Sunday, October 9, 2011

Day 6 - Mystic Seaport, Newport and Cape Cod

Really bad reception tonight here at Cape Cod with our MyFi, so if this gets too painful to post, I'll shut it down and try again tomorrow.  We had an exhausting day and I'm about ready for all of this excitement to end.  Whew!

This morning we were up and out to the Mystic Seaport which was very interesting - it is a whaling port that the town has preserved and recreated to show the various ways that folks here made a living on the sea.  There were several boats, from a simple fishing boat to huge schooners, some in the process of being refurbished, some set up as trainers.  The docents were on board to show us around and answer questions.  Interesting.  Then the little town was a representation of the various trades required for this work, sail makers, tool makers, barrel makers, printers, churches, etc.  My favorite place was an exhibit of mastheads.  These were amazing - huge.  Loved that and wish we had more time here.

After we ran through this place, we were off to the town of Newport, Rhode Island.  There we had some free time for lunch - John and I opted for crab at The Barking Crab. Some delicious crab cakes. Then we got a new guide on board from Newport and were taken on a tour of the various mansions that dot this island, the "summer homes" for the ultra-rich of the late 1800s and early 1900s.  Some of these places were amazing, including the one we stopped at and toured - The Breakers.  The Breakers was the summer home of the Cornelius Vanderbilt, the 2s. Complete sensory overload - who really needs a home that was encrusted with this much gold?  I mean really -- who are they trying to impress?  But I guess that was the way of people who inherited $57 million and then made several times that again.  Sheesh!!  Beautiful in a "I'd never live like this even if I could afford it" way. They only came here two months of the year.  Amazing waste of money.
There are many over-big homes here at Newport.  Many wealthy (as in inherited wealth, not "new money" wealth) people had summer homes here, and there were some private beach clubs open only to those who were "acceptable" to the owners.  La dee da.
Then we took off to Cape Cod for the night.  A bit longer (groan) bus ride, but the hotel we were staying was great - The Red Jacket Beach Resort.  It was a bit older, but well maintained.  The lobster bake was good, not outside on the beach which is what I was expecting, but actually fine dining inside.  Very nice staff here.  Bad reception for both phone and internet, but I think you're actually supposed to come here on vacation and leave all that stuff at home.  Even the television is ancient.  Took a little stroll out on the beach in the moonlight.  I hope I can see more tomorrow!

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