I hopped on the RIPTA bus #60 from Kennedy Plaza in downtown Providence to go to Newport, a seaside city in Rhode Island. It’s about an hour on a public bus to get there. I looked forward to this day–a day of hiking and exploring. I planned to hike the Cliff Walk and also visit one of the mansions along the path.
I haven’t traveled in a year and a half and I was excited to be somewhere else new. My body and soul craved for an adventure. Since my son was busy with all the activities at Brown for the admit week, I took this opportunity to spend time alone. As they say, solitude is the soul’s holiday 🙂
I arrived at the Newport Visitor Center and from there, I hopped on another bus (#67) to Cliff Walk. I asked the driver to stop at Memorial Blvd (where the trail begins), with the intention of completing the 3.5 mile hike, but instead he dropped me off at Forty Steps. Although I wanted to start hiking from the beginning point, the driver had misunderstood thinking I was okay with a short cut (missing about quarter of a mile). I contemplated on walking back to the starting point but changed my mind. I decided to head towards the Breakers Mansion, an opulent summer home previously owned by the Vanderbilt family.
Dallas is a land locked city and the last time I saw an ocean was during our trip to Hawaii last year. I felt an inexplicable euphoria at the first sight of the ocean. Perhaps it reminded me of the nostalgic road trip I took with my parents in northern Philippines not too long ago. We stopped at a seaside resort and enjoyed the warm ocean breeze. But when the memory shifted to my dad, an air of melancholy surrounded me. It was going to be the last vacation I would ever take with him.
But the quiet roar of the ocean and the sound of the waves pacified and consoled my weary soul. I focused on the stunning views along the path–to my right were opulent mansions and to my left boasted spectacular vistas of the Atlantic Ocean.
For the most part, the path is paved and safety is not an issue.
However, if you’re not wearing hiking boots or comfortable walking shoes, it will be difficult to navigate the big boulders and can be slippery depending on the season.
It is at least a 50 foot drop from where I was.
The trail also had a dirt path and two short tunnels.
About half way through, I took a break from my hike and toured the magnificent Breakers mansion, a summer home previously owned by the Vanderbilts. It is now owned by the Preservation Society of Newport County.
The rows of mansions along Bellevue Avenue were reminiscent of the Gilded Age, a term derived from Mark Twain’s 1873 The Gilded Age: a Take of Today. It is a satire of an era with serious social problems but masked by gold gilding.
The Vanderbilt family had amassed their fortune from their shipping and railroad empire. Cornelius Vanderbilt was the second richest American in history (after John D. Rockefeller). Contemporary descendants include Gloria Vanderbilt and her journalist son, Anderson Cooper.
The Breakers is the grandest of Newport’s summer homes. Most of the mansions are walking distance of one another along Bellevue Avenue and Ochre Point. If I find myself another opportunity to visit Newport again, I would definitely visit the other mansions.
After the tour, I resumed my hike and once again marveled at the scenery. I was in awe of everything I saw today. I realized how fortunate I am to live in a country that is abundant with beauty.
I guess we just missed each other! I’m glad you had a great time on your trip and unfortunately the day I went to visit the Breakers was just too cold and windy so I decided not the do the Cliff Walk. I’m glad you posted pictures so I can pretend I was there walking along the ocean too 🙂
Thats too bad but there will always be a next time! The cliff walk was so worth it so be sure to go there if you go back again! I wish I had time to explore Newport though. The town is so lovely.
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Holy! Beautiful architecture! I am happy for you. For having a serene time with yourself.
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Glad to hear you had your boots on. Looks interesting.
That view of the Atlantic Ocean up where you’re at (50-foot drop in equivalent), you made my heart skip a bit. I just felt it.
Anyway, there’s nothing like the fusion of architecture and nature for an “alone time”. The mansions are absolutely a wonder and they are perfectly located near the ocean. Together they create the stunning views you showed us here with a touch of the colorful and abundant nature.
Indeed, you are blessed to be living in such a beautiful and opulent country.
I’m so glad that you finally got to see the ocean after so long and get a sense of wonder from your walk. Such beautiful scenery. The mansions and the daffodils wouldn’t look out of place in the uk!
Thanks Ting! It sure was a refreshing trip. The mansions were definitely reflective of castles in the UK (or rest of Europe)!
It does look like a good place for a long walk. I love cliffs! And the interior of that mansion is amazing. Glad you had a good day!
Thanks so much! I definitely had a great time on my day out. 😀. And this part of United States is very beautiful!
Oh also have a great trip in Yosemite!! I want to visit it too someday.
What a wonderful place to hike and relax – love the nature and its surrounding! Congratulations to your son’s next study! Brown is an excellent one!
Wow! it is really beautiful 🙂 The mansion is more like a small castle. You are indeed lucky to be surrounded by these beauties!
I was very surprised myself. They looked like the castles in Europe!
That’s what I thought at first then I have to re-read your post haha!
Haha!! Europe in America 😄
Take care Boots 🙂 bed time for me now!
Good night Vinneve!
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Glad to see you had time to get away on such a restorative day hike! And, congratulations to your son for his great college choices. He has certainly worked very hard to achieve such excellent options. (My daughter considered Brown too, because of RISD, but ended up somewhere else.)
While I haven’t spent much time in Rhode Island, I have hiked in other New England states. Your pictures of the coastline remind me a little of the rocky coast at Acadia National Park in Maine. That’s really a pretty place to hike too!
I haven’t been online much lately, and need to update my blog. More later I suppose. I’m planning a trip to Yosemite later this year and will probably post some pictures from that visit.
Have a great day!
Hi Larry! I’m so happy to hear from you. It’s been a long time! My trip to Rhode Island was refreshing. It really felt great being somewhere other than Texas.
My son loved Brown and everyone he met there but ultimately chose Stanford because he didn’t want to miss out on yeh internship opportunities there. I hope I can visit RI again though.
Please blog more often. And make sure it is still connected to WordPress so I can see it in my Reader. Have a good weekend!
Thanks Boots! It’s one of those places I’ve always wanted to visit. And, your son must really be an amazing kid to be accepted into Stanford. Good luck to him!
Larry, are you still blogging?