Saturday, August 02, 2008

Vacation...all I ever wanted

I've been "on Cape" for the last week or so...enjoying the summer, salty breezes and working my tail off at the bed and breakfast. Mom was away last weekend, so "chef Christina" was on duty. Dad and I worked great together and kept the inn ship shape.

Rory enjoys helping with the dishes :

We had a few days off with no guests earlier this week, so mom and I took a day trip to Newport, Rhode Island to look at rich people's homes.

We started off at the Breakers, summer home to the Vanderbilts way back in the early 1900's. The home is spectacular, with huge vistas looking out over the ocean. The inside covered in gilded everything...with amazing paintings and the most awesome bathtubs, all cut from a single piece of marble, that I've ever seen. Sadly, you are not permitted to take photos inside; but here are a few of the outside...

Oh, how the other half lives... Next we headed to Rosecliff. We were thrilled to discover that this is the only air conditioned mansion in Newport (it was a very humid day). Our tour guide was 102 years old and the stories he was relaying to us about the mansion were so engrained in his head, that when he got thrown off subject, he completely forgot where he was or what he was saying. Rosecliff is the only mansion that can be rented out by us commoners for events like weddings...starting at around $10,000 (just for the building!). It was more manageable than the Breakers and easier to imagine people actually living in. Most gorgeous though, the reminded me of English gardens, though on a much smaller scale.

Next we headed to the Green Animals Topiary Garden. Now this was the garden I'd been hoping to see since touring the gardens of Hever Castle, Powerscourt (Ireland) and the Isle of Skye. The best part though, the amazing topiary figures of animals, chairs, policemen and more.

And that was just the topiaries! Then there were the flowers...the gardens included periennials, a dahlia garden, a rose gardens and a cutting garden.

It was a lovely way to end our day in Newport. We are planning to return at Christmas time to tour Marble House and the Elms, when they are all decorated for the holidays.

I've been sewing (made 1 skirt and two aprons so far) and mom and I went to a quilt show the other day. I'm going to post about those exploits on the "new" Philly sewing blog, "Feeddoggle" started by my pal Kathy (

I FINALLY finished reading "Confederates in the Attic" and have now started reading "The Labrador Pact."

And, after 12 years, I went to the eye doctor. And...I got glasses. For all close work. I am a GOMER!!!

I'm here for another week, but starting my continuing ed classes on Monday and in the back of my mind, I know I need to work on my syllabus as I start teaching again one month from today...but there is so much more knitting and sewing to do.

Oh my goodness I didn't even mention the animals!!!!

Here, we have small, medium and large:

Rory, Gus and Finney

The dogs are having an awesome time together...they are such a pack!

And Thursday evening, we went to the turtle races...

Dad's turtle, Mr. Slowsky (number 7) won a prize for coming in last place!!!

As you can see, the days (and nights) are just packed!


Donna said...

You know - I live about 5 miles from the Green Animal Topiaries and never have been there. Thanks to your pics I at least know what is in there now!

Mansions are neat, huh. Kinda makes you feel a bit poor??? You will love them at Christmas. so pretty.

JoAnn, Wynnewood said...

Hey - my house looks just like the Breakers (shed). Rich or poor, it's good to have money. The pics were great. Looks like you had a great time. I'm still drooling over your crab pictures.
Dogs are as cute as can be.

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