Delaware Beach Getaway

We had really big travel plans for this Summer but, of course, the Covid 19 pandemic means that all of our plans were cancelled.  As a family, we are taking the risks very seriously and are being super cautious with what we do.  My youngest brother contracted Covid and had a really gruelling time getting through what is considered a mild case.  That only served to underscore how important it was to stick to our strict way of operating.  However, for various reasons too personal to get into, we did decide to get away for a few days.  We found a beach house in Delaware where we could maintain our isolated ways and that had a robust, Covid specific cleaning regimen to put our anxiety at ease.  We were also the first guests to stay in the house for several months.  Our oldest son opted to stay home with the cats.

We obviously spent a lot of time at the beach.  The property we rented was a two mile walk from the closest public access point and parking lot so it was exceptionally quiet and we never had to get remotely close to any other beach users.  In addition to paddling and swimming, the boys loved collecting horseshoe crab moults (or horseshoe husks as the kids dubbed them).  They gathered husks of various sizes over a few days and then my 14 year old had the idea to turn them into a sculpture.  What my youngest loved doing was finding these peculiar little burrowing sea critters at the shore line.  I think they are a type of isopod but I am not completely confident in even that vague identification.  He enjoyed scooping them out of the wet sand and then watching them quickly burrowing back down.  The beach was also home to a type of crab that ran at comically high speed and scurried from hole to hole.  My 14 year old also found a hermit crab.

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We also experienced some lovely sunrises and terrific sunsets on the beach.  The boys also liked being out on the beach in the pitch dark.  Mr Pict is into astronomy so he enjoyed using his binoculars to pick out details in the clear night sky.

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I can only tolerate sand for so long so I liked having some other outdoor spaces to use.  There was a raised deck at the house where I could sit and read, draw, and paint while being able to see the rest of the family larking about on the beach.  Beneath that raised deck, there was a space enclosed with screens that was perfect for outdoor eating.

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On the subject of eating, we mostly ate food at the house whipped up from ingredients we brought with us.  One evening, however, we decided to have a treat because Mr Pict had spotted a place selling British style fish and chips.  As Brits, how could we not go sample some grub there?  They were doing roadside pickup so we placed our order and then parked up to eat it while it was all still steaming hot.  It really was all pretty authentic and passed muster with our British tastebuds.  The one exception was the brown sauce which was far too good quality for proper chippy sauce.  Just the aroma of clouds of malt vinegar wafting off of hot chips transported me home. It was a delicious treat.

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We did take a couple of excursions.  We thought about exploring historic Lewes but it was far too busy and most people we saw were not wearing masks so we promptly nixed that idea.  What we did instead was head to Cape Henlopen for a wander around Fort Miles.  We have been there before, in 2017, and we planned on also exploring new areas of the coast, but every other spot was just too busy for comfort.

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We went on two woodland walks.  The first of these was at Prime Hook Wildlife Refuge.  We had to pass a few people at the head of the trail but otherwise we seemingly had the whole place to ourselves and we ended up covering the entire network of trails partly intentionally and partly because we got ourselves a bit lost and looped certain trails twice.  We definitely got our steps in that day!  We encountered lots of birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and also lots of frogs or toads – I cannot confidently identify the species so please let me know if you can.  My 11 year old also found a complete shed snakeskin but unfortunately we did not meet any snakes.

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Our final trip was to Redden State Forest but that was a much shorter trek and we were literally the only people there.  It was a very humid day, however, and we were being constantly bitten by insects.  I have a severe reaction to insect bites so my left hand ballooned up.  We, therefore, moved around the trail paths swiftly and skedaddled back to the car.

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It was definitely restorative to get away for a few days and be hermits in a different space.  It is not the Summer vacation we had planned for but it were definitely grateful for a simple getaway.

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23 thoughts on “Delaware Beach Getaway

  1. That looks to have been a really fun trip, Laura, and it looks like you found plenty of things to do to keep you all occupied. I smiled as I looked at the variety of t-shirts that your boys were wearing, ranging from Jim Hendrix to Bob Ross. 🙂

    • Even though we were continuing to socially isolate and avoid people, it was a welcome break to do so in a different setting. Yes, the boys like to wear t-shirts that make a declaration about their various interests and obsessions.

      • I am pretty comfortable with being by myself, but I recognize that the walls become a bit confining when I am staying at home as much as I have in recent months. We all need a change of scenery from time to time and a break from routines, if only for the sake of our mental health.

      • Absolutely. I’m taking the public health crisis very seriously but the mental health and economic repercussions also need to be factored in to how we manage our lives.

    • Thank you. Yes, my brother is on the road to recovery now and is even back at work. It may take a long time to be back to normal – if he does achieve that – and he has some pretty gnarly post-viral fatigue but we are, of course, all thankful that he did not have it worse than he did.

      • I’m glad to hear your brother is doing as well as he is. And I totally hear you re the long road to recovery. Our great nephew was a healthy soccer player in college and got the virus at age 20. He recovered but even several months after recovering he is still not up to his former energy and physical abilities. Glad you and your boys are staying isolated and healthy. My wife and I are doing the same. May we all stay safe and healthy.

      • Thanks. And I hope your brother makes a complete recovery too.

        Btw I share your feelings about sand. I love the ocean and my favorite beaches on the Washington and Oregon coasts have outdoor water spigots for foot washing upon exiting the sandy areas. I can handle the sand when I know I can wash it off immediately. Plus I discovered Keen sandals which are made for sand and water…makes enjoying the ocean more enjoyable! Lol!

  2. What fun PICTures. Ugh, I had to do it. I’ve never done it. Okay, I got it out of my system. Sounds like you took all the precautions. We canceled all our summer plans. I can totally see how the oldest would bow out; mine is at home, and I barely see him for three seconds a day, as he’s holed up in his rooms. Those crabs were crazy huge! I’m glad you got transported home with the food. You always seem to have the funnest travels. BTW, I hate sand as well. I like things clean and tidy, not filled with grains, thank you very much.

    • Always glad to know of another sand-hater. We seem to be a minority. I am much more of a forest and woods type person but everyone else in the family likes the beach and the coast.

      We had really big travel plans for this Summer and, of course, we had to cancel those. There was also no way we could undertake one of our usual road trips because of the risk factors. We actually did not expect to be able to get away at all but then this place turned up and the timing – with us being the first guests – and the extra Covid cleaning procedures made it possible. It really just meant we were socially distancing and being hermits in a different location but it was still a welcome break.

    • My kids take after me in not being phased by picking up most critters but two of them do have arachnophobia. It wasn’t the type of vacation we’d usually take as it was very low key and there were obviously no museum visits or trips to historic places but it was good for our mental health to have a break and a change of scene.

    • That’s exactly what it achieved: lifting of spirits. We didn’t imagine a getaway would be possible but this place was using the type of cleaning procedure they are using in medical clinics and we were the first guests to stay there since the winter so we grabbed the opportunity.

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