Friday, May 11, 2012
Peaceful Landscape Just Outside Dover Delaware - May 8, 2012
From the living room of my bucolic, New England cottage, I sit reflecting over the past three days not believing how much we've seen and how far behind I already am with the journal. I have to keep reminding myself that the trip is NOW - the journal will happen when I can.
Bill arrived Tuesday morning right on time and ready to roll! We left the Washington D.C. area immediately headed for a few hours in Annapolis, Maryland to visit state capital #1. This plaque just outside the state house gives a bit of the history. Here is more.
We are enjoying spring for the second time. This is in downtown Annapolis. Azaleas and tulips (my favorite) are in full bloom. In Connecticut (where I am now), dogwoods are just a tiny past peak, but still beautiful!
Annapolis, Maryland - May 8, 2012
We bribed the volunteer in the Visitor's Center into giving us a recommendation for lunch as we were both more than ready for some fresh seafood. We were guided to Carrol's Creek Restaurant and oh boy, was it ever good. I couldn't wait to get some fresh Maryland Crab Cakes and Bill settled on a soft shell crab platter that he claimed, "the best ever."
Since we had been to Annpolis previously and toured the Naval Academy, we didn't go there and following our delightful lunch, traveled the remaining miles to Dover, Delaware. We were pretty excited as this was a city we'd never visited.
Unfortunately, we woke up to heavy rain on Wednesday morning, but with only one day to spend in Dover, you just go with it! Thankfully, it wasn't cold or windy, so armed with a huge umbrella, off we went to Heritage Park in downtown Dover. I'll have to say that Dover has done a terrific job in their efforts to make tourists welcome at their historic sites. The buildings, including the current Legislative Hall and the Old State House are all centered around a traditional New England "green" and the Visitor Center has been constructed there as well. A huge plus in our minds is FREE PARKING!! We have now visited so many State Houses (we think this is #29) that they can't help but run together, but Delaware's became one of our favorites. It is small, but beautifully done in federal style with gorgeous woodwork and some exquisite art located in the chambers.
Looking at the Delaware State House from across the Green
This artwork was displayed on three sides in both chambers. It was beautiful!
This morning, we left Dover and traveled about a 100 miles northeast toward Trenton, New Jersey and a quick visit to the New Jersey State House. Advanced reading had led me to believe that Trenton would not be a place we'd want to spend a great deal of time. We made our way directly to the State House, but driving in from I-95 via highway 29, I'll have to say, the area was quite lovely. Driving parallel to the Delaware River, the homes on our left were large and quite majestic. The state capital complex was clean and the people were friendly.
New Jersey State Capitol - Trenton, NJ
This was the scene directly across the street from the Capitol building.
We've been quite intrigued by the different levels of security among the three State Houses we have visited. In Annapolis, we were given a guide sheet for a "self-guided" tour and told where we could and could not go. In Dover, we had free reign of the entire building. We were encouraged to visit every room. We were able to take pictures of ourselves sitting in the speaker's seat holding the gavel! It was lots of fun and also pretty neat to interact with several of the folks working there. The tightest security was in New Jersey. There, we were told we HAD to participate in a guided tour and could not even enter the rotunda unless part of a tour. We aren't sure if that is the way it always is or was simply that way because they were actually in session. We did not have time to take a full guided tour (it was an hour), so we started the tour in the rotunda area and gracefully exited once they moved forward.
Lest you think all we've done is improve the depths of our historical knowledge, think again. Dover, Delaware is home to the Monster Mile, Dover Downs, a huge casino and one of National Geograpic's Top Ten US National Wildlife Refuge's. We visited them all plus the Biggs American Art Museum and the Johnson Victrola Museum.
So lots more to write about and a busy day tomorrow with a visit to Yale University and time to explore New Haven. So don't forget to come back!
AS ALWAYS, THANKS FOR READING!