Travel

Camping for Rookies

I have been camping probably hundreds of times in my life. I would go so far as to call myself a seasoned camper. Despite all of these trips and excursions into the woods and mountains, apparently it wasn’t enough times to prevent some very rookie mistakes this last weekend.Camping for Rookies-2

My husband proposed the idea on Friday. Randomly, he recommended we go camping on the beach for one night on Saturday. It sounded like a great idea to me! I couldn’t wait to wake up to the sound of the Gulf of Mexico, play with our kite, and bury my feet in the sand. The one perk of living in South Texas may be that you can comfortably go to the beach in February.ow+9znWlQ6ysOxaBmj3Tpw

Saturday came around, we took care of some household chores, loaded up the truck, and set out for the beach and our overnight camping expedition. The last time we went camping was over New Years, so we were looking forward to disconnecting, even if it was only for the night.

Well, we hit our first road block early into the trip. We first headed to Mustang Island State Park where I read it was free to camp on the beach. A quick 20 minute drive and we were pulling up to the entrance, only to find it was closed. They are still doing clean up after Hurricane Harvey that hit the coast in August 2017. Well we quickly reassessed our situation and headed in the opposite direction to the Padre Island National Seashore. This is a National Park, and luckily since he is active duty military we get an annual pass into national parks for free-I love free. Civilians can purchase an annual pass for $70. About 30 minutes in the opposite direction and we were in the park, our spot scouted on the beach, and we were setting up camp for the night.

Cue snag number 2. I started cooking dinner. Grilled chicken and a salad were on the menu. I immediately realized I didn’t have any aluminum foil to cover the chicken in the pan. Not a big deal, but it would’ve helped the chicken to cook a bit faster, especially since it was incredibly windy. Ten minutes into cooking and I noticed the flame was out on our stove. Fabulous. I thought it was due to the wind, but it was due to the butane fuel can being empty. No biggie, we have a spare in our kitchen gear. Not a full can though. It was about 3/4 empty. So five minutes into trying to cook with that can, and we were completely out of fuel. As a last ditch effort to salvage the protein for our dinner, we put the pan on the campfire. It turns out, cooking on the beach over a campfire, on a windy night, and no cover for your pan, will only lead to your food being completely covered in an extraordinary amount of sand. Making it inedible.

Snag number 3. We have a rooftop tent. This completely genius invention is a tent that can be mounted on- you guessed it- your roof! It is a GAMECHANGER! It’s probably a million times more comfortable than a ground tent, and takes about 30 seconds to set up.

Check it out:IMG_0634

Typically we keep our sleeping bags and pillows in the tent. Everything folds up so nicely and conveniently! Well, as I mentioned before, we went camping over New Years. Since our trip was about four nights long, our linens were due for a wash. In our haste, we remembered to get the sleeping bags from the linen closet, but not the pillows. Balling up a thin hoodie to serve as a replacement pillow is not ideal.

Overall this trip, while it could’ve been better, was still a great time. We learned that we definitely need to not get complacent with our camping prep and just assume we have everything we need in our pre-packed gear. We also learned that the trip is about being together, even in unideal circumstances. And we learned that sandy chicken is gross. I don’t care. I still got to wake up to the sounds of the waves from the Gulf of Mexico crashing onto the beach, just feet from where I was sleeping. YrssAQyUSF2Q0UY+%FzneQ

 

Travel

SODEL-The Five Beaches you Have to Visit

you-are-simply-theIt’s been over two months since I moved away from the only home I’ve every really known of southern Delaware and moved to Pensacola Florida. I’m going to be heading home for a visit next month which actually got me missing home a little bit more than I thought I would. So in honor of my roots, I thought I would share a bit about some of the beaches we have at home. You might be thinking, a beach is a beach, and while they all have sand and water in common, each one has it’s own uniqueness and quirks to offer.

  1. Lewes Beach– I love Lewes for it’s history, small restaurants and boutiques, views and charm. Lewes is the “first town in the first state” and has so much to offer. You can peruse downtown which has all the history you can want, the restaurants are yummy and the shops are quaint and you will for sure find something that will catch your eye. From downtown, the canal is a brief walk away; which offers more scenic views, fishing and restaurants. about 3/4 of a mile from the canal is Lewes Beach. Lewes Beach is a small beach with very small, if any, waves. You can catch the ferry in Lewes which will take you to Cape May, NJ, or you can just watch the boats come in and out of port. You can also find the Cape Henlopen State Park for additional nature, more beaches and more fishing. Some notable restaurants to try would be Touch of Italy for italian, King’s Icecream for icecream, Agave for mexican, and Crooked Hammock Brewery for a laid back, fun atmosphere.lighthouse
  2. Rehoboth Beach Rehoboth Beach is where you want to go for shopping. Rehoboth has the Tanger Outlets which is great for tax free shopping. Rehoboth also has some delicious restaurants to choose from and I’m sad I didn’t get to try ALL of them before moving, but that’s probably for the best. Once you get down towards the ocean on Rehoboth ave. you’ll find tons more shopping and restaurants, and once you hit the end you’ll have the whole boardwalk to peruse as well. You can get candy, popcorn, play in the arcades or ride rides at Funland. Definitley a fun time for the whole family. Some notable restaurants would be The Greene Turtle on the boardwalk, Delaware Distilling Company for really good margaritas and crab mac and cheese, and Arena’s for a laid back, fun atmosphere.de-hp-main-005
  3. Dewey Beach Dewey is definitely known for it’s nightlife. If you have a babysitter, or are childfree and would like some dancing and drinks, head out to Dewey Beach. Be careful driving through as pedestrians tend to flood into the streets sometimes. Some popular spots include, The Starboard, Northbeach, and the Rusty Rudder. Who am I kidding, there are so many bars and restaurants the line the strip, you can do a crawl to check out as many as you want until you find one you don’t want to leave. I haven’t eaten in Dewey too many times, but I’ve heard marvelous things about The Starboard for brunch, and Que Pasa for tacos.deweybeachsign1
  4. Bethany Beach– Bethany is another family friendly beach. It tends to not be as crowded as Rehoboth, but it doesn’t have the carnival rides. However if you’re just looking for the beach and small boardwalk, then Bethany is definitely for you. Some notable restaurants include Matt’s Fish Camp, DiFebo’s Restaurant for italian, and Sunshine Crepe’s for breakfast food.

    bethany-beach-entrance_905cb02f-e51e-46ed-818c-913dfc8403be
    credit: www.visitdelaware.com
  5. Fenwick Island– Fenwick is as far south as you can go before hitting the MD state line. I’ve only been to Fenwick a handful of times and each time the waves were huuuuuuge. Definitely great for boogie boarding on most days, unless they’re too big and then it’s a little dangerous and I wouldn’t recommend it unless you are prepared for getting tumbled around quite a bit. Fenwick also has a number of mini golf places you should add to your itinerary if you’re in the area. Some notable restaurants include Harpoon Hannas or Fenwick Crab House for yummy seafood. Don’t like seafood? Well I’m sure they have other stuff, but I couldn’t tell you what because seafood is amazing.fenwick_beach_photo-560x254

For my fellow native Delawareans, I know so much was left out of this post. There are so many places and reasons to visit our beaches, but our attention spans are short, had to keep it brief.

I am officially a little a homesick and a lot hungry now after reflecting on the great beach spots back home. I hope you get a chance to check out at least one of these hidden gems. So often I get a confused look when I tell people I’m from Delaware, many people have never even heard of the state, which is embarrassing and you should work on your geography. So if you find yourself in the northeast, swing by, you won’t be disappointed.

Have you been to Delaware? What did you do? Where did you go? What did you see?

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