Delaware – Days 1-2: The First Town in the First State, a Ghost Beach Town, and Awesome Road Trip Apps

Brittany Swanson   November 21, 2015   Comments Off on Delaware – Days 1-2: The First Town in the First State, a Ghost Beach Town, and Awesome Road Trip Apps

My first day in Delaware was mostly just driving and realizing that most of the things I wanted to do in Dover weren’t open. I really need to remember museums aren’t usually open on Mondays and plan accordingly. Whomp sauce. I eventually made my way to Brandywine Park and took a walk around there. The fall foliage was still pretty and there weren’t many people around, so I enjoyed my stroll.

Fall foliage is still going strong in Delaware, Brandywine Park, Wilmington, DE.

Fall foliage is still going strong in Delaware, Brandywine Park, Wilmington, DE.

My host that night was my mom’s friend Michelle and thankfully she and her family gave me a nice list of recommendations for the following day. First up was Surf Bagel for breakfast. I tried the pumpkin bagel with pumpkin spice cream cheese. It was alright. Nothing I’d go out of my way to have again though. Then I drove to Lewes, the first town in the first state, where I parked right next to the Lewes Historical Society. The lady working at the Historical Society gave me a map and directed me to a few places she thought I should see in town.

It started drizzling, but rain hadn’t stopped me before, so I donned my raincoat and set out to explore Lewes. Just past the Historical Society was a sign saying, “Welcome to the St. Peter’s Labyrinth A path of peace open to all. You are invited to walk this path as a form of prayer or walking meditation.” I thought that was pretty cool. Since I’d been invited so nicely by the sign, I entered and did a meditative lap. It was nice.

St. Peter's Labyrinth and welcome sign, Lewes, DE.

St. Peter’s Labyrinth and welcome sign, Lewes, DE.

The Zwaanendael Museum, which documented the first European settlement in Delaware, was one of the museums accepted with my reciprocal museum pass and it was in Lewes! Unfortunately, this one was closed Mondays AND Tuesdays! Epic fail. Alas, museums in Delaware and I were not meant to be.

Lewes was pretty much what I’ve come to expect in a small town in America: some overpriced shops, a restaurant or two, nearly no other people around. To Lewes’ credit, they had a cute book store, Biblion, with a trade-in credit policy which I thought was pretty neat. I wandered down to the waterfront but didn’t feel much like exploring in the rain. I went back to the car to examine the map the lady from the Historical Society had given me and make sure I hadn’t missed anything.

Lewes, the first town in the first state, Lewes, DE.

Lewes, the first town in the first state, Lewes, DE.

On one of the maps was a road trip advertisement for AAA. Being that I’m on a road trip, naturally I looked at it. There was a list of useful apps if you’re on a road-trip. I immediately downloaded GasBuddy to help me find the cheapest gas nearby. One of the other apps was Roadside America which apparently lists any oddity or random site (think: World’s Largest Ball of Yarn) near you. I’d just recently been thinking my trip had been lacking some fun things like this since Lenny, the 1,700 pound chocolate moose back in Maine, so of course, I downloaded that app as well. Unfortunately, it wasn’t free, and I had to pay extra to unlock all the regions, but I figured with all the cool things I’d be able to find it was probably worth it. We’ll see.

Much to my surprise, the nearest oddity was right there in Lewes. Apparently, Lewes had its very own Fountain of Youth. Don’t worry, I didn’t get my hopes up too high that this was a legit Fountain of Youth, but still. So, off I went on a quest like so many before me, a quest to find the Fountain of Youth. Luckily for me, it’s 2015 and I had an app and Google Maps to point me in the right direction. I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting, since I’d seen the pictures on the app before I left, but the puddle of water under the structure labelled “Fountain of Youth” really wasn’t all that impressive. Oh well, maybe next time…

The Fountain of Youth in Lewes, DE.

The Fountain of Youth in Lewes, DE.

My next stop before heading to my host’s house was Rehoboth Beach. I can only imagine how cool it is in the summer, but in the middle of fall it’s pretty much a ghost town. There were a few other people out an about, but pretty much everything on the boardwalk was closed for the season. I did find an open Grotto Pizza (I passed three different locations) and got a slice of cheese pizza. After all the amazing pizza I’d had in NYC though, it was nothing special.

Beach towns in the fall are ghost towns, Rehoboth Beach, DE.

Beach towns in the fall are ghost towns, Rehoboth Beach, DE.

After Rehoboth, I figured maybe the twenty minute drive to see famous cartoon characters in someones front yard (another find from the Roadside America app) might be worth it, so I stopped there before going to my host’s house. Unfortunately, I hadn’t realized the house with the sculptures would be right on the highway…or that I’d be getting there right as traffic was picking up. I drove by, turned around, and pulled over, but decided not to get out of the car so I didn’t a. trespass or b. get hit crossing the street. It was still pretty cool though.

Character Sculptures in someone's front yard, Millsboro, DE.

Character sculptures in someone’s front yard, Millsboro, DE.