Workin’ and Playin’ in Delaware

Part 11 The Playin’

Did you know that Delaware was the first state?  I must have missed that day in history class because I thought it was Virginia, but that was the first colony.  Tons of history here, the locals are very proud of their state and love to talk about it.

We were greeted by a very spry 80 yr. old at one museum and she went on and on for 45 min. (I’m not exaggerating!) I finally had to politely excuse myself to use the restroom (knowing there wasn’t one in the building) we were able to make a hasty retreat!

We spent several days visiting Lewes, noted for being the First Town in the First State.

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img_1731-e1532895283177.jpgWalking tour of downtown historic Lewes

The Cannonball House is so named due to the battle scars it bears from the War of 1812.  During the Bombardment of Lewes, the British attacked the town and kept the canal front under siege, but eventually were defeated.

img_1734-1The Ryves Holt House, oldest house in Delaware built in 1665.  Now is the home of the Lewes Historical Society Visitor’s Center.

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The Zwaanendael Museum was built by the State of Delaware in 1931 during the 300 year anniversary of the first Dutch Settlement in order to honor the memory of the original settlers who were massacred by a local tribe of the Lenni Lenape Indians.

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St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and Graveyard which surrounds the church, has many interesting stones dating back to 1774.

There are many shops and restaurants along Second Street, the sidewalks are all paved in brick, with old fashioned street lights and baskets of flowers.

There was even a Puzzle Shop.  Rick was in Heaven!

We went on a Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise at Fisherman’s Wharf, no whales, but did see many dolphins.  Hint:  we saw just as many on the Ferry from Lewes to Cape May at 1/3 the cost!

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Lewes/Cape May Ferry

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img_1374-1Looking for dolphins!

Ocean Boardwalks

We went to the boardwalk at Rehoboth Beach and Ocean City, MD.  Ocean City is longer, but we preferred Rehoboth which was named one of the top ten boardwalks.   It has nicer shops and restaurants.

Lightship Overfalls

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The Lightship Overfalls is one of 17 remaining lightships out of a total of 179 built from 1820-1952.  A lightship is basically a lighthouse that floats and serves the same functions.

Assateague Island

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I’m sure many of you are familiar with the feral Chincoteague Ponies and Assateague Horses that live on Assateague Island in Maryland and Virginia.  The breed was made famous by the children’s book series, Misty of Chincoteague.  There are several legends regarding the origins of the ponies, the most popular holds that they descended from survivors of a wrecked Spanish ship that swam to the shore.

Although the entire island is owned by the federal government, Assateague is split by a fence at the Maryland/Virginia state line, with a herd of about 150 ponies living on each side of the fence.  The herds are managed by two different federal agencies with different management styles.  Horses from the Maryland herd live within the Assateague National Seashore and are generally treated as wild animals, given no more or less assistance than other species on the island, other than contraceptive treatment to prevent overpopulation.  Conversely, the Chincoteague herd are owned by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department.  The Virginia ponies are treated to twice yearly veterinarian inspections, which prepare them for general equine population if they are auctioned at the Pony Penning Day. As many as 50,000 visitors gather on the last Wednesday in July to watch mounted riders bring the Virginia herd across the channel to the island.  The swim takes about 5-10 minutes, some foals are auctioned off to keep a healthy herd number, the rest are returned to the Island the next day.

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We checked out Assateague National Park first. The visitors center is really nice, but unfortunately we did not see any horses.  After doing more research, we decided that a tour would give us a better chance.  Salt Water Pony Tours had the best reviews, I just didn’t realize how far it was.  After booking the tour, I found out it was 74 miles.  Figured if we gave ourselves a 2 hr window it would be fine.  Nope.  It took almost 2 1/2 hrs, going through the little beach towns with all the lights and traffic.  We arrived late, but fortunately Captain Henry waited for us!  He was an awesome tour guide, knew the area well, where the ponies would be, and had fun, interesting stories.  Not only did we see many ponies, but also a large bald eagle.

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Symbiotic Relationship!

Even on our work days, we had plenty of time to enjoy the beach, fish in the bay, bike ride.  I even attempted bogie boarding and kite flying.  Notice the word, ATTEMPT!!

Meeting Friends

A perk of traveling cross country is meeting up with friends, either people we have met through RVing, blogging friends,  or old high school friends, like Kathi and David who live in Anapolis, MD.  We haven’t seen Kathi since high school, over 45 years ago!  They came to the park and we enjoyed catching up with our lives and news from our home town Pecatonica, IL.

Weather and Bugs

Growing up in the Midwest we were familiar with humidity, flies, and mosquitoes.  But, after living in Arizona we became spoiled.  We came to Delaware prepared with a Clam-shell screened enclosure (guaranteed to keep out the smallest noseeums) armed with several brands of bug spray, Permethin to treat clothes, Thermacell lanterns, candles, and even a fogger.  Well, the bugs were not that bad.  There were a few days in June with bothersome black flies, but the noseeums and mosquitoes were not an issue.  Must be due to the ever present ocean breeze.

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May was cool, a lot of rain in June, July was hot and humid.  But, the beach was always 10 degrees cooler with a refreshing breeze.  By the end of June, the water was warm enough to not need a wet suit.  The worst time was a week of rain in June, thought I’d go crazy in the RV!  Thank God for Netflix, FB, and my Kindle!

Our 3 months in Delaware were great with the exception of the last 2 weeks when I developed shingles.  The irony of the story is 2 weeks prior we were in Walgreens picking up Rick’s prescriptions and I saw a sign about the shingles vaccine.  I thought to myself, “hmmm, I should probably get that, I’ve heard shingles can be pretty painful.”  I asked the pharmacist what the cost was without insurance (I only have catastrophic since I’m preMedicare).  $136 he told me.  Decided to pass, didn’t want to spend that much.  Now, it wasn’t that I didn’t have the extra money, we had saved over $3000 not paying for a sight all summer.  I just didn’t want to spend that much on something not fun!!

2 weeks later I woke up with a painful, burning rash on my back.  I tried to ignore it hoping it was prickly heat!  By the 5th day, I sought medical advice…not from a doctor, but FB!!  Well, I do have nurse friends since I’m a retired one!  I received over 70 responses, telling me to go to a doctor or ER ASAP, one said they ended up in the hospital, one had a friend who committed suicide due to the unbearable pain.  Jeez!  I made a consultation appointment with my free Teledoc service, uploaded a pic of my rash, had a diagnosis of shingles in 10 minutes and a prescription for an antiviral.  The prescription cost $101,  Are you fricking kidding me??  I think I have a mild case, yes it’s painful, but not excruciating compared to some people’s descriptions.  But, if I could have avoided all this aggravation for a mere 35 dollars more….Lesson learned!

Moral of the story:  If you get a feeling about something, follow your intuition.  Listen to your gut.  God, the universe, or whatever higher power you believe in, may just be trying to help you out!

Next up….Gettysburg, PA