“The Elms”: a trip to a Newport Mansion

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Newport, Rhode Island:

Have you heard of it? It’s a beautiful coastline city in the smallest state, filled with so many breathtaking and historical sites to visit. Taylor Swift lives nearby in Watch Hill, RI. I say “nearby” because everything is nearby in this itty bitty state. Also, JF Kennedy and Jackie Onassis wed in Newport. Did you know that? And the seafood here is to die for. Literally, to die. I will die by overdosing on lobster one day.

Anywho… When I lived in Rhode Island, I had crazy wanderlust. I felt like I had to get out of this tiny state and see what else was out there. But now that I’m gone, I find myself missing its true blue waters, its umm-mah-Gah amazzzzinggggg seafood (fresh off the boats most of the time), and all of its quirky, artistic flavor. Providence, RI is the creative capital of the US according to Snapchat. (So it must be true.) I recommend everyone check out this small place packed full of culture, local hospitality and great eats.

Back to Newport…

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On this particular trip back home, my mother, sister and I decided to visit one of the famous Newport Mansions. These homes are astounding- huge, detailed replicas of French chateaus, and Italian Renaissance-style manors that cost millions of dollars to erect (in the 1800s- early 1900s mind you), and only served as “summer cottages” for some of the wealthiest families in the United States during the gilded age. We didn’t want to spend a long day exploring all of the mansions (there are 11 in total). So, we just decided to check out “The Elms”.

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The house was modeled after a French chateau. Gold details lined the breakfast room, and huge hand-painted pictures adorned many of the walls and ceilings. We received a guided audio tour of the mansion, and opted to do an additional tour that showcased the life of the servants at The Elms. Highly recommend it. Learning about the life of the servants who lived in these massive homes was eye-opening and unexpected. Their accommodations rivaled most NYC apartments =/!

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imageThe grounds of The Elms were equally as gorgeous as the interior, with weeping birch trees and wisteria offering shade and enjoyment. All in all, the short day trip was a well needed break from the hectic streets of NYC, and only a few hours away by train, bus or car!

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Exploring NYC with an Old Friend

imageSo… One of my close friends, Eliana, came to visit me for a bit in NYC. I wanted to make sure she had a great mini vakay so I took her first for brunch at The Ellington. The buffalo sandwich was pretty delish, but in all honesty, the ambience topped everything else. It was so quaint and bright inside, and all of the windows were thrown open so you felt as though you were in a cozy little cafe in Europe. (At least that’s what I was pretending while I was there.)image

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After brunch, we hopped the train downtown to the High Line- one of my favorite places in the city. It’s an old railroad track above the meatpacking district which has been turned into an outdoor oasis- with flowers, trees, art, benches and food/drinks. Eliana loved it.

We explored the Highline, grabbed some dessert at The Sugar Factory, and headed back uptown to catch this amazing sunset:image

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Food+Fun+Sun= A perfect NYC day.