Much Mansion Money and Tea

Dear Friends,
How did the other half live – the half whose summer mansions were opened for precious months, maybe just weeks out of the year? I’ve just returned from a whirlwind Newport, Rhode Island mansion tour. I would answer the question this way – they LIVED. Gilded walls, marble staircases, tapestry-covered walls  – they LIVED. Did endless wealth showcased in opulent behemoth vacation homes make these folks smile every morning? I couldn’t say. Only ‘they’ could have answered this query honestly.

Many of their family tree roots have since grown deep, watered with wealth. Some have donated much. Others have sold plenty. A wonderful, silver-haired tour guide, whose face was deeply etched with lines of history jokingly remarked, “A fourteen-year-old Anderson Cooper was left a large Newport home and seventy-one million dollars by an Aunt. What fourteen-year-old can live on seventy-one million?”

rosecliffMy favorite mansion was not actually a mansion, but a replica of a twelfth-century Song Dynasty temple in the backyard of Marble House – called the Chinese Tea House. In the late 1800’s, Alva Vanderbilt hosted rallies for women’s suffrage in this lovely structure by the sea.

tearoomInspired by the charming tea room, I created a lovely creature I’d enjoy sipping tea with-

Tea Cap

Tea Cap

Thank you and goodnight. May you dream of sipping delicious tea by the glorious ocean at sunset.