And it was MONDAY! A big day! Time to leave Connecticut, and visit Rhode Island, and arrive in Boston and see the fireworks!
We drove to Newport and only turned around once on the way... I think just once. Newport was of course quite busy as it was a beautiful sunny day, much like it was when I was there one year ago. We drove to Bellevue Avenue to visit one of the mansions - the Breakers. Oh my goodness. It's so magnificent in there. It's kind of hard to imagine living there (well for simple little me anyway) but especially hard to think of the difference in standard of living between the rich and the poor, which I realize still exists, I guess it just doesn't permeate society as visibly. Oh but excuse me, all those huge mansions weren't mansions really, they were just summer cottages for the folks who owned them. Anyway, the tour was very nifty because they gave us a little ipod-thingy and earphones, which we carried around with us and pressed Play every room or so to keep following the tour and hear the descriptions. Keeps down the ruckus of a building being toured, that is for sure. I think the most amazing thing to me was that the Vanderbilts built their tubs out of 1 piece of solid marble, which made the tubs so cold that they had to be filled and emptied with hot water several times before they were actually warm enough to get in. Excuse me but I think that's kind of a dumb luxury, but anyway.
We walked along part of the Cliff Walk which runs along the coastline right behind the mansions. Beautiful of course! The best part is where the sidewalk turns into a Rock Walk, huge rocks that are flat on top that you can step or hop along as you wish. There was a horrid smell in the air that we think was the stinky seaweed washed up on the beach. I mean that it wasn't stinky to begin with but it probably got left way up on the beach and started to get over-sunned or something... We did however brave the stench (ok, it was a stench to us but probably not that bad) to walk right down to the water and stand on rocks where the waves splashed over our feet - oh! such fun! :)
And then we were very hungry so we drove off to find Panera Bread, which was easy, and then we drove around for 30 minutes looking for free parking then for cheap parking then just for how to get into the public parking period... ! Revived with food, we set off in the car to drive around the southern bay coastline on the Ocean Drive. It's beautiful, you must do it if you go to Newport. We would've gone out on the rocks again except for the smell and also our allotted time was almost up, it was time to head out to Boston.
So a couple hours later we arrived in Boston and found our hotel and found that the door closest to our hotel room can only be gone out, not back in, which was slightly inconvenient but we survived. After getting unpacked and resting up just enough for my pain pill to start killing the headache, we took the hotel shuttle bus to the subway station--
--here let me just pause and say that Stacey was the brains behind our trip and planned everything from the hotels to how we would get around each city and what we'd see, we would have been sitting in our hotel room trying to figure things out on Monday night if it weren't for her, three cheers for Stacey!--
--and hopped on the subway to downtown Boston, then we just followed the crowds to find the Esplanade where the Boston Pops was playing and the fireworks would be shot off! We couldn't see the Pops playing but we could hear them, the sound was broadcast all over the Esplanade area (which is basically the area all along the riverbanks, I believe...), it was incredible music, and then we had to figure out where to stand so we could see the fireworks. THAT was a job! Like before, we played Sheep and just followed the crowds to where they were clustered, it was a spot where we could see pretty well between the leaves of the trees along the riverbank. We had to stand waiting a while and I was about ready to give up and die and sit down, when suddenly, ka-BOOM, there they were! They were fantastic fireworks! There was music playing at the same time and most of the fireworks matched well with the music, quite mesmerizing... and then the finale was all the fireworks you can imagine in the sky at one time, ka-POP, ka-POP, KA-BOOM! all over the place!
Afterward we followed the crowd to the subway and Stacey and I just managed to squish onto the first (I think) train back... one more person got on after us and oh my goodness, that was a little closer quarters than I've ever stood to anyone and I won't go into more detail but it was definitely some kind of experience!
And we got home, I mean back to the hotel, after riding in the back of the hotel shuttle on the floor (!) and tumbled into bed and slept so hard, it was just wonderful... and that's what I'm going to do now, good-night.