Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunday, September 16, 2007

New England summer cottages

Posted by Hippo Bean at 11:13 PM
When the ship dropped anchor, it woke me up. The view of the Newport fort welcomed the Hippo to Newport, Rhode Island. It was only 7am but sailing boats already crowded the harbor. The tender to shore was 15 minutes long. The sky was clear and blue, little wind and temperature very pleasant. The tour to the Vanderbilts summer cottage was delayed for apparently no reason but when we finally got on our way the pretty town took my annoyance away. Over here is St Mary's where Jacqueline and JFK's wedding took place, over there is the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, and when our bus turned on to the Bellevue Avenue, the world of grandeur appeared. What we call mansions are simply considered summer houses to these rich people. When we finally stopped at the Breakers, the 'cottage' was grand indeed but it lack character and uniqueness. The building itself from the outside did not appeal to the Hippo. No photography was allowed indoors so I grumpily put my camera away. Everything here is 22 carat gold, each bedroom with its own dressing room and bath. The grand hall had a gorgeous chandelier but lacked a grand staircase. The music room which built entirely on its own and transported to the house when finished was not really 'musical' enough to my taste. But the dinning and billiard rooms are fantastic. From all the rooms we've visited, I like Gladys' room the best, on the east corner. It contains a photograph of Gladys and Count Laszlo Szechenyi of Hungary (quite a handsome dude), and some of Gladys' sculptures. The front porch offered an immense view of the blue sea. I cant begin to describe the place. It was grander than Hearst castle and it's only considered a summer cottage, imagine the Vanderbilt's residence! The tour was badly organized so we were offered a free book of the Breakers which can only mean stealing pictures. Because we were late (el capitan had trouble dropping the anchor!) the visit to the Marble house was canceled. I was mad because that's the one I really wanted to see.

Back at the harbor the line back to the ship was so long we decided to paint town. M bought a handbag in one of the cute little shops by the water. In the afternoon, we sat on our private balcony to admire the site of Newport. In the evening after the first formal dinner (I hated the formal anything!), we watched Spidey III on the sundeck, 'movies under the stars' but there were no stars tonight. We sat on lounge chairs with blankets and we had complimentary beer, pizza and popcorn. We were f*cking freezing on the open deck watching the movie on the giant screen. A summer cruise would had been ideal but what a grand idea to have a giant movie outdoors.

Boston tomorrow and we have a date with the Thai restaurant at Harvard Square.

 Newport harbor



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