Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Ocean State

Ever wonder why the state is called Rhode Island, after all it isn't an island state like Hawaii. You see, back in 17th century, Rhode Island was referred to the island where Newport, Middletown and Portsmouth are located today. When it became a state, Rhode Island joined its mainland neighbor which is called Providence Plantations and form the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, which until today is still its official name. making it the smallest state with the longest official name.

I went to Providence the capital city of Rhode Island Saturday to attend a convention. Nothing exciting about Providence that I can write about. Not that I don't think Providence can be fun, just that I didn't spend enough time there to encounter anything special. Well, one thing worth mentioning is that the parking meters near the convention center allow up to 10 hours of parking, at the cost of 25 cent/15 min. Too bad I have only 2 quarters with me, so like a sucker, I parked in the parking garage.

There are 2 places I visited before that I think has better system to pay for parking fee that do not require an attendance, Seattle and Montreal. Both places have machines along the streets or in the middle of the parking lots where you can use your credit card to pay for the parking, and then put the receipt on your dashboard of paste it on your window. I only carry about $10 cash with me, and usaully with no coin in my purse at all, not even a penny. I'm all plastics, and the whole point for me to use credit card is so that I don't need to carry any loose change with me. I really don't mind paying for the parking, just wish that they will make it easier for me. Is that too much to ask?

Anyway, I left the convention center around 1 PM with plenty of time and sunshine left for the day, so I decided to take a drive down to Newport to see the famous mansions, the summer "cottages" of the wealthy. I stopped at the Elm and the Breakers. Unfortunately both places do not allow visitors taking picturs of the interior of the mansion. Both are extremely elegance, and historically tasteful. somehow I like the interior of the Elm but the exterior architecture style of the Breakers. The walls in the Breakers was designed with panels, but the Elm with fewer panels and larger surface painted with deeper colors. The Breakers on the other hand has a lighter summer tone with flora wall paper or fabric on the walls. It was Mrs Vanderbilt desired for such effect. There are many facts and stories about the mansions can be found on the Elm and the Breakers. We're allowed to take picture of the view from the 2nd floor of the Breakers, here is a video clip of the view.

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