Newport Manners & Etiquette: Houseguest Dog + Gifts, Full Bar + Neglectful Dad
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Q. What would you have said to a negligent parent who without asking left his six-year-old with you while you were having a beach day with your children. I was reading in my beach chair next to my three kids who were happily playing by the water's edge dribbling sand castles when a father and daughter appeared out of nowhere and joined in the play. After about ten minutes the father said he would be right back and left the child with us. Without him ever having said that he was going to the restroom or to find some drinking water, I looked up from my book and trustingly said, "Ok."
To my consternation the father disappeared! I began to worry that this man whom, I might add, I had never seen before, had been run over in the parking lot or drowned in the ocean. I didn't even know his name and we never got to speak about anyone we knew in common. After two hours I ran into him at the bar where I was getting cold water for all the kids. He didn't apologize. Name Withheld
A. Should you find yourself in that situation again, quickly pipe up and say, "The tide's coming in and we're about to move on shortly, so don't be long." Don't be apologetic, but you can ask his name by introducing yourself first and asking him where you can find him if he's not back in twenty minutes. Create a boundary by setting a time limit to his absence.
Q. I keep a full bar when I entertain. I think it's part of being a good host, but I'm wondering if I haven't kept up with the times. Should I stock Red Bull and similar beverages? ES, Chicago
A. According to a recent Atlantic Monthly article:
"Mixing an energy drink with alcohol might seem fairly innocuous, but has been linked with ugly tendencies. A 2013 study found that people were twice as likely to be involved in an alcohol-linked car wreck or a sexual assault if they consumed an energy-drink-and-alcohol cocktail, compared to those who drank just alcohol."
- The FDA actually put a ban on the sale of pre-packakaged caffeine-and-alcohol drinks because the caffeine can mask alcohol's effects with the result of a person drinking too much too fast.
In my opinion, to jazz up your bar offerings provide a seasonal signature drink such as a Dark and Stormy or bubbly rosé in warm weather and in the fall serve a chilled Riesling wine or handcrafted beer from a small local brewery. You get the picture, as long as the drink isn't sweet. Chilled Presecco or Champagne are also festive to have on hand. Maybe stock a split of champagne for that lone person who wants a nip of the bubbly.
When I asked a popular thirty-something Newport host your question, he said, "There are a few alternatives to Red Bull at a home bar. I would recommend looking at tequila (e.g., Casa Amigos, Avión), light beers (e.g., Heineken Light, Yuengling Lager Light, Amstel Light) and assorted mixers (e.g., Skinny Girl cocktails, Powel and Mahoney Margarita Mix, Le Croix) as most people are now more calorie conscious than ever. Other options might be to have a frozen drink maker machine or White Girl Rosé for women.
The short answer is that Red Bull and their prototypes are too edgy. Be creative, but remember that your guests are at greater risk when imbibing caffeine-and-alcohol cocktails.
Q. Is there a polite way to tell someone that you would rather they not bring along their dog when they come to stay over Labor Day Weekend? It's not that I don't like dogs, but the idea of leaving the dog in my newly carpeted home when we go out either during the day or at night, is disconcerting. AB, Newport
A. Text your dog owner friends for doggie hotel recommendations. Find their website addresses and forward them, with their lists of amenities and prices, to your soon-to-be-guest. If you're renting, you can use that as an excuse. If you've had unpleasant incidents in the past, that's an even grander excuse. Give the guest fair warning by furnishing them with doggie hotel information and hope that s/he values and respects your friendship enough to take you up on your suggestion.
Q. What would be the perfect houseguest present for my boyfriend and I to bring? JG, Boston
A. Arriving with a present always sets the visit off with a graceful and grateful tone. If arriving from the city to a rural area, bring an item that would be harder to find outside of a metropolis. Great cheeses (if the host is not lactose intolerant), fine wine (if they're not AA), handcrafted chocolates (if not diabetic) or an attractive coffee table book about their favorite subject.
Depending upon how long you're staying, ask if you can take them out for either breakfast, lunch or dinner at a restaurant of their choosing.
Didi Lorillard researches manners and etiquette at NewportManners.com for her upcoming book NEWPORTMANNERS.
Related Slideshow: 25 Things You Must do in New England Before the Summer Ends - 2017
Take a Wine Tour
Across New England
New England is home to some of the best wineries in the country from Newport Vineyards in Rhode Island to Westport Rivers Vineyards in Massachusetts.
You can hit them all on the Coastal Wine Trail.
The trail stretches from Cape Cod and the Islands through the South Coast of Massachusetts and Coastal Rhode Island and Coastal Connecticut.
Visit Worcester Art Museum
The Worcester Art Museum is offering free admission throughout the month of August, so take advantage.
“Free August” includes access for everyone to special exhibitions, the permanent galleries, and WAM’s August programming -- including Art + Market, tours, Art Carts, arms and armor demonstrations, and Nude Drawing in the Galleries.
