Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Meeting Susan Branch

Good afternoon my dears, I am back from a daytrip to Asheville, North Carolina to see author Susan Branch.

How I heard about Susan Branch

One Christmas, I was reading a bloggers home tour, and she mentioned that she puts out her Susan Branch Christmas book on her coffee table every year. So, I found Susan's website and a laughed, and cried as I read her posts one-by-one. That Christmas I bought a 2013 calendar, and the rest is history.

Over time, I have bought the Susan Branch book collection, dating back to her first book in 1986 (the year I was born). I've also read her stories (The Fairytale Girl, Martha's Vineyard Isle of Dreams, A Fine Romance), about her life.

So, on Monday my hubby drove me to Asheville, NC for a dreamy day. We first had lunch at the French Bistro at Biltmore. I had the crispy chicken which is THE best way to eat chicken anyways.

Afterwards, we strolled through Biltmore's gardens. We visit the house several times a year, mostly for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas and it's a lot cooler indoors at those times as the house isn't air-conditioned. However, we had the most SPECTACULAR views. This is the peak of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The rose gardens were fragrant and blooming. We had a little rain, which was welcomed after very little rain in a few weeks.

- The conservatory -

We then headed into downtown Asheville. If you've never been before, I'd say it is a lot like a hippy mountain town. We shopped at April Cornell's before heading to Malaprop's Bookstore to hear Susan Branch speak, and sign my books.

Until next time darlings,

Kiki Nakita

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

30th Birthday Trip To Newport, Rhode Island, Part Two

Welcome back to part two of my 30th birthday trip to Newport, Rhode Island.


One of the days, we made a daytrip to Cape Cod. Its about an hour-and-a-half drive from Newport, Rhode Island. We had a casual lunch overlooking the harbor at one of our favorite casual restaurants, Spanky's where we had visited on our last trip to the Cape back in 2012.

- Cory ate lobster in its shell for the first time -

John F. Kennedy Library

Afterwards, we walked to the John F. Kennedy library. He turned ninety-nine years old the week we attended. We saw pictures of his family growing up, his marriage to Jaqueline Bouvier, and his time as President.
- Kennedy family -

- Statue outside the John F. Kennedy library. They were doing renovations in the background -

 - Somebody's moving at the Kennedy compound -

I must be honest. We were a little discouraged at how scruffy Hyannis has gotten since our last visit four years ago. Many of our favorite shops, and restaurants had closed, and many of the businesses have 'for rent' signs in the windows. After a drive by the Kennedy compound, we returned to Newport, Rhode Island.

Lobster Shack

Later that evening, we had a spectacular dinner watching the sunset over the harbor. These pictures speak for themselves.

-We were blessed with an amazing view of the sunset over Pell Bridge -

This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.
- Psalms 118:24-

The next morning we had breakfast at One Bellevue at the Hotel Viking before a day of touring Newport mansions..

- 1901-
home of

Edward Julius Berwind
b. June 17th, 1848 d. August 18th, 1936

married to

Sarah Vesta Herminie Torrey
b. July 4th, 1856 d. 1922

My favorite of all the Newport Mansions, the Elms was designed by architect Horace Trumbauer. The house is an example of French Baroque style modelled after the Château d'Asnières in France.

- The Berwind's daughter Consuelo married the 9th Duke of Marlborough, whose family are from Blenheim Palace. I visited Blenheim as a young girl, and remember seeing the bedroom where Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill was born. -

Marble House
- 1892 -
home of

b. December 12th, 1849 d. July 22nd, 1920

married from 1875-1895 to

b. January 17th, 1853 d. January 26th, 1933

married in 1903 to

Anne Harriman Sands Rutherfurd
b. 1861 d. 1940

This opulent home was designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt, who was inspired by the Petit Trianon at Versailles.

