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October 5th, 2017

Air Boat Rides, Gatorhunt Airboat Rides, Summer and Winter, Okeechobee, Florida, Summer 2017 Travel, South Florida in the Summer

Looking for a change of scenery from the beautiful Maryland and Delaware Beaches…..oh yes, it was time to see what was happening in South Florida at this time of the year; Summer 2017.  As you know the State of Florida does not empty out in the summer against popular belief.  And guess what?  Those 9 days in Palm Beach County were cooler than home.  While Southern Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland were taking in 100 degree weather, we were enjoying low 90’s and upper 80’s.  Less traffic, restaurants were open without long lines….Yes, traveling during the summer to that part of Florida was certainly very enjoyable.

Did I tell you that we did not plan much?  Winging it and seeing what adventures we could experience on a daily basis was part of the fun.

I have experienced going on an airboat through the Everglades but traveling with Dennis Smith on Gatorhunt Airboat Rides took it to a different level.

An Airboat is a flat bottom boat propelled by an aircraft-type propeller and it is powered by either an auto engine or aircraft engine.  Perfect for traveling in marshy and/or shallow waters.  We actually found Dennis online.  He is located in Okeechobee and from Singer Island, Florida it took us about an hour.  You have to travel west.  His tours are very private and affordable; 2 to 6 people.  At that time of the year it was $25 and we did leave him a tip because he delivered a great airboat tour for us.  He does have a fun personality, as well.  His telephone number is 863-763-7433.  You can check his website http://www.gatorhuntairboatrides.com. 

As you can see from the photo the airboat was small.  But what a personality Dennis had!! The first he said that the previous days he had been out and had not seen and gator sightings!! Oh, that should be our luck not to see any.  It was so quiet traveling through the marshes and so beautiful.  The actual boat is noisy.  You could use the headgear provided or just get used to the noise.

 

Then all of a sudden a sighting….a big one!!

He was checking out a small male coming into his territory.  Dennis was amazed that so quickly we were able to see one.  When it is hot, and it was, at times it is hard for them to come to the surface.

We continue looking for more creatures and we did find more.

There are plenty of airboat tours taking you through the marshes of South Florida, but this particular one was not commercialized whatsoever.  Dennis has been doing this for so many years. The water was like glass.

This next scene had me mesmerized.  It was like out of Africa.  The cattle crossing the river.  I was worried that the alligators would get them, but Dennis said that alligators know that they are too big for them. I believe Florida runs 12th in the nation in beef cow.  There are about 18,433 beef cattle ranches.  It is one of the oldest and largest in the nation. After Texas, it is the South’s main source of beef.

We continued on our journey and Dennis was going to so fast, then would slow down to give us more insight on this beautiful place.

Our tour was almost over when we noticed a little something taking a ride with us.

Totally worth it and totally unexpected.  Thanks to Dennis for making our last day in South Florida a memorable one.

 

August 30th, 2017

John Merryman, III, Husband, Father, Friend…Always will Celebrate his Life, Temple Health, Philadelphia, PA

“I have had a good life.” john merryman, III…Those were my late husband’s, John, words a few days before he passed away on August 31, 2013.  I will keep this post short as he did not want his family to dwell on his passing.  He wanted us to move forward and so we have, one foot in front of the other.  I always say that 10% is what happens to you and the rest 90% is how you react.  It does not matter how prepared we are for a loved one’s departure eternally from our side, it is still an adjustment.

Our friends mention him a lot.  He was hard to forget.  A dry sense of humor, quiet, and a true gentleman.  My good friends are always at my side.  Tomorrow they will be there, as well.  We will have dinner and remember the good times we had with him.  He was a foodie when the word was not even in the dictionary.

He loved Michael and John above all else. John is 33 and Michael is turning 30 on 9/4.  Getting together with friends was priceless.

Our friends, Annie, Cathy, and Ron he would be so thankful for all the help they have given me.

One person that he would have enjoyed immensely would have been our granddaughter, Sophia.  She is something else.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass.  It’s about learning how to dance in the rain….”  So, life continues, as it should, one step at a time.

 

Note:  Close to my heart is the research currently under way at Temple Health for Pulmonary Hypertension.  If you have someone in need of help please contact Dr. Anjali Vaidya, MD, FACC, FASE, FACP, Advanced Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant 215-707-7636 or write anjali.vaidya@tuhs.temple.edu.  If you would like to contribute, please contact Katie Beddis, Senior Director of Development, Medical Education and Research Building. 215-707-9459, or write Kbeddis@temple.edu.  Ask for information and mention my name, Gloria Merryman.

June 25th, 2017

Dewey Eats, Two Seas, Restaurant, Rooftop Dining, Parking, Dewey Beach, Delaware

“One of the nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.”  pavarotti

And when we stop and enjoy dinner with friends, the experience is priceless!!

Dewey Beach was somewhat quiet last night, if you can imagine.  During the day the yearly event of the Running of The Bulls might have deterred some to even have dinner in town.  Not us.  My friends, Debbie, Amantha, and Sharon had a destination in mind…..Two Seas.  This restaurant has been in Dewey for over 30 years.  It is family owned and run.  On any single night all owners are there, greeting you at the door.  There is no rush to get you in and out.  Friendly conversation, more so when one of my friends is a true “native”.

Rooftop Dining…so glad we were able to get a table because the views are the ocean on one side and the bay on the other.  The night was comfortably warm, not much of a breeze, though.  Perfect for eating al fresco.  Two Seas is located at 1300 Coastal Highway.  It is at the corner of Van Dyke Ave. and Coastal Highway.  Tel. 302-227-2610.  There is parking underneath, which not many restaurants have in the area.

