We toured one mansion, The Breakers, which is my favorite one and is the biggest of all of them. ("Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the biggest of them all?") It was the summer home of the Vanderbilts and construction started on it in 1893. It's modeled in the style of an Italian palace. My favorite things about it are the cozy library, the second-floor terrace, the lovely grounds, and its amazing views of the ocean.
Oh well! We tried.
I kind of rushed through the mansion and didn't get to listen to the automated tour that's given on headphones because for some strange reason, the kids weren't all that interested. This is where having my husband there would have been very helpful! It was okay though because I'd been through it before. I walked them through and did my best to rein in Sam's desire to explore beyond the velvet ropes, and then let them escape onto the grounds to play. In the future, I don't think I'll bring young kids to tour the mansions!
This is the beautiful ocean view from the back of the home's second-floor terrace. If I had lived here I would have spent many of my summer days on this terrace laying on a chaise lounge and reading books. Amazing!
This is the biggest birdbath I've ever seen!
Hydrangeas are everywhere in New England during the summer, from the grandest estates to small bushes of them along random side streets. I love them!
The back of The Breakers. The second-floor terrace that overlooks the ocean is there in the middle...
Of course we had to take the requisite family pictures with the mansion as the backdrop. Sam was trying his best to escape (again!)...
Elizabeth and I and our boys...
Just a few more views of this wonderful place that I love!
It's fun to imagine about the people who lived here and the things that happened behind those gates, within those walls, and on those grounds a century ago.
After we were done at the mansion we went to downtown Newport, which is full of fun shops, galleries, and restaurants. John decided to catch a wave while we were there...
I bought a book a few days later that I plan on reading at some point: Gilded: How Newport Became America's Richest Resort by Deborah Davis. It combines two things that I like: history and glamour. It should be a good read!
And that was our lovely day as would-be Vanderbilts!