Family trips are the best.
It's hard sometimes to rationalize taking trips that don't involve seeing family (only so much time most of us can get in a year to be away from work/home), but I think there is something you learn from each other being on vacations that are just for each other.
Craig and the kids and I went to see my grandmother and her magical, magical house in Rhode Island for a week and we were able to travel to Newport for a couple of nights in the most amazing little bed and breakfast right near downtown.
We were delighted to be able to stay in a home that was a physical part of that history. We stayed in The Howland House Inn, otherwise known as The Benjamin B. Howland House, established in 1765.
Anyone traveling to Newport, Rhode Island MUST. STAY. HERE.
Everything about our stay there was absolutely perfect for our family. We had two of the four suites (the Knotty Suite and the Mayflower Suite) and they were both gorgeous from top to bottom. Each suite had ample sleeping space for everyone with comfortable beds, pull out couches, and plenty of spare blankets and pillows. The bathrooms were clean and spacious and included some amazing natural soaps and shampoos (the mint body wash was AMAZING!). The rooms were delicately curated to include art and furniture that was both practical and suitable for a 250+ year old Inn.
My absolute favorite part about the place was learning about it's history. Benjamin Howland had ancestors from the Mayflower who built the first stick house in America. Karen, the inn-keeper, told us about the efforts that were taken while remodeling to include the original beams and floors in some of the rooms, and even showed me hidden rocks in the basement foundation where people would store valuable treasures or forbidden love notes (be still my heart, I would DIE to find things like that in a house I lived in, I was smitten).
Karen was immensely helpful on our trip. She told us about the local restaurants, beaches, and things to do in Newport with kids (including a fantastic arcade right around the corner from the inn). She made sure we had everything we needed for our beach trip during our stay and is responsible for the amazing breakfasts each morning. The communal kitchen was incredible. Guys, she told me a couple of times about the fresh dairy, and I completely underestimated how much better fresh cow's milk is than what we get at the store, I'd never had it before. It was like heaven in my mouth. The orange juice was a close second, plus farm fresh eggs, pastries, fruit, coffee, and yogurt. In the afternoons we definitely helped ourselves to the cookie dish as well (the cookies were really really tasty...). The space was clean and had plenty of pots and pans for any in-house cooking you could want to do.
We were blocks away from shopping and amazing food. We ate at The Brick Alley Pub our first night and then Craig and I were able to have a night out for some hearty seafood at Benjamin's (and I suddenly realized I had to pretend I knew how to crack and consume a lobster on my own, but I got 'er done...). We also loved every minute of our time at First Beach (or Easton Beach) where we HAD to get some Dell's Lemonade. I may or may not have bought an overpriced bucket of Dell's Lemonade mix to take home with us at the airport in Providence...we've already used some. #worthit
If you are looking for a place to stay in Newport, book here by clicking below!
This whole experience re-iterated to me how much better bed and breakfasts are than hotels. Don't get me wrong, hotels serve their purpose, but places like this alleviate the stresses of traveling with kids and make for a perfect home away from home.