The First City In The First State

It would be the end of my trip to Delaware where I would make one
last stop before heading home. Lewes is a small historical city with a
population of 2,747 per the 2010 census. What arose my curiosity
was something I had read along the way to describe this picturesque
town, “The First City In The First State.” Enjoying history as I do, I needed to make a stop in this city.

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Lewes, Delaware is situated where the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean
meet at Cape Henlopen.

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Lewes’s historical district is a delight to walk. Being 1/2 sq. mile, it has
a beautiful waterfront, museums, Inns, Bed and Breakfasts, fine restaurants,
and a variety of fine shops.

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Cannonball House was built in 1765. It is the last remaining Lewes House
bearing a scar when a cannonball hit this house in 1813. It has been
restored and is now the Lewes Historical Society.

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Saint Peters Church, The First Church in The First Town in The First State.
The Church was established in 1681. This is the third building on this
spot representing St Peters. This building was constructed in 1854.

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In addition to the churchyard, Saint Peters owns the oldest cemetery in
the state of Delaware.

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Among Saint Peters interesting historical possessions are the communion
table used in the original church in 1724, a prayer book showing the changes made after the War of Independence, and a silver communion
service given by John Penn, grandson of William Penn, on June 10, 1773.

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I have not been so impressed by stained glass windows in a long time,
but just look at how beautiful these are. They were absolutely stunning.

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After walking the town and waterfront, we had lunch at a small restaurant
on Main Street, Blue Sea Cafe. We had a great lunch and so enjoyed
the ambience of this bright blue, purple and orange decor.

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It was time to get back on the road and head for home. Delaware is
such a beautiful state and has so much to offer, from the beautiful
mansions, museums, beaches, and rich history of this state, it is surely
a perfect place to visit. I would love to return one day, perhaps at
Christmas time. I could only imagine how beautiful it would all be.

My Two Days Spent On The Delaware Beaches

They say, if you live in Jersey you go to the Shore.
If you live in Maryland you go to the Ocean.. And…
If you live in Delaware you go to the Beaches.

Well the last two days of my Delaware vacation would be spent on the
beaches of Delaware.
Driving south on Hwy. 1 you begin to feel the cities slowly disappearing
behind you. I knew we were getting close because I had my first Sea Shell
City sighting. Just like any other typical coastal towns, they are everywhere.
Yes, many years ago it was my thing to hit everyone I saw, no matter
where I would be. I had Seashell Picture Frames, Seashell Candy Dish,
Seashell Mirrors, you name it, I had it. Well that was then, and this is now.
Whatever happened to all those Seashell Chotchkies I had? Mmmm

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After checking into The Best Western in Dewey Beach, we headed right
for the beaches. The Ocean was pretty rough but beautiful. Being from
Michigan it is always so fascinating for me to see and be near the Ocean.

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Out of the 30 States with coastline, the Delaware Beaches ranked number
1 in water quality in 2011. Dewey Beach is known as a party town in the
summer months but also a popular family resort spot.

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We would jump on a trolley car that would take us to the number 1
hot spot in that area, the ever popular Rehoboth Beach. It is a popular
tourist town with a list of activities, restaurants, shopping and a small
amusement park for the younger ones. It also has a great mile long boardwalk that has tons of fun things to see and do. I must say I really
enjoyed our afternoon spent there. We had a great lunch and just
strolled the boardwalk, going in and out of little shops. The weather
was perfect in the afternoon. A great day to sit on the beach and people
watch.

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A little shopping street called Penny Lane with some cute shops and
tempting restaurants.

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Back at Dewey Beach after a great dinner and drinks, listening to a live
band playing some good Motown music and watching the sunset. Life is
good.

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The next day we headed down highway 1 toward Ocean City, Maryland.
It would only take about an hour to get there and as I had never been,
I figured I’m this close I may as well see what it had to offer.

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Well I am so glad I did. I loved Ocean City. The Boardwalk is much
bigger and had so much more to offer the tourist. A lot of hotels and
Condos line the 3 mile boardwalk, with all kinds of other attractions in
between.

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It was still early morning and the crowds were few, so we were able to
have this part of the Boardwalk pretty much to ourselves. People
riding bikes, jogging, or just walking the Boardwalk, it was surely a
perfect morning to be there.

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Ocean City’s Boardwalk is 3 miles long and is a considered to be one
of America’s Top 10 Boardwalks. I certainly can understand why.

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Prior to 1870, what is now called Ocean City was known as “The Ladies
Resort to the Ocean.” It can see over 370,000 visitors during the summer
months and a popular place where Maryland High School Seniors will
spend their week to party.

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Hotels, Cottages, and Summer Homes lined the Boardwalk along the
Ocean.

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And then there is the Ocean. The beaches were clean and on this
particular morning no crowds yet. The Ocean was calm and beautiful.
I wanted to sit there all day and just take this all in.

Delaware Beaches were clean and the area surrounding them was
absolutely gorgeous. I think my favorite was Ocean City, Maryland.
I had always heard through the years of how nice it was, and I truly
can personally verify this now. I definitely want to go back some day
and spend maybe a week on the Ocean, rent a condo or hotel room
with a killer view and just relax and enjoy. Doesn’t that sound tempting.

Winterthur Museum and Gardens

A couple of weeks ago I went on another road trip, this time to Delaware.
I had an agenda for this trip. I had tickets to a Downton Abbey Costume
Exhibit, I would tour through two mansions and gardens, and see the
beaches of Delaware. All would be accomplished.

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Winterthur Museum and Gardens is situated on 979 acres near Brandywine
Valley, with 60 acres of naturalistic gardens in the state of Delaware.
Owned by Henry Francis du Pont from 1800 to 1969, the generations
of du Ponts would continually add wings of rooms to the home, making
it the elegant and beautiful museum it is today. With 175 period rooms
and over 85,000 pieces of antiques and objects, it is surely a museum
or mansion worth seeing.

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Winterthur is the only host to the costume exhibit of Downton Abbey in
the United States till January 4, 2015. It is famous for its exhibits and
usually always has an important exhibit running through several months.
After seeing the costume exhibit (which I already wrote on) we jumped
on a tram through the vast acres of trees and garden areas surrounding
the museum.

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This was one of my favorite rooms, the Chinese Parlor. It was stunning.
The wallpaper was hand painted in China in the late 1700s. When it
arrived, it was a few inches to tall for the walls. Instead of trimming it,
Henry du Pont had the walls curved to fit the wallpaper. I guess he adjusted the walls to fit the wallpaper.

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The Marlboro Room where the du Ponts would have afternoon tea with
its beautiful woodwork and family portraits. Another beautiful room.

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The dining room is set with bouquets of flowers and color-coordinated
linens to match the seasons, with a portrait of George Washington watching
over the family meals.

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This is a beautiful sideboard in the dining room with two urn-shaped
knife boxes and six silver tankards made in 1772 by Paul Revere.
Notice the unfinished painting above the sideboard by Benjamin West,
American Commissioners of the Preliminary Peace Negotiations, not sure
why it was never finished.

In traveling through Delaware it becomes very obvious that the du Ponts
of Delaware dominated this state, making it what it is today. The DuPont
Company was founded and this family became a dynasty that would not
only influence Delaware, but all of the United States. From factories,
libraries, art collectors, gardens, and many more accomplishments, we
can all enjoy the rewards.

Delaware is a beautiful state. From the sophistication of the northern
part to the beautiful beaches in the southern part of this state, makes it
truly an enjoyable and pleasant visit.