Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Saturday in Delaware

You'd be surprised how many festivals and art shows can be found in and around the small towns lining the Delmarva Peninsula's coastline. Today, we visited three.

The 32nd Annual Bethany Beach Boardwalk Arts Festival featured the work of more than 100 mostly local artists. The booths lined the narrow boardwalk, and though it was after Labor Day, it was probably the most crowded I've ever seen the Bethany Boardwalk. Good to see so many people come out for a non-summer event.
There was jewely, pottery, metalware, serving dishes, paintings, sculptures, outdoor art for your garden, etc. I bought a seaglass-adorned bottle opener to replace the one I left behind in Little Rock -- presumably lost in the home of some lucky Little Rock friend.
Example of beach house stuff on sale
Next, we went to the Biden Center -- Vice President Biden is also Delaware's longest serving Senator -- at Cape Henlopen State Park, in Lewes, Del. The advertised "chocolate tasting" to benefit the Friends of the Park group was no Ronald McDonald House Chocolate Fantasy Ball; it was more like a glorified bake sale. But I guess their marketing worked -- it got us there. We'd never visited that park before, so it was a good excuse to see it. The Nature Center includes a small acquarium. One tank features sea horses. I'm not sure that before seeing the little creatures swimming around I entirely believed they were real animals, and I certainly didn't know they could be found in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Delaware. So that was educational.

The next destination was the Quilt and Arts Festival, a fundraiser for the Cadbury retirement community, also in Lewes. The art wasn't as impressive as in Bethany, and many of the pieces weren't for sale. In addition to the patchwork quilts, there were several quilted with nature scenes, which I'd never seen anything like before. The sign beside them read, "Please do not touch the quilts. Ask white glove person for help." Made me think of the White Rabbit.

Hanging out in an assisted living facility isn't exactly my idea of a fun time, so we didn't last long there. We skipped the antique show at the Rehoboth Convention Center; I'd seen enough old things for one day.

Being that this was my first trip to the beach since moving back -- and considering it's already mid-September and the crab season may be coming to a close -- the day ended with a ceremonial crab feast. The blue crabs, traditionally from the Chesapeake Bay, might as well be Maryland's state shellfish. They are a staple cuisine at the beach and in inland Maryland, and are served  hot and smothered with zesty Old Bay seasoning, then eaten just like that or dipped in melted butter or vinegar.
Blue crabs turn red when cooked.
One of my favorite things to do with friends who are visiting is to take them out to eat crabs. It's a messy sight, and you better know the anatomy of the little guy if you're going to venture to crack it open and find the meat.

We left for home Sunday morning. So excited the beach will now be a more frequent part of my life!
At daylight

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