Tiny State, Tiny House

Ken and I have a scratch off map of the United States to keep track of our travels. We decided that in order to scratch off a state, we have to have spent at least one night there. We live in Maryland and we have states like Nevada and Illinois scratched off. As of last week we didn’t have Delaware scratched off, so I decided that we would spend a weekend in Delaware. I wanted to do something different so I Googled “glamping in Delaware” and came across a few possibilities. I finally settled on a tiny house near the beaches. A short drive through the Eastern Shore/Delmarva peninsula, and we arrived in Milton, DE around dinner time on Saturday evening. We pulled up to a small, blue trailer with a fire pit and café lights outside the front door. Ken didn’t know what I had planned for him that weekend, so he was relieved to find there was a roof, since I had hinted that we were going camping.

The inside of the trailer was smaller than most hotel suites, but it didn’t feel that way at all. We had a bathroom to the left, complete with a shower, small kitchenette, living room, bartop and stools for eating, plus a loft with a queen sized bed. The stairs leading up to the loft doubled as storage space. I was impressed not only by the layout and use of space, but also the decor – very clean, modern and trendy. We put our stuff away and headed out for dinner. We settled on Cajun food at Po’ Boys Creole Restaurant. Nestled in the back of a Dollar General, I was a little hesitant at first, but the crowded parking lot reassured me to give it a try, and was I ever glad I did! We started with the gumbo and cajun fried scallops. The gumbo was the best I’ve ever tried with its thick consistency and bold flavors. The scallops were seared and seasoned to perfection. When Ken and I were in New Orleans last year, we ate a lot of traditional foods, but the sweeter ones like beignets and kings cake. I had never eaten a po’ boy before so I ordered the shrimp and Ken ordered the crawfish. Like everything else there, it was delicious, and I left with a painfully full stomach. 

Sunday morning I woke up in this adorable tiny house next to my adorably wonderful boyfriend with a very disgruntled stomach. We backpacked together on our fourth date, but even still, there are certain things I will not do around Ken. Having a trail name, and trail identity suits me, because in nature we can be more natural, but in “real life” I don’t feel as free to do so. I have a defecation-in-public-restrooms aversion. Inside the tiny bathroom in the tiny house, the tiny toilet was essentially a box with a bag in it. We laughed at the label that showed the rules: no smoking and no standing to pee. We agreed that there would be no number twos happening in there either. We can be unshowered, smelly and dirty on the trail together, but outside of backpacking we work hard to keep the ick-factor to a minimum. Once I was with an older couple who had just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. When I asked them for the key to their wedded bliss, the husband told me, “separate bathrooms.” So in this case, it was a quick trip to the local supermarket, “for some soda waters.” Not being used to going in a public restroom, I committed an egregious error. After finishing my business, proud of myself in fact that I had done so in a public facility, I realized that there was no toilet paper. To my horror, I had to switch stalls strategically. I cursed the friends who have always told me to get over myself, and noted to put paper down first rather than hover. Or, I can just do like I do out in the woods – carry my own TP.

With that taken care of, we were off to explore the area and headed towards Lewes for breakfast. We ate at a spot called Olive and Oats. It’s a small gourmet coffee shop with a small food menu which is all freshly made. It is not far from the beach, and I can imagine the lines are out the door in peak beach season. We walked along the beach for an hour or so and talked about some of the struggles in our lives, some of the triumphs in our lives, while focusing on some long-term goals. I’ve been glum the past few weeks, likely due to the end of the school year stress, and as we walked it felt good to focus on how I can improve my mood. My therapist has recommended a few strategies, and the one I’ve found the most helpful is to say three things I am proud of each day, whether it be big or small. Identifying accomplishments helps quiet the negative internal dialogue and sets up a better next day, so that you have more achievements to look forward to.

Milton, Delaware is a jewel of a small town. There is a historic downtown section with a stream, parks, and pathways that are maintained by the garden club. There is also a museum, and signs giving information about the Black History of the town. You can tell that the residents take pride in their town. Beyond the public spaces, the homes have great curb appeal with well-maintained gardens and welcoming front porches. Ken and I got some ice cream from King’s Homemade Ice Cream (yum), spent some more time walking around the town and parks before heading back to Lewes. It is a dream of mine to run a bookstore, so I have been visiting independent bookstores. Bibilion Used Books & Rare Finds in downtown Lewes is a quaint spot with plenty of used books and the rare finds were great. I loved the funny journals “Passive-Aggressive Fan Fiction” and “Ingenious Ideas Courtesy of Cannabis” were two of my favorites. We bought some “Mincing Mockingbird” postcards and I picked up a copy of Love in the Time of Cholera, one I’ve always meant to read. We poked around a few antiques stores, an art gallery, stopped for a quick bite to eat and then left for Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge where we spotted a pair of bald eagles.

Dinner that night was bar food and some craft beers at Crooked Hammock Brewery. We sampled their IPAs and feasted on Pineapple Express Wings (coconut shrimp meets chicken wing), and the Longboard Nachos. The venue was again something I imagined being very lively in the summertime. There is a large outdoor space with picnic tables and games. We were the only two in the restaurant by the time we finished eating, and it was pretty early. It’s probably for the best since we joke about only arguing in British accents and that stating “don’t you think that…” while arguing is not the right move because even if you are the reasonable one, the person on the other end is never going to agree in the heat of the moment. We returned to the tiny house after a day out and about. The trip was not at all what I would call “glamping” but I guess there were some wild elements? I do always appreciate going to the beach towns in the off season because I’d rather picture the spaces I go to packed full with sun-kissed folks rather than actually standing shoulder-to-shoulder in a small space. But maybe I’m getting used to small spaces, at least in small states.


2 thoughts on “Tiny State, Tiny House

  1. I finally read this piece. Did dad say separate bathrooms????  If so it’s because of all my crap that would crowd the sink. Otherwise a good fan and smelling spray works well. I love how you suggest places to eat. Phyllis and I went to Lewes  – very quaint town but we didn’t stop to eat there. Just checked out by car. You’re so adventurous with your eating. Wish I could do that.

  2. Your food sounds yummy (I like the names of some of the dishes – “Pineapple Express Wings” 😄). I had a giggle at your toilet fiasco … we’ve been married for 27 years now and going to the loo is still a very “private thing” (well, at least for me). We love camping, but glamping is a great alternative!

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