Thursday, June 07, 2007

"Delaware Is Boring"

Skip to the random thought

First off...why did Amber and I go to Delaware? Because Delaware was one of the five states Amber had never been to. (Louisiana, North Dakota, Alaska, and Hawaii are the others.) And because we were already going to be up in eastern Virginia, we figured this was a good chance to check Delaware off her list. And while we were there we did a little bit of exploring (but not much). Here's a map of our route through eastern Maryland and Delaware:

This weekend trip required an overnight stay, so we stayed at an inexpensive hotel (I think it was called the Washington Hotel) in Princess Anne, MD. Princess Anne is home to the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore (a.k.a. UMES), a historically black college (I think). Other than that, there isn't much to Princess Anne, except, of course, a Hardee's. Well, there was also a restaurant called Peaky's, where we ate breakfast Sunday morning at the innkeeper's recommendation. I wasn't impressed - the meal took 18m24s (by breakfast standards, quite long), and my pancakes were burnt. How can you screw up pancakes?

Then, after breakfast, it was off to Delaware. We didn't do a whole lot in Delaware, for two reasons. First thing, there was a NASCAR race in Dover, so we avoided Dover at all costs (NASCAR races = massive congestion, especially in a place like Dover), and only stayed within Delaware's southernmost county. Also, it was raining. So while we did drive along the shoreline on DE-1, we didn't actually go to the beach. We did get out of the car at the marina, but that was it. I don't think we ever actually saw the ocean. Oh well. I've seen it before, and I don't think the Delaware beaches are exactly world-renowned. The reason Delaware's beaches and Ocean City are so popular is because of their proximity to urban Maryland (DC and Baltimore). If they want to go to the beach, they go to Ocean City, or perhaps one of the Delaware beaches. That's fair. But there's really no reason for residents of North Carolina to go there, except just to say we went to Delaware. We also drove all the way through Ocean City. Ocean City is as generic a beach resort as it gets. And the roads were quite crowded, even if it was raining. The main reason we drove through Ocean City was to see this sign at the eastern end of US-50 in Ocean City. (The western end of US-50 is in Sacramento, 3,073 miles away. The picture is from here.) US-50 would make a fun road trip. It's called the "loneliest road in America", mostly because of the desolate areas it passes through in Utah and Nevada. Sounds like fun to me!

What about the rest of Delaware? Well, driving along US-9 (signed as an east/west road in Delaware, interestingly enough), interior Delaware reminded me a lot of Prince Edward Island. Two lane roads, rolling farmland, no large cities, and not far to go from one side of the state to the other. (I know Delaware is a small, skinny state, but when we first turned on US-9 from US-13, I was surprised to see that Lewes was less than 30 miles away. Wow! Lewes is two syllables, by the way - it's "louis", not "lose".) But maybe the reason it reminded me of PEI was just because it was cloudy and raining. That's what it was like when we visited PEI. It's amazing how much the weather conditions affect your impression of an area. Just like how as long as it's cloudy, pretty much any old northern city reminds me of Pittsburgh.

Some stat keeping notes: 1) This trip didn't add any new counties to my county map. But I was able to upgrade 10 counties from "been in before 2000" (yellow) to "driven in" (red). And, while doing the updates, I realized that flying into BWI three weeks ago gave me a new county. The BWI airport is in Anne Arundel County, which was previously unvisited. (Airports don't count if they're only stopovers, but BWI was the final destination, and we then had to drive out of Anne Arundel County, so it counts.) The point of this trip wasn't to add counties to my map, it was so Amber could take Delaware off her list of unvisited states. Otherwise, we probably wouldn't have gone to Delaware at all, considering I've already visited every county in Delaware. But still, this was the first time my car had ever been to Delaware; it's now been to 23 states. 2) My car's odometer reached 153,000 miles on US-113 southbound near Snow Hill, MD. The car mileage log has been updated accordingly. That's now five milestones that I've recorded, and all five have been in different states.

That's it for Delaware...probably for a while. I see no reason to go back anytime soon.

Today's random thought:

- I forget if I've mentioned this before, but in our new apartment, we've designated the second bedroom as the "map room". We've been collecting official transportation maps from as many states (and provinces) as possible, and the ones that we have, we've attached on the wall, so that the walls of the map room are covered in highway maps. So far, we have 13 states and 2 provinces. Our "rule" is that the maps must be official state transportation maps, not privately produced by AAA or Rand McNally or otherwise. Many interstate welcome centers have official state transportation maps available. But also, many states allow you to fill out an online form on their website, and they'll send you a free official map in the mail. We took advantage of that this week for as many states as possible. So, over the course of the next several weeks, we expect to receive a few maps in the mail. Yay! We're running out of room on the walls of the map room, but we'll figure something out.

1 comment:

amber said...

Let's not forget ceiling space...