Saturday, October 27, 2007

Fall Break 3- Newport, Rhode Island

My mom, dad, and I weren't sure what to do on Tuesday before our respective flights left Boston (my brother had to leave a day prior), and then my dad mentioned Newport, Rhode Island. We'd never been there and it's only an hour or so outside Boston and supposed to be very nice, so why not take a look? Always on the lookout for a new state (I've been to 27 at last count, but never Rhode Island), I thought this was a great idea so Tuesday morning we set off.

This is what most of Newport looks like- a nice little New England seaside town, complete with lots of little tourist stores and places that sell wonderful clam chowdah. Start heading towards one direction of town, though, and you start seeing big piles of stone like this-
Back in the Gilded Age (and even now, to some extent), all the wealthy Yanks came up to Newport for summer and built lovely places that they called summer homes and everyone else called mansions. Now a lot of them are museums so you can go and see impressive pieces of real estate.
As we were there for only a few hours, we only toured one house: The Breakers owned by the Vanderbilts. It's quite large and has a nice view onto the ocean, but to tell the truth it wasn't the most exciting and lovely place I've ever toured. It was built to imitate a French or Italian villa, but was also built to impress anyone who might be visiting the Vanderbilt estate, so true to the era it was built in every surface is gilded or flourished or embellished. A touch overdone so the house overall isn't that pretty, but I suppose if your aim was to impress everyone with how much money and power you had it would work pretty well.
There aren't too many pictures of Newport just because I wasn't there for very long, but I wanted to show this last one from the main street. Why? Well if you don't know, it clearly means you're not a fan of Family Guy so I have to tell you that in Family Guy the town the family lives in is Quahog, Rhode Island. (And the bar is called "The Drunken Clam," hehe.) Further, I admit that the entire day I had one of the Family Guy songs stuck in my head called This House is Freakin' Sweet from an episode where the Griffins inherit a Newport Mansion of their very own.

Anyway, I like Newport well enough, though I suspected that a great deal of this had to do with the fact that I went in October and not the summertime when the tourists must be elbow to elbow to each other! Plus hey, now I can say I've been to 28 states! Even if that number's not going to budge for awhile, as most of those states are the boring ones in the middle you don't even get airport layovers at. Oh well.