This past weekend, the fam and I hit up Newport, RI for a little Succot family road trip getaway. It was on my Fall to do list. I’ve always loved a good road trip, touted the merits of seeing my own country, loved the freedom of being about to hop back in my car and head home OR WHERE EVER when ever I felt like it. We drove the California coast with a two year old in the back seat of a convertible. We took mopeds on a three day trip around Bali. It was all so easy. So worthwhile. So fun. So adventurous.
Then, I had JoJo. This was his first vacation. Suffice to say: NEVER AGAIN? Let’s just say, he doesn’t travel well. The kid will stay awake for a 6 hour drive (during nap hours) and cry the whole time. He will vomit in car. He will make your life a living hell for every minute that he is even slightly uncomfortable. You should thank me in advance for never taking him on a plane.
He wakes up at 7 am and proceeds to tear apart the room rummaging for food like a bear. We would wake up and drowsily give the children cereal and milk in a box, before dozing off again… only to wake up to a hotel room littered with empty apple juice boxes and crushed fruit loops. The kid parties like a rock star.
Then lets not even get into his other endearing quality: DEATH WISH. We took the kids on a sailboat called the Madeline. Beautiful really…. Except for the fact that I barely looked up from the back of Jojos jeans, where I was white knuckled trying to keep him in the boat. He was actively trying to jump off, for the full two hours.
I thought he was going to vandalize The Breakers, the psychotically awesome gilded age mansion of Cornelius Vanderbilt.
You see, Kid Number One is a great traveler, sleeps in cars and on planes, acts like a lady at restaurants and generally can get along doing adult things mixed with kid things. It’s a blessing. But JoJo is what my MIL likes to call a “Home Wrecker” then she modified that to “House Wrecker” when she realized what home wrecker meant. He’s not even hyper, he’s just like a cuddly sweet honey bear, who doesn’t know his own strength and leaves a path of destruction in his wake.
Anyway, on to the things we did in Newport, all under the guidance of Courtney of Holding Court, who grew up there.
And also, my pictures were not the best because I was so ridiculously busy/scared I could barely take any. Most are iPhone pics.
You must do this, I’ve never done it before. The culture of sailing is everywhere in Newport and it’s really a beautiful, genteel thing to do. Like that Grey Goose commercial come to life. With no engine, all you hear is the creaking of wood, lapping of waves, squawking of gulls, flapping of sails… and oh yea, my kid screaming. Oh boy how I needed a drink. I was shaking when we got off.
Look. I literally have white knuckles.
Wanna know what this is? I was in the bathroom inside the boat, when this little guy popped his head in through the port hole! Thank god it was just me!
2. Check out The International Tennis Hall of Fame
Grass courts, tennis memorabilia, and one of only 50 Court Tennis (the original tennis of the kings) courts in the world, being practiced on! Learn more HERE.
Tennis shoes from the 20’s, they look JUST like Keds, don’t they?
3. Tour a Mansion: The Breakers
We had to limit to one mansion, because the kids couldnt really take much more of it. But there are 12 or 13 beautiful historic mansions to toured, interspersed with mansions still being occupied. Its a really elegant and majestic neighborhood and the entire island has a very fine air about it. I love New Jersey, but its like NJ with a more gorgeous terrain and a more refined flavor.
4. Visit a Boat Graveyard
Not really, its actually Coronet, a boat launched in 1885, and its being restored by the International Yacht Restoration School, which is free and open to the public, HERE.
5. Check out a Farm
Newport has many farms by the side of the read, but we visited Manfredi Farms and petting zoo in Rhode Island.
We also drove around, took the kids to the arcade (think Belmar Playland, fellow NJ dwellers), saw a parade, visited a pumpkin patch, ate, walked around, tried to visit the Touro synagogue…lived. You know. Life. Travel. Family. Vacation.
Oh and I just couldn’t not post this:
The most fabulous ivy I’ve ever seen.
There you have it. Newport: Boats, Farms, Mansions. Vibe. It’s pretty great. I recommend going when it’s a bit warmer so you can enjoy the beaches, but I couldn’t believe how crowded town was! JAMMED. The Jersey shore has been deserted for weeks now, so I expected it to be quieter.
Is it already Thursday? Wow.