Saturday, May 30, 2015

Continuing on to Newport, Rhode Island

Here we are as we continued our trip to Newport. I can't stress it enough how much more exciting our trips are in Kiki now since we have Itsy! Before we were just stuck at a campsite unless we unhooked Kiki and now we set up and just hop into Itsy and a new world has opened up to us! I see quite a few trips in our future.
 We were in Newport, Rhode Island probably 25 years ago and drove around but never really took the time to see any thing. Boy, did we miss stuff! :)
 What a picturesque little place! But then...there is Bellevue Avenue where the mansions are! Newport was considered the summer playground of America's richest folks during the 'gilded age'. These huge houses (called cottages!) were elaborately and decadently built to show off their wealth. You can take a bus tour of the houses but we just went on our own and saw a couple and took our time. The sad thing was, I couldn't take snaps inside (I understand that) but could take all I wanted from the outside. Now sit down and buckle your seat belt because this post is heavily loaded with snaps. 
The first "cottage" we saw and I say that with tongue in cheek, was the Marble House.
Don't you just love a quaint little cottage? ;)
This was the "Summer cottage" of Mr. and Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt. This Vanderbilt mansion used 500,000 cubic feet of marble in its construction. The marble accounted for more than half of the cost of the home! It was designed by William Morris Hunt and completed in 1892, cost around $11 million. It is said that the marble alone (over 500,000 cubic feet) cost $7 million! This "summer cottage" was give by William Vanderbilt to his wife, Alva, for her 39th birthday, but they divorced four years later. Hmmm...
 Look at those roots!
This is where I had to turn off my camera, sniff sniff :(
 If you're interested, you can see some of the interior HERE.
 The next mansion, um, I mean "summer cottage" we toured was The Breakers.
"The Breakers, a National Historic Landmark, is the grandest of Newport's summer "cottages" and a symbol of the Vanderbilt family's social and financial preeminence in turn of the century America. In 1893, Cornelius Vanderbilt II commissioned architect Richard Morris Hunt to design a villa to replace the earlier wood-framed house. Hunt directed an international team of craftsmen and artisans to create a 70 room Italian Renaissance- style palazzo inspired by the 16th century palaces of Genoa and Turin.' taken from DiscoverNewport
 These Vanderbilt brothers had it going on, didn't they?
I loved hearing the stories of these families and just to let you know, they only spent maybe a month or so in these mansions, um, "summer cottages", and had six to seven other homes all over the world.
Can you imagine? Anyway, I loved the stories about Cornelius Vanderbilt of The Breakers. He was a shrewd businessman, but he taught Sunday School and on his dying bed he was reciting prayers and claiming Jesus Christ as his personal Savior! I loved that!
Then we just poodled around the area and saw more gorgeous homes and wondered about who lived in them. If you get the chance to go to Newport make sure you tour a mansion, um. "summer cottage" or so. Nothing like seeing a 70 room very part time residence all covered in gold and fineries! :)

So until next time...
Happy Trails,
Shelia ;)

Trip to Mystic, Connecticut

Hi there! Well, I'm a little behind on posting another one of our trips and thought today would be the day to share with you an excursion back to Mystic, Connecticut. We drove here last year in March  before we moved to New York and knew we wanted to come back.We took this trip on March 28th.
I took the above snap from the website. This is the campground we stayed in right outside of Old Mystic. Now I always try to be honest with you when telling you about the campgrounds. We probably would never come back here. The folks were nice at the office, the sites were large and level and there was a picnic table at each site too. I've told you before, Kiki has all of the comforts of the large RVs but since our sewer tank is so small, we try to stay close to the campground bath houses. The bath house here looked rather new but was very cheaply built. The ladies area stayed dirty the entire three nights we stayed here. The shower area had drainage holes for the water but it must have been built on a slant because when you took a shower instead of the water going down the drainage hole it just filled the entire bath house floor with the bath water. Yuk! Needless to say, after that I showered in Kiki. If you didn't use the bath house I guess it would be okay. As you can see this was in late April and the trees didn't have their leaves yet.
 This was our site so don't give up on me yet. There is some really good stuff to come.
 How nice to just park Kiki and then hop into little Itsy our Smart car, and go sight seeing.
 I am in love with this Mystic welcome sign!
 We spent half of the day at this wonderful seaport museum.
Come on and take the tour with me. Look at the tall ship!
Wanna snack? I think these were cod laying out in the sun to dry.
I'll shut up and allow you to see for yourself what a wonderful place this was.
Now we're inside the museum and look at all of the wonderful ship heads. Is that what they're called?

Found out that when a new ship was ready to sail a replica had to be made and this is one. Isn't it stunning?
There was a lovely house to tour also.
Hubby looking so cute!
This tree was absolutely gorgeous. Is it called a tulip tree?
Hope you've enjoyed our little trip and I see by the clock on the wall it's time to leave! :)

Happy trails,
Shelia ;)