Monthly Archives

April 2017

Hopkins Creamery or Kings?

When you have three kids, you know where to get good ice cream. Fortunately, or unfortunately, for my family, we live in between two of the best ice cream places in Lower Slower Delaware that are not on a boardwalk.

If you are traveling to Lewes, DE, you will want to stop by Hopkins Creamery on Route 9. Hopkins is an institution in the area. The ice cream comes straight from the cows, which happen to be next to the ice cream shop. Your family can check out the cows while they wait for their ice cream. They can also work off some of the calories playing on the farm’s playground.

The ice cream at Hopkins is good. People will wait for the ice cream, and I do mean wait. At the height of the summer season, the wait can be up to 20 or 30 minutes. People literally line-up to eat this ice cream.

People swear by Hopkins. In fact, when we moved to Delmarva, we were told that living near Hopkins was a selling point. That depends if you like being asked by your children if we can stop there every time you drive past the place. (We pass by Hopkins every day.)

Personally, I like Kings Homemade Ice Cream. They have a shop in downtown Milton and another in downtown Lewes. Both shops are small and you can sit inside. They have a 50s vibe. The ice cream, to me, is some of the best I have had. As an added bonus, there is rarely a wait. Here is the deal, though, you have to bring cash. Kings Homemade Ice Cream does not take credit cards.

Sadly, I never carry cash. Actually, that is probably a good thing. Anyway, if you are in Milton or Lewes this summer remember to bring your cash if you plan on stopping by Kings. It is worth the trip to the bank.

 

Fort Miles: Pulling out the big guns

Before we moved to Delmarva, our family lived less than half an hour away from Gettysburg, Pa.

We never once visited Gettysburg as civil war buffs. In nearly 20 years, my family never once drove over the state line to witness a Civil War reenactment. Considering that my family has a whole North/South thing going on, the Civil War is not something I am very interested in revisiting.

World War II, well, that is different. Delmarva has everything a World War II buff could want all right at Fort Miles at Cape Henlopen State Park. We have lived on Delmarva for a little more than a year. We have been to Fort Miles at least four times.

It is pretty freakin’ cool. The kiddos love the big gun turrets. The turrets make great photos. The kids also loved climbing on them. Hands-on history. It doesn’t get better than that.

We also got to breeze in and out of some of the old buildings that the military used back in the day. The kiddos liked checking out what once was the mess hall.

Apparently, Fort Miles has a museum. I will admit we have never been to it when it was open, but we will make it a point to visit it this season. We already bought our Delaware State Park annual pass, which more than pays for itself if you visit Delmarva often. You can buy an annual pass when you visit Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes, or you can click here. As residents, we pay $35. The pass is good at all Delaware State Parks. The pass we bought last year got a lot of use.

I am not a history expert on Fort Miles. Here is what I know. During World War II, Fort Miles was part of the country’s coastal defense program. The military personnel who were stationed there were keeping a watchful eye on the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, making sure that the German navy was not able to intrude upon American shores.

Fort Miles has beautiful views overlooking the bay. It also has a bit of a hill, which skateboarders make full use of. Hills are rare in this part of Delaware. So in addition to taking in history, spectacular views, some pretty talented skateboarders are also thrown into the mix.

Fort Miles is worth the trip. It is a great place to stop if you want to teach your kids more about American history. It really brings that era to life for them.

If you are considering visiting, this week to do it. Fort Miles will be presenting “Fort Miles: Delaware Goes to War _ Victory in Europe.”The event will be held Saturday, April 29, at Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes.  The event starts at 10 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m. The event is free for veterans. Other people will pay a $5 admission fee.

This is one reenactment I believe we will go to this year. If you would like more details on the event, please click here.

 

 

 

No GMOs here: The best darn peaches and watermelons ever

Only about two more weeks and The Rehoboth Beach Farmers’ Market opens!

If you live on Delmarva, you have access to some of the best produce out there. Farmers’ markets abound. I have never really been a fan of watermelon until I tried the watermelon here. It is light. It has flavor. It breaks off easily when you bite into it.

It is the best watermelon I have ever tasted. Heck, Delmarva has a Watermelon Queen. Technically she is the Delmar Watermelon Queen, but you get the gist. If you have a queen, you’d better have some good watermelon.

The Rehoboth Farmers’ Market has great watermelon, but it also has excellent peaches grown down the road in Frankford. It also has 44 vendors selling everything from produce to hand-crafted sausage to ice cream. For a complete list of vendors click here.

The Farmers’ Market is located off to the left, as you come into Rehoboth Beach from the circle. You cannot miss the big white tents in Grove Park. It is an excellent place to come with your kids if you are looking for fresh food and a peaceful place to sit down and enjoy a picnic or perhaps just a break from the beach.

The market is located right next to Grove Park. It also is near the Rehoboth-Dewey Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center, which is pretty neat (it has a train inside), and the Rehoboth Beach Museum. The Beach Museum is also worth a visit. A new restaurant called EGG also opened across the street. We haven’t tried it yet, but we will. It is hard to go wrong with eggs and bacon, plus we hear they have parking. That is always a plus in Rehoboth Beach.

