Days after graduation, I am in Newport, Rhode Island to celebrate my birthday with Dad and my grandmother. We are staying at a nice hotel called Newport Bay Club. It appears to be part time share. Our room is a suite, a bedroom with kitchen (minus stove and oven) with a pull out bed from the couch. Along with a roll away cot. It is plenty for us. It is right off the main road and very close to the adorable shops and restaurants.
Staying at hotels and eating out all the time isn’t my style, but it fitted the needs for this trip. It’s about .5 miles walking from a Newport “cottage” or mansion on Bellevue road. This road contains many mansions built by millionaires in the late 1800’s such as the Vanderbilts.
There are many ways of seeing these mansions, tours, hop on and off buses, and by yourself. We chose the by yourself. We went to the visitor center and bought a self guided audio cd so we can listen to it while we drive around the island in our car. We also bought a pass for 5 mansions. Which was cheaper per mansion than getting a lesser pass.
On my birthday, we saw 3 mansions and the next day we saw one.
Isaac Bell House
The first three have that European chateau/castle look while the Bell house mixes an assortment of styles such as colonial America and Japan. After three extravagant homes we chose a more subdued house for our last. There was barely any furniture in the Bell house, but the architecture was incredible. The greeter even told us that if we were not interested in that and only furniture to try a different house.
Unlike the other mansions, I could see living in this one today. But hearing the fabulous life of the rich and powerful then was interesting such as parties involving monkeys and the number of outfits the ladies had to wear in a day! What was the most interesting was how modern the women were such as getting a divorce, running the estate like a business, and fighting for women’s suffrage in their own homes. They definitely were not wall-flowers.
Newport is full of history and still holds attractions for all from museums to mansions to shopping along the pier. I am glad I was able to enjoy it thoroughly.
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