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 ;)


  1. Wonderful to see the "cottages" they are wonderful aren't they! It is great to see your travels in a new part of the country!!! Hope you are having fun! xx

  2. OH MY GOODNESS! Yes, Shelia--BUT -they didn't have a little house on wheels now did they?!!! I just looked it up and $11 million then is worth over $260 million now! Can you imagine!?!?!
    I have eaten at The Breakers in Palm Beach and it is gorgeous and I remember hearing that Cornelius Vanderbilt was a religious man. Love that you have your little Itsy! xo Diana

  3. Oh Shelia, they are just gorgeous little summer cottages!! Oh my heavens, they are magnificent! We have been there and it was certainly a place to see again! Enjoy your time in Little Kiki!

  4. Shelia,
    Gorgeous "Summer Cottages", dear friend!!!
    Don't think I'd find all those rooms to my liking!!!
    I prefer a smaller more intimate cottage!!! (wink)
    You're a dear for taking us along!!!

  5. I am certainly enjoying your travels in Little Kiki and sightseeing in Itsy. Hard to believe that there were people so rich that they could just visit these palatial estates for a short time and move on to the next one. I think a lot of them were called "robber barons"? Ah well, such is not my lot in life.

  6. Loving your tours and so glad you two are able to get out and go again. Those are quite the summer home. Enjoy Kiki and your Smart Car. So fun.

  7. We toured these mansions years ago Sheila...glad you guys are enjoying your trip!

  8. I thought you might be traveling around New York :-) Wr enjoyed the mansions too!

  9. I bet you are having so much fun!

  10. Look at you over here at this other blog! Where have I been?

    You are having a heck of a time, and now I can't wait to retire so I can have a sporty little car and RV just the same size as Kiki! You are living the life, girl!

    Love your travels, and living through your adventures! Thanks for including us in the fun.

  11. WOW Hate to have to be the one to clean those summer homes. Looked like a lot of fun.

  12. Well those are some fancy cottages! It's hard to wrap your head around the idea that they built such opulent summer cottages and used them so little. We never got to Rhode Island for a visit but I'd like to get over there and see these little gems! I'll have to check the link on the interior pictures.

  13. Thanks for sharing your travels Shelia! Since I haven't been to these places I'm always interested in these posts. I leave on Tuesday (finally) to visit with my daughter, SIL and my sweet grand daughter. Can't wait to hug her again :-)
    Safe travels

  14. Hi Shelia, what a great trip you are on in Little Kiki. Your photos are incredible. So much to see and learn in this beautiful area of our country.
    The mansions have to be a highlight to tour. Enjoy the fun and safe travels.
    Love your new background here and Blog header.
    Blessings, CM

  15. Shelia , I am so glad I found your post today. I have been to the Breakers. I loved that place. Did you ever see so much copper cookware in your life?? That dining room was awesome too. I would love to go back for another visit. Blessings to you and your husband for a safe trip. xoxo,Susie

  16. I just love those quaint cottages of the Vandebilt's...... LOL!!!!!!!!!!!! Have fun! xo

  17. Beautiful. The first picture made me think of the Biltmore in Asheville NC home of one of the Vanderbilt's. I loved touring it.

  18. WOW...awesome pics. Makes me a little jealous....I want to travel but hate riding! LOL! Hugs and blessings, Cindy


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