One thing that makes Rehoboth Farmers’ Market a little different from other markets is Paul Cullen. You will hear him before you see him. He is unassuming picking at his guitar strings. The songs he plays have a jazz feel to them.

He is a nice guy. My son loves music and is fascinated with musicians. So we stopped. My son chatted up Cullen, and he was very kind and patient with my 5-year-old’s many, many questions.

I did not realize this until later, but Cullen is a personal chef, guitarist and a sommelier. He also is a former bassist for the band Bad Company. Delmarva is full of surprises. If you really want to make your vacation special and impress guests, you might stop and ask Cullen about his services.

The Rehoboth Farmers’ Market is open on Tuesdays between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. If you are interested in other farmers’ markets in Southern Delaware click here.

 

https://www.google.com/maps/place/The+Grove+Park,+Rehoboth+Beach,+DE+19971/@38.7158895,-75.0940282,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1

 

The Zwaanendael Museum: A unique Delmarva offering

 Visitors to Lewes often comment about the unique building located at 102 Kings Highway, but the outside just offers a taste of the fascinating stories found inside.

The Zwaanendael Museum was built in 1931 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the state’s first European colony, Swanendael, established by the Dutch along Hoorn Kill (present-day Lewes-Rehoboth Canal) in 1631.

The building was designed by E. William Martin, famous as the architect of Legislative Hall and the Hall of Records in Dover. The museum is modeled after the town hall in Hoorn, the Netherlands, and features a stepped facade gable with carved stonework and decorated shutters. The museum’s exhibits and presentations provide a showcase for Lewes-area maritime, military and social history.

Part of that history is the story behind the sinking of the DeBraak. During the late-18th and early-19th centuries, sloops of war such as DeBraak played an increasingly important role in Royal Navy campaigns. These relatively small vessels combined speed, agility, shallow draft and increased firepower, all of which made them formidable naval vessels. As the only Royal Navy sloop of war from this time period that has been recovered anywhere in the world, DeBraak serves as an invaluable historical resource for a time when Great Britain was the world’s preeminent naval power.

The surviving section of the DeBraak’s hull and its associated artifact collection have been curated by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs since they were acquired by the state of Delaware in 1992. Approximately one-third of the hull survives including the keel, keelson and lower framing elements, including a large section of the starboard (right) side.

Beginning on June 7, 2017, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will offer tours that explore the 18th-century history, artifacts and surviving hull section of His Majesty’s Sloop DeBraak, a British warship that was escorting and protecting a convoy of merchant ships en route to the United States when it was capsized and lost off the Delaware coast on May 25, 1798. Tours will take place at 9 a.m. on the following Wednesdays during 2017: June 7, 14, 21 and 28; July 5, 12, 19 and 26; Aug. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30; and Sept. 6, 13, 20 and 27.

Each tour begins at the Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, Del., where a lecture on the ship will be presented in conjunction with the exhibit “A Seaborne Citizenry: The DeBraak and Its Atlantic World.” Participants will learn about the history, crew and sinking of the DeBraak through a guided presentation and display of actual artifacts. Attendees will then be transported, via van, to the DeBraak conservation facility for interpretation and viewing of the ship’s surviving hull section.

Each tour will last approximately two hours. Individuals age 10 and up are welcome. Space is limited to 12 participants. The cost of the program is $10 per person. For reservations (non-refundable) please visit the Shop Delaware website (go to http://shop.delaware.gov and click on “Tours” in the “Categories” column). For questions, call 302-645-1148. Walk-ups are welcome but space is not guaranteed.

‘A Sailor’s Life For Me’

The museum will host its two-day maritime celebration, “A Sailor’s Life for Me,” May 27 and 28 at various locations in downtown Lewes.

Adults and children will have an opportunity to experience seafaring lives and honor mariners who made a sacrifice.

The schedule for May 27 includes:

  •  “Life at Sea” demonstrations: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway. Attendees can swab the deck, learn about shipboard food, play Crown and Anchor and other Colonial-period games and serve on a block-and-tackle station where visitors will be drilled by a demanding mariner looking for new crew members
  • Local maritime history demonstrations and displays: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Zwaanendael Museum. Presented by various local organizations including the Indian River Lifesaving Station; the Lewes Historical Society; the Lightship Overfalls and the Overfalls Foundation; and the Marine Education, Research and Rehabilitation Institute.
  • Living history encampment: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Canal Front Park, 211 Front St. Re-enactors will portray sailors and mariners from the American Revolutionary War to the Korean War with a spotlight on World War I in commemoration of the centennial of America’s entrance into the Great War. Activities include displays, demonstrations and musket drills.
  • Sound pipe demonstrations: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Lightship Overfalls, 219 Pilottown Road. Demonstrations on the use of sound pipes which were used by the Overfalls to produce audible warnings during the presence of thick fog or mist.
  • Tour of the Overfalls: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Lightship Overfalls. Visit this National Historic Landmark that was the last lightship built by the U.S. Lighthouse Service. The last tour will be at 3:30 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and children 14 years and older.

