A Travellerspoint blog

May 22 Lewes, Delaware to Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

WORST RAIN STORMS I'VE EVER SEEN

rain 20 °C

From Lewes,we drove down the short Atlantic Coast of Delaware into Maryland and on into Virginia. The Delaware and Maryland coasts were truly awful - imagine the worst of the Gold Coast and the worst of Benidorm. The drive from Ocean City in Maryland to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge was nondescript despite the map showing dozens of bays and inlets - there seemed to be almost no access to these bays except at the historic town of Cape Charles

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And now the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnels - this is an absolutely amazing piece of engineering. The bridge was built in 1964 and stretches for 23 miles (37 kms) across the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. In 1999, two more lanes were added

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When we reached the other side at Norfolk, Virginia, we ran into the biggest storm I've have ever been in and poor old Ken was driving. Fortunately, we escaped the storm just a few miles south and continued the short drive to Kill Devil Hills which is sandwiched between the Atlantic and the Albemarle Sound on a narrow strip of sand dunes. We found a room at the Days Inn, right on the beach

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Posted by kforge 18:59 Archived in USA Comments (0)

May 21 Princeton, New Jersey to Lewes, Delaware

NEW CASTLE AND LEWES

overcast 18 °C

Princeton is quite close to the large industrial conurbation of Trenton, Philadelphia and Wilmington on the Delaware River, so we decided to make a quick dash past all of the ugliness into Delaware. As we drive along, I look up towns in the Rough Guide to the USA using the Kindle app on my iPhone. New Castle sounded interesting - founded in the 1650s by the Dutch, taken over by the British in 1664 and the original capital of Delaware. Well, what a find this place was. New Castle has survived intact with cobbled streets and amazing brick and clapboard houses from the 18th-century. There is a huge town common and just 100 metres away is the Delaware River. We spent a couple of hours wandering around and then had lunch at the very British Jessop's Tavern (including a very tasty Jessop's Wheat Ale)

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From New Castle, we drove a couple of hours down a very rural road to the Delaware town of Lewes. It was another wonderfully preserved small town founded in 1631 where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic. There are many houses dating from 1700 and the historic centre sits next the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal which was completed in 1927

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May 20 Parsippany, New Jersey to Princeton, New Jersey

UNIVERSITY TOWN

sunny 26 °C

We took a taxi back to Mike and Debbie's house in Morristown to pick up the car and Debbie very kindly made us breakfast. An hour later we were heading out for the short drive to Princeton (50 miles) along small rural roads. What a lovely town Princeton is - great architecture and a fine main thoroughfare called Nassau Street. The university was founded in 1746 and moved to Princeton in 1756

We stayed about 3 miles out of town at the Clarion Hotel on the busy Route 1 South. It was better than we thought it would be on first impressions and there was actually a very pleasant back-roads drive into town

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A few blocks from "downtown" is the house that Einstein lived in from 1935 to his death in 1955 (see below)

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We had a really good Indian meal at Mehek's in Nassau Street

Posted by kforge 04:22 Archived in USA Comments (0)

May 17-19 New York City to Parsippany in New Jersey

ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK

sunny 23 °C

On Thursday, we checked out of the Hilton Fashion District hotel - it was a very badly run, overpriced hotel in a grubby part of the city but then what do you expect for $350 a night

We took a limousine to Newark Airport where we had a dodgy booking with Dollar for a Mustang and another last-minute booking with National for a standard compact car. The staff member at the Dollar desk was so unprofessional (a cheating bastard is probably more accurate) that we just walked away and took the monorail around to National Your text to link here...where Dinah dealt with us very quickly and efficiently to offer us a Honda for 2 weeks with 2 drivers from Newark to Fort Lauderdale for $1200 including all taxes and drop-off fees (National have only a $250 drop-off fee; others have fees up to $750)

Just 30 minutes later we pulled up at the Hilton Parsippany, cheap at $160 a night but slightly strange - Ken says it reminds him of The Shining. Why Parsippany you ask. Well, our old school-friend Mick lives in Morristown and we plan to drive around upstate New Jersey and then spend some time with him over the weekend

On Friday we headed off for a day's drive up and around the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in upstate New Jersey right against the Pennsylvania and New York borders. The park includes part of the Appalachian Trail

We passed through dozens of beautiful, historic clapboard towns (Andover was especially good) before ending up on the Old Mine Road just south of Dingmans Ferry. This road was built around 1650 and just off it is the Westbrook-Bell house built around 1701. The road ends just near Milford in Pennsylvania where we decided to have lunch - a Coors Light at the Dimmick Inn and food at the wonderful Black Bear Cafe - their soft tacos were the best I've ever had

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We then headed back down south via the High Point State Park in Sussex County. The park is the highest point in New Jersey at 1,803 feet and the views stretch for miles across 3 states

New Jersey - High Point Park - the highest point in New Jersey at 1803 ft

New Jersey - High Point Park - the highest point in New Jersey at 1803 ft

Saturday was a big day. We drove over to our old school-friend Mike's place in Morristown to have breakfast with his wife Debbie and kids Ben, Jessica and Rachel. Then we drove to their old school to watch Ben play lacrosse as an old-boy – great fun, especially as my mum used to play lacrosse!

Then it was Champions League - not so good as Chelsea's penalty shoot-out win (1-1 after extra-time) over Bayern means that Tottenham miss out on the Champions League next season. Then a big horse race from Maryland (Mike told me it was part of the "triple crown") and some ice-hockey

The evening was spent with most of the family including Nick and his wife Andi but without his parents and Julie as they are in Charlestown

At 12:30am Debbie kindly drove us back to the hotel so we could keel over

By the way, we managed to track down Steve Adams and we will see him at his home near Sarasota in about a week or so

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Posted by kforge 19:23 Archived in USA Comments (0)

May 15-16 New York

NEW YORK IS NOT FOR US

sunny 22 °C

Tuesday morning, we managed to walk uptown, past Bryant Park, to 45th Street to drop in on Mick Williams' office, just before it pissed down from 11:30 until 5pm. Fortunately, Mick's office building has Bobby Van's Bar and Grill on the ground floor, and for the next 2 hours we were ensconced in the corner (sometimes with and sometimes without Mick) enjoying lunch and a few drinks and the New York banter of bar-tender Mitch

At one point, we made a mad dash across the road and bought a local SIM for just $50 and then $60 (for unlimited calls), and then $89.95 (for the one-off SIM fee) and then $101 with taxes - a bargain

In the evening mugginess, we strolled just a couple of blocks to the Hurricane Club on Park Avenue and pretended to be cool, young, attractive and witty for 2 hours before we were rumbled and kicked out. The Club is highly recommended if you can get away with it

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Wednesday arrived with fog and heat and cold. Ken wanted to go up the Empire State Building but by the time we walked there, the visibility was non-existent so the plan was abandoned for the Staten Island Ferry. After the ferry-ride, we walked up along Wall Street to see who was stuffing up the economy that day. From there we took the sub-way to Union Square and strolled up Broadway through Grammercy to 5th

The evening meal was taken at Dos Caminos in the Meatpacking District (Ken's arse is still talking about it), followed by a very noisy beer in the STK bar

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Posted by kforge 14:35 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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