Atlantic City was a blast, but we needed to get back in “Big Ang,” our Ford Mustang convertible, and continue our road trip onward to Delaware and the Delaware State Fair. With just a little over two weeks to conquer 7 states and Washington, DC, thank goodness Danielle had our itinerary scheduled out down to the minute for each day of our trip. I love that she is so detailed oriented as she balances out my need to never plan and simply go. Whereas I’m more spontaneous, her desire to keep us on schedule resulted in the most organized trip I’ve ever been on in my life.
We quickly packed up the car and hit the road early so we could stop off and have breakfast. Our breakfast of choice on this day was an American classic, IHOP, with many of its restaurants open 24 hours a day to serve guests not only breakfast, but lunch and dinner, too.
We were starving and with so many great choices on the IHOP menu, which one would be the perfect match for me? I decided to try one of the new Paradise Pancake options available at IHOP for a limited time this summer through July 31. Don’t worry because although Paradise Pancakes may no longer be available, the new Criss-Croissants are now available and will offer everyone a sweet or savory breakfast option the next time you visit IHOP. They’re always coming up with something new to keep you coming back for more.
I quickly made my choice of a short stack of the Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes: Sweet pineapple grilled inside IHOP‘s trademark Buttermilk pancakes and finished with Butter Rum sauce, then topped with a maraschino cherry and creamy whipped topping. I can’t think of a better way to start day two of our road trip than with a summer flavor like this. Maria, our server, brought out these light and fluffy pancakes and I devoured them, and I just loved the grilled pineapple, which was delicious and naturally sweet. Delish!
Danielle decided on the Strawberry Passion Fruit Pancakes (decadent cheesecake layered between two of IHOP restaurants’ signature, made-to-order Buttermilk pancakes and topped with cool strawberries and Passion Fruit drizzle, crowned with whipped topping) along with two eggs, sausage, and hash browns. I’m thinking she loved it because she was quiet throughout breakfast as she wolfed the food down. Just kidding. She did talk… a little. I swear.
4618 Black Horse Pike
Mays Landing, NJ 08330-3137
After breakfast we drove a little less than an hour to Wildwood, NJ. Growing up in New York, everyone was always running off to spend part of their summer at the Jersey shore. While I often went to Seaside Heights, others would go to Wildwood and now I had the opportunity to see why people repeatedly frequented Wildwood. Fortunately, Wildwood escaped major damage from Hurricane Sandy in 2012, but I was curious as to how it was doing today.This small town of around 5,000 year-round residents grows to over 250,000 in the summer. Click To Tweet
This small town of around 5,000 year-round residents grows to over 250,000 in the summer. Wildwood has more than rebounded from any of the effects of Sandy and is more than ready for the crowds. When we arrived into Wildwood, we found ample street parking and parking lots for day parking, which means you can park really close to the Boardwalk and be on the beach within minutes of leaving your car.
Did you know that Wildwood is often referred to as the birthplace of rock and roll? Bill Haley and the Comets played “Rock Around the Clock” for the first time in Wildwood in 1954, which is why it has earned this title.
If you’re looking for sun and fun, then escape to the Wildwood Boardwalk where you’ll find 38 blocks full of stores, shops, restaurants, entertainment, as well as water parks and amusement piers. I don’t think it is humanly possible to get bored on a trip to Wildwood.Did you know that all of the beaches in Wildwood, NJ are free?Click To Tweet
Did you know that all of the beaches in Wildwood, NJ are free? For a fun a day trip, pack up your friends and family in the car and head to Wildwood for an affordable and fun day at the beach.
Can’t bear to walk another step? Sit in an Adirondack chair or jump on the world-famous Sightseer Tram Car for only $3.00 and let it take you from one end of the Boardwalk to the other in about 30 minutes.
Can’t get enough of Wildwood? Check out their live webcam here. Although we could easily have spent hours walking the Boardwalk, we knew we had to drive onward to our final destination for the day, Harrington, Delaware, about a 3 hour drive from Wildwood. We cranked our music way up, put the top down on the convertible, and enjoyed the summer air on our drive to Delaware.
We finally arrived at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Harrington, DE and I was more red than just my hair, but who cares? Sunburn is only temporary. This 86 room hotel is conveniently located a mere 5 minutes away from the Delaware State Fair and is the closest hotel to the fairgrounds.
Bridgit at the front desk gave us our room for the night, which was room 214, a large room with two queen sized beds overlooking the pool. In addition to the large flat screen TV, there’s also a microwave and refrigerator in each room.With easy check in, clean rooms, hot breakfast, and great service, I couldn't have asked for more during my stay in Delaware. Click To Tweet
The Holiday Inn Express & Suites Harrington checked off all of our needs for a quick overnight stay with plenty of toiletries, a spacious bathroom, and air conditioning that you could crank to subzero temperatures, a must have in the summer. Did I mention the free Wifi and a hot Express Start Breakfast Bar in the morning that even includes an automatic pancake machine? With easy check in, clean rooms, hot breakfast, and great service, I couldn’t have asked for more during my stay in Delaware.