Catch a Movie at the Rustic Drive-In
North Smithfield, RI
Call up your friends, pack a picnic, and sit in your car as feature films are projected along giant outdoor screens.
The audio plays right through your radio, so be sure to turn the volume up high as you snack on your candy and popcorn.
Visit Ben & Jerry's Factory Tour
Take a 30 minute tour of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream factory in Vermont and see where your favorite flavors of ice cream are made. It is ice cream season after all.
The factory is open year round and admission is just $4 for adults, $3 for seniors and kids 12 and under are FREE.
Participate in the Worcester World Cup 2017
The 2017 Worcester World Cup is set to take place from Friday, August 11 to Sunday, August 13.
The Worcester World Cup is more than a soccer tournament. It's a celebration of Worcester and a safe, friendly family event that people look forward to all year.
Ride a Hot Air Balloon at Great Falls Balloon Festival
Get up to Maine and hop into a hot air balloon during the Great Falls Balloon Festival.
Visitors will have the chance to take a balloon ride high above the ground and watch the sun rise or set.
The festival takes place from August 19 to August 21.
Catch a Show at Cape Playhouse Theatre
Take a ride to Cape Cod and visit the oldest summer theatre in the country, Cape Playhouse. Cape Playhouse was first opened in 1927 by Raymond Moore.
The theatre has been home to some of the biggest stars to ever grace a stage like Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart amongst others.
Providence WaterFire has grown to be an iconic Rhode Island event.
Starting out in 1994 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of First Night Providence, it has grown to run continuously, once a month, from May-November and boasts over 80 blazing fires in the middle of the Providence River.
WaterFire is a not-for-profit organization that aims to creatively transform Providence – and they do! Each event is accompanied with music by artists from around the world, varies food stands and art stands to browse as you stroll along the river.
Zip Line in the Berkshires
Need some extra excitement to close out the summer? Head to the Berkshires and get yourself on a zip line, maybe even do a canopy tour.
There are three different tour options, starting with the base area tour which lasts an hour or the Mountain Top or Valley Jump tour which takes three hours. Both of those are sure to shoot some adrenaline into your day.
Walk The Freedom Trail
The Freedom Trail is a two and a half mile walking tour that connects 16 significant Boston landmarks.
Interior access to the Freedom Trail's sites is also free, except for the Paul Revere House, the Old South Meeting House and the Old State House.
The Freedom Trail is a great way to get exercise, explore Boston and learn about history, all at the same time.
If you buy tickets online they are discounted at $12 for adults, $10 for students and $6.50 for kids ages 6-12.
See Billy Joel at Fenway Park
The must see concert of the summer, Billy Joel at Fenway Park on August 30.
Billy Joel released his first hit song, arguably still his biggest hit, Piano Man in 1973 an since has become the 6th best selling recording artist and the third best selling solo artist in the United States.
Joel was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992 and then the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.
Seeing Joel would be a great way to cap off the summer.
Walk the Newport Cliff Walk
The Cliff Walk is one of Newport’s most famous attractions is its gilded age mansions lining the coast. Entry to the mansions will cost a fee, but with the Cliff Walk, you can enjoy views of the mansions with amazing views of the water all for free.
The 3.5 mile long path runs behind the mansions on the eastern shore of Newport. It is a National Recreation Trail – the first in New England! The majority of the walk is easy, but be sure to wear good shoes; the sand can make the path slippery.
PHOTO: Connie Ma/flickr
Visit Acadia National Park
People have been drawn to the rugged coast of Maine throughout history. Awed by its beauty and diversity, early 20th-century visionaries donated the land that became Acadia National Park.
The park is home to many plants and animals, and the tallest mountain on the U.S. Atlantic coast.
Visit Acadia and hike granite peaks, bike historic carriage roads, or relax and enjoy the scenery.
The park entrance fee is FREE from August 25th to the 28th.
Besides that, admission is $12 while those 15 and under are FREE of charge.
Play Golf at Harbor Lights
Last weeks of summer, be sure to get those final rounds of the season in at Harbor Lights.
Harbor Lights in Warwick offers golfers a great place to tee it up.
Not to mention the amazing scenery and the great food at the Par + Tackle restaurant.
Go to Royalston Falls
If you want a little bit of late summer adventure, hike to Royalston Falls in Royalston, MA.
The hike itself isn’t too long, but it can be challenging. It leads you to a remote gorge created by prehistoric glacial meltwater and 45 foot plunging waterfall within a half-hidden ravine. If you’re up for the adventure, the destination is far worth the trek.
Walk, Run or Bike the Blackstone River Bikeway
Runs from Worcester to Providence
The idea behind the Blackstone River Bikeway was to create a bike path running 48 miles, from Worcester to Providence along the National Heritage Corridor. It links the Blackstone River and the Blackstone Canal connect with the East Bay Bike Path in Rhode Island.
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