Well, the kids begged and begged to “have a vacation” and play at the beach (actually, I got suckered pretty quickly), and so we got up early this morning and left the house at 6 a.m. to drive to the Eastern Shore. Yesterday I was vacillating between Assateague State Park, Maryland and Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware; of the Eastern Shore-area beaches we visited last summer, those were my two favorite. At Assateague, we met a wonderful Maryland family whose 9-year-old daughter played “pony” with my then 3-year-old and whose twin 6-year-old boys made fast friends with my then 5-year-old. Toward the end, their mom found a stingray pod and gave the kids an impromptu marine biology lesson. And when we left, we saw two wild horses along the side of the road. Their tails and manes were ratty and their bodies were scratched, but hey, they were horses, living free and wild, and walking on their own beach!
I ultimately chose Cape Henlopen, however, because it has closer access from the parking lot to the beach, which made it easier for me since I was primary packhorse on this hubby-less trek. Because we got there so early (about 9:30 a.m.), we got a great parking spot near the bathhouse, which also has a snack bar and a ramp leading to the beach. I was so looking forward to using the ramp to get to the beach, but it was closed at the end where it snakes onto the beach as a handicapped access ramp! They’re apparently doing some renovations, and I didn’t have time to ask the lifeguards when it would be completed.
So, it was up and down the stairs with the contents of the cart, but we finally got settled in at a primo spot in front of a tide pool that the kids could play in when they got tired of the ocean. Of course, the water was freeeeeezing; the 4-year-old lasted only 20 seconds in the water before opting to play on the shore. We all loved just being away and on the beach, though; and one of the best highlights of the day was a pod of dolphins that made several passes near shore.
All in all, a great day! For travel advice and tips for this visit, click on my new page, Cape Henlopen State Park.