Sunday, April 10, 2011


Continuing with the birthday weekend recap, if it's Sunday we must be in Newport . . . on my birthday!

We left Mystic late Saturday afternoon and drove the hour to Newport to get checked in to our hotel before dinner. We stayed at the lovely and historic Hotel Viking. It was a very nice hotel, though the rooms we had were pretty small, especially the bathrooms. But they were nicely decorated, and the customer service was great. We freshened up, and walked around town in search of a place to eat dinner. The city was beautiful, lots of historic homes and buildings, overlooking the harbor. In the mood for Italian (surprise), we found the Ristorante Lucia. Turns out they were BYOB, which I actually thought was a good thing, since wine is so marked up at restaurants. Marty ran across the street as recommended by the waitress, only to return with a $25 bottle of warm Kendall Jackson. Yikes! We were also seated right by the kitchen door, the price you pay when dining with a toddler apparently. It didn't help that when we arrived Oliver was screaming outside the door because he didn't want to go in. It had been a long day. But overall, he did pretty well, and the food was pretty good. Not the best I've ever had, but definitely not bad.

Beautiful photo of the harbor. Can't take credit for this one. It turns out we didn't get any good shots of town, so I borrowed this one and the next from Google images. I wanted to show how pretty the town was!

Thames Street, not far from where we ate dinner.

The next morning after a yummy breakfast, we went to see The Breakers, one of the Vanderbilt mansions, to tour. Oliver wasn't up for it, so he and Marty walked around the grounds and took pictures. Here's one that Marty took, doesn't it look like a postcard?!

Bonnie, Terry, and I toured the inside. They give you a head set so you have a sort of guided tour and can hear a little history of the house and the family, but go at your own pace. It was an amazing place. Unlike some of the other mansions that you can tour, this one has all the original detailing and much of the furniture and accessories, so you really get an impression of how they lived during the Gilded Age. Unfortunately, they don't allow you to take photos inside, but you can see some on the website.

Oliver playing hide and seek in the trees while Marty took photos.

Or maybe he found a hiding place for other purposes?

The yard overlooking the ocean, so essentially, their view. Those aren't real dogs, just wooden ones to keep the geese away. If you look just past the line of bushes, you'll see some people walking. That is the Cliff Walk, which is where we headed next.
Bonnie, Terry, and Oliver, on the Cliff Walk.

Bonnie and Oliver

A view of the Cliff Walk and some more mansions. The Cliff Walk is a public path 3.5 miles long and goes all along the shoreline between the mansions and the ocean. My favorite part of the day, it was so beautiful. We were lucky to get a nice sunny day, though it was a bit windy.

Oliver at the Cliff Walk

The Cliff Walk changes as you go, some parts have sidewalks and fences, and some are on rocks, like here. It was a bit trecherous, and scary for the Mommy. Especially when I looked up and Oliver was jumping from rock to rock. Believe me, it was scarier in person than it looks here!

The Atlantic Ocean

From there, we walked to Rosecliff, another mansion. Oliver was really tired, so he and Marty walked back to get the van to pick us up, in the hopes he might take a snooze. It was also beautiful, but did not have as many original details, and just didn't compare to The Breakers. I'm sure if we had seen it first, we would have liked it more. From there, we drove around to look at other houses in that area and on Ocean Drive, winding back towards town. Amazing. I've never seen so many beautiful homes, and so many historic, in one place. We decided to stop back in town for a little late lunch before heading home. We ate a quick lunch at the family friendly, if a bit overpriced, Barking Crab.

More Google image shots of Newport, since we got none of our own.

I've never seen Oliver so tired as he was by that point. It had been a long several days of late nights and no naps. He was out cold within about 10 minutes of leaving, and slept the whole 2.25 hour ride home. Thank goodness! We all needed the peace and quiet of that drive. Newport was absolutely beautiful, and I wish we had more time to see more of it. I had a wonderful birthday!

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