It’s crunch time…who’s shopping? Baking? Wrapping? Searching? Local shops are open late (and some of them, like the fabulous Down Under Jewelry on Lower Thames Street, take some of the pressure off with fabulous wrapping) and ready to help. Pleasant Surprise and its newer affiliates like p.s. II, is perfect for stocking stuffers and gag gifts for that Yankee Swap, and I just stopped by Goodies by the Sea at Long Wharf Mall and they have fabulous candy (and amazing chocolates created by Alex Lanio) and fun finds for the young and young at heart.
As Christmas Eve nears (or as my cousin calls it, “Desperate Dads Day,’ when the scramble is on for getting gifts for the ladies in your life on the fly), remember to soak up the best of the season in Newport. Fill a traveler with hot chocolate and whipped cream (I have heard that a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream goes well with hot cocoa…) and stroll along downtown Newport to take in the white lights sparkling in the treetops along Bowen’s and Bannister’s Wharf, and fresh greens that festoon the lampposts. Induge in the Clarke Cooke House’s famed Snowball in Hell—chocolate roulade topped with vanilla ice cream in a chocolate coated goblet covered with Callebault chocolate and sprinled with coconut (yes, we’re serious)…preferably enjoyed while gazing out the window onto the wharf. Set the car radio or hook up your iPod with Christmas carols and take a relaxing cruise along Ocean Drive taking in illuminated homes throughout the Fifth Ward and the City at large before the mad dash of family arrives. Cheers!