A weekend up the coast

This past weekend we headed out for a road trip. You see, Jess' brother was graduating from OCS up in Rhode Island and since that's relatively close to us, we made the trip up to celebrate with him. The drive was quite smooth and Oliver did great with a mix of looking out the window, singing, looking at books, sleeping, and taking in some Sesame Street (this Christmas I bought a portable DVD player, and we all agree that it is worth every bit of it's $59.99).

Once we got there, it was great to see family and to celebrate along with them.

Oliver especially loved the Navy Band. I was impressed too. It was all very neat. Congrats!

After the graduation, we spent our time driving around and checking out Newport, Rhode Island. It is quite the summer destination, but in the winter it can be quite chilly and blustery. No matter! We charged through the wind and snow and checked out the sites.

Here we are on the coast of the Cliff Walk, an area where all of the richest of people built their summer "cottages" during the Gilded Age. This place was thee place to be in terms of the social scene back then. No one stuck around in the winter, but instead, used the mansions for 5 to 8 weeks in the summer.

As we toured the Breakers, a mansion built by the Vanderbilts, I told Jess that I felt like we were taking a tour of the house in Downton Abbey. He responded that the place felt even grander than that to him. One of my favorite parts was the grand porch. As I stood on the cold closed-in porch during our tour, I imagined myself sitting in a wicker chair on a beautiful summer evening. Then Oliver started counting really loud because he discovered there was an echo. Like I said, it was a big porch.

Then we visited the Marble house, another Vanderbilt mansion. There we were told that during the summer these houses can get up to 600-700 visitors per day. We asked how many had been in the day we visited, the answer: 44. To tell you the truth, it was kind of nice to just "hang out" in the houses with no one else there. We were able to ask every question we had and then some to our tour guides.

A while back my Mom visited these places when she was on a trip with a singing group. I remember her telling me that I ought to see them someday and I'm so glad I did. She also mentioned the National American Illustrator's Museum and so we tried to see it. I was amazed that it was opened during the off-season, between the hours of 2-5pm on Friday afternoons. We scurried through the cold and up the stairs but were disappointed to find out that kids under 5 were not allowed. Man! Anyhow, I got my fix by visiting the gift shop.

A wonderful trip indeed. Great to see family. It's just what you need to break up the winter months.


Janice said...

All of this looks so charming!

jo said...

This post makes me smile for so many reasons!

What a great opportunity to see these places.

I'm glad you had a Downton Abbey moment. What an interesting time period that must have been.

jo said...

I second your portable DVD purchase!

And I love that Ollie began to count loudly. Tell me, did he get up to 30? :)

jamesandlindsaylattin said...

How fun a January trip! Love the wicker chair imagery.