The family and I found ourselves driving through Newport, Rhode Island the other day, after an afternoon blueberry picking. The town we had done our picking in was only a town or two over from Newport. So we decided to do a drive by on some of the beautiful mansions.
If you have never been to the Newport area, let me tell you, you are missing something spectacular. Some of the mansions you are allowed to go in (for a small fee) and take tours of these palatial homes that some legendary names set up for summer. Yes, these were summer homes.
There’s my personal favorite, The Breakers, built by Cornelius Vanderbilt II.
The architecture is out of this world.
We drove by The Marble House. Also owned by a Vanderbilt. Mr. William K. Vanderbilt, brother to Cornelius of The Breakers, and build for $11 million in 1892 as a 39th birthday present to his wife. I don’t understand why my husband never gets me presents like this. Though, in fairness, my 39th is still a ways off….
We drove by Rosecliff, that was owned by Theresa Oelrichs, who made her money in silver. This home cost $2.5 million to build in 1902.
We drove by countless others. Some mansions surrounding these well known beauties, are actually privately owned, and some were even for sale. I asked hubby to buy me one or two as we passed, but his answer was always a resounding no. Without even putting any thought into his answer. He’s such a buzz kill.
We turned down Ocean Drive, and admired the houses we passed, all privately owned by gazillionaires, I’m sure.
There was this one that looked like a fortress straight out of Scotland.
Someone actually lives here, folks!
There was this amazing one, sitting right on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean (well, they all are, hence, Ocean Drive).
“Paige, be rich so you can buy me one of these houses,” I said as we passed another breath taking home.
“Okay, Mom. Which one do you want?”
We passed hundreds of homes, and let our imaginations run wild. There was one sprawling ranch that we passed with numerous pens so large, you couldn’t even see the back fences that connected to the sides.
“Ooh, we could live there, Mom. And have horses!”
“And hire someone to teach you to ride,” I added.
“And a hundred maids to clean it!” Smart girl. Only seven and she already realizes cleaning is a detestable, thankless job. “And we can have goats, and sheep, and chickens….but no pigs.”
“No pigs?! Pigs are adorable!”
“And delicious!” hubby chirped in.
“Alright, I’ll let you have pigs when I’m rich.”
She’s so giving.
“We moved into a slightly less rich section of Ocean Drive, and by less rich, I mean homes like these:
A mere cottage compared to some of the homes. “I’d even take one of these houses,” I told Paige, while gesturing out the windows.
“Yeah, we’re not greedy,” hubby agreed.
Soon we turned off Ocean Drive, and our attentions turned to discussing the types of careers Paige could end up with that would net us one of these houses.
“How about a zoo? Could I afford one of these houses if I owned my own zoo?”
“Well,” I hedged, “I guess that depends on the size and success of your zoo. But I’m thinking no.”
“A hairstylist! I’ll be a hairstylist!”
I’m screwed. I will never get my mansion by the sea. Unless Allie actually does become world dictator and hands over Ocean Drive to her beloved mother. I think that is what I will have to invest my energies in…
* None of these photos were taken by me as I had no idea we were even wandering in that direction. These are all photos I copied from either the Newport Preservation Society, or google.