Where did that decade go?
We did the traditional 'balloons all over her bed while we sang to her' again, only this year she was awake and we made her lay back down and pretend to sleep so we could wake her up with the SURPRISE of balloons on her bed.
She giggled and obliged.
I thought it was a bit odd, typically we will visit a bit after we finish eating, but I shrugged it off and thought nothing of it.
After we said our finish up prayer, he hands Rhianna a card. The front said "HAPPY BIRTHDAY RHIANNA" and inside was a note. It said they knew she liked trivia and for her birthday, they were giving her a few trivia questions.
The answer to all the questions was the same thing...and their was a flap at the bottom of the card that when she opened it up, read 'Go look in Joe's truck for your gift'.
The answer to all the questions was 'a bike' but I was thinking "there is no way they went together and got her a bike" (something she had been wanting very badly). We walked outside and opened the back of the truck and sure enough there was a brand new 18 speed bike.
It takes a lot to make me cry, but right then I had tears. She has ridden her bike almost every single night since then.
What she asked me for her birthday speaks volumes of her character. She asked for a day out with me. She didn't want anything else, just some one on one time. (Which made me feel guilty thinking I wasn't giving her enough one on one time).
I knew she just meant, spend part of the day somewhere fun, but I wanted to plan something more. I had been to Newport, RI the summer before and toured the mansions and thought she might like it.
We left early morning on Saturday with plans to spend most of the day in Newport. She had seen a few photos, but I knew she had no idea of how amazing this place is.
It is a bit over a 2 hour drive and we chatted the whole way. She became more and more excited as we drove closer. I wish I could have taken a picture of her face when we finally climbed up the huge bridge that crosses into Newport. You look over parts of the Atlantic and the harbor is filled with sailboats. I can't think of a more beautiful place on earth.
We found a little cafe to eat a quick lunch at before heading to the mansions.
We found a fun surprise at the table. Something that reminded us of Ohio.
We took a picture and texted it to Aunt Kate!
The first mansion we went to was The Breakers. It was the summer home of the Vanderbilts. I couldn't take any inside pictures, but keep in mind that these homes were only used for 8-10 weeks out of the year.
It reminded me of the mansion in The Sound of Music. So amazingly grand and surreal. I had to keep reminding myself that people actually lived here.
This porch was on the second story of the house....right off the hallway from the bedrooms.
Imagine waking up to this view every morning.
I could get used to that!
I let her find a little trinket in the gift shop.
She picked out a Japanese fan that the Vanderbilt girls
would have used at a dance on a hot Saturday night.
We had to rely on selfies to get pictures of us together.
We had fun getting some pics on the porch.
They had a play 'house' out in the yard where the children would
have played in. This house is bigger than some of the
apartments I have lived in!
Next house we toured was 'The Elms'.
We did the servant life tour at this house and got to go upstairs to the third floor and see where the servants lived and learned more about them. If you ever make it to Newport, this tour is a must!!
We went out onto the roof top to see where the servants might slip out onto to grab fresh air or catch a break. We could see to the harbor and it was a gorgeous view!
When we first arrived at this house, we both had to use the bathroom. They hadn't changed much in it (except to make it more of a public place) so it still had the grand marble walls.
I couldn't help but take some selfies in the mirror to send back home to a few friends of mine because of a long time ago joke. How could I not? When would the next time I be in a multi-million dollar home and use the restroom? hah
We were getting tired after the tours at The Elms and was ready to get home. We were taking a few more selfies in the circular drive that is canopied by wistera when a French gentleman asked if he could take the picture for us.
We happily obliged.
To get to our car parked in the side lot, we had to walk through the back yard.
Oh what a view.
Showing off her birthday present!
My absolute favorite is the video I took of her. I asked her to tell me about her day. She said this:
"My name is Rhianna and I am ten. This (geturing with her hand) is my birthday present."
I decided at that moment to stop the video.
It was too cute.
She may have only gotten a few trinkets from me this year. But I hope that what she got what much more. I hope she remembers our day for the rest of her life.
I know I will and I can't wait for more days like this.
I've had this little girlie in my life for ten years.
It has been nothing but pure joy to be called her mother.