Vacation Snapshots

My visit to Newport, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod, Massachusettes last week was a delight for all of my senses. I took long walks to explore historical sites, the harbor, various parks, museums, architecture, and rocky coastlines.

The Breakers
Chepstow House

I took hundreds of photos as I walked many miles through villages, neighborhoods, along Bellevue Avenue and the harbor. I toured mansions and museums, took a stroll along Cliff Walk and visited Purgatory Chasm.

I enjoyed more than one lobster roll and salad lunch while people-watching along the harbor.

I chatted with a delightful lady taking her afternoon stroll along the harbor. She lives alone in a lovely saltbox style home and goes for a long walk every day to enjoy some fresh air and to get out and about. She has eight children and grew up in Germany before marrying an American soldier. Elsa is 96 years old!

Rosecliff
Marble House
The Chinese Tea House, on a corner of Alva Vanderbilt’s Marble House grounds.
The Elms

I read three books while I was away, but did not visit social media or watch TV even once. Solitary travel allows for complete freedom.

The images are in no particular order. I was unaware that I had taken my own photo while touring Chepstow, one of the Newport Mansions which is now a museum.

106 Comments
  1. The photos are beautiful. I admire that you are willing to travel in solitude and can see and do what you choose. I recently traveled to France and although I took my phone for photographs, I did not once have a desire to check emails or social media. It’s very freeing Even the French now spend their time at a cafe looking at their phones, not their dining companions. My husband, although in fairness he still works, was very anxious not utilizing his phone. I recommend it once each week as well.
    I was struck by how chic the 96 year old woman appeared on her walk. I seldom look that chic when out for a walk 🙂

  2. This topic of traveling alone fascinates me because I’ve had to do it for most of my adult life and I’m still not comfortable or happy about it. I’m married, and my husband is an executive, so he likes me to come along on many of his travels. But for him, it’s work, so he’s gone all day and I’m on my own.
    I’m curious to know whether you consider yourself an introvert (replenishes energy while being alone), or an extrovert (replenishes energy by being around others).
    I’m an introvert, and it feels exhausting for me to be out in the world in cities with which I am not familiar.
    I admit I might need an attitude adjustment! But I’m interested in your perspective and any tips you have for enjoying myself more.
    Thanks, Susan!

    1. I am the poster child for introverts! Being with other people for long periods of time completely exhausts me. I am most happy to explore unknown cities and countrysides alone.

  3. Well, then, you’re a hero of mine, fir more than just your wardrobe! Thank you for such an encouraging blog. And I enjoyed reading about Elsa!

  4. Looks like you had your perfect birthday vacation! I loved the breath taking photos! Must have been perfect weather too. My nephew used to to live in Cape Cod, but I have never visited there. We did go to Avalon, New jersey for a short stay family reunion and I loved the architecture of the homes.

  5. What beautiful pictures! I’m amazed at what I didn’t know about the area. It looks like you had a peaceful time. The lobster roll looks so delicious. Do you want to share which books you read

    1. I read many genres, but I love a good mystery. I enjoy Patricia Cornwell, Jan Karon, and I loved Delia Owens’s first novel, “Where the Crawdads Sing.”

  6. It looked to be such a lovely, peaceful trip. Enjoying your own company is a gift you learn and I’m trying to learn.

  7. Toni, I get you. Some quiz somewhere classified me as an “extraverted introvert,” meaning I can be social for a while, then I have to retreat. That being said, I don’t know if I could do what Susan does. When I travel with my husband, I struggle with touring alone, eating alone, etc. I chose spa treatments and read a lot.

  8. What a lovely vacation. We went to Newport and Maine last year and they were beautiful. I hadn’t realized how charming Newport is and I would love to go back and spend time there in the summer. I have traveled a little by myself and have really enjoyed it. I felt as if I were a character in a novel traveling on her own. I made sure I stayed in nice hotels and ate out in nice restaurants. I’ve always been treated well traveling alone.

  9. I would love to those old mansions. So much history. Now I know why you were reading Fortune’s Children before your hiatus. So much about the Vanderbilts. Glad you’re back.

