Saturday, October 16, 2010

Get Thee To Newport (in 7 takes)

Earlier today I accidentally published the unfinished version of this post. Here's the new and improved one, hopefully complete. Enjoy!

On Columbus Day Weekend, my husband and I decided to take some time away from the kids, and we chose Newport, Rhode Island as our destination. The town is amazing, and the weather was perfect. For this week's 7 Quick Takes post I'll share some of the incredible things we encountered on that trip.
1. Beauty

2. Boats

Pete Townsend owns this sailboat.

We took a tour around Newport Harbor in a vessel like this one. Being a morning cruise, they gave us complimentary mimosas.

Since I helped hoist the jib, they gave me an extra mimosa.

Maybe next time we'll take a boat like this,

...or maybe sail on a pirate ship.

3. Food

There is so much to eat in Newport that you can't walk outside without smelling something delicious. From the amazing breakfasts we ate prepared by Christine, the proprietor of the inn where we stayed, to the lobster rolls, countless varieties of burgers, all kinds of seafood, even chocolate and pastry--believe me, we didn't go hungry. At the Italian Festival that was happening in the little park near where we stayed, we couldn't resist sampling some of the fare.

We even stayed to listen to the cheesy lounge act providing the entertainment for the event; and according to my half-Italian husband, they were just like the ones he'd seen at every confirmation party and wedding he attended growing up in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in the 1960s and 1970s.

4. Remarkable Trees

Have you been following Ginny's Remarkable Trees of Virginia series? She and her children have been reading a book of the same title which features specific trees in Virginia that are particularly unique. Most are very old and very big. As part of their homeschool program, Ginny and her kids have been visiting these trees, and learning about that type of tree and the history of its location. When they visited one at James Madison's Montpelier in Orange County, for example, they toured the mansion and learned about about early American life. Anyway, when I saw some of the trees below, I thought somebody ought to write a book about the remarkable trees of Newport.

This was actually four trees growing close together.

Under the four trees would be a fun place for kids to play. Someone built a fort here--a lot like the ones our kids like to make.

I admit I did a double-take when I saw these topiaries.

The leaves were just starting to change in Newport. This tree had a head start.

5. Remarkable Churches

We went to Mass at St. Mary's Church, where John F. and Jackie Kennedy were married.

It's beautiful on the inside, and this picture unfortunately doesn't capture it very well.

Trinity Episcopal. I loved its traditional New England-style steeple.

The Unitarian Church near our bed-and-breakfast had a lovely carillon that played hymns on Sunday morning.

6. Remarkable (and unremarkable) Oddities

Our bed-and-breakfast was across from Touro Park where there is a tower that some believe might have once been a windmill. No one really knows excactly how old it is or what it's for, though; some even think it might be some astronomical Stonehenge-y type of thing.

(See Wikipedia for more.)

We got a kick out of this sculpture near the wharf.

Nancy Pelosi or Cruella DeVil?

(After I snapped a couple of photos Hubby scolded me for taking pictures in an art gallery. But here's a link to this artist's website; his caricature art is very good. I hope this makes up for my impulsive behavior.)

Did you know the guy who brought us tomatoes lived in a modest house in Newport, Rhode Island? I was immensely excited to learn this fact, and even though my husband makes fun of me for taking pictures of signs, I HAD to share this with you.

7). Remarkable Houses

(As a rule I don't post pictures with people in them, and I hope the anonymous folks in this picture don't mind if I make an exception just this once. I took this when we toured The Breakers, a summer house owned by the Vanderbilt family. I couldn't find any photos online that I liked better than this one.)

This was owned by the Bouvier family, the parents of the future Jackie Kennedy Onassis.

The Bouviers built this as a guest house and then realized their main house was so big there was plenty of room for guests. Jackie and her friends used this as a playhouse instead. Somehow I think it's more fun to make your own out of chairs and blankets and refrigerator boxes.

The story goes that a hundred years ago or so, a fellow built this on a rock in the middle of Newport Harbor for when he needed a break from his wife, who was afraid of water. Seriously.

Not the biggest or fanciest house in town, but this bed-and-breakfast was the perfect place for us to stay. Christine the innkeeper is the hostess with the mostest.

(Check out Jen Fulwiler--the 7 Quick Takes hostess with the mostest--for her latest post. I'll just say this: I am thankful we don't have scorpions in Virginia.)

1 comment:

  1. I love Newport!! I was there a few years ago for a conference and a few years before that (probably in 1998 or 99, I was living in MA at the time) for my cousin's wedding. She got married at St. Mary's as well. Beautiful church!! Her wedding was in November and the heat in the church broke the night before. It was quite cold!! Glad you had a good time!! Your pictures are wonderful!


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