Friday, July 23, 2010

Rhode Island

My Aunt Rosemary called me a couple weeks ago and invited me out to Newport, RI. She, Uncle Doug and Aunt Marti were spending a week there touring all the Mansions. These mansions (or summer cottages as the were referred to by their former owners) were incredible! Here are some pictures of them. Unfortunately, they wouldn't let us take any pictures of the interiors, so these will have to do.

First, Chatteau-sur-Mer (Chatteau by the sea). This French villa was built in 1852 for William Shepard Wetmore, one of the few who used his mansion in Newport year-round.

This amazing tree is in the front yard. It is a Weeping Beech, my favorite. Houston proposed to me under one of these. How romantic.

In this picture you can see where one of the branches forms a circle. These trees do all kinds of crazy things. Check one out if you ever get the chance, they are incredible.

Next, Marble House. "Summer Cottage" of William and Alva Vanderbilt. The couple only spent 3 short summers here! This place cost $11 million to build, $7 million of that was spent on 500,000 cubic feet of marble!

Alva Vanderbuilt just happens to be the woman who started the Women's Suffrage movement. Any of you that can remember the scene from Mary Poppins where Mrs. Banks is marching around the house singing "Votes for Women!", you have this woman to thank for it. We were fortunate enough to have Uncle Doug grace us with a daily performance of this song. It was wonderful waking up to him singing, "Though we adore men individually, we believe that as a group they're rather stupid..."

Finally, The Breakers. This Mansion was by far my favorite. The grandest and most beautiful of them all. This was a summer home to Cornelius Vanderbuilt II. This place is 65,000 sq. feet, has 70 bedrooms, 20 bathrooms and if someone were to build this sucker today, it would set them back approximately $150 million!

This is the children's "play house", it is adorable and complete with a full kitchen. I wouldn't mind living here myself.

We also did a beautiful sunset cruise.

Here is all of us steering the yacht.

And the sunset.

I couldn't leave this out of my post. This lovely shower curtain was definitely the highlight of our suite. Rosemary and I were lucky enough to get the room with this bathroom. Needless to say, Doug and Marti were very jealous.

I had such a great weekend with Rosemary, Doug and Marti. Thank you so much for inviting me out there! It was magical and I loved every minute! And thank you to my wonderful husband who let me go have a vacation, while he spent a lonely weekend in the city. You guys are the best!