Thursday, August 13, 2015

Delaware Bay, Part II

The Next morning we drove back to Lewes where we caught the ferry across to Cape May. We slurped Bloody Marys as the boat rocked back and forth on the choppy waves and soon we were on board a shuttle to the town with the driver pointing out all subjects of interest as being among 'the finest in the world'.
We were delighted and charmed by the beautiful buildings in this quaint picturesque Victorian town. Many of the homes were hotels or available for rent, and many also had 'no vacancies' signs up. The place was bustling with activity, even the side streets were filled with folk, and horse carriages clip-clopped by often.
Cape May is known as the the country's oldest vacation resort, getting its famous Victorian styled houses as a result of a fire in 1878 when a large area of the town center was destroyed and then rebuilt in this style. San Francisco has the next largest collection of these style buildings.
This town uses a lot of paint!
The buildings were every color imaginable, some extremely tasteful and a few others not so, but all were vibrant and most were very well maintained. The attention to detail was mind boggling, from the patterns on the wood, the color palettes, mail boxes, street lamps and gardens. The colors of nature, in flowers and shrubs, competed fiercely against the artificial kaleidoscopic man made palette, brightly adorning doors and windows and balustrades. It was sometimes a little too much.
After walking around for some time, we stopped at a bar, intrigued by its name, The Mad Batter, where we chatted with a couple of locals. He had been here all his life, spending winters as a kid skateboarding in the empty swimming pools of the beach hotels which were closed for the season. He had also painted a number of the Victorain houses in town. They both suggested the best streets to walk and a couple of places to visit.
The first was the Congress Hall Hotel, a vast establishment that apparently had corridors reminiscent of Stephen King's The Shining. We walked over to investigate and snuck up the stairs. The hallways being long and dark, I could imagine the girl on the tricycle, from the book, and also understand how a guest got freaked out when someone left a note with REDRUM on the outer door.
A house opposite distorted through the hotel's old glass windows.
The lobby.
We left there, just as a large group of guests arrived in expensive finery and large cars. A wedding was about to take place. We then walked towards the streets we'd been advised to explore.
I loved this color scheme. There was a covered porch on the other side of the house lined with teak rocking chairs and a large hammock. All visible from the street so not really somewhere I'd want to relax with gawping tourists passing by continuously.
Another favorite of mine, and what a lot of work, keeping all that paint looking fresh.
The Southern Mansion Bed and Breakfast. I had a quick look at their website, not really impressed by their bedroom decor, but blown away by their 'little extras', click here!  The building is also supposed to be haunted.
The cutest fire station I've ever seen!
We made it back to our shuttle just in time and I have to confess that I was ready to leave. When we had first arrived, we'd been overcome by the vibrant colors and intricate details, but after a few hours, I knew that I could never live here, with the constant opulence and elaborate splendor, and the masses of people staring into the residences and gardens. There was no privacy for the owners or guests of these properties, and no quietness about the place. But it had certainly been an experience and a visual treat, these painted houses really were beautiful. yet it was with relief that I plopped onto my seat back on the shuttle.
Another enjoyable ferry crossing, sitting outside with more Bloody Marys and watching the gulls swoop low overhead as they circled the boat all the way over to Lewes.
It was leading into dusk when we got back to the little town, the sun was hanging low and we were anxious to photograph our last sunset here. Luckily Bill had the bright idea of stopping at The Wharf to have dinner, so here we managed to quickly shoot some shots over the marina as we relaxed with a local Tornado beer.
My meal was exquisite. Of course, being in this region, the only food I could possibly choose was the seafood so I had blackened tuna, with 2 sauces, herb pesto and cilantro lime butter, local asparagus and a pasta salad. It was divine, and the sunset was pretty awesome too.
The next morning we started heading back home slowly. I had wanted to try shooting one last time on a beach but the one we visited had a low tide with no water movement, along with greenhead flies trying to bite chunks out of us and also a number of large digger bee hives, flying in and out of burrows in the sandy trail. We decided to give up on that and instead visit the Air Mobility Command Museum which we'd come across by accident. There were few visitors but a lot of volunteers working there who were only too kind in showing us around and explaining the work done on the planes.
They had quite an impressive collection of aircraft here, inside and out, and I've never been to another museum before where I've had so much freedom to climb inside and enjoy these planes, even the cockpits were open on some. It was amazing to sit in the seat and try to imagine an airman over a war scene below, or engaged in a plane fight.
One of my favorite planes, the Galaxy, a huge monstrous aircraft that loomed high above us and pleasantly distorted my camera lens image, making it look even bigger.
We spent an enjoyable 90 minutes wandering around and climbing inside hot interiors, sitting in pilot seats or on benches lining the insides of the aircraft where the troops had sat, waiting to jump out on command. We even tried out a flight simulator where we each had to land a plane, which we did successfully.
But we had an eye on the time and wanted to avoid heavy traffic on the Bay Bridge and nearer home, which we thankfully achieved, and I was a happy camper to arrive home to two furry welcomes and relax for the remainder of the day, even finding time to process some of my photos before I went to bed. And it seemed rather fitting that my final image of the weekend was this abandoned plane which we'd passed when leaving Delaware.

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