To be honest, mid-summer is probably the absolute WORST time of year for a landscape construction contractor to be taking vacation. The sales pump needs to be fed as the spring leads and contracts start to run out, and we’re still at least a few weeks away from the early fall rush. Plus the current summer projects need supervision, and the clock is ticking before my summer workers go their separate ways for the fall. Thankfully, our current project is for an absolutely awesome client who totally understands that I’m entitled to a little family time, and had no problem at all letting me go play for a week while their project was nearing completion.
In the Philadelphia-area, most people don’t go to the beach – they go “down the shore”, ie the Jersey Shore. And if your only impression of the Jersey Shore is the TV show, well unfortunately you’re not that far off.
So we skip Jersey altogether and head just a bit further south to Delaware. And our beach trip isn’t quite the same as many other vacationers. We spend a week camping at Cape Henlopen State Park, on the Northern tip of the Delmarva peninsula where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic.
The camping itself isn’t the most rustic camping I’ve enjoyed. It’s car-camping on a pre-reserved spot, with public bathhouses and cars and campers from all over North America. But we spent a week sleeping in a tent and cooking dinner over a fire and enjoying each others’ company around the campfire. The precious times you just can’t get enough of.
And what really seals the deal for me is the beach. It’s about a half-mile walk from the campsite to the beach, a walk that includes a brief history tour through an old World War II fort used to guard the Delaware Bay from off-shore German submarines and ships. Our walk typically includes a quick trip up the 80’ high observation tower, and numerous stops at each of the display cannons so the kids can feel like they’re really protecting something.
Oh yeah. There’s dolphins. Real dolphins swimming just off shore outside the surf zone. It almost feels like you could easily swim out and join the pod.
Throw in a little bit of fishing, a nice boat ride out on the open bay, and a short but well-appreciated day excursion to Rehoboth Beach to let the kids get their boardwalk fix (and let me get my DogFish Head Ale Brewpub fix on) and you have a pretty good picture of our trip.
If you’re looking for a rustic beach spot on the east coast, Cape Henlopen State Park in Delaware is definitely worth checking out.
Now it’s back to patios, walkways, fences and decks for me. But the beach will still be lingering somewhere in the back of my head…