I never went to Rhode Island until I started dating Bill. Now, it’s one of my favorite destinations! The first time we went was in January 2014 and we stayed at the Newport Harbor Hotel & Marina in downtown Newport, RI. You can read more about that trip here. This trip, however, we took with his mom, sister, and daughter and it was magical!
We stayed outside of Newport in Tiverton, Rhode Island. Bill, Sarah, and I got a late start on Friday due to work and dropping off Robbie at a friends so we didn’t get there until 7:30. As we got off the highway, wound our way down and through an old railroad bridge that formed an entrance to a road, Bill and I both were thinking, “Where does Kathleen have us staying?” LOL, the thought only lasted a minute though as we found ourselves on a narrow, private road along the Sakonnet River. As we drove down the road, Sarah, Bill and I got so excited about seeing Bill’s mom and sister and about the adventures the weekend would surely bring!
Bill’s sister found a magical hidden treasure nestled on the water. When I say, on the water, I mean, ON THE WATER! The water came right up and under the house she rented for our weekend getaway! As if to prove this, a swan kept visiting us throughout the weekend. We fed him dog biscuits right out the living room window!
The swan added to the charm of the place but this spot didn’t need any help. Every inch of this 3 bedroom waterfront home oozed with it! From the flower planters on the porch to the fluffy white blankets on the furniture to the live tulips placed just before our arrival, they thought of everything!
Our first night there went by too fast! I had purchased a Living Social deal for Bistro 524 on Main Road in Tiverton and by the time we finished dinner and made it back it was late. Well, we might have been back earlier but the GPS took us down a cow path of a road (or so we thought) and we had to turn around…
We were so full Bill and I decided to go for a little walk in the dark. Our little jaunt turned in to a small adventure as we discovered the cow path of a road from earlier actually had a through way. Let’s just say that walk helped us to know where the neighborhood dogs lived, whose fences were short enough to get over and where the bunnies in Tiverton live. 🙂
Saturday morning Bill and I were up bright and early while everyone else was sleeping. We started the day with this view on the left. You know, with a view like that, it’s going to be a great day! We went in search of a Dunkin Donuts and COFFEE! When we are traveling, it’s never just coffee… we always wander around and discover. On this coffee excursion, we rode past a McDonald’s with a life size train in the front of it. It looked like it had crashed through the front of it and McDonald’s decided to just leave it. Sadly, I have no pictures of it though. Next time!
Once everyone was up and ready, we set off for coffee #2 for us and #1 for everyone else. Coastal Roasters had delicious coffee and live entertainment! Ha ha. This poor gentleman leaned too far back in the weather aged chair he was sitting in and when it broke, he fell over backwards. His coffee went flying in the air and everyone in the packed outdoor sitting area watched, unable to do anything to help him. His good nature about the predicament allowed us all to grin while we sipped our coffees, holding them securely. 🙂
The last time Bill and I were in Newport, Rhode Island we visited The Breakers Mansion. As incredible as it was, we wanted to explore something new. So this time we all went on the self guided tour at the Marble House. This mansion belonged to the brother of the owner of The Breakers. It was built between 1888 and 1892 for William Vanderbilt, who inherited his fortune from his grandfather, Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt. He created his fortune through steamships and the New York Central Railroad . The home was built as a summer home and as a birthday gift for his wife, Alva. Yup, that’s right a birthday gift! All $11 million worth of it! But, as they say, money can’t buy love and in 1895, the Vanderbilt’s divorced! It was HER choice to do so!
Alva was a strong woman and after the death of her second husband, she returned to the Marble House and had a Chinese Tea House built in the “backyard” overlooking the sea. There she hosted rallies for women’s right to vote. “WOMAN POWER!!!”
We were all impressed with the vastness and beauty of the mansion and the Chinese Tea House as we toured. It was all so very impressive! But of all the things we learned there, I think Sarah and I were most impacted by the daughter, Consuelo, and how while growing up her mother made her wear a brace to stretch her neck out. She was being raised to marry royalty. Um, no thank you! I’ll take my modest life any day!
