Subject: Providence GTG
Hello Fellow Diners:

Saturday evening, we held a mini GTG in Providence, Rhode Island. There were eight of us tucked into a cozy Italian cellar (although it was on the second floor) of the Al Forno restaurant which is located in the old waterfront area of Providence which seems quite upscale now. Jan and I miscalculated the time it would take us to get to Providence, so we arrived with plenty of time to enjoy a Chardonnay at the bar before the others arrived. That gave us time to peruse the menu and it was time well needed. Although not extensive, it is an enjoyable read and it is difficult to decide what to order. Al Forno can be expensive; one of the clues is that the restaurant has its own ATM machine. Rebbi advised an early dinner to start at 5:00 PM. She was right on for when we left about 3 hours later the place was packed with Providence's jet set with lines out the door. Nevertheless, it was fun to match the face with the email address, we had a great repast and the travel conversation was priceless. I loved Jamie's Oh I think we'll go to Paris for the weekend attitude. Charlotte's passion for the Internet and the Zine is second to none. After dinner Jan and I went down to the river front to see Providence's Water Fire, a display of pylons midstream throughout the city with each pylon holding an iron basket of burning wood. It was 31 degress F, but the banks were still populated with onlookers wrapped in blankets. You cannot beat the aroma of a roaring wood fire in the depths of a cold New England night. Just as we got there a gondola replete with gondolier and guests slid silently by and turned to head back into the heart of the city. If it wasn't for several thousand miles, a marked difference in temperature, that sinking feeling and the din of a lot of Italian you might have imagined you were in Venice. ;-) New friends, new experiences and great advice: this is what make our Zine superb.

Tom in Carlisle.