Just kidding--this is a picture of The Breakers, the Vanderbilt's summer home in Newport, RI. My husband and I had always wanted to see the mansions in Newport and earlier this summer we realized that the stars would align so that could happen. We would have one child on the West Coast, one serving as a counselor at an overnight camp and a third in France. So we made arrangements and headed north. We covered eight of the properties owned by the Newport Preservation Society and saw The Breakers twice. (We purchased a membership to the society which was cheaper than individual tickets or the packages that were being offered). The kids definitely would have been in mutiny mode after the second mansion, but we couldn't get enough! The audio tours are great and we had wonderful guides for tours at some of the smaller houses. And the buildings--what wonderful architecture and sumptious, over-the-top decorating. Yes, it was conspicuous consumption, a phrase coined by Mark Twain when he talked about The Breakers, but these houses are examples of an age that we will probably never see again. Go if you get the chance.
Life here at our much more humble abode goes on. The third child is back from France with lots of information about her trip. Must be a girl thing since both the boys have had the benefit of foreign travel (a 5-week study trip in China and a 25-day trip to Germany), but details of those trips were released only during intense questioning sessions. I got some stitching done on the long ride to and from RI and will share the results in an upcoming post. I've pretty much abandoned my rotation for the time being and spent some time on the Keep Me sampler last night. I'm off to work on it some more.