The Busy Giffs: Our 6th Anniversary in Newport #LoveYourNewport #DiscoverNewport

August 9, 2016

Our 6th Anniversary in Newport #LoveYourNewport #DiscoverNewport

Disclaimer: We were invited to Newport as VIP guests, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I really can't believe that David and I have been married for 6 years already. We've been through some tough times already, but we have the strongest relationship of any couple I know. We just fit with each other if that makes sense.

Last year was the first year that we took an overnight trip without children (yes, ever!) and as much as we love our children, the one kid free night was perfection.  We went to a concert and stayed in Boston, so we knew we wanted to do something similar this year. I was super excited when we were invited to visit Newport to celebrate this year!

We actually spent our honeymoon in Newport so it was that much better to go back to celebrate our anniversary. David's aunt came over bright and early to stay with the kids while we were gone.

We're lucky that Newport is only a 40 minute drive, so we can go whenever we want, but this time it felt special.

We started the day with a ride down Ocean Drive, a 10 mile stretch of road that runs along beaches, mansions, and Breton State Park.  It was so gorgeous I literally had to get out of the car just to snap some pictures and walk in the water. Had it been later in the day, we would have packed a picnic lunch and watched the kites at Brenton State Park.

vacation Newport ocean mansions beach Brenton Park

It was still too early for lunch so we stopped by Fort Adams, a gorgeous architectural masterpiece. While we didn't do a guided tour, we did stroll Bay Walk, a 2 mile walk around the perimeter. There were some more gorgeous views...

I really just love being in places that have gorgeous water views...

Newport is well known for it's gorgeous mansions so Dave and I made our way to Bellevue Avenue. We've been to the Breakers before, a summer "cottage" of 70 rooms... ha. It is one of the most opulent mansions and was owned by the Vanderbilts, yep those ones. It is gorgeous and I love it, but we decided to visit ones we haven't been to yet.  Our first stop was the Marble House. I love that there is free parking right across the street and we were able to get in quickly.

Seriously how gorgeous...

Newport Mansions Marble House Rhode Island

It's a self guided tour so we were able to go through it at our own pace. Did you know that Victoria Secret filmed their holiday commercial here? I could literally spend all day just staring at the art in this place.

I knew I wanted to go a couple mansions over to Rose Cliff mansion. It's a little special to me because it is the mansion used to film The Great Gatsby in 1974. I love Gatsby, like everything about Gatsby; it is my favorite book to teach. So I knew I had to stand in "Gatsby's Ballroom". It was everything I hoped for.

Newport Mansions, RI, Ballroom, Gatsby

We were really getting hungry after all that walking, so we made our way to the downtown area of Newport, along Thames. I love it there.  So many small shops and little restaurants with a water view every few steps. We wanted to be right on the water, so we stopped at Forty 1 North, a gorgeous grill literally on a dock in the water. 

When in Newport, you have to order a lobster roll, right? It was so delicious. Such large pieces of delicious lobster meat - yum! The view of the boats that were docked and a really yummy white sangria were all I needed to relax with David. 

We were still in our relaxing mode so we walked over to Bowen and Bannister Wharves and grabbed tickets for the Rum Runner II. It was originally built for people to literally run rum during Prohibition, it's now a great guided tour through Newport harbor.  Our captain and tour guide were amazing, pointing out mansions and great places to grab a drink at some of the mansions. 

I loved being on the water and wanted to get some more ocean views so we drove back to the mansions area to take a walk on the Cliff Walk. The Cliff Walk is a 3.5 mile path that runs between the oceans and the mansions.

We could spend all night there but I got a phone call about a former student that had passed away in a traffic accident and honestly, I just was out of sorts for a bit.  I felt so bad for David, since he kept trying to check on me and I kept throwing myself into my phone to try and make sense of it.  It's harder than I expected. But how do you make sense of one of your favorite students of all 4 years losing his life in a car accident? Our walk was short lived but I really wanted to see the sun set so we hopped in the car and went to the other side of Newport to grab a drink at The Lawn at Castle Hill. Gorgeous. Just gorgeous.  The Lawn is just that, a lawn. Full of adirondack chairs. We grabbed a couple drinks and settled in.  It was so perfect.  The sun setting, a good sangria, my husband holding my hand, and having those moments with just the water and the sky to process. I shed a few more tears but it was what I needed. Also, I asked Dave if we could live here but I got a big no...

drinks best drink in Newport sunset

After an amazing day, I was so happy we weren't driving the 40 minutes home and instead, had a hotel room for the night.

Even though we had no kids, we still ended up waking up at 7 am so we figured we would get a jump on the day.  Because it was so early, we were able to easily get metered parking on Thames. We grabbed some Starbucks, walked by the water and made our way to the Visitor's Center. We decided since our feet were still tired from over 20k steps the day before, we grabbed tickets aboard the Viking Trolley Tours.

It's an hour and a half ride and the driver brought us around the whole area, pointing out all sorts of things, like where Jackie married a Kennedy, the mansions, and some great lunch locations! It was really informative and so fun!

After the tour, we made our way back to the wharf and looked for lunch. There were so many options, it actually took us a while to decide on 22 Bowen's. We picked it because of the seating on the dock, overlooking the water, and the Rum Runner II!

During our lunch the tour guide from the Rum Runner actually saw us, waved, and made conversation across the water. Really shows how wonderful they are!

After our lunch, we decided it was time to start heading home. We wanted to make one more stop to check out Newport Storm Brewery.

I'm not much of a beer drinker so Dave will do a full post on it later, but man oh man, I was sold on this place. So much so, that we brought a bunch of beer home with us!

Getting home was so wonderful. I loved our time away, I mean, it was only our second time ever buuuut I did love it, although it was so good to come home to snuggles.

I can't wait to head back and I'm so happy that we were invited to spend such an amazing weekend in Newport. I've already had a handful of friends ask me for planning advice but for more information on lodging, dining, attractions, transportation and more, you can visit, check out the hashtags #DiscoverNewport and #LoveYourNewport on social media, or check out my Instagram for even more images of our weekend!

xo, Heather

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