Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My first visit to Newport, RI

We have sworn off hanging around Park City for Memorial Day.  It is just a drag to watch it snow over the holiday weekend.  This year we got tricked.  We headed for Newport, Rhode Island to enjoy some sunny weather at the ocean.  Instead, while Park City was sunny and 70, Newport was in the 50's and drizzly.  Betting on the weather is always just a random roll of the dice.
We were staying with Jim and Kathy Covaleski, who live just outside DC and have a place in Park City.  They arranged for a little B&B using VRBO.  If you haven't tried VRBO yet, I highly recommend it.  It stands for Vacation Rental By Owner and we have used it frequently.

Here we have Rob (our innkeeper) and Jim.
The Austin House Inn only has two guest rooms and a living room.  Since we were renting both rooms, we got full run of the living room. While I can't guarantee it, chances are that Julie and Kathy are playing Candy Crush on their iPads.  Kathy got us all hooked.
OK.  We actually had to share the living room.  Every once in a while, Rob's dog would lay claim to a piece.
When the weather is a bit bleak, you can always fall back on drinking wine.  So we did.  A woman walking past thought we looked so happy and content, that she offered to take our picture.
If you like the Newport area, you can always do a bit of house shopping.  I had always heard about all the Newport mansions, but hadn't ever had a chance to tour through them.  We walked past a lot of them and toured inside two.  All I can say is "Damn!".
Even though we were in our storm gear, Jim was intent on wearing his shorts.  This was the only day for that though.
This photo is proof that having money does not mean you have taste.  Outside a very large, very pretty mansion, two huge trees had fallen.  Rather than cutting them away and grinding the stump, they cut them off at about 20 feet and then let someone carve the top few feet.  The one closest is a monkey, holding a pool cue, sitting in a recliner.  Even I wouldn't have that in my yard, and I used to have a pink flamingo, Spanish moss, and a stuffed dead cat in my office at IBM.
I was surprised to see a large cruise ship in the harbor.  Newport is touristy, but I just didn't expect this.  It's all depth perception, but it sure looks like that ship won't fit under that bridge. There was a sailboat (yacht)  in the marina with a 200' mast, so I think the cruise ship was safe.
Newport has a lot of history and they are very active at protecting the look and feel of town.  There are a lot of restrictions about what you can and can't do to any historic building. They seem to be a lot more restrictive than Park City, but perhaps that is because most historical Park City buildings are tiny, flimsy miner's shacks.
I didn't get a chance to see or photograph much wildlife, but I have to agree with this seagull, the seafood is excellent.
Even with the damp, chilly weather it was a great trip and a wonderful opportunity to see new things with friends.
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