Wednesday, June 25, 2014

People visit Delware?

That's the first response a lot of people had to our plans to visit Delaware this summer. The answer is yes, people do visit Delaware. It was actually quite a nice place to go.

The boys were excited by the number of states we visited on the trip: Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Kentucky. Sunday we drove through Ohio, a snippet of West Virginia (Wheeling), and spent the night in Pennsylvania.

Entering Ohio.
Entering Pennsylvania.
Our next adventure was driving in the Appalachian mountains through Pennsylvania. Our route included driving through several mountains (four, if I remember correctly). This was the boys' first experience with mountains.

The Appalachians in Pennsylvania. 
More mountains.

A tunnel through the mountain.
This was the Tuscarora Mountain.

A lovely view.

On the way through Pennsylvania, we stopped in Hershey, PA and Hershey's Chocolate World.

Yum! A Hershey character looks good enough to eat.
Yes, tourist central, but chocolate!
 Not far away was a fun playground, aptly named Cocoa Castle, where the boys got to run around for a bit before getting back in the car. On the drive into Delaware, we took the back roads rather than the highway, touring through Lancaster County.

 After a night in Newark, DE, it was time for the reason I planned this trip: the Downton Abbey costume collection is a special exhibit at Winterthur this year.

A garden at Winterthur.
Gazebo in one of the gardens at Winterthur.
A picture in front of the Abbey.
Running under a bridge in the gardens.

Then it was on to Lewes, where we were planning to spend the bulk of this trip. We chose to drive into New Jersey (another state!) and take the ferry across Delaware Bay rather than the shorter but less interesting drive down the Delaware coast. The boys were quite disappointed there was no "Welcome to New Jersey" sign.

Delaware Bay from the bridge.
On the bridge over Delaware Bay.
Wil asked, as we were driving through New Jersey, why we couldn't just drive to Lewes. Ah, but then we got to the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. This was a trip of many firsts for the boys. Riding a ferry was one of them. They were a little confused until we drove on... then were able to get out of the car and climb on deck.

Our ferry, the Delaware.
First time on a ferry; first time on a boat.

Heading out of Cape May, NJ.
On Delaware Bay.

A beautiful day on Delaware Bay.
Our first sight of Delaware from the Bay.

Lewes, DE, from Delaware Bay.
Back in the car, ready to drive off.
We rented a condo in Lewes. We had a perfect location: right on the canal, just 2 or 3 blocks from the beach on Delaware Bay, about a 15 minute drive to Rehobeth Beach (on the Atlantic). Lewes is a charming town, much less 'touristy' than Rehobeth.

A gorgeous sunset from the balcony of our condo.

The boys enjoying the sunset.
Our view.

Chris enjoying the sunset and the view.
Last glimpse as the sun sets.
Wednesday was a hot, humid day, perfect for a trip to Rehobeth Beach. The boys had never seen the ocean, so the short drive past Cape Henlopen was in order. While Lewes is on Delaware Bay, Rehobeth is on the Atlantic.
It's the ocean!

And the tide is coming in!


If you stay near the water, a boat trip is required. There's a rule, I'm sure. We took a dolphin watching boat ride, a 3 hour tour.
There is also a pirate ship tour, apparently.
Our condo from the boat.

The boys on deck.
An osprey nest. The huge nests were everywhere!

Out past the lighthouse.
A dolphin feeding near the breakwater.

Chris lived in Annapolis, MD for 4 years, so we spent Thursday on a trip of reminiscence. The boys were a little bored, but Chris really enjoyed finding his old house and schools, and visiting the US Naval Academy.
Heading onto the Bay Bridge.
On the Bay Bridge.

Chesapeake Bay from the Bay Bridge.
The Bay Bridge is incredibly long and massive.

The Naval Academy from a scenic overlook.
A WWII memorial at the scenic overlook.

The WWII memorial is worth a stop.
One of the plaques.

Chris's old digs at the Academy.
The Maryland capitol building.

Chris's Annapolis middle school.
Chris's Annapolis high school.
The military academies are interesting to tour. I've now seen USAFA (US Air Force Academy) and USNA.

Touring the US Naval Academy.
Checking out a compass at USNA.

Bancroft Hall, the largest single dormitory in the world.
Playing hide & seek around Tecumseh.

A view from the Yard.
Walking in the Yard.
Leaving the US Naval Academy, we passed this sculpture. The boys got down on the ground to 'listen' with the statue children. It's the Kinta Kunte-Alex Haley Memorial.

Joining the 'children' for a story.
An unassuming memorial.
Even though it's a fairly small town, there are things to see in Lewes.

View of the Lightship Overfalls from the condo at night.
View of the canal at night.

Fisherman's Wharf, where the dolphin tour launched.
A nautical themed playground across the canal.

On top of a 'boat'.
Climbing the 'lighthouse' was the best part!
One of the really neat things in Lewes is the Lightship Overfalls. Lightships used to be used in areas that needed lighthouses but were not on land. The history of this ship is quite interesting. (I recommend clicking the link above and reading about it.)

The Lightship Overfalls.
A propeller from the Lightship Overfalls.

Anchor from the Lightship Overfalls.
Trying to lift the anchor chain.

Pretending to steer the ship.
Full ahead! No! Full stop!
A trip to the Lewes beach, on Delaware Bay, was just a few blocks from the condo. I didn't expect to find blooming cacti on the sand dunes.

A cactus blooming on the sand dunes.
Horseshoe crabs really are peculiar looking.

Crossing the sand dunes to the beach.
I found a peaceful moment one morning, before the boys were awake, to have breakfast on the balcony and enjoy the quiet.

But then it was time to head home. Driving through the Appalachians of western Maryland and West Virginia was lovely. 

The view at a stoplight in Maryland.
Picnicking at a rest stop in western Maryland.

A man-made mountain pass.
The cut.

Loveliness as far as the eye can see.
For our last night of vacation, we chose to treat ourselves at the Blennerhassett Hotel, a historic hotel in Parkersburg, WV. It was built in 1889 and is quite luxurious. I even opted for a special treat: a plate of chocolate chip cookies was waiting for us when we arrived. If you ever have occasion to spend a night in Parkersburg, splurge on the Blennerhassett.
Our room at the Blennerhasset Hotel.
A treat waiting for us.
Then it was on to home.

A drive through southern Ohio.
And a spit of Kentucky around Cincinnati.

And finally back in Indiana.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you all had a lovely trip and enjoyed yourselves!


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