- Summer's over!!! Ok, ok...not so fast, but 'tis the time for Back-to-School shopping, late county fairs, welcome back events at local colleges, and school sport and band practices each morning. For us, we still have a few more weeks but it's been a great summer. Our girls just finished their annual overnight camp at Camp Carl in southern Portage County and loved it again. Make the best of it!
- While our girls were at the aforementioned camp, we decided to capitalize on the opportunity for a getaway...just us. At nearly 22 years in of marriage, we still love to get away with each other. The stress and anxiety slips away, we laugh, we sleep in, we walk a lot and talk...and enjoy the silence, and simply love loving each other alone. For the past week, we took about a 7 1/2 hour jaunt east to the beach but for many people, not a beach known by the masses. We went to Rehoboth Beach in southern Delaware. Essentially, if you draw a diagonal line pointing southeast between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, that's the way...on I-70. "How did you come up with that idea?" you might ask. Well, as many know, I'm a bit of a craft beer snob and we were watching TLC's "Brewmasters" on Netflix many months ago where they followed the owner of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery around. Well, their original brewpub is in Rehoboth Beach and their full production brewery is a short 25min drive into the country in Milton, DE. Bingo! Beach, craft beer, a new state, exploration...perfect for us. I could write a book on the week but let me just give you some bullet points and share a few photos. Otherwise, I'll type all day and not get anything done! Photos at the end but be sure to scroll on past those for more M-Cubed!
- We stayed at the Royal Rose Inn...one stinkin' block from the boardwalk and Atlantic Ocean. We found it highly rated on TripAdvisor and would absolutely go back. We especially enjoyed the homemade breakfast each morning by Andy and sitting on the front porch at night, enjoying the evening breeze and meeting/talking with other guests at the Inn.
- Rehoboth Beach is definitely tourist heavy but it doesn't spread for blocks and blocks in every direction like Virginia Beach, for example. Essentially, tourists and their families (insert CRAZY here) stick heavily to Rehoboth Avenue where the bulk of shops are and the super wide boardwalk that is exactly 1 mile long. The beach was packed in that area but if you went left or right of it, it was uncrowded and awesome. (photo under bullets of a typical evening on the boardwalk)
- We stayed a 10min walk from the Dogfish Head Brewpub. In a word...pure awesomeness. OK, that's two words...but seriously, we went twice.
- Thrasher's homemade fries...oh.my.word. They are a staple in the area...since 1929. Again, I ate twice from there...a medium $7 bucket of french fries. Crispy, full of Idaho potato flavor...just amazing. Cooked in peanut oil, too. I rationalized that I was eating a healthy snack...peanut oil is good + vegetables...right!? (I would eat another bucket this moment if you placed them in front of me.) Find them a few places along the boardwalk.
- Brewery Tour...go. They all fill up on every day and are offered several times a day. Free, too. Get there early and sign up and enjoy four free tastings in their tasting room. Hungry? They have "Paul Bunyan's Lunchbox" that is essentially a miniature food truck set up adjacent to the tasting room. Think brats meet Dogfish Head beer...with lots of creativity thrown in. All the details at www.dogfishbeer.com.
- The surrounding areas of the tourist trap area are beautiful. Just start walking and enjoy. Established, beautiful neighborhoods from small, seaside cottages to sprawling mansions. Well kept, safe, tons of color and foliage, and the ocean breeze blowing through the town. If you go to Rehoboth and only stay in the tourist trap, you're robbing yourself.
- If you're afraid of heights, hold your breath crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on your way into Delaware or out. Wowsers....two hands on the wheel and look straight ahead!
- Plenty of running options...AND they have a marathon and half marathon in early December...about 2400 people run it according to the local running store we visited. I especially enjoyed running in Henlopen State Park along the water at sunrise....yes...photos below.
|The ridiculously hopped and rare 120min IPA. Wow. First time ever!|
|Me in front of the metal treehouse at Dogfish Head. If you've watched Brewmasters, you've seen the episode when this was assembled. Pretty cool!|
|Sunrise Run on Day #1...my exploration day|
|Looks silky and creamy, right? It is...this is their rare 75min IPA but from the cask. No carbonation or nitrogen. Simply gravity poured (or pumped) from the cask. Enjoyed at the original brewpub in Rehoboth.|
|Visit #2 for the tour. The "lunchbox" is at the far right.|
|The Ralph Waldo Emerson quote that continues to inspire everything they do. In summary, they came up with the quote "Off Centered Ales for Off Centered People". And they are...totally thinking outside the box in all they do.|
|As part of the tour, we visited their brand new "warehouse" where the new bottling line is and saw this. Thousands of bottles of "Punkin" waiting for the Fall season to arrive. Wow! September 2014 release!|
|This was our sunrise run. My wife ran her 13th consecutive month of a half marathon per month. This was around mile 5 or 6 of it within Henlopen State Park. The photo doesn't do it justice.|
|A typical evening in the tourist-trap section of the boardwalk.|
- OK, so this is more of a beach vacation post, rather than a M-Cubed post...but in keeping with history, just a few more smatterings, ok? OK.
- Do you follow Humans of New York on Facebook? If not, it's basically a photographer on the streets of NYC who photographs just about anyone and asks them or two questions that he posts with the photo. Candid and unfiltered, his page has garnered over 8.9 million followers. Well, he is currently on a 50 day trip around the world and is currently posting photos and brief conversations with the people of Iraq. As you know, Iraq is back in the news and we just began air strikes once again. I highly, highly recommend you "like" their page and read/view some. It will change your perspective on the people of Iraq and give yourself some perspective...unlike what you'll get in the mainstream news. Check it out here!
- That's more than enough to get you through your Monday morning java. Before I leave you, though, I'd like to share a "poem" that just kinda fell out of my skull Friday morning. The back-story is this, though: I wanted to run in the ocean before we left the beach but we had to be on the road quite early. To keep my running streak alive, I planned to get just a mile or two before dawn. I was out the door before 5am, running in nothing but a pair of shorts down the asphalt Baltimore Avenue...barefoot, heading to the crashing waves on the oceanfront. I "penned" the following immediately following my short 2.4 mile barefoot run. Have a great week!
The last day awoke me
Dark sky, faint stars
The sleeping seaside resort town
Slept, streets quiet and dimly lit
Before I leave, though
I had but one wish
To run in the ocean
To smell the ocean mist
A pair of shorts, a key to the room
Barefoot on asphalt, eyes ahead to the water
Toes dug deep into the sand
The boardwalk behind me
The tide is high
Waves are crashing strong
Difficult to see, just an outline of wet sand
Eyes open, eyes shut
Run towards the water, escape a crashing wave
Shorts getting wet, legs covered in sand
THIS is peace, this is shelter from the storm
I find my mind wandering
In thankfulness, humility, and quiet
A special run, the ability to run
Each step sinking into the wet sand
The stars are dim above
Barely visible with the tourist lights of the boardwalk
This is soon going to end, to the ocean I will say Goodbye
Thankful to run, thankful for the ocean breeze, no chains holding me down
Eyes open, eyes shut
Ahh, the aroma and sound of the ocean
Beneath my feet, the crashing waves and suds of the surf
I'll miss you, mighty Atlantic, don't let me forget this
Return to ashalt, sand falling off my toes
A sleeping town, reality sleeps
Thankful, I am...full I have become
Good morning. No...perfect morning. Rise and Shine.