Took the colonial tour. I wanted to walk down the old streets and get a feel for the old town and learn about Newport. Was not to happen. There may be different guides,ours was a very nice older lady. She started by having us stand in a strip mall next to the museum while she lectured us about Quake merchants and general revolutionary war history for 20 minutes. I can look all that up on Wikipedia! What I wanted was Newport. I was busting to look at some of those historic buildings and learn about them. I could see some really neat buildings off in the distance but I was still trapped in this strip mall discussing Quaker merchants. The other older ladies in our group ( I was the only guy) seemed interested enough and asked questions about abolition and the slave trade and women's rights. If my review seems to be dragging on imagine how this 25 minutes was for me. 25 minutes down out of a 75 minute tour.
Finally we get under way and I can barely hear our guide. 'That's the original jail house , that's the oldest tavern'. I barely hear her and she goes right past. Next we get to a Quaker meeting house where we go inside and sit down. Although its a cool big barn, its completely empty. To my dismay we then get another 20 minute lecture on Quakers and how they felt about slavery and how they treated women. I was ready to kill myself at this point. Again all the older women seemed interested enough and asked questions. So now there is only like 25 minutes left and I feel like I haven't seen anything!!
Finally we head towards some old looking streets (yippee!!!) and I'm really getting excited because they are so narrow and the buildings are historic and look very old and ... well we breeze right through without much talking until we come to a house and hear a story about its owner. Which was fine. Then a synagog which George Washington visited. Okay,hey at least we are looking at historic buildings and no mention of Quakers. We stare at the synagog for 15 minutes. Our guide was apparently interested in religion.
The tour goes just a little bit further, down a really cool tiny street past some ancient houses with plaques on them and I can start to imagine, this is really cool... oh ..but wait.. now its over.. we have no more time.... thanks and bye bye.
I now know more about the supposed opinions of Quakers and Protestants and Jewish merchants than I care to. I got barely a 15 minute glimpse at the coolest 18th century neighborhoods and amazing houses in my 75 minute tour. Frustrating.
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