Sunday, September 14, 2003

Quote of the day: "The locals call us flatlanders. I am far worse; I am a Californian" - Bill "Spaceman" Lee in an article describing his life living in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom in today's Boston Globe Magazine.

That sigh of relief you may have heard today across New England was Patriots fans feeling better after today's 31-10 road win over the Philadelphia Eagles. I didn't see much of the game as we were returning from our annual trip to Newport, but I gather the offense and defense both played well. Hopefully, the Buffalo game last week was an aberration and thing will continue to look up. The win should at least get most of Patriots Nation off the railing of the Tobin Bridge for the next week or so.

The Sox had a rough weekend, though. Losing 2 of 3 to Chicago at home was not good. Hopefully the Olde Towne Team can pick things up against the D-Rays for the next few days.

A. and I had a great weekend in Newport. This is our third year staying at the same bed & breakfast there while the grandparents watch the kids . This year we had a jacuzzi in our room, which was a very nice addition. We did a ton of walking around Newport and took a little side trip up to Wickford, a little shopping village in North Kingstown. It's kind of an "unspoiled" shopping village, as none of the chain stores have made it there yet. Just local businesses run by local people without a Gap, Barnes & Noble or Starbucks in sight. We also ate pretty well, including my obligatory trip to Flo's to get clam cakes and red clam chowder (the only kind to eat in a Rhode Island clam shack).

This morning before we left we toured Belcourt Castle, which is the only mansion in Newport open to the public that is actually occupied by the owner. The others are owned by the Newport Preservation Society. It was built by Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont (of Belmont Racetrack fame) and would have cost approximately $500 million in today's dollars to build (or about $11 million in the 1890's). Aside from the beauty and workmanship of the house itself, the current owners have an amazing collection of antiques. The oldest piece is a priests chest of drawers that dates from the 10th century. That's right - it's about 1,000 years old. The rest of the collection is equally impressive, given my limited knowledge of such things.


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