Starting the Year with a Trip!

It's been a great year so far...only 2 weeks into it but still, its great!

We spent our first weekend of the year in Newport, RI!  I've never been there....actually, I've only gone from NJ to Florida, once to South Carolina, twice to Virginia (for baseball tournaments), and once to Maryland (again for baseball).  So, I am determined to travel more and visit new places.  There are so many places near me that I've never been to, so I plan on visiting many of these places this coming year.

Our trip to Newport was awesome and the weather was amazing!! This was shocking since January in the northeast can be brutal but this year we've had Fall weather--amazing!!
This trip was supposed to be for my hubby, Laz, and I but things got a bit complicated so we brought the kids with us.  I was a bit skeptical in bringing them because there wasn't anything fun for kids planned.....I thought they would be bored to death! Luckily I was wrong!! LOL!
We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Newport which was very nice!! We stayed in an oceanview room with a balcony, we had a great view!

We arrived at Newport around 2pm on Saturday, so before heading to our hotel, we went to see The Breakers Mansion. My first impression- WOW!!  What a mansion, or as they used to call it, summer cottage!  Amazing and breathtaking, everything from the architecture to the decor in the mansion.....absolutely beautiful!!!

Sadly, no photography is allowed inside the mansions so I was only able to take pictures outside.  We must have spent almost 2 hours was a guided tour and the guides tell you all about the family that built the home and lived in it....Cornelius Vanderbilt II and his family, my kids were so interested that I was shocked!! They also thought the mansions were beautiful!
After the guided tour, we were allowed to walk on the grounds, but we went around to the Cliff walk instead.  We walked here for a bit, and the view was breathtaking.  I love the ocean, so being here and taking it all in was wonderful!

After our walk, we headed over to the Hyatt.  Here we relaxed a bit while waiting for friends to arrive so we could all have dinner together!  We went to the Red Parrot for dinner, and being our first visit to Newport, this was another first for us.  Our friends have been to Newport many times, and they highly recommended this restaurant.  Everything I've read or seen about Newport says that you must try the seafood so, I did!!
Laz and I ordered fried calamari as an appetizer, then he ordered a steak with shrimp and mashed potatoes on the side, I ordered shrimp and scallop scampi, my son had the rack of ribs and my daughter a cheese quesadilla.  We all loved the food.  Totally delicious!!!  This was my first time eating scallops, but since it was mixed with shrimp in scampi, I figured I would like it and I did!!! I was stuffed!!!

The next morning we headed out to see another mansion.  This time it was the Marble House.  This one wasn't as big as the Breakers, but it was also beautiful!!  Unfortunately, many of the mansions and places around Newport are only open seasonally, and we came in the off season! So, we may have to save some money and visit during the Spring or Summer when everything is open!

After our tour was over, we headed to meet friends at the Newport Vineyards.  This was another first for me...I've never been wine tasting so I was really looking forward to it.  Laz was just there to make me happy, he hates wine :/  Anyway, we had 5 choices to taste and I bought 2 out of the 5 I tasted.  I came home with the Rose White Merlot and a bottle of Port.  Next time I'll be prepared to buy a case, it is 1 week after our trip and I have less than 1/2 bottle of Port left, the Merlot is already gone!
We left the vineyard and took a nice ride around Newport and stopped for some photos!

 We had a great time and I hope to return again, maybe even make it here once a year!!  I think anyone can enjoy a trip here, there is a lot more to do especially in the spring and summer, but we were only there for the weekend so we were there to see the mansions and stop by the vineyard.