Friday, August 8, 2008

See how the other half lived

I arrived in Providence on Southwest 10 minutes ahead of schedule. A quick walk through the terminal to the Budget counter and I had my car. Breakfast at a Bickfords restaurant near the airport with the others and our plans were set. We were going to Newport to tour a few of the mansions.

It was a nice ride as the weather was perfect. We drove through town and arrived at Chateau-sur-Mer. I won't repeat of all the historic details here as they are aptly covered on their website. The tour was about an hour long and, I must say, left something to be desired. The guide kept forgetting things, then remembered several rooms later. And many of the art and furnishings throughout the mansion didn't belong there and had come from elsewhere. Not exactly what you expect.

We dropped by the Salve Regina University campus bookstore for a bit of refreshment and then headed to The Breakers. This is the Vanderbilt mansion and is the jewel of the tour. It is fairly popular and there are many reasons why. It is fabulous and the furnishings and art are all original and authentic. The new is incredible as are the grounds. Again, you can find detailed information here.

We stopped downtown in Newport for lunch and found a little place near the ball park called Mudville Pub. Good food and brews topped off our Newport tour. If you ever stop there, you have to try their Ultimate Nachos and/or chili.

Any trip to Newport is not complete without a stop by Cuffy's for your t-shirts and sweatshirts. True bargains along he style of "buy some, get some more free". Storms rolled in so we headed back. On the way, the car's alert system was telling me that the rear left tire was low. By the time I got to a gas station, it was really low but no obvious problem. I refilled it with air and it seemed fine, not losing pressure. However, after parking it for a few hours at the hotel, it was low again. Budget did a nice job of swapping it out for me. Kudos to the team here at Green Airport in Providence.

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