  10. What books did you read? After hearing about it on your blog, I am now reading the Fall of the House of Vanderbilt. Fascinating! I read mostly non fiction. Have you read Boys in the Boat? Excellent! I missed your blog and am so happy you are back.

    Where did you get your hat? Is it packable?

    1. I read all the time and many subjects. I enjoy Patricia Cornwell, Jan Karon, and I loved Delia Owens’s first novel, “Where the Crawdads Sing.” I’ll have to check out Boys in the Boat. Thank you for the suggestion. The hat is by Betmar, and it is packable. You can find it here.

  11. Lovely photos Susan . I haven’t been to the USA and had no idea there were such stunning buildings there. Thanks for sharing.

  12. I agree completely with you Susan. Being an introvert and traveling with groups can be exhausting. Family, friends or co-workers it doesn’t matter. You can be in the most interesting place and they want to share something from their social media sites. After a few days I’m making excuses to be alone. Everyone thinks I’m weird for wanting to travel by myself but I’ve never had any issues and I’m always well aware of my surroundings. Your trip looks perfect! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Beautiful pictures. Spent a few days there 10 years ago while attending a wedding. The houses are beautiful. Glad you captured so many views for us.

  14. Every picture you posted is amazing and they make me want to be a tourist there also. But, the best picture of them all, hands down, was your new friend. She is stunning!!!

    1. I read many genres, but I love a good mystery. I enjoy Patricia Cornwell, Jan Karon, and I loved Delia Owens’s first novel, “Where the Crawdads Sing.” On this trip, I read “The Real Lolita: A Lost Girl, an Unthinkable Crime, and a Scandalous Masterpiece” by Sarah Weinman, “Chaos: A Scarpetta Novel” (Kay Scarpetta) by Patricia Cornwell, and “Body of Evidence” by Patricia Cornwell. “A Gentleman in Moscow,” by Amor Towles was another recent favorite.

  15. Susan,
    Thank you so much for sharing your travels. I pin each and every post on the places you go, restaurants, and museums. I hope to return to Cape Cod next year, such a lovely area. Elsa is a beauty and inspiration. I’m curious as to what books you read while away. I’m pleased you enjoyed your adventure and had safe travels.

  16. I was in Newport for a week in 1980. The roses growing along the Cliffwalk were my favorite part of the visit. Looks like you had beautiful weather.

  17. We love Newport and have stayed at The Chanler on Cliff Walk. Beautiful, walkable town. So happy that you enjoyed it. Will you be sharing your Cape Cod photos too?

  18. ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE! I loved everything! Definitely things I would enjoy! Thanks for SHARING!! What a special experience!

  19. The photos are wonderful! I’ve always been attracted to books about life in New England. I couldn’t live there because of the cold weather but I admire their toughness and way of life. I love a good mystery too. I was hooked from my first Agatha Christie book.
    A 97 year old woman still walking and enjoying life. She is an inspiration for me too.

  20. What a wonderful vacation you had! Thank you for giving us a glimpse of places that many of us may never have the opportunity to visit. You are very brave!

  21. I was in Newport all of September. To me it’s the loveliest place on earth. I wish I’d run into you.. you got great pictures.

  22. Love your photos- they took me back to last fall when my husband and I drove from Pennsylvania to upstate New York, Plymouth, Massachusetts (I have ancestors who came over on the Mayflower), Providence and Newport, Rhode Island, and Mystic Seaport. Connecticut. I especially loved Newport -the mansions are so beautiful and interesting and the Cliff Walk and Block Island are awesome! So glad you had a restful time just for yourself!

  23. One of my favorite vacation memories was a private tour of Doris Duke’s magnificent home in Newport. Thanks for sharing these and reminding me of a perfect day.

    1. I look for salads, sides of steamed broccoli and grilled fish or chicken on menus. For breakfast, I have black coffee, a veggie omelet, or dry toast with a piece of fruit.

  24. Isn’t Newport wonderful? Once I traded my husband’s & my timeshare and invited one of my girlfriends to tour Newport. We went in EVERY one of the mansions. I loved the beauty, workmanship of all those homes. On an earlier visit with my husband, we went into Hammersmith Farm out on the water, which was Jacqueline Kennedy’s childhood home. It has since been re-sold and not open to the public. It had a DR with a huge window (ceiling to floor), that disappeared into the floor at a push of a button! I guess if you have money, you can come up with all kinds of inventive ideas! Glad you’re traveling more – it’s the best education!

