The Photo Does Not Capture the Scene

Photo-A-Day #1938

Tonight Allison, Eva and I went to dinner with our friends Derek & Michelle, Neil and Andrea and Jimmy and Kathy. This was the first time in a while where we changed up the venue. We went to Chelos on the Water in Warwick, RI. Let’s just say that we were not prepared for what we were walking into. Chelo’s on the water is one crazy place. It is a restaurant/outdoor club/tiki bar/beach bar/jersey shore rejects hangout. In my mind Chelo’s was going to be a nice little restaurant on the water with a couple of tables outside. Oh how wrong I was.

Allison, Eva and I pulled up and saw that the parking lot was so full, it went on forever too. So we parked and went in. Derek was smart and called ahead for us to get seated. I went to the desk and ask about the reservation and got our buzzer. We sat by the front desk and listened to the hostess say that there was no wait for inside but a 2 hour one for outside. So I figured that we’d get called very soon. Apparently, if you say you’d like either inside or outside but prefer outside they’re gonna seat you outside. So, we had call ahead at 5:30 and then got to the restaurant at 6:15 and were seated at 7:30pm, outside.

Photo Information

Date Taken: July 29, 2010
Camera: Nikon Corporation (Aff Link)
Model: NIKON D80 (My Flickr)
ISO: 800
Exposure: 1/160 sec
Aperture: 5.3
Focal Length: 62mm
Flash Used: No
Mode: Aperture w/AF
Lens: Sigma 18-250mm

Outside was a zoo. We were seated right next to the outdoor bar. There was a band playing called Those Guys (they were decent but like all bands played so damn loud that they sounded like crap). Had we been going there to see the band it might have been cool because they were a very good band and Chelo’s had an outdoor dance area too.


Back to our seating.

As soon as we were seated I ordered Eva some chicken fingers so that she could get some food right away. We were already way beyond Eva’s dinnertime because we were right at her usual bedtime. I think her chicken fingers came out at 8:00pm. Very disappointing. Our poor waiter was good but he had so much to do. He did work really hard but the place is a complete madhouse. He got our drink orders and then got our drinks and took our food orders. Our food came about 45 minutes to an hour later.


As soon as I placed my food order I took my camera and walked around the place. I took some photos of the band and then walked beyond that to where all the boats were docked. The sun was going down and the sky was amazing. I did capture some wonderful photos of the water and the boats. It was very nice to shoot. Allison brought Eva with her and they found me because Eva missed me. We had a nice time watching the band and dancing around. The band sounded much better when you stood behind them and let the sound bounce off the building and come at you rather than have the speakers blast you and then the bounce back from the building hit you on the other side. Can you tell that I don’t do well with crowds or loud noise?

Dinner was actually very good. Allison got clamcakes and chowder and I got seafood chowder and buffalo calamari. We split that and I found everything delicious. However, I wasn’t too thrilled with where we were seated and I had this constant worry that some knucklehead would start a fight with another knucklehead and knock each other into our table. I don’t find it at all enjoyable for people to constantly bang into my chair all night long.

I think the worst thing for me was that we thought we could take Eva with us, go down and eat, see our friends and then head home a little after Eva’s bedtime, she’d fall asleep and we’d get her to bed at a decent hour. Sitting there nearing 10:00pm at a bar with loud music and an almost 3 year old child I felt like the worst parent ever. It sort of made me feel bad about how I have snap judgement over parents who have their kids out late at places that are loud.

Here is what did work. I brought my iPod touch with me and had it loaded with kids apps that Eva loves. We also brought her iFrogz Tadpole headphones so at least if she was wearing them but not listening to anything she at least had a little hearing protection. Allison had me get her some milk from the bar close while we waited and also ordering something for her to eat right away worked. What also worked, we paid attention to her. She sat with me and she sat with Allison. Our friend Michelle got a beautiful photo of Eva and I together. I love it. I’ll have to find it on Facebook and link to it soon.

Boats at Bay in Warwick, RI

Overall we had a nice time and it was great to see our friends. When Derek and Michelle come back around for the holidays we’ll have everyone to our place so we can enjoy our conversation, our kids and have some good fun in an intimate setting. Maybe we’ll do a make your own pizza night to get the kids involved.

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6 thoughts on “The Photo Does Not Capture the Scene”

  1. Wow, I didn’t know Chelo’s had such a location. We’ve only been to the one on Newport Avenue in Pawtucket, a few miles from the PawSox ballpark. That’s just a run-of-the-mill restaurant in a crappy shopping center. The waterfront thing sounds nice, but I doubt that Mike and I could deal with the loud music and the “Jersey Shore” type clientele.

    I admit I do tend to glare at people who bring little kids out so late. But you know what? Most of them that we see are just coming in at 9-10PM, now, that is not right. Either go out to eat earlier or get a babysitter is what I want to say to people like this. And most of these people will sit and get drunk, ignore the poor kid and let him/her scream the whole time. Jerks.

    In your case, you had no way of knowing that the service would be so slow. You and Allison were also smart enough to pay attention to Eva and keep her entertained, so she wouldn’t get bored and start crying. If every parent who brings their toddler to a restaurant or any other public place would do as you and Allison do with Eva, I’d have a lot less stuff to complain about.

    1. Christine,

      Thank you. I’m pretty sure that Chelo’s on the water probably wouldn’t be your place. However, I hear they are not as busy in the off season and the food is actually pretty decent.

  2. I love the photos and the scene is so awesome. I really like your blog and i really appreciate the excellent quality content you are posting here.

  3. Good intentions, Drew. Dinner at home does sound like a better idea if you want to include the kids.

    1. Dad,
      Yeah, we had the best of intentions. Who’d have thought that a place famous for clamcakes and chowder would have been such a party spot. I hope that you and mom had a great weekend in NH.

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