A couple of years ago a friend of mine came down to Florida for a visit and the Biltmore came up in conversation. When he learned we loved visiting places like that, he ensured me that I would love to visit his home town of Newport, RI. He told me of some other palatial mansions in town that belonged to relatives of the owner of the Biltmore. It stuck in our head for a while and we knew we wanted to go but time continued to go by and we had no immediate plans. My friend came to FL for another visit and brought some books with him that showcased the Newport Mansions and they looked amazing.
I definitely wanted to go see my friend on his home turf one day, and having a chance to see the mansions was a bonus but I wasn’t sure when we would make the trip. Once we began the planning of 27 Loops my eyes immediately went to Newport and it was added to the New York/New England trip. It wasn’t long before dates were finalized and a campground was chosen.
We recently made our trip there, and Newport is definitely a beautiful city that we would like to return to. While there we had an amazing experience exploring the city but were blessed to have private tours of two of Newport’s most recommended attractions, the Breakers and Marble House. My friend, Rob, amazingly enough, grew up in the Marble House and his parents still live there as the caretakers. They invited us over for dinner one night and then we were given a tour of the mansion. A few years ago on one of his trips to FL, Rob came down for a tradeshow and brought one of his friends with him. Ironically enough, he grew up in the other mansion and now serves as the caretaker and we were invited to tour the Breakers with him. The idea of growing up in those mansions was beyond what I could envision but it was pointed out that growing up in a popular museum had its disadvantages as well, but is definitely surreal.
These two summer cottages were built by two of George Washington Vanderbilt’s (of the Biltmore) brothers and are nothing short of spectacular. Being able to walk the halls and trying to imagine what life was like living in these palaces was such a treat. The level of detail in the construction is extraordinary and it was something we have talked about many times since.
Though the mansions were amazing, the greatest part was the fellowship with our friends and we hope to have a chance to see them again soon – whether it is in RI or somewhere else a long the way. Thank you Rob, Jodi, Mr. & Mrs. Marvelle, and Brian for making our trip more than we could have ever expected.
Marble House pics
The Breakers pics