Six months after announcing my move to Delaware, I have settled into The First State! Along with my husband; a teenager; a grumpy, old dog; two electric Fiats; a truck; and a Harley. Here are a few of things we have learned along the way.
Question #1: Dela… Where?
A few people (I won’t name names) have asked: “What state is Delaware in?” More often, I’m asked: “Um… Where is that?” Or just thrown a puzzled look. So, for my geographically challenged friends, fly to New York, then drive south through New Jersey. Stop. If you hit Maryland, you’ve gone too far. And pay attention, because Delaware is only 90 miles from top to bottom! (Yes, it takes longer to get to a Dodgers game in rush hour traffic than to drive through the entire state of Delaware.)
Lesson #1: East Coast v. West Coast Stucco
One thing Californians take for granted is stucco. We are surrounded by stucco in every possible color and texture. It is cheap, versitile, and requires virtually no maintenance in a desert climate. It photographs well with palm trees. So naturally, Jeff and I immediately fell in love with a stucco covered home in Wilmington. Moth. Flame.
What we quickly learned is that Delaware’s average annual rainfall is 46 inches. Los Angles, 7 inches. And stucco is porous, so it loves to absorb all that water. Suffice it to say that we are now veritable stucco experts. If any of you have questions about stucco testing, flashings, drainage or other stucco/water related questions and have a few spare hours, give us a call.
Surprise #1: Wineries…. In Delaware!
California accounts for nearly 90% of all American wine production. We have been producing wine in the state since the 18th century, when the Spanish missionaries first planted vineyards to produce wine for mass. Wineries are everywhere. Napa. Sonoma. Temecula. Malibu. We celebrate our wines and our wine culture in movies like Sideways or Bottle Shock. We recycle wine bottles and turn them into handcrafted soy candles. We worship wine.
One thing I’m fairly certain Californians have never done with wine before is to put it in a paint can. So you can imagine my surprise when I stumbled across Paradocx Vineyard in Kennett Square. Their signature product? A line of 3.5 liter pouches packaged in, you guessed it, a decorative paint can! And when you’re finished with the wine, you can recycle your paint can as vase or perhaps a decorative wedding centerpiece. No, really, I did not make this up. You can visit their website here. In fact, Paradocx is only one of six different wineries and historic landmarks along the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail… and you can bet we will be visiting all of them as we continue our epic Delawarean adventure!
Stay tuned for the next exciting episode…