  25. My hubby and I toured Newport, RI about five years ago. I was so taken by the “cottages” of the very wealthy and the beautiful cliff walk. Thank you for sharing your photos. They brought back lovely memories of our visit.

  26. That is such a wonderful area. Did you get to check out Jamestown? It’s a lovely spot as well and offers some different views of Narragansett Bay.

  27. I had the wonderful pleasure to work in Providence, RI for two years. The people of RI are lovely and the scenery is amazing. Glad you had a nice vacation.

  28. How fun!! My sister just moved to Maine and can’t wait to explore that part of the US. I’m landlocked here in the Midwest. I loved all your pictures and your new friend what an inspiration! Thank you for sharing.

  29. Oh my dear! You fit right in!! I grew up near Boston & spent my summers at the family home on the Cape. I can taste that “lobsta!!” So glad you met a lovely local. Yankees are a hardy bunch! Glad you enjoyed it!!

  30. Susan – you were up in my neck of the woods, in the Northeast! I LOVE Newport and Cape Cod. So glad you enjoyed it, it’s one of the most beautiful areas of the country in my opinion. I love the picture of you with your hat on, you fit right into the Newport scene. xo

  31. Absolutely lovely! I love Cape Cod and that region off season! It brings back memories of visiting the Cape with my 3 lovely daughters. I now live in Kansas but try to get back every so often to refresh my memories. Thank you Susan!

  32. Like the other readers I feel inspired by your solo trip! I went to Cape Cod this Spring and was captivated by the same windmill in your photo. Also loved Where The Crawdads Sing. So glad you had a great vacation!

  33. What a lovely way to spend some vacation time! I enjoyed your photos and exploring some beautiful homes in an area of Massachusetts I haven’t been to for a long time. Thanks!

  34. Lovely. Cape Cod is my happy place. I have been 5 times and am making it an annual summer trip. I love the relaxed ease of the Cape and the gorgeous beaches and great small towns. Can’t wait to see those photos.

  35. Lovely photos. What a beautiful area to visit! I am an extroverted introvert and find that these days I prefer to travel with my husband but I still do have to do work trips alone and get through them okay. I work from home remotely for a polytechnic and enjoy being by myself working.

  36. I’ve been to Rhode Island for a 50th wedding anniversary about 8 yrs ago, with a side trip to Newport. Your pics of The Breakers bring back so many memories. Also took a side trip to Martha’s Vineyard. Such a different vibe than my
    So Tx area! You took some beautiful photos. So glad you were able to get away and have such a wonderful vacation.

  37. Hi Susan, you just had my dream vacation! Thank you for the wonderful photos and commentary. Can you tell me the color of your hat? Thank you.

  38. Dearest Susan ,
    I have followed you for a few years now and have enjoyed all your videos, but this one was so beautiful, and very relaxing, just loved it, I’m also a Virgo 1/ 9, so I understand where you are coming from when you say how you look after your things and also what you eat and very organised
    Keep up the good work.
    By the way does Mr. Micky have a brother. kind regards from Lynda in Australia.

  39. The pictures are beautiful. I am glad you had a very relaxation and touring around the town. The 96 old lady is amazing. Walking is good for our body. I love opening up your emails. I am 62 and I am into fashion. I like the styles you sent and actually sometimes my styles are the same as yours.

  40. Your hat is lovely, I’m glad you accidentally took your photo. I haven’t been to Newport in thirty five years, your pictures brought back memories of the beauty there.
    Thank you for sharing.

  41. Would you consider writing a blog post on the particulars of your trip such as transportation, where you stayed, restaurants, shopping?
    Your pictures are beautiful!

  42. Good morning, Susam,
    These photos are great. I also loved “A Gentleman in Moscow”. Last year, I was lucky enough to take
    a trip to Russia and got to see the Metropole Hotel, in Moscow, where the novel is set.
    Looking forward to your posts this Fall.

