Our time in New England has come to an end. We drove along the southern shores of this lovely region, sampling the flavoursome and eclectic cuisine, ogling the amazing architecture, visiting iconic sites and just soaking up the atmosphere.
Newport, Rhode Island, was an eye-opener. On arrival, we took the trolley tour to gain an understanding and overview of the city. I knew about the iconic sailing history and the historic mansions of the Gilt Age, but was very ignorant about the rich colonial and immigrant history – especially the Irish. Amazing buildings and streets dating back to the late 1600s have been lovingly restored. We explored the International Tennis Hall of Fame, home of the first US Open, hidden away in an unlikely corner.
Now Newport’s main industry is tourism, and with the advent of Covid, has been hit hard.
I thought I would help them out by touring the Vanderbilt mansion, named The Breakers. Whilst I learnt how the uber rich spent their summer holiday, Mark took the air in the gardens.
Perhaps our favourite stop was Mystic, CT, a seaport on the Mystic River. We stayed for a couple of nights in a delightful BnB, surrounded by lived-in homes dating back to the 1700s with plaques stating the names and dates of captains, sail makers and ship builders. Over 600 wooden ships were built here from 1784 until 1909. We dined in the Daniel Packer Tavern which opened in 1756. Unbelievable! The small town, itself, is a snapshot in history. The slim Main Street meanders down the side of the cliff, bordered on each side by single-fronted shops. A bascule bridge crosses the river in the centre of the village. We enjoyed walking all over this village and its surrounds, discovering delights around each corner.
Whilst in the area, we visited Groton – the home of the US nuclear submarine museum. We toured Nautilus, the first US nuclear submarine, commissioned in 1954 and decommissioned in 1980.
We also took in a little Revolutionary War history when we visited Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park, site of the 1781 massacre led by the traitorous Benedict Arnold. These were not nice times!
The days of touring were finished off by a visit to Yale University. What a stunning place! What breathtaking buildings of learning! What a vibe! We were unable to enter any buildings due to Covid – “No Visitors”, but no matter, we soaked up the atmosphere.
Now, we are in our hotel close to LaGuardia for our flight to Tennessee tomorrow. The view is not as pleasing!
Such is Life!