Surprisingly beautiful Delaware

Trip Start Dec 30, 2010
Trip End Jul 06, 2011

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Where I stayed
Couch surfed with Annie

Flag of United States  , Delaware
Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day 171 June 23 continued - I land in DC via a connecting flight to New York and I slept both flights. I'll be driving for the first time in over a year and driving on the wrong side of the road and driving while tired!! Not a good combination. I managed to wake up on the last flight in time to grab a free coffee, on Jet Blue flights they offer Dunkin Donuts coffee, free!! I've never hired a car before. Now, my reason for hiring a car is pretty simple. The public transport to get to Delaware and in Delaware is poor, it's pretty poor across most states in the USA. I am also seeing a friend in DC and don't want to spend potential time with her stuck on a bus. So, I found the cheapest car to hire with Hertz and jumped on the bus that takes you to the car hire place.

I end up spending some more dollars to get a better car that has sat nav. Apparently he gave me the sat nav free, but it came with the more expensive car?? Anyway, after sitting in the car for ten minutes, I set off, not knowing which way to get out of the Hertz car park. I finally find my way and am soon zooming down a 55mph! Silly speed limit.

The driving was no problem, I guess I naturally strayed to one side of the lane, but in the end got used to being on the 'other' side of the car. The only problem I encountered was just outside DC where a road the sat nav wanted me to drive along, was no longer there due to road works. Some 30 minutes later and going round in circles twice, I ended up driving north until the sat nav worked out a different direction.

I was lucky enough to drive over Annapolis and a pretty impressive bridge that stretches over a local river there. Note, it's not a good idea to try take pictures while driving!!

So why Delaware? Why go to a state that no-one wants to go to? Well, for that reason mainly and also, I want to show there is more to Delaware than a poor reputation. Also, I plan to see all 50 of the states in the USA, I do not want Delaware to be the last. The last has to be a spectacular one, so slowly I am ticking them off. Delaware will be my 28th state visited. The next will most likely be California.

The drive was smooth until I get to the farm areas of Delaware, where the speed limit reduces to 25mph and most locals are happy to meander along at this pace. Not even driving on their bumper would help them go quicker. I was hoping to make it to my host, Annie, by 2pm. I end up rolling in at 3pm. However, the last hour of the journey was spent trying to find a bathroom, in the end I pulled up at the entrance to the complex where she lived, ran into the woods and let out the pain that was in my bladder! It's so stupid, the number of McDonald's I passed, the number of gas stations I passed but I thought I could hang on till I got to Annie's.

Well, it's a good job I didn't. There was a note on her front door saying she had attended a meeting and might be running late, text her when I arrive etc. So I text her and took a nap in my car. The area she lived in was phenomenal! Large houses built around a fake lake, lots of grass, each house either has a pool or a hot tub, the place looked divine. After three hours and many calls, no word from Annie. So I head to Lewes beach to see what's up.

The beach is fine, but I hungry and slightly concerned about there being no word from my host. I'm one of those people that won't get annoyed just in case something bad has happened and I typically give them the benefit of the doubt and trust that she will be in touch at some point. I find a local bar, order some wings and a local dog fish beer. Tasty beer and delicious wings. I then sit outside a McDonald's, using their free wifi and work out which motel I will stay at and see if I can go to DC a day earlier and stay with my friend an extra night, although she is studying hard for her French exams and I really don't want to interrupt her.

I go back to Annie's house at 730pm and she finally rolls up at 830pm. She ended up going to the beach in the afternoon and couldn't get hold of me. Never mind, the afternoon nap was needed and I was relieved that she finally tuned up. The house is enormous. She rents from a family that use it as a holiday home. She only rents one room and gets free run of the house as the family is not there. The only thing the family doesn't know is that she hosts couchsurfers. The dad of the family finds it strange that Annie has so many different 'friends' stay over but the surfers are happy to go along with any story.

