The plan was to go to the Delaware shore for the weekend of July 4th, to visit a dear friend whom I had not seen in over a year. Being close to the sea is something that I miss, so I make due with going near New York City or Long Island beaches, even though they hardly measure up to the glorious Mediterranean. (sorry dear readers but its true– You will see for yourselves when I post from Athens next month)
I was all packed and ready to go when I got the message that she unfortunately couldn’t host me. Shit… I thought there goes my whole plan down the drain. Disappointment of not being with my friend was replaced with determination to at least take advantage of this long weekend to the fullest. If I have an idea in my head, I’m going to try my hardest to put it in motion. So I made a frantic search for hotels near by, booked the cheapest one I could find, in Dover (1 hour away) and left early Saturday morning for the Delaware coast.
I have recently become very fond of traveling alone. I find that people are more willing to share their stories, and even create new friendships when you’re a solo traveler. I also appreciate being quiet and doing exactly what I love which is discovering new places at my own pace. With that spirit in mind I set out early Saturday morning to drive from New York City, to Delaware. It took a bit longer to arrive in Dover due to holiday traffic, but the weather on Saturday morning was incredibly beautiful. I parked my car on Dewey beach just a little after 6pm.
The beach was quiet and serene; it felt it was there just for me. Most people had already gone, leaving it almost deserted. The sky was opening up with glorious hues of white, blue and pink clouds as the sun slowly started to set. I stayed as long as I could until sunset, left my beach bag in the car and headed to a near by pub for dinner. I sat by the bar ordered a nice meal and one cold beer. This being a summer touristy town, the restaurant was incredibly busy. I read my book, turned off my phone and just enjoyed people watching, until it was time to drive back to the hotel.
This was a trip of “saying yes” and allowing for whatever surprise or change to arrive without trying to stick to a schedule or force myself on a certain path. I had difficult winter and spring, so this trip was about letting go of all the schedules, and pre-planned agendas and enjoying each day to the fullest. I went to a different beach every day, and enjoyed a beautiful meal near the water’s edge.
The following morning I ventured a little further to Bethany Beach. After a long hot day at the beach, I walked along the boardwalk, listened to a live band and enjoyed the last pages of my book. Feeling quite famished I made my way to what seemed like a very expensive hotel restaurant. At first glance I didn’t want to spend money on a lavish meal, but in the spirit of “saying yes”, I compromised and enjoyed a small salad and soup at the bar. A lovely glass rose wine, (which the bar tender filled up twice without asking me!) lead to a great conversation with my neighbors at the bar. A group of friends had all come down to Delaware for the holiday weekend, they had known each other since they were in college and were now in their early 50’s. They had made this trip every year without fail. After the meal they said their goodbyes and I kept sipping my vino till sundown. After dinner my second ice cream adventure lead me to Maureen’s Cafe. One Scoop of coffee ice cream and one scoop of cookies and cream…. divine.
The last day, I sat on the beach thinking of all the wonder of traveling alone, having time to write, and read a full book and just enjoy each moment with no plans. Before my departure back to New York, I drove to the beautiful historic town of Lewes, Delaware . I walked along the harbor; watched the sail boats go by and took a long walk around the neighborhood. One last iced coffee and ice cream to go from King’s Homemade Ice Cream…
Happy Travels wherever you might go. Each street corner hides a story, and when plans change, change with them.