We woke up to rain Wednesday morning in Rhinebeck, NY and thankfully it didn't last long as we planned to leave this area today and move on closer to Newport, RI where we'll stay for the next four days or so. It took us about five hours to drive the 200 miles to Middletown, RI which is about five miles from Newport.
Our choice of campgrounds in this area were two and we chose for location, the one closest to Newport that didn't require us to cross the toll bridge each day to go into Newport; we're staying at Meadowlark RV Park, Space # 9. It has absolutely no ambience or personality, but it gave us a 10% discount (Good Sam membership) and it has a laundromat which is a plus since I'll need to do laundry before we drive into Connecticut.
We don't plan to spend much time at the campground so ambiance isn't important. It didn't take us long to get set up here, fix a bite to eat and settle in to watch some news; thank goodness our satelitte picked up the direcTV channels; life is good when we're on the road but have all the conveniences of being at home: the internet, cell phone service and Fox News and the Western channel on DirecTV.
We drove into Newport Thursday to look around; it was grey and overcast so we decided to tour a few of the historic "cottages" that Newport is known for; we chose The Breakers and Chateau-sur-Mer. The Breakers is the grandest of Newport's summer "cottages" and is a symbol of the Vanderbilt family's social and financial status.
The 70 room Italian Renaissance was built around 1894 and opened to the public in 1948 to raise funds for its maintenance and preservation. Most of the furnishings, dishes, photos, etc. are original to the house. The mansion was beautiful, very ornate and I can't imagine what it must have been like to live there as a child.
Unlike most of the "cottages" built in Newport during this period, Chateau-sur-Mer was built as a year round residence; it was completed in 1852 and constructed of Fall River Granite. The structure is a landmark of Victorian architecture, furniture, wallpapers, ceramics and stenciling. It's a much smaller house than the Breakers, but still very ornate and beautiful.
There was a huge tree at the entrance of Chateau-sur-Mer that I've never seen or heard of before; it's a European Weeping Beech tree. We parted the tree limbs and walked underneath the canopy of limbs and it was actually a grove of about three or four trees; it was awesome! I saw more of these trees at other locations around Newport; they're so unique with beautiful graceful, draping limbs.
I would have loved to take photos inside the mansions, but of course, photos aren't allowed in the historic homes so we just had to commit that part of the tour to our memories; sorry we couldn't share that part with you.
After our tours, it was still grey and overcast so we drove to the Brick Alley Pub at 140 Thames St. in Newport for a late lunch (or early dinner). I ordered a cup of the Lobster Bisque and Tommy and I both ordered Italian Salads; all were delicious! Maryann had told me to look for their Texas license plate "NPT RI" but we couldn't find it; they were really busy and crowded so we didn't bother to ask anyone where the Texas plate was.
After we ate, we strolled through the Brick Market Square; the fog was rolling in and it felt like a fine rain mist. We walked by the Buluga Frozen Yoghurt Shop and I couldn't resist a small cup of frozen yoghurt to finish off our meal. You only live once, right? I know I really should have passed, but I didn't. By now, it's beginning to rain and it was four o'clock so we headed back to the campground for the evening. Let's hope and pray for sunshine tomorrow, so we can do some outdoor things, so till later ...