and honed up my second one. I can go to the grocery and not even speak English! Alright, sometimes I feel I have left the country, never mind just my home state. It's just not Home. So, I am going Home on my vacation!
Alright I know your eyes have sufficiently glazed over now...so I'll give ya some food porn to gaze at...
What you are seeing here is an Azorean treat! Mallassadas! I get mine at The Cornerstone Bakery and Restaurant. It is a fried sweet dough that is immediately taken from the scathing hot oil and dipped into sugar! The first bite is crisp and then so tender, warm and sweet. It's an ultimate in a Food is Love kinda way ;)
I will be writing more about my trip home, why it's so important and what's so special about it in the next few days. Yes, I will be including everything I will be doing with relation to food..Would I be me, if I didnt?