Sunday, December 18, 2005

Empire Tea and Coffee Cafe

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I've been spending alot of time at Empire Tea and Coffee lately. The staff are the nicest people I've met in town all year and the place is bright, open and very comfortable. WIFI is free and live music and poetry are a staple on the weekends. They also stay open a few extra hours during "Finals Week". (for all of you who plan on doing something with the rest of your life)
I've had the opportunity to sample a broad range of drinks from their menu and have enjoyed each one. I do have to mention one in particular though, the "Victoria Flower Tea" which is similar to the one in the picture above. I was entranced as I watched the flowers blossom right before my eye's in the tea pot. The tea itself is delicate and wonderful with no need for honey or milk. There are a few other flowering teas available as well and I can't wait to sample them all but what Empire Tea and Coffee is more famous for are their "Bubble Teas". The cafe combines a wide range of iced tea flavors such as Taro, Star Fruit, and Blackberry, to name just a few, with a couple of scoops of Tapioca Pearl "Bubbles". The combination is like Tea and Gummy Bears all in one, a rather refreshing texture.
When in Newport you must stop in and if you have some time, stay a while!

View in Google EarthThe most comfortable place in town

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Clingstone-"House on the Rocks"

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Clingstone was built as a summer home in 1905 for the Wharton family. It is a 3 1/2 story chalet that was built with mill-type frame work and shingled inside and out. The design was supposed to help it withstand hurricane force winds. I say "supposed to" because it sustained extensive damage in the 1938 hurricane, (dubbed the "Long Island Express") and stood abandoned for decades. Eventually it was renovated and still stands atop Dumplings Island in Narragansett Bay.
Be sure to include Clingstone in your tours of Newport Harbor.

View in Google EarthDad, can I borrow the Dingy?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Fort Adams State Park

Fort Adams was active from 1824 to 1950 and is the largest coastal fortification in the United States, with a 6 acre parade field and breathtaking views. As you tour the grounds you can explore the massive tunnel system and enter the casements and barracks. The views from the bastions and the enceinte are some of the very best in Newport. (Need to brush up on your fort terminology? I did!)
The property is host to many events including military reenactments and vintage auto shows. Although my favorites are certainly the summer music festivals. This year I saw Roy Haynes, Wynton Marsalis, Gary Burton, Chick Corea and Dave Brubeck all in one day!
I find the best way to get to Fort Adams is by water taxi from downtown Newport.

View in Google EarthProtecting Newport for over a century

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Clarke Cooke House

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As far as Newport is concerned, The Clarke Cooke House or "Cooke House", to the locals, has become The Place to Be !
There are many reasons for this, for instance, In the summer you can sit in "The Candy Store" but don't let the name mislead you, the "Candy" served here is Sushi!
Next you go up half a floor and have a cocktail with "Five-O" in "The Grill".
Are you up for another cocktail before dinner? Head up another half floor and visit Firby and Kenny in the "Midway Lounge". Have some extra cash in your pocket? Ask Firby about his drink; "The Donald".
Time for dinner, another half floor up and your on "The Porch" and "The Skybar". Oooh what a porch it is! A gorgeous view overlooking Newport Harbor, Fresh flowers and fine dining. The wait staff are all in tuxedos and the food just melts in your mouth.
Check out the expansive wine list and save room for dessert!
Next I suggest you work off some of your meal with some danceing. Remember all those stairs? Head back down to ground level and as you get to the front door make a sharp right and go down-stairs to the "Boom Boom Room" and dance the night away!
Function space is also available and they have Guest rooms as well.
When you come to Newport you have to visit The Clarke Cooke House, a destination unto its-self.

View in Google EarthThe view from The Clarke Cooke House

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Greenvale Vineyards

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Greenvale Vineyards is entering its tenth year as a winery operation and its 20th year as a vineyard operation. The Parker family, now in our fourth generation, built the "Ferme Orne" throughout the 1860s. The wines are said to be excellent examples of temperate climate wines; something we have been working towards for many years.We, Cortlandt and Nancy and our four children, started on this project in 1982 in an effort to develop a productive use of our family farm located along the Sakonnet River. We began as growers for another, larger winery. We first planted Vidal and Cayuga, both of which are recognized for their cool climate hardiness. The New England Wine Industry was so young then that planting vinifera was experimental. A year later we planted Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc and the plants thrived.
Greenvale's first release was the 1993 Chardonnay. 350 cases were produced and very well received. Greenvale's 1995 Chardonnay totaled 550 cases and the 1996 Chardonnay totaled 850 cases. The Cabernet Franc produces 250 cases a year. In 1997, we produced 2,400 cases of wine. At full capacity, the winery will produce approximately 5,000 cases of wine annually.

View in Google EarthStop by for a tasteing and a tour of this beautiful vineyard and farm.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

How To Use This Site With Google Earth

The idea behind this site is to allow you to browse and search our listings of hotspots in Newport RI, pick the information that your interested in and then view where these spots are located in relation to each other.
So with our help you can now plan your trip a little more efficiently or just gather a list of places that interest you.

First we'll assume that you have downloaded and installed Google Earth and have become familiar with the basic use of this great FREE program. If your not, go here for a quick overview.

Ok, with that out of the way lets get on with the discussion about this site.

  • Look around here and find a post that interests you. Make sure to click on the links or pictures which will take you to the associated web sites. You'll get much more detailed info like hours of operation or menu samples.

  • Now for the fun part, click on the Google Earth link marked with this icon.View in Google Earth
    This will open Google Earth and you will see a new listing under "Temporary Places" toward the bottom of the "Places" box.

  • Go back to our site, pick another interesting post and click on that Google Earth link.

  • You now have a couple of places listed and marked in Google Earth. Its time to organize the info you just gathered.

  • In the same "Places" box, right-click on "My Places" which will open a menu. Hover over "New" and then click on "Folder". Name this folder something meaningful like "Newport Trip" and click "OK".

  • Now you can just Drag-And-Drop or Cut-And-Paste the spots that you chose from the "Temporary Places"folder into the "Newport Trip" folder you've just created.

  • I suggest you organize the place-marks with your hotel on top by dragging them around within the folder. This way you can see your starting point easily and plan from there.

  • Thats it! You can now print maps or e-mail them directly from Google Earth.

  • Want directions from one place to another? Easy! Right click on your hotel for instance and click on "Directions From This" . Next, go to another place-mark and click on "Directions To This"

  • You now have a map showing your route and a list of directions. If you look under the box with the directions you'll see a "Play Button" which will "fly" you along your route like magic. Also, if you look at the top of the directions list you'll see a link for "Printable View". Guess what that does. :)

NOTE-These directions are for reference and planning only and are usually not the most scenic route. DO NOT rely on them for exact navigation!

Thats it!

Don't forget to mention us(a couple of friends have offered a freebie when you stop in, see if you can find them) and come back to this site to post a comment or two about your trip.

Have fun and we'll see you in Newport!