I've created this blog as a personal journal for all of my upcoming travels. I'll be trying to daily, or at least biweekly post what I'm doing and where I am, and always include pictures.
Today, I just returned to my parents' house after a vacation to Maine and Rhode Island. Our three stops were Winthrop, Freeport, and Newport.
Winthrop, Maine, is a very tiny town just along Lake Maranacook, about twenty minutes outside of the capital city of Augusta. For me, it is where my grandparents live. My family will visit once or twice a year, and this time, I was not currently at a job, and was able to come along. Many other family members came to visit as well, which made the experience a million times better. Family gatherings are fun for me.
I always enjoy going to Maine to see my father's parents in their house down a dirt road in the woods, along the lake. It's very scenic and relaxing. There's absolutely no road noise, just the occasional loon or passing train. In the wintertime everything is covered in snow. These pictures were from a trip to Winthrop in 2007, and were taken by my sister, Julianna.
In the background are my mom and dad. The foreground is me.
That is Julianna.
Now you know what we look like so you can identify us in later posts! Contrary to the questions of many random people on the street, we are not twins. We are actually four years apart, and I'm the one who is older. She has always looked older than her age, so we've reached the point where people believe that we might be identical twins. Our hair color is pretty much the same, and it's obvious that we're sisters, but I've never thought that we look that much alike.
Anyways. After Winthrop we spent part of a day in Freeport, arguably my mom's favourite place in Maine. I like it a lot too. It's a huge outlet town, and the headquarters of L.L. Bean. Basically, it's a great place to spend some Christmas money. I hit up the Nike, Banana Republic and Calvin Klein outlet stores. Here's a picture of the massive statue in front of the L.L. Bean store:
Picture borrowed from wikimedia. I forgot my camera.
The fact that I forgot my camera was slightly less of a problem the next day when we hit Newport, Rhode Island. I was kind of skeptical when my dad decided that this would be a great place to stop on the way home and spend a day. My skepticism proved to be absolutely absurd. Newport is stunning. Unbelievably gorgeous. The splendor in those houses was something that I had only seen in French Palaces such as Versailles. And it was in the United States. Photographs were not permitted inside of the houses, but Julianna and I got some decent ones of the grounds. Forgive us though. The photographs were not taken on our cameras. We used our phones to be more discreet.... but mostly because we both forgot our cameras.
The first house that we went to was The Breakers, owned by Cornelius Vanderbilt. It is the largest "cottage" in Newport, a coastal town where anyone who was anyone in high class American society built elaborate mansions, vacationed, and hosted lavish parties between 1890 and 1950. Most of these houses have now become museums.
I borrowed the above photos from google images.
Those three are mine :)
The next house that we saw was Marble House, the most ornate of the three. It was owned by Alva Vanderbilt, a really amazing woman. She was one of the first high society American women to get divorced, and was a sufferagette. However, she was also a strict taskmistress and made her daughter's life very miserable. Her house, though, was very ornate and quite stunning.
Once again, these are borrowed from Google Images. Here are some of mine:
The final house that we went to see was The Elms, the undeniable favourite of my whole family. This house was the property of the Berwick family, a coal dynasty from the Philadelphia area. The house was not understated in any sense of the imagination, however, it was more so than the others we had seen the day before. I was actually a disobedient tourist and took a few indoor pictures here.
Those photographs are all mine. The beautiful woman in the conservatory is my mom.
Now here are a few of the interior... lovingly stolen.
Well, that's the end of this adventure! Tomorrow I am off to Longwood Gardens, and then a party at my friend Jenny's house to usher in the new decade.
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