A Trip to Rhode Island

sailboats docked

Ready for another travel post?  I’m enjoying taking these virtual vacations this summer.  How about you?  Today we’re venturing to the North East, to Rhode Island.  As you can probably tell, we’re working with film photos again too.

Back in May of 2002, I spent a week visiting a friend in Rho

de Island.  I was not in a very good place personally.  I was going through a divorce, moving into a smaller apartment, and felt like the world was coming down around my ears.  I’d already planned this trip to Rhode Island, so I decided it might be good to have a little time away from everything.  It was one of the best vacations I’ve ever had.  I felt loved and taken care of, it was a beautiful place to visit, and we got to see some amazing things.

One of the days I was there, we decided to take a drive out to Newport to see the “cottages”.  We ate lunch at a fabulous place near the pier.  Then we headed over to Rosecliff.

Rosecliff estate

You may recognize Rosecliff as the location where The Great Gatsby was filmed in 1974.  This home is really the epitome of what they refer to as the Gilded Age – a time of dinners, balls and costume parties.

fountain with a cherub on top

Rosecliff was built in 1902 and was inspired by the Grand Trianon at Versailles.  In 2002, when I was there, Rosecliff was celebrating its Centennial with special events including an historic costume exhibit.

closeup of Rosecliff

Gorgeous place, and unfortunately photos were only allowed outside, so you’ll have to take my word for how stunning it was.

From Rosecliff, we took a little trolley over to see The Breakers.  This place is impressive, for sure.  During my visit, the house (built for the Vanderbilts by Richard Morris Hunt) was undergoing its first major architectural restoration in 107 years.

outside of The Breakers and a huge line of people

Even the sheer size of the iron entrance gates is amazing (they weigh over seven tons by the way).

iron gates

Again, no photos of the inside, but I did come home with a little book of the Newport mansions that was a lovely reminder of these glorious spaces.

Even around the back of the house, it’s beautiful.

Back of The Breakers

And look at their view from the backyard.

a look out to the water

It was really a lovely day, and I couldn’t have asked for a better companion on my sightseeing trip!

While I was there, we decided to head into downtown Providence one night to see Waterfire.  This was an amazing experience.  There are over 100 bonfires that float in the river and while you’re watching the fires reflected in the water, and smelling the scents of cedar and pine burning, you’re also listening to a vast array of musical selections from classical to world music.

fire in cauldrons on the water

The fires are tended from sunset to past midnight by black-clad performers in boats.

closeup of one of the cauldrons burning

The whole experience is really surreal, it affects all of your senses, and it almost puts you into a meditative state.  Really really one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.

On the last day of my trip, we decided to head out to the shore to see one of the lighthouses.  Having never seen a lighthouse before (that I remember), I thought it would be really cool.  The ocean itself looks very different than what I’m used to (Florida, California, Gulf Coast, Hawaii).

grey sky and the ocean coming up to the rocky shoreline

We were out at Narragansett, at the Point Judith Lighthouse.  Unfortunately, when we got there we found out that you couldn’t actually get to the lighthouse because it had been secured since 9/11.  It was cool to see, nonetheless.

lighthouse from a distance with a parking lot and chain link fence between us

Such a fun, fun trip.  I’ll always remember it and always be so thankful for having that time to heal when I needed it most.

4 thoughts on “A Trip to Rhode Island”

  1. I’m glad you have fond memories of RI. I wish my experience had been as good but you also got to see Newport and Waterfire. That’s *cool* stuff…I wasn’t so lucky. Those mansions and their view are fab!

  2. Oh wow!! I would LOVE to go to Rhode Island. It is one of those states that I always drove through to get to somewhere else–usually the Boston area. A trip to see the ‘cottages’ is high on my bucket list. Great pics!

  3. Legallyblondemel

    Lovely- Newport’s definitely on my to-travel list! And fun learning a bit more about you; I’m so glad the trip was such a good experience for you.

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