This is the first hotel without internet access, a basic little motel (“The Vesuvio) with a No Vacancy sign out the front. We are on the northern coastal tip of Delaware (the first state), spending the night before catching a car-ferry across to the Atlantic shore of (New) Jersey and then on to New York.
Despite the coastal location, as we neared we kept wondering what the white stuff was that was around the sides of the road. I’d decided that it must be salt to de0ice the roadway. I mentioned this to Bob, and initially he agreed, however the thick piles of white stuff on car hoods and rooves seemed to make this premise incorrect. Yep, it was late in the afternoon, and it was snow, snow, snow.
With the sun setting so early, the over the top Christmas Decorations in the front yards of houses along the route were lit up like, uh, a Christmas Tree, and with the snow resting on the trees and reflecting the lights it was rather special.
There were hotels along the coastal highway, Route 1, once again a testament to the American obsession with shopping, with the strip malls lining the highways form tens of kilometres, carparks full, however we were keen to get off the road if possible, and despite the dark and difficult driving conditions we headed towards the ferry at Lewes on the coast, and were shortly within another world.
Although right on the sea, there was a thick dusting of snow on most things, with large icicles hanging off vehicles and buildings. A glorious little street of shops and businesses was lit up for the season, and to my Antipodean eyes looked like a set from some impossible sugary sweet Christmas movie. It was magical. That there was a coffee roaster there (closed by this time, but showing the promise of opening up early in the morning for our pre-ferry espresso hit) added the icing to the cake.
The motel owner came out to serve Bob clad in her pyjamas (or lounge pants as they are commonly called here), and despite the No Vacancy (every where in this beachside resort were closed for the season, thick snow coating the Beach Shack and surfboard rental signs), offered us a basic, but clean room for the night. A very thick coated black cat welcomed us and was affectionate greeting.
A slightly treacherous walk on the crunching snow and ice led us next door to the Biting Slider, a seafood restaurant and bar. It was obviously popular and quite full on this Thursday evening, and although the prices were higher than we would have wished to have paid, the small menu of fish dishes looked good.
We both opted for the special of the day, blackened Rock Fish with rice and seasonal vegetables, and really enjoyed it having not stopped for lunch and only having a pretzel and muffin during the cause of the day.
It was a great day though, with our journey across the Chesapeake Bridge Tunnel linking Virginia’s Eastern Shore to the ? being a particular surprise. At over 17 miles (27 kms) on water to cross, and whilst maintaining shipping lanes for the significant commercial traffic, the bridge stretches for miles at a time, with two mile long tunnels along the route.