Founded by Roger Williams after exile from the Massachusetts Bay Colony Puritans, this state has many remarkable “first” and “oldest” institutions. Fortunately, most of them are in Newport, Rhode Island, which is a very nice place to visit. The historical societies in town have worked hard to certify many buildings as historic monuments, and pride of ownership keeps most homes here spit and polished, and maintaining their original architecture externally. The current residents are proud of their independence and tolerance too. How many small towns in the U.S. have erected a park to memorialize Jewish patriots?


However, we were saddened to learn that Rhode Island is the only New England state that has not passed a same-sex marriage law. Maybe this year, their defiant history and good ethics will give them the strength to do what’s right.


Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle has joined the Newport “elite” like Vanderbilt, and Roosevelt, to enjoy the grand mansions on Bellevue Avenue, showcasing 35-75 room “Cottages”, traditionally used for one month each summer. Doris Duke’s “Cottage” (above) and the featured image are the gates along the Cliff Walk in front of the mansions.

The America Cup Sailing Race was run (and consistently won by the U.S. for many years) out of Newport. Townspeople are still hoping that San Francisco’s bid will blow up, and it will return to Newport. Being from San Francisco and thrilled to see the Race in our Bay, we hope all the greedy San Francisco real estate barons (including Ellison) can work it out with the Mayor and Supervisors so We, The People …can exercise our right to watch those skinny airborne hulls and gigantic sails scream by our boats and bridges!


We attended Shabat services (Modern Orthodox) at the Touro Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in the country, and the only surviving shul from before the Civil War. We also walked the dog around the grounds of the Redwood Library and Athenaeum, the first lending library in the country.


Of course, we had to raise an ale at The White Horse, the oldest tavern in the country…


…and we felt free…to be…you and me, enjoying our right to raise a tankard!



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About Sally

A Studio Artist and painter trained at Stanford university, Sally has since then graduated from a long career as an Attorney with the Public Defender, and returned to painting. Living in Mexico with her son for a year, they adopted a feral dog, Lety. Sally's son left for college and their dog adopted her new best friend, Steven.


  1. Ricki

    Sally and Steven, thank you so much for posting regularly on your travel blog and for writing so thoughtfully and entertainingly about what you see. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to take a trip like yours, so I’m really enjoying traveling vicariously with you.

    Will you ever come back to SF Bay Area? We miss your actual presence!
    Travel safe,
    Love, Ricki

    1. Steven

      Hi Ricki! I miss you too! We had a vision that our friends would meet up with us during the trip. Unfortunately, without a fixed itinerary, that is not going to happen. Sorry we missed you and Rami by 10 days in DC.
      Thanks so much for your support of our writing. We are technical writers so it IS a challenge. In the Rhode Island blog I used “Road” throughout as a joke for our Road Trip in our RoadTrek van, but it just looked like a misspelling we only noticed after publishing. Oh well…dumb joke falls flat… the risk of “creative” writing!
      We will be home this year before Winter really kicks in…but may leave for a road trip to South America then…still researching that idea!

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