Delaware, At Last

One of the perks to moving around a lot as a child is the number of new states you get to explore. As my parents and I moved from location to location, we happily pulled out the map to see which new states we’d get to add to our growing list. Coupled with a love of national parks and road trip vacations (both as a kid and as an adult), I have happily come close to visiting all 50 states.

To help make this dream a reality, Luke planned an amazing adventure to Delaware. It’s so close to us — we’ve been through on the train many times — but we’ve never made a concerted effort to explore the state and really sink our teeth into it (the criteria for making it onto The List).

We started our day’s journey at the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. The area consists of preserved tidal salt marshes where thousands of migrating shorebirds return north to Canada from the Gulf of Mexico every spring. Egrets, heron, and ducks abound! So do mosquitoes, which is why I am donning head-to-toe coverage in July.

Egrets, Bombay Hook NWR

IMG_6590

IMG_6604

Birdwatching

Birdwatching

Fun in the sunshine

Fun in the sunshine

Happy day!

Happy day!

Next, we drove into Wilmington for a bite to eat. I’d read this review of Juliana’s Kitchen when we first moved to the area, and wanted to be sure to check it out before we moved away. We were not disappointed. After a delicious Ceviche de Pescado, I enjoyed the Bistec Apanado con Tacu-Tacu (amazing breaded steak with rice and beans) and a Pisco Sour. Luke had Pescado a lo Macho (fish fillet with a delicious, spicy sauce). This was easily one of the best meals we’ve had this year.

We ended the night by attending the Delaware Shakespeare Festival’s performance of “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” at Rockwood Park. It’s a beautiful outdoor venue with open seating on the grass, so we grabbed our camping chairs and set up along one of the aisles connecting the center stage to the main house.

2013_DSF_Twogents_FINAL

The staging of the play was really lovely – set on the grounds of the Rockwood Mansion, the backdrop and costumes gave the performance a “Great Gatsby” feel while maintaining the original language of the play. The bridges and walkways of the park become part of the set, and surrounded by stringed lights and colorful umbrellas, you really do feel like you are at a magnificent lawn party.

Rockwood Park mansion

Rockwood Park mansion at sunset

A few Klondike bars kept us cool throughout the event.

It was amazing to have such a great afternoon and still be able to drive home in 25 minutes. Delaware, I’m so glad we finally met.

Look out, North Dakota, Montana, and Idaho. One more great road trip (and family visit!) and my map will be completely colored in.