After a week of New York, I was craving for panoramic views that did not include skyscrapers and Starbucks coffee places. So I contacted Maura and Erik. They live in Saunderstown, a tiny little village on Rhode Island.
Rhode Island not exactly one island, but it's a bunch of island all connected to one another with bridges and/or ferrys. It actually is also the tiniest state of the United States.The most touristic place on Rhode Island is Newport because of its history with mansions and parties, held for the rich and famous. We're talking about a timespan between 1870 and 1880, the so-called gilded age when rich bankers would have their summer houses prepared in Newport and spend like 700.000 usd (in those days!) for the summer. The rapid economic growth was creating mansions like The Breakers and Rosecliff, all of them along the coast in Newport.
I'm not staying in one of those mansions, but in this beautifully shaped barn as you can see in the picture below.
|First night we go out for a dinner picknick in the sailing club a mile down the road.|
I have to share this space with three horses in the stable next to my bedroom, with some chickens and a couple of rabbits. All of a sudden, Manhattan seems like a zillion years away.
From here to Newport takes about an hour with the local bus. I spend a relaxing day in Newport, visiting some of the mansions and walking a 3 miles cliff walk, which is not easy if you have to walk all of it on Crocs and in the mids of thick layers of fog... Because Newports position to the ocean it often tends to get foggy in the afternoons, especially on hot days in the early summer, when the ocean is still cool and the surrounding winds are way much hotter.
Maura and Erik have three kids, three boys between 15 and 21 years old. That makes their house a very busy place where meetings have to be scheduled and agendas have to get lined up. All of them are into sailing, but the oldest one, Andrew, set of on a huge sailing boat a week ago across the atlantic ocean. He joined in with a sailing race from Newton to England and that's really a very big deal to him (and also to his mother). Every day he updates his blog and you can follow his tracks on http://www.sayreinnewzealand.blogspot.com/
The last night I made quiche for the family - as usual - with leeks and salmon. And I let the dog out for a late evening walk. Kelly is 14 years old but still in very, very good shape. There is something about this family: everyone - even the animals - are very fit. One of the horses is 40 (FORTY) years old. Respect.
Thanks Maura and Eric, I hope to be able to host you one day in Belgium!