We hung out on the grounds for a while, taking pictures of the gorgeous ocean views and grounds. You can see more pictures on our Facebook page.
Then we made our way in to the center of Newport and to our favorite spot to eat, the Brick Alley Pub. We stumbled on to this place when we were there in January. And the ambiance was right up “our alley”. Pub food, all you can eat salad bar, and lots of people created a friendly atmosphere for all of us! When Bill and I were there by ourselves, we walked up the alley it got it’s name from and explored the upstairs a bit, but on this trip, we just enjoyed the yummy food and got a picture in front of the old vehicle that is inside the restaurant.
After lunch, we walked around the streets, checking out a few of the little shops. Then we wandered up to the St. Mary’s Parish where President John F. Kennedy married Jacqueline Bouvier on September 12, 1953. Bill’s mom thought this was great! We walked in and they were doing a baptism so the place was packed. I noticed some winding stairs off to the side and of course had to check them out. I’m glad I did too! At the top was additional seating and the only person up there was the music guy. We all sat up there for a while enjoying the beauty of the church…
We made our back down to the waterfront and to the car. On our way home, we decided to check out Hope Street in Bristol. We didn’t stay long because we were all so tired, but we did catch the sunset and it gave us an idea for Sunday!
Saturday night Bill and Kathleen went to pick up pizza while Sarah and I made a bonfire and Mrs. Walsh supervised. Let’s just say, she was a bit cautious when it came to the fire and I think if I had just a match lit, she would say it was too much. It was great to see Sarah light her first fire and I think she thought it was pretty neat too. Hard to tell though because we were clouded by images of smores dancing in our heads.
On Sunday morning, Bill and I did our normal browsing of Facebook and I had a notification from my old high school teacher that he was right down the road in Little Compton. And when we went for our morning coffee, while everyone slept, we actually saw signs for it. I am so happy we decided to drink our coffee on the road and see exactly what Little Compton was all about. The main thing I noticed was rock walls everywhere and fields. It was relaxing as we made our way to one of the points where we could see wide open ocean views. It was a romantic morning adventure and I’m so thankful my boyfriend and I both enjoy doing these types of things! It’s exactly what we needed!
The pictures above were in Little Compton. The one on the right was of the Stone House. I believe it’s closed now but what an awesome 4 story establishment! It was built in 1854 and Bill and I could just imagine the elegant events that must have taken place there! I hope they reopen so we can enjoy their spa, restaurant and other amenities one day!
After our exploration, we went back to Tiverton and started preparing breakfast. Western omelets, bacon, home fries, and toast all prepared from ingredients the owners of our vacation getaway had left for us. It was heavenly and I loved working with Bill as a team to produce the feast! It was the least we could do for his mom and sister…
It was sad to pack up and head out. None of us wanted our time there to end and of course it went by so fast… but all good things must end.
So we packed up the cars and headed back to Bristol to tour the Blithewold Mansion and Gardens. This mansion is located on Narragansett Bay and was owned by the Van Wickle family. We enjoyed the 45-room English-style manor as we walked through at our leisure. And were so happy we were allowed to take photos of it. Check out our album on Facebook for all of our photos from the weekend. The mansion was small in comparison to the others we visited but the grounds at this one were the best, hands down! We were there during Daffodil Days and the beauty took my breath away! Thousands of Daffodils covered the grounds along with other flowers, plants and roses. They even had a bamboo patch that they started to use as garden stakes. I’ve never seen bamboo and when the wind rustled them, it sounded like music.
After wandering around the mansion and the grounds, we were starving! I used my LivingSocial app and found a nearby pub where I got $30 worth of food for $15! I love my iPhone and the ease of finding deals, activities, and everything!
Shortly after we were done eating the skies opened up and down came the rain. It ended our trip abruptly but it was for the best. We had a bit of a drive and still had to get Robbie from our friends. We said goodbye under umbrellas and Bill’s sister and mom hopped in to their vehicle and we continued on our way.
As we crossed the bridge, on our way through Tiverton, and back to Nashua, we got this picture of a rainbow. We would have looked for the gold but we all knew we had found the hidden treasure in Tiverton that week!
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