Two big houses in Rhode Island

Friday was our only real touristy day here in Newport. After all, we are here for a wedding and Kelly, being part of the wedding party, has lots of things to do. But we had Friday mostly free of various nuptual duties and so we decided to see a few sites. Two really.

We started with an early tour of The Breakers, the famous Vanderbildt mansion of the Gilded Age, built on a spit of land with rather remarkable views of the ocean. The entire Newport coastline with these old houses is featured in the opening shot of one of my favorite movies, High Society. On Friday morning, we took a short drive from our hotel over to The Breakers to take the tour.

This wasn’t my first time to the mansion. Back when I lived in Rhode Island (I lived here from 1979-1983: 2nd through 5th grade) we took at least one field trip (possibly more) to the historic site. That was 28 years ago, but the mansion was remarkably similar now as it was all those years ago. The things that stand out in my mind from my childhood visit (the grand staircase, the dumbwaiter, the library) are the same things I noted this time around.

The tour was one of theose self-guided deals with headset and a little device in which you could follow the standard guide, or enter codes to get additional information. I would have loved to listen to every possible tidbit they had on the house, but I had the Little Man with me and Kelly had the Little Miss and that made it a bit difficult. But it was still a fun. Here is my favorite picture of the old mansion:

And here is a nice view of the property in the morning:

Later in the afternoon, we headed over to Warwick, where I spent 4 years and drove past the house that I lived in. When we moved into the house, it had just been built and most of the other houses in the neighborhood were still in various stages of contruction. Driving by the house on Friday, it was remarkable just how similar it looked nearly 30 years later. With some minor changes to the front yard, the house itself looked nearly identical:

The upstairs windows on the corner of the left-hand side of the picture was where my bedroom was located. After driving past the house, we drove around the neighborhood a bit and past my old elementary school. The Little Man was very excited to see where Daddy lived when he was a little boy, and naturally fell asleep as soon as we were in the car so he missed the whole thing. At least I got some pictures.

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