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Trip Report Newport RI November 2008

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A brief trip report...

Last weekend, ten adults and five children descended upon Newport, RI for our annual family weekend.

DH and I arrived and went straight to the Brick Alley Pub; we chose it because I thought I remembered a good recommendation from a fodorite, and because there was a parking spot right out front (-: I had a very good caprese sandwich and DH had what he says was probably the best fish and chips he's ever had, and a very tasty bloody mary.

Fortified, we met the crowd at the Wellington Resort. It is a combination of suites and hotel rooms. We all had suites. Decor was a bit dated, but generally they were quite clean, very roomy and quite comfortable (and I am very picky). There was a nice indoor heated pool that the kids enjoyed. We had views of the harbor, which was very nice. Most of the suites have kitchens but no stoves (not sure why, but not a biggie for us.)

Friday night, most of the group walked 5 minutes down the road to O'Malley's pub and had pizza, nachos, etc. This is a very casual pub atmosphere and the food was excellent.

For breakfasts, we all went to the Ocean Breeze Cafe both mornings because the weather was bad and it is right across the street from the hotel. Some got a muffin and coffee to go for about $4; DH and I had a wonderful sitdown breakfast that set us back $40 plus tip but was worth it. Eggs benedict for him, a breakfast sandwich croissant for me, sides of homefries, a muffin to share, and two very big fresh squeezed OJs that were fab-u-lous.

Others reported enjoying good chowder and burgers at the Mudville Pub, a teeny bit off the beaten track (just off Thames but at the very beginning of Thames before all the shopping/ restaurants.) This looked to be the place where the locals go. I watched the cook hand-making burgers to order but we only sampled the beer, which was excellent (-:

For dinner Saturday, we called the Red Parrot Restaurant at about 5:30 pm and asked if they could take a reservation and/or accomodate our party of 15. They don't take reservations but told us to come on down. We walked over, which took 10 minutes, waited another 10 minutes, and were seated. The bartender told us this would be doubtful at 7pm, but at 6pm they worked it out for us and I was very impressed. (And when we left at 7:30ish, it was quite packed). Everyone enjoyed their food.

Saturday afternoon we went to the Marble House mansion. Three of the mansions are decorated for Christmas and this was one of them. We just showed up, bought tickets ($11 adults, $4 kids) and were given individual headsets to take the self-guided tour. Took about 35 minutes, and at each room you had the option to choose additional, more detailed tape recordings about what you just saw. I liked that we could all go at our own pace.

Sunday morning we did a very short part of the cliff walk. Someday I will go back without the younguns and the elders and do the whole thing. We could see the mansions from the back, and the view is beautiful. Saw a bunch of surfers out trying to catch a wave.

Shopping is plentiful - chain stores (gap, chicos, etc) and great little independent places.

So a good time was had by all: kids aged 4 to 12 and adults aged 42 to 79.

Nobody had a bad meal, and I feel like we could go back there for the next 5 years before we ran out of dining options.

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