-The Chinese tea house -

Hammersmith Farm

Teenage home of First Lady, Jaqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis and also where she had her reception after her marriage to John F. Kennedy. The house used to be open to the public, but is now a private residence.

- Wedding day, September 12th 1953 -

We drove past the church they married at called St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church.

The following day we flew back home. At the airport as we were awaiting our flight we had lunch, which gave us points on the iPad game. Well we must have been lucky that day because between us we won two sandwiches, two pops, one water, a bag of chips, two mini-chocolates. There wasn't any healthy prize choices, but it kept us occupied.

Hope you enjoyed the trip to New England with us,

Kiki Nakita

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

30th Birthday Trip To Newport, Rhode Island, Part One

Well, my dears I just turned thirty-years-old.

Circa 1989

To celebrate my thirtieth birthday we went to Newport, Rhode Island to visit the Newport Mansions.

Before we went, I bought a dual annual membership ($75) which allowed us to visit any of The Preservation Society of Newport County properties, and it also gave us 10% off at the gift stores.

home of

Theresa "Tessie" Alice Fair
b. June 30th, 1871 d. 1926

married in 1890 to

Herman Oelrich
b. June 8th, 1850 d. September 1st, 1906

Bought in 1891, and completed in 1902 by architect Stanford White, the home was inspired by the Grand Trianon of Versailles. The house is an example of the Baroque Revival style.

The architect Stanford White was shot in the back on June 25th, 1906. The story appeared in the New York American the following day.

home of

b. April 1st, 1912 d. March 10th, 1986

married until his death to

Byrnes MacDonald
b. unknown d. unknown

married to

Peter McBean
b. 1910 d. unknown

Built in 1860, by architect George Champlin Mason for Edmund Schermerhorn. It was bought by Morris family in 1911. The house is an example of the Italianate style.

Castle Hill

Castle Hill was a perfect ending to a perfect day. The menus are prix-fixe and entertain a lot of local flavors by well-known local chef Lou Rossi.

- Starter -

- Cory's main -

- My main -

We were too busy reminiscing about the day, we forgot a dessert picture.

 After dinner sunset walk, we were blessed with a beautiful sunset.

This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.
- Psalms 118:24-

The next day was sunny as we visited

The Breakers
b. November 27th, 1843 d. September 12th, 1899

married in 1867 to

b. November 26th, 1845 d. April 22nd, 1934

Bought in 1885, and built between 1893-1895 by architect Richard Morris Hunt. The house is an example of the Italian Renaissance style.

- 1852 -

b. August 2nd, 1856 d. September 11th, 1921

married on December 22nd, 1869 to

Edith Malvina Keteltas
b. unknown d. 1927

Chateau-sur-Mer was built as an Italianate style villa forWilliam Shepard Wetmore. He died in 1862, leaving the house to his son. His son commissioned architect Richard Morris Hunt, who remodeled the house in High Victorian style. 

-The ground was covered in forget me not's-

Rough Point
- 1887 -
(Not apart of The Preservation Society of Newport County properties)

Doris Duke
d. November 22nd, 1912 d. October 28th, 1993

married in 1935, until 1943 to

James Cromwell
b. June 4th, 1896 d. March 19th, 1990

married in 1947, to 1951

Porfirio Rubirosa
b. January 22nd, 1909 d. July 5th, 1965

Built in 1887, for Frederick W. Vanderbilt. He sold the house to William B. Leeds in 1906. After his wife's death, she sold the house to James B. Duke in 1922. He undertook many renovations and completed the house in 1924. The following year, he passed and left the house to his twelve year old daughter, Doris. The house is an example of English Manor style.

Spinnakers Café
Jamestown, RI

Since we had fine dining the evening before, we went to a coastal-casual café the following night overlooking the Pell Bridge and marina. Followed by a drive around Newport's coastline.

Beautiful scenery that evening as we watched the sailboats pass. We were looking forward to the next day, a daytrip to Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

A now much older,

Kiki Nakita

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