We spent the first day of this trip entirely within Rhode Island -- which isn't the
easiest thing to do. One wrong turn and you can easily find yourself
accidentally out of the state. We flew into a Providence, which is
a pleasantly organized airport even though every road within five miles
was apparently under construction. The nice people at Thrifty Rental
Cars gave us a convertible, and this was a happy coincidence with a fairly
warm weekend for New England in October. A quick trip to Providence
convinced us that it does in fact exist, and it does appear to be the capitol
We spent the rest of the morning and afternoon in Newport, and despite the fervor
with which the Newport parking police pursue tourists, we had a fairly
good time. Newport is perhaps best known for its mansions even though
those that are most prominent are no longer used as private residences
but as museums. A trail known as the cliff walk runs alongside the
ocean and provides a nice view of many of them.
Shown here is one of the more elaborate. This is The Breakers, and was owned
by Cornelius Vanderbilt around the turn of the 19th century. It was modeled
after 16th century palaces in northern Italy.
As far as we can tell, this is Chateau-sur-Mer, though we wouldn't bet a lot of money
on that. In fact, this is presumably Chateau-sur-Mer as viewed from
between two of the pillars that make up the fence around the backyard.
Call it a framing effect. This was built in 1872 for William Wetmore,
who was a trader with China at the time and was primarily lived in by his
son, who later became Governor of Rhode Island (why not).
There is a city of Newport apart from the string of mansions, and here it
is as viewed from across the water. As you might expect, it's terribly cute with
cobblestone streets and gas lamps in the historic areas. As you might
also expect, it's terribly overpriced as a general rule and parking is
only easy if you come by boat.
Well, that about does it for Rhode Island, we left Newport to spend the
evening hours back in Providence where we ate in an.... interesting restaurant
featuring a wide variety of hoofed mammals, some of which talked. I'm not going
to bother to explain that comment any further, nor am I going to explain
how we took this picture which clearly shows us standing outside the ropes,
and thus off the pier, presumably hovering above the water.
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