The schedule for May 28 includes:

  • “Lost Off Lewes: The British Warship DeBraak” tours: 9, 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Zwaanendael Museum. Participants will meet at the Zwaanendael Museum where they will board a van that will transport them to an off-site conservation facility for a guided tour of the surviving hull section of His Majesty’s Sloop DeBraak, which sank off the Delaware coast on May 25, 1798. Admission is free, but due to limited seating, reservations are required by calling 645-1148 no later than May 19.
  • Colonial games: 1:30 to 4 p.m., Zwaanendael Museum.
  • Wreath-laying ceremony: 3:30 p.m. Featuring historical re-enactors, a bugler and a bagpiper, this ceremony will take place at the DeBraak Memorial located on the museum grounds. The site is believed to contain the remains of several crew members who lost their lives in the sinking of the DeBraak.
  • Living history encampment: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Canal Front Park. Historical re-enactors will portray sailors and mariners from the American Revolutionary War to the Korean War with a spotlight on World War I in commemoration of the centennial of America’s entrance into the Great War. Activities include displays, demonstrations and musket drills.
  • Wreath-laying ceremony at the tomb of DeBraak Capt. James Drew: 3 p.m., St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 211 Mulberry St. Featuring historical re-enactors, a bugler and a bagpiper, participants will lay a wreath on Capt. Drew’s grave, followed by a walk to the Zwaanendael Museum for a wreath-laying ceremony honoring other crew members of the DeBraak

For information, call 645-1148 or visit bit.ly/2ooXjLU.

 

The best small zoo ever!

A few months after we moved to Delmarva the warmer weather rolled in and we got to meet our neighbors.

The neighbor behind us brought her daughter by one day to play. As we were standing in the backyard, watching the kids play, she told me about the Salisbury Zoo. It is was just about an hour away from where we live, but well worth the drive. Best of all, she told us, it was free.

Sold. As a mother of three children, I can tell you that I welcome all things free. A trip to the movies to see the latest Disney flick can cost our family about $100 between the price of admission and buttered popcorn. When you have three kids costs add up quick.

I cannot speak enough praises about the zoo. It also has a great playground next door complete with a huge sandbox and castles.

The kiddos had off from school one day so we decided to hop in the road-tested minivan and head out for the Salisbury Zoo. Armed with the GPS on my phone, we had no trouble finding our way. For those of you who would like to do the same here is the address: 755 South Park Drive, Salisbury, MD.

We passed an Alpaca farm on the way from our house in Delaware. The farm will likely be a future road trip. We made it to the zoo in no time. It was well worth the trip. We paid no admission and we had the park nearly all to ourselves. The fall or spring is a great time to visit the zoo.  We got to see some cool animals, too. The kids got to hang upside down like a loveable slough. We wondered who among the adorable spider monkeys got along. We shouted argh matey to the parrot who lives next to the flamingos. We saw bears and we watched an alpaca eat a pine cone.

We also got to stop by the gift shop and buy a pair of binoculars.

The kids loved the zoo. They could act like explorers and they loved to ham it up taking pictures next to the statues placed throughout the zoo.

The Salisbury Zoo is a great day trip, particularly if your kids are sick of the beach and want a diversion. It is small. It is walkable. It is within an hour’s drive of the beaches. Did I mention again that it is free? So is the parking. The tour of the zoo takes about an hour. Next door to the zoo is an awesome playground. The first time we visited the zoo, we did not have time to stop by the playground. On our second visit, we made it a point to check it out. We spent about an hour there as my kids played in the castle and in the giant sandbox. The only thing that could have made it better is if someone had a cart selling pretzels, sodas, and coffee. Hum? Maybe, I should do that.

If you plan on going, bring snacks, or better yet, pack a picnic. The concession area was closed both times we visited the zoo. Make sure you bring your camera or your phone. You are going to want to take lots and lots of pictures.

Want more details on the Salisbury Zoo? Click here. The next big to do at the zoo is Earth Day.

Earth Day

April 22, 2017 10am-4pm 

The event is free and features the following: zookeeper talks, face painting, animal meet and greets and recycled craft activities. The event also will feature the Zoo Stampede 5K, now in its 16th year. For more details: http://www.salisburyzoo.org/maryland-salisbury-zoo-events-news

Earth Day Schedule:

9:00 am                                       Zoo Stampede 5K (Zoo Parking Lot)

10:00 am – 4:00 pm                 Exhibitors, food and children’s activities, animal talks

10:00 am – 4:00 pm                 City of Salisbury E-cycling (Zoo parking lot)

10:30 am – 11:15 am                 Race Awards (Zoo Stage)

Noon    – 12:30pm                     Animal Meet & Greet

1:30pm-2:30 pm                      Ted Nichols Drum Circle (Zoo Stage)

2:45-3:15 pm                            Animal Meet and Greet