We stay up and chat for a few hours and drink a few beers. Annie is a very charismatic person, full of life and energy. She works as a teacher in a rough part of Delaware, as an example, one of her students was killed a couple of years ago and another was raped this year. She has therapy herself for the death of her student and is applying for jobs in northern Delaware to get away from this particular area. Tomorrow she is going for a job interview so I have this wonderfully large house to myself.

I go to bed in my own room, with a double bed and en suite, how perfect. I sleep like a baby.

Miles walked 0.65
Temperature: 36C

Day 172 June 24th - So, the plan was to go to a brewery, the plan was to actually get out of bed at a decent hour. I contacted the brewery, they had no spaces and only later did I realise you couldn't wear open toed shoes or shorts, so even if I went on the off chance of their being a space on a tour, I would not have been allowed in.

I ended up lounging around, watching some Wimbledon tennis, sleeping some more, checking out the porch and decking and relaxing! It was pure heaven for me and seeing as Annie and I were planning on going out in the late afternoon and evening, I was happy to relax during the morning and early afternoon.

When Annie returned, she was full of excitement as her interview went well and she was very confident of getting the job. I was happy for her. She prepared some food then we went out to Rohoboth beach.

She found her usual free parking spot and we walked to the beach. The beach was better than I expected. I've never heard anyone say anything good about Delaware, but this part of the world, is relaxed, laid back and fun. We take off our sandals and walk towards Lewes beach. On the way we spot some pretty impressive sand castles and there was even preparation for a wedding on the beach. Someone must love Delaware enough to get married on the beach. My mind was made up, this IS a state to visit! It may now be very big, it may not have a great crime record, but it has amazing farm land and great beaches. An easy place to disappear and relax.

After walking for a hour, I felt parched so was in need of some refreshment. We decide on the Pig and Fish bar. Eat like a......drink like a........, well you get the idea. It had beers from around the area and mostly fro Belgium also. I asked the bar tender to serve me up some suggestions, here is what I drank: Delirium Tremens (12%), Unibroue Ephemere (8%), Victory Golden Monkey Tripel (6%). My first beer was in a tiny glass, so no wonder I was on my 2nd by the time Annie has barely sipped any of her Sangria. The bar tender was a cool young guy, Annie clearly had the horn for him and sparked up a conversation. To her credit, even when he mentioned his girlfriend, she didn't act disappointed. This guy and his girlfriend were also couchsurfers. They don't enjoy Delaware during the winter as it's a seasonal place so they went to Europe and couchsurfed for a couple of months. They loved it and I'm not surprised!

Feeling pretty happy after my strong beers, we head to the Dog Fish restaurant and wait 45 minutes for a table. Some guy who worked there we chatted to in the Pig and Fish and he followed us to the Dog Fish place and got us a couple of free drinks, just sample ones but still free, nice guy. The place was heaving, clearly very popular. I was very aware of the fact I would be driving in the morning, so needed to drink some water and stay clear of the strong beer. IT was good beer, just so strong!! When we finally sat I had a tasty burger and a 60 minute dog fish beer, only 5% I believe.

The night came to an end when we drove home. Annie had a friend come stay with his 4 kids. They were very cute, with ages ranging from 4 to 9. They were watching Percy Jackson and I saw they had a giant bag of Pistachio nuts. Seeing as I had the beer munchies, I watched the rest of the film and must have ate a third of their packet. I went to bed and I was out like a light! A good day in Delaware, I recommend it to all!

Miles walked: 1.4
Temperature 35C

Day 173 June 25th - I wake in the same position I slept in. i had a good long shower, packed my bag again, made my bed and tidied the room and snuck out. The drive out of Delaware was fine to begin with, low speed limits and the sat nav is very helpful when you are feeling tired. I stop a couple of times, to take a photo of the road or view.

Even though it has only been a short stay in Delaware, it was a worthwhile stay. I was happy to meet Annie, relax in a beautiful home and enjoy some delicious beers in good company.

The drive to DC was slow, I was in no rush, I stopped for coffee and a spot of breakfast and eventually made my way to the central train station in DC to drop the car off.
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Pete on

You forgot to include a picture of the car. What did you end up renting?

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