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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Travel

Travels with Carlie-Planning a Road Trip

the-best-road-trip-guideIn 2015 I planned the most awesome road trip of the southeastern part of the United States. My husband was going to be submitting his application for Officer Candidate School soon, and we knew flight school is held in Florida, so I wanted to meander our way down there to scope out the area, and also take advantage of touring other parts of the U.S. along the way and back. Never having been on a road trip before I picked some popular and random cities in states along the way and did some research thanks to my ole pal google. To the seasoned roadtripper, they may be able to plan a road trip in a few days or hours, I don’t really know what would be customary; I however, spent a few weeks picking locations, planning our route, figuring out the budget, and trying to jam pack 12 states in 10 days of traveling. I definitely overplanned, had tons of fun (planning and doing), and learned so much for our next time road tripping. Here are some tips and how-to’s on how I did it (with my lessons learned built in):

  1. Destination Picks
    1. Since we would be starting from our home in Delaware and trekking our way down to Florida, I picked at least one stop in each state along the way for us to experience some sort of activity or adventure. I picked locations based off of what I knew was popular, some I already had my heart set on (Orlando) and some I did a little googling or trip advisor-ing to identify spots. Trip advisor-ing.. hmmm, pretty sure I just made that verb up. It’s pretty handy though. Just download the app, or go to the website: www.tripadvisor.com, plug in your destination, you can be as vague as a country, state or narrow it down to a city if you have one picked out. You can search for things to do, restaurants, accommodations, the works.screen696x696
  2. Navigation
    1. Planning your route can be a bit tricky. How far should we travel in a day? Which route should we take? There were some days we only had to drive 3-5 hours total and some days we drove 8-10 hours. The 10 hour drives were a bit much. So I’d recommend keeping it between 5-8 hours if you have a lot of distance to cover, but if you have the time and can fit in stops with cool things to do and see, plan to do so.its-the-journey-not-the-destination
    2. In my research some road tripping enthusiasts recommend bringing two GPS options on your trip. This is because not all GPS know the same routes. We had a TomTom GPS in addition to our phones, so we thought we had this covered. However, it had been a few years since we needed to use the TomTom, so we discovered the hard way that the charging cord was no longer functional. We discovered this because in the mountains of West Virginia, if your cell phone carrier is Verizon, you will get ZERO service. So cell phone GPSs weren’t an option and the TomTom wasn’t an option either. What did we do? We stopped at a library and begged them for a map of the area to get us along our route. In my mind map reading was this immensely difficult task that only navigators knew how to do; turns out, it isn’t that hard. But yes, I also advocate for double GPS options, just make sure they are both functional before hitting the road! In addition to having the GPS options I also printed map quest directions because it’s 2006 and that’s what we do here, K? It was a waste though, I don’t recommend doing it, and won’t be doing it again. It didn’t help us when the TomTom died, the TomTom had taken us a different route than mapquest and there is NO redirecting on paper mapquest. So I recommend two GPS options and a map. Maps are handy even if your GPS and cell phone doesn’t crap out like ours did because if you plan on following any scenic drives, it’s a challenge to get your GPS to follow that route. GPSes tend to take you the fastest or shortest distance, not the prettiest. So unless you want to have it direct you to a pinpoint of the scenic drive and then wing it to your stopping point, a map will be handy. Better to be over prepared.enhanced-buzz-26374-1389315775-18
  3. Busy Bees along the way
    1. Sightseeing, scenic drives, and quirky stops. There is so much the U.S. of A. has to offer and many of these treasures are a little hidden. So if you’re interested in seeing what there is along the way of your already pre-determined route check out www.roadtrippers.com and/or download their app. This nifty little do-dad will give you lots of info on places within a certain mile radius of your route so you can be sure not to miss all those giant rubber band balls, dinosaur parks, and dives your heart desires. There are even pre-planned trip guides you can peruse for free if you want to let someone do all the work for you! Work smarter, not harder my friends.roadtrippers-iphone-and-ipad-app
    2. Car games, audiobooks, and playlists. You spend a lot of time in the car when on a road trip, so be prepared with ways to help the time go by more pleasantly. You can find tons of car games like license plate bingo, yellow car, I spy, the list goes on and on. Here’s an infographic with some ideas:4d4da30d23a97abd1e64c5e962e8c4ffI also recommend creating a playlist on your phone, or making a cd of music you’d like to hear on your travels. Audiobooks are also a great way to pass the time and you can get them for free from the library if you’re looking for budget friendly options. Lastly, we killed time in the car by pulling up Netflix. Now before you start blasting me about it being dangerous, we didn’t watch movies or TV shows, we pulled up stand up comics so we could listen to a little bit of comedy on some of the long stretches of travel. Some favorites are Mike Birbiglia, Jim Gaffigan, and Aziz Ansari.
  4. Food- My favorite subject. Now to save money on our budget I made sure all of our hotels offered a complimentary hot breakfast to get our day started. This saved us from having to make an extra stop which is time, and it saved us money. The first couple days I was able to pack sandwiches to get us through for lunches. I couldn’t do this the whole trip because I didn’t want to keep having to refill our cooler with ice. So after the sandwiches ran out we either did lunch by stopping along the drive at fast food, or eating at an already pre-planned destination, or sometimes we were still full from breakfast and snacks which held us over until dinner. I think every day is different, so just do what works for you for lunch. Dinners were fairly similar, we’d either grab something along the drive at fast food, or eat at an already pre-planned destination. I found our pre-planned spots using Trip Advisor. Love Trip Advisor.4b7f0a7e2c802c82c23da5ac0116c87a
  5. Budget– When planning this trip I knew there were some more expensive items on the itinerary we would be doing. I had to spend the day at Universal Studios in Harry Potter World, which was going to be more pricey than kayaking in Charleston, SC or taking a hop on hop off bus in Savannah, GA. So there were some days that I budgeted more expensive excursions and balanced out with days of free adventures or fairly low cost. I also tried to find hotel accommodations for between $50-$90 bucks a night, making an exception for Nashville, TN because I knew I wanted to stay downtown to avoid driving around in city traffic. Again Roadtrippers and Trip Advisor are great tools to use to find things to do within your budget. But make sure you figure this all out so you can make adjustments to your plans ahead of time to avoid breaking the bank. This goes for excursions, restaurants, and gas stations. Many restaurants share their menus online or on trip advisor so you can see their prices prior to going. I also recommend the app gasbuddy to help you find gas stations near you with the lowest price. This will definitely help you save some bucks.fa584b9ee703e3ddc9dd0b43e954d2df

So there you have it. Five tips to help you plan your next road trip. But where did we go on our trip and what did we do? Allow me to show you:

the-best-southeast-usa-road-trip

Have you been to any of these destinations? What did you think?

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