Rhode Island

Picture of capitol 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 (shown here).
Picture of cliffwalk 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.
Picture of breakers 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.
Picture of mansion 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).
Picture of newport 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.
Picture of pier 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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