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50 States Day 166

  50 States, Day 165, Newport  41 Miles
 
"You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself, any direction you choose."
~Dr. Seuss



Get your jealousy shields up, because tonight I'm blogging from the Newport Rhode Island Laundromat! And it contains over 100 machines. Too bad for you, probably even today you thought, "Gee, wouldn't it be great to do a bunch of
laundry, all at once, at a laundromat?" Well Quilter Girl and I are having the fun you only dreamed of.



Today we saw another couple of mansions. These places defy words. Mahogany, granite, marble, leather stamped, stained, etched and dyed and gold. William Vanderbilt gave his wife Alva, for her 39th birthday, Marble House. The name is misleading as the Reception Room's walls, all of them, were coved in gold leaf. 24 carats and some so thin you could see the wood grain behind it. The cherubs holding clumps of grapes are gold leafed as well, but polished to a shine. Alva used this house for entertaining and for the kids, mostly. Only for three years however as she and William divorced. Money can't buy everything. For Consuela, her daughter, it didn't either as Mom kept her a prisoner in her house and married her off to an English Duke. Apparently the gilding only went so deep.  Another place, Chateau sur la Mer, was built earlier, in 1850 and remodeled later. This money was from Chinese trade, banking and clever business practices. We were already snobs, as the house looked a bit dowdy compared to the others. Brother.

We stopped for lunner then headed to Goat Island, and just as I expected, no goats. They should name it Boat Island, but that would be a misnomer too, as the place is awash in ships. 



Because the filthy rich love to compete, the theme for these crafts is speed. Think America's Cup. Huge sailboats are nonetheless sleek, with giant white gleaming masts spearing into the sky. Giant boats with deep hulls stand on scaffolding, getting gleaming new coats of paint. If you have a slip on Goatville, or are staying at the Hyatt, you're welcome on the island. If not, you can ride across it (around a quarter mile), turn around and leave. You can't even park there.

We left in a snit (okay maybe not-we just left) and struggled to find the scenic drive around the South end of Newport. Due to poor signage, we wandered a bit, but who cares?  A beautiful drive with lovely houses and random small views of the waterfront met us as we wound through the lovely neighborhoods. The scooter really liked the winding roads.



With the bright sun above us, we rode to the Cliff Walk and did just that. The state owns the seashore, so while the rich and famous build huge citadels, we peasants walked between them and God's country. So there. The waves crashed over the rocks below, but still, we got smatterings of views. Guess we're just spoiled by the coasts of Oregon and California. Still quite beautiful.  The sun, our all day friend, headed for bed so we headed for the 6, another fascinating day in Rhode Island, topped by the nicest laundromat I've seen in over a week.

And now, the Queen of soap, the Princess of Fabric Softener, Quilt Girl!

We are washing our quilt along with clothes and it is hard to watch it.  Silly, I know, but they are never the same after they have been washed!  It had started to smell a bit from being damp so it needs a bath.

The houses we saw today were not much to my taste; Marble House was way too much gold, naked cherubs, and fou-fou.  Mrs. Vanderbilt was big on woman's rights, but forced her daughter to marry an English duke. She was one of the first rich Americans that were called dollar brides as the impoverished English nobility married daughters of rich Americans to infuse the family's coffers. Both Consuela and her mother ended up divorced.  The whole lifestyle was so over the top that it is hard for us to relate.

We found a nice brew pub near our hotel for lunner.  It was a nice place where we both had wraps, Kevin had a turkey wrap with stuffing and cranberry sauce, mine was a buffalo chicken wrap and both came with great curly fries.  We needed to walk after that!

QG

Tomorrow, we head for Connecticut. Thanks for following!
 




2 comments:

Tim Walsh said...

Hi Kevin and Sherri - After a failed attempt to post yesterday I will try one more time. After spotting your motorcyle in the Newport Visitor's Bureau parking lot I took a picture and sent it to my freind Daniel Seddiqui, the 50 States, 50 Jobs, in 50 Weeks guy, www.LivingTheMap.com. Daniel choose Newport for his RI visit and I put him to work as a Newport Amabassador working in various hospitality jobs during his week here.
There is so much to do in Newport that you just scratched the surface and hope you will return again soon. Best of luck with the rest of your travels.
Tim Walsh
VP Sales
Newport Visitors Bureau

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

Thanks, Tim we really enjoyed Newport. Wish the weather was warmer, but with 50 states in 50weeks, not every state can be in it's optimal weather.