Darling, let’s be explorers!

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Usually when a girl turns 14, she has a long list of things she’d like to be gifted. This is especially true nowadays with the internet at our fingertips, feeding us objects to lust after. Pinterest, blogs, Instagram- they’re all lovely and can help people to do and share amazing things. However, we need to be conscious of the fact that the constant bombardment of newer and prettier things presented through these sites often causes us to become people prone to dissatisfaction. It’s simple and is something seen in children that we are supposed to grow out of, for the most part- we see a shiny new object, and everything else that we have suddenly becomes boring and cannot compete with the novelty of this new item. This newness brings with it a false promise that once we obtain the current object of our desire, life will be better, or at least more interesting. But we all know that this only lasts as long as it takes for something else to slide into view.

So when I asked my cousin Tonya what it was that she wanted when she turned 14 this summer, her answer surprised and seriously delighted me. She asked for me to take her on an adventure in Providence! Now, one of my favorite things is to share my beloved city with others- especially those who don’t know it very well, so her request was basically a gift in itself to me.

And off exploring we went! I first introduced her to Duck & Bunny, a snuggery by their own definition, for a lazy afternoon meal in their garden. After eating our way through an impressive amount of food, and battling a few bees (we won), we continued our adventure with our cousin Diana and her precious nugget of a daughter, Inessa. We spent a gloriously long time picking our way through Nostalgia, an antique shop brimming with treasures. The best part was- we didn’t buy anything. Our fun wasn’t in what we could buy there, but in the discovery of interesting and often odd pieces of the past. I had the pleasure of teaching her how to dial a wind-up phone, and explaining that I Dream of Jeannie was a show I loved watching when we saw it on a tin lunchbox. While I felt a little old and slightly taken aback at things this new generation doesn’t know, my pleasure in sharing a favorite pastime of mine and sharing discoveries of what feel like forgotten secrets was so much stronger.

Our exploring continued down the street at what is probably my favorite shop in Providence- NAVA. Again, we took our time to ooh and aah over the various pretty things offered in the shop. This time, I told Tonya to pick out whatever she wanted as a keepsake. She surprised me again by choosing one of the smallest items there- a dainty silver zebra charm necklace. This girl is simplicity in all of its elegance, and makes my heart melt.

The day ended with a trek down to yet another favorite spot of mine, Dave’s Coffee, for cold drinks and deliciously fancy donuts. We all got different donuts so that we could sample as many flavors as possible, because really- how do you choose between raspberry matcha, salted dark chocolate, and citrus olive oil? They were all incredible (and gluten free), if you were wondering.

I sense many more adventures ahead, now that I have a new explorer to show all of my favorite spots around town!

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