After dropping off our bags and freshening up after the long drive, we jumped back into the car and headed straight to the 2016 Delaware State Fair, in the 97th year of its existence and the main reason we decided to go to Delaware. We visited the fair on July 25th, near the beginning of the fair opening as it runs for several days every year and we were anxious to check out everything that this fair had to offer. If you’re driving to the fair, you’ll be glad to hear that there’s free parking in the lots located on the fairgrounds.
If you think of a state fair you might think rides, food, and fun, but would you ever think of pig races and giraffes? I didn’t and when I saw the sign I was giddy like a little girl. Unfortunately, we missed the pig races for the day and so we wandered off to see the animals in the nearby tent called the Giraffe Menagerie Petting Zoo.
In addition to the super smiley goat you see here, they had loads of animals for kids and adults to see.
From a friendly alpaca who seemed to want to have his picture taken…
…to Melman the giraffe and his friend Twiggs. For $2 you could purchase a small bag of carrots and feed the giraffes, which were quite friendly, but had insanely long tongues that kind of freaked me out a little. I don’t know why I was suddenly afraid of Melman as I can’t recall any cases of people getting attacked by giraffes, but he was huge and could eat me if he wanted to, at least that’s what I thought.
Speaking of getting freaked out, I begged Danielle to go with me to the freak show where they were advertising a “snake child born alive” and “head of a beautiful girl, body of an ugly snake” among others. We saw the $1 admission, but then saw the fine print said “children under 10” or something like that. So we paid $2 and walked into a tiny little area with fishtank sized exhibits, most of which looked, go ahead and say it, fake. I don’t think I believed I would see anything legitimate, but you can’t put stuff like this out there and not expect me to get excited. You do get what you pay for and the only freak here was me for believing I’d see something totally creepy.This kind of old school entertainment means kids were on rides and not playing Pokemon Go, adults were talking to each other instead of texting, and people of all ages had their heads up and were looking around and interacting with one another. Need I say more?Click To Tweet
When was the last time you went to a fair? I absolutely love all of the sounds, smells, and even the lights of a fair. Somehow it just makes everything seem more appealing. This kind of old school entertainment means kids were on rides and not playing Pokemon Go, adults were talking to each other instead of texting, and people of all ages had their heads up and were looking around and interacting with one another. Need I say more?
But now it was time to eat. There was a stall that had fried vegetables of every kind and I chose the fried green tomatoes. I can’t recall the last time I had some and these were so freaking amazing. They were made to order, hot, and crispy, too. Danielle had never had fried green tomatoes and my explanation didn’t make them sound terribly appetizing I guess. I think she thought it had the consistency of a regular tomato, which would sound kind of strange, mushy, and unappealing, which these were not.As you can see, there is food of all kinds at the Delaware State Fair from french fries, to hamburgers, to everything in bacon, to candied apples, and more.Click To Tweet
As you can see, there is food of all kinds at the Delaware State Fair from french fries, to hamburgers, to everything in bacon, to candied apples, and more.
In addition to the food, there are loads of entertainment options at the fair. We didn’t stay late enough for the fireworks and we hadn’t gotten tickets for any of the acts, but Little Big Town, Alabama, and X Ambassadors, among others, were all playing at the Delaware State Fair. For traditional fair entertainment, you could stop by the FFA Agriculture Education Center, enjoy a beverage at the ROOST Beer and Wine Garden, watch the live cooking demonstrations or maybe the poultry show, the horseshoe pitching contests, or the 4-H and FFA tractor driving contests. There is something for everyone at the Delaware State Fair.This little corn cake was stuffed full with cheese and it was the ultimate hand food while checking everything out at the fair. It was slightly crisp on the outside while ooey, gooey, and cheesy on the inside.Click To Tweet
One of the best surprises of the night was this arepa con queso I discovered at the Delaware State Fair. This little corn cake was stuffed full with cheese and it was the ultimate hand food while checking everything out at the fair. It was slightly crisp on the outside while ooey, gooey, and cheesy on the inside. While I’ve had arepas in Colombia, I was open to the idea of an arepa in the U.S. and I wasn’t let down at all. I washed it down with fresh squeezed lemonade, which was cold, sweet, and delicious.
After walking around the Delaware State Fair for a few hours, eating enough food for a family of four, and watching the sun go down behind us, it was time to trek back to the car and back to our hotel for a good night’s sleep.
On day three we are heading onward to Washington, DC. Check out the many pics of our trip by reading all of the road trip posts and also searching the hashtag, #TwoChicksAndARoadTrip on Twitter, Instagram, and FaceBook.
While I was generously provided breakfast by IHOP, discounted accommodations by Holiday Inn Express, and free admission to the Delaware State Fair, all opinions and photographs, unless otherwise noted, are my own.