Trying to keep with our plan to get away anytime we can, we had a free weekend and an errand to do in Cape May, New Jersey. Since Cape May is one of our usual hangouts, we turned it into a Tri-State Adventure. As we did some last minute planning, on Friday night, we made a reservation to take the ferry from Cape May to Lewis at 2 PM the next day and then left the rest to chance.
Saturday morning we headed down to Cape May stopping at Bella Vida Café for breakfast before completing our errand. We hadn’t been there in a long time but they still had a lot of choices in Gluten and Dairy-free and we enjoyed our meal. We finished what we needed to get done in Cape May and headed to take a walk at the South Cape May Meadows. Not too many birds this time but always a pleasant walk and there was one beautiful egret. The sun although not warm was bright, always a pleasure this time of year.
We decided to call the ferry and see if we could move our reservation up an hour. As it was available, we headed over to the ferry dock, parked our car and sat enjoying the weather outside yet again. The ride across was pleasant, no dolphin or pelican sightings but lovely being outdoors watching the scenery.
We arrived at Lewis Delaware, where we walked around the small downtown and browsed a few shops. We were going to have lunch there but didn’t really find anything that appealed. From my apps I did find a place a little way out of town, in the direction we were planning to go. Miyagi Ramen Bar offered options that were both gluten free and vegan. By adding the gluten free noodles to the delicious soup, it turned into a much bigger meal than we had bargained for. That didn’t stop us from finishing every last drop.
Then we headed toward the coast and were thinking about where to stay. Ocean City, Maryland offered a town full of hotel rooms, most of which are empty this time of year, so there were lots of good deals. We picked the Americana Hotel which was more than sufficient and comfortable. It had a little issue with the heat running more then it should which took a few tries to get straightened out but it was fine by the time we were in for the night.
The hotel was right along the boardwalk, so after we checked in we took a decent walk. Maybe a 10th of the businesses were open but we were just looking anyway so it was fine. There were other strolling persons, though nothing like summer crowds.
Finally, we decided we should get some dinner, even though the late lunch had been so filling. We were glad we did. We found Mother’s Cantina a Mexican restaurant that was quite crowded but we fortunately were able to get a table. They brought us chips and salsa and Steve is convinced the salsa is the best he’s ever had. We ordered an appetizer and a meal to share which was plenty for us at that point. That food too was amazing. Steve loves the fajitas from a Mexican restaurant that is local to us, but these were even better. They had more vegan options including shredded “cheese”.
As we studied the map planningfor Sunday, we realized we were very close to Assateague Island, known for its wild horses. Many years ago we took the children to Chincoteague which is the Virginia side of the preserve. There we saw some of the horses but only a few and quite a distance.
Before heading to see what we could see, we found Rise Up Coffee and Mad Eggs, the connected food portion of the café, serving light breakfasts with gluten free / dairy free options. Steve bought some coffee beans to take home as his supply was low. When he drank the coffee with our breakfast, he said “it was okay”, but when he got the beans home he kept raving about how good the coffee was when he made it.
Assateague has a State Park and a Federal Preserve. To get on the Federal Lands, you can either pay $25 a car or there are some offers for various categories. They accept the America The Beautiful Senior Pass, which Steve had for a year, but it expired. Now that I am old enough (it’s 62 and up) we bought the lifetime pass for me, which allows us both to use it when we are together, but figured I would be more likely to use it alone. So for $80 we can use it many places including some we already visit.
If you really want to see the horses but not sure you want to spend the money to enter, you can drive over the bridge to the Island and about two miles in before you hit the tolls. We started seeing horses along the road almost as soon as we turned after the bridge.
There are a number of short walking paths into the different habitats, so we stopped at each to see the scene.
We not only saw interesting birds and more horses but we came to a beach where we saw humans doing interesting things as well. They were using kite boards and whooping happily in their wet suits as they became airborne. Steve had lots of fun taking pictures and video.
When we were done exploring we started North toward home. We needed some “lunch” which we got at the Island Creamery in Berlin, Maryland, dairy free ice cream of course. The town was cute and we browsed the windows and stopped in a shop or two. Then on to The SteamPunk Tree House. This art installation had been on our list of places to check out from our last trip to the area. We realized it wasn’t out of our way by much going back. It belongs to Dogfish Brewery, which supposedly sometimes has a gluten-free beer. They didn’t that day, but it was alright, we just came to see the art. You can read about how the treehouse got to the brewery, it was built elsewhere. The brewery uses it not only for an attraction but as office space for staff meetings. It’s not open to the public.
Lots more driving and then, looking for a dinner place before getting back to New Jersey, I searched “ceviche” and found a great little place in Newark, Delaware. “The Chicken House” served excellent tostones with garlic sauce and a good ceviche. We headed home, stuffed and happy with our impromptu get-a-way.