Another beautiful day, so indoor activity in the morning, outdoor activity in the sunny afternoon. The International Tennis Hall of Fame is located in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Newport, Rhode Island! I had not realized the hall of fame was actually established to save the Newport Casino from being demolished. It was Jimmy Van Alen, president of the casino, who lobbied the US Lawn Tennis Association to have a hall of fame here. Not till 1986 was the place recognized internationally.
If one read all the info in the museum it would take hours! There are interactive exhibits, many showcases with old rackets, history, tournaments, trophies, displays of clothing worn through the years, and info about players. I learned tennis racquets were originally manufactured in neighboring cities in 1876. At Kent Racquet Company’s peak production in the 1930’s, they employed 100 people and produced 1,500 frames a day. When tennis became more popular, Kent Racquet Company supplied Spalding, Wilson, and Slazenger …names you may recognize. Here’s the equipment/press used to shape the wood for the frame:
Everyone talks about the hologram of Roger Federer when they visit this place, so I checked it out too. His talk about 10 reasons he likes tennis was eerie in the sense it was him and his reasons were great and sounded similar to some of my own. Take time to walk the grounds as they are beautiful with lush green grass. I especially tried to imagine this place back in the day when it was in a less busy town.
Then I wanted to spend time outdoors. I drove Ocean Drive along with, I think, every other Sunday driver! Bicyclists share the entire road with motorized vehicles, including these 2 seater scooters. Mansions are along this road … huge places … huge lawns …. mansion after mansion …. with some providing tours.
My first stop was Brenton Point State Park. Narragansett Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean here and as I walked along the pathway I stopped at the Portuguese Discovery Monument. Again, plenty of history here. Many people picnicking, kite flying, walking the reefs, and essentially enjoying the day. I did chuckle when I saw a person pull up in a van exactly like mine, open the rear cargo area and pull out an Adirondack chair to sit in on a grassy knoll near his van! We all use our vehicles in different ways! I could see how one could spend time looking off to the horizon or close-up at the blue and green colors from algae and seaweed … beautiful spot to relax!
I continued my drive to Fort Adams State Park, an active army post from 1841 until 1950. Many people were enjoying the day catching a ferry ride across Newport Harbor, walking the 2.5 mile bay walk, touring the fort and/or watching the sailing competition. I discovered this is where the Newport Jazz Festival is held. It was so relaxing walking the area.
I leave Rhode Island tomorrow, drive to upstate New York to visit more friends, then to Pennsylvania to visit family before I finally head west to go home. This has been a long trip and I am in my last 2 weeks of travel. It will be great to be home!