State #21 Rhode Island

How about some good old fashioned encyclopedia type information to start this post? Rhode Island, the Ocean State, is the smallest state in size in the United States; North to South its 48 miles and East to West its 37 miles. It was also the last of the the original thirteen colonies to become a state. You are welcome.

The boys are learning states and capitals as we travel and they can now tell you that the capital of Rhode Island is Providence.

Rhode Island is pretty but the roads in Newport were aggravating as many people parked in the street, despite no parking signs, making the roads one lane oftentimes. Just so ya know.

Our first stop was The Breakers, the summer “cottage” of Cornelius Vanderbilt II, the grandson of Commodore Vanderbilt of New York Central Railroad fame. This shanty is a breathtaking example of the Gilded Age.

I thought it was pricey to tour the home but I love this kind of stuff so we toured it anyway. The house has self guided audio tours. I enjoy these type tours. I like having a guide but if you get in the back of the tour then it’s hard to hear and you miss stuff. With this tour, you hit play when you get in each room so you can go at your own pace and you don’t miss anything.

It was crazy busy (holiday weekend) and very crowded (it was move in weekend for the small university across the road so lots of college kids with their parents were there) but we were still able to see everything very easily. However, parking was nuts. There’s parking on the street (good luck) and a small visitor parking lot. There really should have been a parking attendant. But back to the good stuff. The audio tour has a family option where the audio is the same amount of time for parents and kids but the kids have different information.

It’s like the house is talking to the kids giving a different perspective on the history such as the rules of the house for children of that time period, etc. The boys liked that better than just the straight up history.

My boys never miss an opportunity to climb a tree just don’t tell the Vanderbilts. Just kidding, they’re just posing for pictures in this super fun looking tree but they would have if I would have let them.

After the house tour, we strolled along Cliff Walk taking in views of the ocean on one side and additional Newport Mansions on the other. If it were just me, I would have bought multiple house tours but one house is about all the boys want to do in a day.

If you are in the market for a new house, there’s one for sale just down the road from the Breakers It could be yours for a reduced price of $6.8 million. If you buy it, could you please let me come visit during the summer.

Next, we drove up to Providence for a partial WaterFire lighting. It’s pretty cool.

The WaterFire Organization light wooden fires along the middle of the river through town. You can even take a gondola ride up and down the river while the fires are lit.

They light the fires around sundown and they keep the fires burning until 11:30pm. They have music playing to add to the effect and special performers. The night we went they had a lady twirling a burning hula hoop. You need to check their website for dates and it’s free. 🙂

Checked into the hotel and got rested up for the Constitution State.

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