  43. Thank you for sharing the beautiful pictures. I married a Navy Officer in Newport 53 years ago!We have thoroughly enjoyed these photos. Made me homesick I remember having our wedding pictures taken over rocks and ocean SO BEAUTIFUL Were recently trans. to Alabama after living in S.C. for 42 years LOVE ALSO CASHIERS AND ASHEVILLE. I SINCERELY THANK YOU FOR SHARING. Our next trip will be to my other home in Ireland. We try for a trip to Ireland every year.( Now I want a lobster roll) LOL You looked beautiful in your pretty hat. YOU are so very kind taking the time to share.A respectful THANK YOU TO Mr. MICKEY AND YOU.

  44. Beautiful photos. And I love your hat which I am sure to see tomorrow, right? Would you share the books you read? Glad to have you back. And, btw I wore a scarf to lunch yesterday and had a ton of compliments.

    1. I read many genres, but I love a good mystery. I enjoy Patricia Cornwell, Jan Karon, and I loved Delia Owens’s first novel, “Where the Crawdads Sing.” On this trip, I read “The Real Lolita: A Lost Girl, an Unthinkable Crime, and a Scandalous Masterpiece” by Sarah Weinman, “Chaos: A Scarpetta Novel” by Patricia Cornwell, and “Body of Evidence” by Patricia Cornwell. “A Gentleman in Moscow,” by Amor Towles was another recent favorite.

  45. I hope you visited the castle hill inn and dined there., along with taking a tour on the aurora sail boat. So much Beauty in Newport. Great places to eat as well. Our daughter moved there after college and purchased her first home, soon to be married there. It has so much to see. Glad you enjoyed your vacation.

    1. Castle Hill was booked up. I will have to plan another trip to fit in everything I wanted to do. There were Cruiseships and lots of yachts in the harbor as well as many tour buses in town. It was a busy week for everyone!

  46. Dearest SUSAN, thank you for sharing your wonderful photos!!! Now I want to visit those beautiful parts of our USA.
    Sincerely

  47. These photos are wonderful. Did you map out this vacation or did a travel agent do it for you. I would love to visit these places – if you have a travel agent, would you pass along? My husband and I went to Maine many years ago but would love to return! Thanks and aren’t you grateful to be healthy and prosperous enough to travel?! What a blessing!

    1. Thank you, Nancy. I am very grateful for everything I have. I planned all aspects of the trip myself. I did research online, but from previous visits knew a lot about Newport and the Cape Cod area.

  48. Hi Susan, the last picture is the most beautiful! Thank you also for all the other photos, which are very instructive for me. Good to know that it is so beautiful in your country. Too bad that I can not come to the US in my life anymore. But there is your blog …….
    Best regards! Helga

  49. We were in the same area of the Cape the last two weeks in September as well. The windmill is on the same street as a chapel that Edward Hopper had painted. Then we bought sandwiches in Wellfleet before continuing on up to see other sights that he had painted and your photos show glimpses of that beautiful Cape Cod blue sky.

  50. Hi Susan, you had mentioned reading “Fortune’s Children”, and me being a Downton Abbey fan, and because I enjoy autobiographies and biographies so much, I too read the book about the Vanderbilts.
    Imagine my surprise when I saw all your photos of the Mansions mentioned in the book!! Being on the west coast, I would have to travel far to see them all, so I really appreciate your taking photos of the interiors and the area. I really enjoy further exploring books that I read. Thanks you for sharing all that you do and your fashion finds. I really enjoy your website. I am a Virgo and sometimes enjoy traveling alone too.
    I might look for the Lolita book to read next..

  51. Susan,

    Love your blog, but I have lost tract of the link to the your great white jeans with the pull-on front. They come in other colors, too, but I am interested in the white. They were listed as about $89.00. Could you send me that link again?
    Thanks.
    Pixie

  52. Thank you for sharing all the beautiful photos! The 96 year old lady looks amazing! I live in southern New England so I’m very close to Newport and Cape Cod. I love living here!

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I blogged for five years as Fifty, not Frumpy. Now that I am in my sixties, I am sharing ideas and inspiration for using and loving what you already have.

Thank you!
Susan

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