I spent my weekend in Delaware. Before this, the longest stretch I had ever spent in Delaware was in my freshman year of college, when I went to see a friend from high school play lacrosse against the Blue Hens and wound up stranded in Newark (Delaware, not New Jersey) for a couple of hours.
Here are the things I knew about Delaware before this weekend:
– It was the punchline of a gag in Wayne’s World that made me laugh as hard as I ever have to date in a movie theater. I was 11.
– It boasts a very solid rest stop that was typically my only stop on drives to and from D.C. until it parted ways with its Roy Rogers. I still stop there sometimes because it’s a good distance for breaking up the trip and because Popeye’s Chicken is delicious. But if I’m going to eat anywhere along that drive, I usually seize the opportunity to get my Roy Rogers fix.
– There are somehow roughly 20-25 tolls in the 15 minutes you spend in Delaware on that trip.
– If you’re stranded in Newark after your buddy gets on the bus with his lacrosse team to head back to their college, and the light rail has stopped running, and it’s the year 2000 and you don’t have the Internet on your phone or more than $20 on you, you pretty much have to hitchhike to Wilmington to get to the Greyhound station to get back to Washington. Not my best plan.
Here are some things I know about Delaware now:
– Once you get off 95, the trip down US-1 to the beaches is very nice, but still heavy on tolls. They’re inexpensive tolls, like Delaware just wants to remind you that you’re in Delaware and you need to pay for that service. The upside is there are fruit stands.
– There’s a river (and a corresponding town) called Broadkill. Presumably it got its name for being a broad kill, but I prefer to pronounce it as a portmantbro. Broadkill refers to discarded solo cups and lacrosse sticks left on the side of the highway.
– Delaware, like many mid-Atlantic states, features scrapple. Scrapple is a fried pork loaf invented by the Pennsylvania Dutch to make use of offal and scrap meat. I had some at Countrie in Dover on my way home. It looked like this:
People seem to judge scrapple because of its constitution. They shouldn’t because it’s good. It tastes like a breakfast sausage, but with a different and interesting texture. The hog meat is mixed with cornmeal to make the loaf, then slices are pan-fried before they’re served. The fried outside is crispy, but the inside is mushy like tasty pork pudding.