Thursday, December 30, 2010

I'm Back! And I saw Mansions!

Originally, I started blogging (on a different blog) because I wanted to share my travel stories with my friends and family at home while I lived in Asia.

I've gotten too far away from that and I want to get back into it. I want to be an Everyday Tourist.

Problem now is, I grew up in this here town, so it takes more effort on my part to really feel foreign-y about it. But I refuse to be discouraged; I will act like a tourist, regardless of how many people know for a fact that I am faking an accent.

TODAY, we went to Newport, RI to see the Newport Mansions! (ooohhh, fancy.) And before you even question it, OF COURSE I pretended to be from some distant country where rolling your R's is par for the course.

Rhode Island is not a state known for being uppity, but by God, Bellevue Ave. in Newport is almost gaudy in how much money those people had. Now it's all run by a preservation society and runs about $14/person to get into each building, but when you realize that actual families once owned's sick.

There are about 11 homes that are kept in pristine condition and open to the public today. Many of the structures were built and owned by the Vanderbilts. According to placards and the free digital tour that's provided, photography is prohibited inside.

Which is where the foreign accent comes in handy; my grasp of the English language was questionable at best.

The tours were fantastic and had some fun little facts. For example, one of the guests who dined at this table said that her parents instructed her to keep her fingers on the edges of her plate as this particular home was known to whisk away dishes almost as soon as they had been laid down.

My favorite room in all three mansions we visited was this music room. My photo is crap, but the room was majestic. The families, for the most part, were trying to re-introduce the Classical Age as well as the styles present during the reign of King Louis XIV-XVI. Everything had such minute detail, I really can't imagine how much work it was to create even one ceiling of one room, never mind an entire "summer cottage", which is what these places are considered.

That's right. This is someone's cottage. And it looks like mother freakin' Versailles Palace.

Newport Mansions

$14/person per mansion

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Air Supply

I am an Air Supply groupie.

While I don't actually care one way or the other about their music, I LOVE going to their shows. Why? Because it's a frickin' scene, every time.

In case you have no idea who I'm talking about, I'll bet a bajillion dollars you've heard this song:

Ok, anyway, so these guys are like, 60-70ish at this point and they generally play at casinos and things like that. My aunt is obsessed with them and has been forever, so all her kids know and love the band too. Then, because of their fandom, my family gets sucked in...and it just keeps getting bigger.

Alright, so last time we all went to their concert, I made it my (drunken) mission to touch every member of the band, be it by holding hands,
grabbing at their pant leg, whatever. I thought it would be a fun game.

Out of 6 band members, I managed 3. I mean, 50% on your first try? Allow me to throw bouquets at myself, because that's awesome and clearly a sign that I needed the rest of them.

Last night me, my parents, my aunt and uncle, my cousin Kate and her fiance, my cousin Carrie and her husband, my cousin Dan and his girlfriend, and family friend Allison all went to the show. They're all pretty big boozebags and showed up completely wasted.

In fact, Al, the blonde girl here, was rolling all over the seats in the fetal position and only lifted her head when she rolled onto my purse and wanted to take pictures with my hairbrush.

Yes, it looks like they might be telling secrets. Really, if you look closely, does it look like anyone's talking? Nope. They're just hammered and wanted to 'head hug', which they did for a while.

(I also REALLY enjoy those two women in the background- they seem fun.)

In the meantime, my mum and I think it's hilarious to rush the stage. I guess I get the adventurous, let's-see-where-this-takes-me attitude from her.

Anyway, she's a tall lady at 5'10", so she could see a lot more of the crowd. If she spotted an opening she would basically throw me into it and we'd carve out some room with our elbows. She knows about my touching-the-band game and 100% supports it.

My tactic is to do my "Christmas morning" face whenever they look my way; like, this is the greatest thing I've ever been a part of and I'm just so excited to be here type face.

And guess what?


Only two more band members to go and I win!