Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Another Trip Back in Time and A Celebration of History

Luckily, everyone was able to wake up early enough for Newport so that we were an hour earlier than the time we had come to see The Breakers. Although the final projects due for Women and Leadership are beginning to demand nearly all of our attention, the gang and I were able to enjoy tours of two other mansions and a fireworks spectacle at night. 

We first went to Rosecliff,  another Gilded Age summer "cottage" that was designed as a theatrical platform for  Hermann and Teresa Oelrichs' extravagant parties and other events. Interestingly, it was used in the 1974 adaptation of The Great Gatsby as Mr. Gatsby's home. The place was much smaller than The Breakers, and thus the tour was shorter, so we all agreed upon visiting another site before heading over to lunch. 

Our next stop was the famous Marble House. It was built for Mr. and Mrs. Vanderbilt in the late 1800s and also used as Mr. Gatsby's home in the 1974 movie. 

Marble House!
We took the trolley back to one of Newport's more urbanized areas for lunch. We settled upon a restaurant called Pasta Beach due to the enticing aromas wafting from the kitchen to the sidewalk. I ordered a luxurious seafood dish that contained shrimp, mussels, clams, and bread. I was almost able to eat the entire, gigantic bowl! For dessert everyone agreed upon ordering a Nutella pizza, which was probably one of the most delicious things I have ever had the pleasure of eating. 

After we were full and ready to sit for a few decades, we caught the bus back to Newport. The group and I decided to walk back to Brown because of the lack of buses during that time. We changed clothes, met up with our friends, and then walked to Indian Point Park for the Fourth of July festival.

We sat around talking, danced to the band playing music for everyone, and then waited for the fireworks show to begin. The place was packed: I can't count the number of times I had to squeeze between a mass of people to get from point A to point B. As the anticipated spectacle drew closer, I could feel an electric hum of excitement fill the air. Although I can't help but be disappointed by how environmentally and physically damaging fireworks can be, I couldn't deny the sense of childlike happiness I felt when I witnessed the first explosion of light.

I must say, the East Coast surely outdoes the West Coast in terms of display. The show was probably triple the amount of time the ones in the Bay Area are, and even more beautiful at that. 

The end of the show was chaos, however. Everyone was scrambling to leave the park and get wherever they needed to go. We ourselves needed to make it back to our dorms in time for curfew. Despite the pushing and shoving, everything went just fine and everyone made it back home safe and sound.

Today was nearly heavenly, something I'll greatly appreciate later when I'm completing my final project for the Leadership Institute. Wish me luck!

Happy Fourth of July!

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