Archive for May 5th, 2011

25: New Jersey

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

New Jersey has a bad reputation in the rest of the country, largely because of the urbanized, crime-ridden areas at the western end of the state (near Philadelphia, PA), and at the northern end of the state (near New York City). Because of this, I wanted to see the more sparsely-populated southern end of New Jersey – which is said to be the nicest and most scenic part of the state.

I began this visit to New Jersey at its southern tip – the town of Cape May. I reached Cape May by taking a car ferry (across Delaware Bay) from Lewes, Delaware. Cape May is a quiet and pretty town, with many Victorian-style homes.

Cape May lighthouse

View West from the Cape May lighthouse

The next day I drove to Atlantic City. A long-time beach-side resort city, Atlantic City became especially prominent in 1976, with the arrival of legalized casino gambling. Prior to this time, Nevada was the only state in the U.S. with legalized casino gambling. (Now, casino gambling is spread throughout the country, but Atlantic City remains the second largest casino city in the country (behind Las Vegas).)

Entrance to Wildwoods Beach

Atlantic City (looking into the late-afternoon sun) from the Caesar's casino pier

Atlantic City, in the late afternoon

Atlantic City, at night

Site of Thomas Edison's research laboratory, in northern New Jersey

24: Delaware

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

This was my first visit to Delaware – a tiny state that is famous for … just about nothing at all. Delaware calls itself “The First State” (because it was the first state to sign the US Constitution). It is also the home of the wealthy Du Pont family (and their large chemical company), and, more recently, the current Vice President Joe Biden, and nutty US Senate candidate Christine “I’m not a witch” O’Donnell.

I passed quickly through the rural southernmost part of the state (bypassing both the state’s largest city, Wilmington, and its capitol, Dover), then drove northward along the state’s Atlantic Ocean coast – from Bethany Beach to Lewes. (From there, I took a car ferry to New Jersey.)

Delaware Seashore State Park

World War II watchtower, Delaware Seashore State Park

22: Maryland (revisiting)

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Leaving Washington DC, I reentered the eastern portion of Maryland, en route to Delaware and New Jersey. My good luck with the weather on this trip finally ran out; it was raining as I left Washington.

I stopped briefly in the pretty, historic town of Annapolis, while waiting for the rain to stop. Annapolis, on Chesapeake Bay, was founded in 1649, and is Maryland’s capitol. It is also the home of the US Naval Academy (i.e., the US Navy’s university).

From Annapolis, I continued eastwards – on a toll bridge crossing Chesapeake Bay – towards the next state on my list: Delaware.

Maryland State Capitol building, Annapolis

Annapolis Harbor