Cottage Living

Before we went up to Maine for Elaine and Richard's wedding, we crossed an item off my bucket list, by visiting the "summer cottages" in Newport, Rhode Island (you'll remember we road-tripped out to Asheville, NC to see Biltmore a couple of years back, so we figured we might as well see the Vanderbilt's summer place).

It was the perfect way to start a vacation. We pulled up to our charming B&B in the heart of town, and then walked down to the harbor to have our first — of many — lobster rolls of the trip. As we ate outside on a dockside patio, with late evening sun, it felt like another world.

It felt even more so the next day as we zipped through five of the mansions cottages. Of course we started with The Breakers, which was really all we had hoped and more. However, Marble House and The Elms were not too far behind! Perhaps everyone's favorite, however, was the gothic cottage styled Kingscote, one of the earliest of the summer homes. (or last stop, after lunch, was the topiary gardens just outside of town).

We all enjoyed pretending we lived in the homes, picking out which room would be ours, etc. But what really struck Patrick and myself was the craftsmanship. Let's face it, we have many families today who are, comparatively, as wealthy as the Vanderbilts, Berwinds, and Kings were.True, we don't now live with scores of servants and multiple houses (ahem, well, usually…). But where did that kind of amazing creativity go? That love of home that made you want to get every detail perfect, and then entertain to share that with others? It's a great, great loss.


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