I usually try to avoid going out on the week-ends….it gets hectic at the beach.  This week-end, Friday and Saturday with friends was a lot of fun.

Let’s get to the topic at hand…eating.  The Delaware Beaches are a dining destination.  Chefs are outdoing themselves with so many innovative dishes.  Last night our choices are always on the Menu.  So many years of preparing these dishes…they truly have perfected them.

They do run specials and last night’s Spicy Tuna & Avocado Maki Roll is something we shared while having some wine.

I had not realized it but my choice of the Sweet Onion Crusted Red Snapper is the same dish that I ordered in 2010.  It is delicious, oven baked served with Madeira sauce and caramelized onions that added a sweet touch.  Amantha and I had the same dish and both of us loved it.  This is a signature dish.

Debbie’s entree was the Cedar Plank Scottish Organic Salmon with potatoes and fresh vegetables….she said “All done to perfection, no complaints.” It was broiled with a maple glaze.

Sharon decided on the Two Seas Angel Pasta.  It was tossed with their own marinara freshly made with vine ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil, and toasted garlic.  Finished with parmesan.  This dish can be enjoyed by itself or you may top it with shrimp, scallops or chicken.

No dessert was necessary; we were completely satisfied.

Please note that there is no elevator and you do have to go up the stairs.

Relax, you are at the beach!!

January 4th, 2017

Summer Travel, Conca dei Marini, Italy, Amalfi Coast, Hotel Belvedere, What Are You Waiting For? Costiera Amalfitana e Bella

Concai dei Marini is located in south western Italy.  It is on the hilly coast, between Amalfi and Furore.  In the Middle Ages it was trading base of the Republic of Amalfi.

An this is from the same angle the above photo was taken many years ago.

We were traveling from Terracina where we had spent a great week-end.  If you want to check that post click on September, 2016 and scroll down to the 6.  Driving in the Costa Amalfitana is an experience. The driver will not be able to do any sight seeing. It is a drive where the driver has to drive.  We did it but my friend, Judith, had done it plenty of times.

We arrived at Hotel Belvedere, located at Via Smeraldo, 19, 84010.  This hotel offers all rooms looking towards the Tyrrhenian Sea.  I had already been in touch with the Manager and Owner Mr. Antonio Barbero.  My friends have been staying there for a long time so it was like coming home.  Their website is http://www.belvederehotel.it.

The inside of the hotel was comfortable and every day at 7 p.m. we would meet in the lobby for a little drink before dinner.

The Belvedere has a salt water pool….and yes they have elevators or plenty of steps for those who want to keep in shape after all the dining and wining.

The views from Hotel Belvedere are spectacular.  We met people that have been going there for so many years at the same time.  August is a big vacation month for Europeans.

In the mornings we would sit on the terrace overlooking those amazing views and soon the sea would be filled with boats and yatchs of all sizes.

And Giuseppe, the Maitre d’ was always there to welcome us breakfast, lunch and dinner.

It seems like everywhere we went in Italy there were fireworks, a celebration! Same thing happened in Conca dei Marini where the boat parade and fireworks began early in the evening.

Jumping into the Tyrrhenian Sea was an experience.  Looking at the rocks under the water….I was freaking out, but peer pressure won and I jumped just like everyone else.

Food is coming next….

Concai Dei Marini “For the Amalfi people who go to paradise, the Day of Judgement will be a day like any other day.”  Italian Writer, Renato Fucini

Ciao

December 19th, 2016

Berlin, Germany, Christmas Markets, Open Air Markets, Handcrafted Gifts, Tradition, Weihaachtsmarkt, Europe

I am remembering so well when last year I went to the opening of the Christmas Markets in Berlin, Germany.  It was Thanksgiving and visitors were a little apprehensive after the tragedy in Paris.  Berlin was well guarded.  It is a beautiful city and it transforms itself into a living Christmas.  There were about 60 markets around the city. Buildings, shops, restaurants were all decorated with real trees and thousands of lights.

And today, once again another tragedy happened. It was at the market called City Weihaachtsmarkt.  I remember telling my children that if someone wanted to do damage these Christmas markets would be perfect targets.  The first photo above is right across from where today’s tragedy occured.  And, the second one is of that particular market, as well. This West Berlin street called Tauentzienstrasse is very upscale; sort of like the the Fifth Ave of Berlin.  Our hotel was 2 blocks away.

Residents of Berlin were comfortable with the fact that so many refugees were being accepted.  They have had no problems with others that have assimilated the culture. But, they did say that if something did happen things would start change very quickly.  So, here we are.

Getting into the Christmas Spirit was easy in Berlin.  You could not help it!  Some of the Christmas Markets are bigger than others, and some are more family oriented.  The food was amazing.

All markets are laden with traditional food, drinks and crafts.

The tradition of these markets go back to the Middle Ages.  I would go back again because there is still so much that I did not see.  Discovering the world is a must.  It is getting much smaller and definitely more dangerous.  If you are traveling abroad you can enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  This is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  It is a way of staying connected through these uncertain times.  If you enroll, they will send you travel alerts, weather surprises, uprisings in any particular country, so please visit https://step.state.gov/step.

Until next time I remain. Merry Christmas!

 

November 28th, 2016

Meatless Monday, Spinach Pie, Recipe, Easy, 5 Ingredients!!, Delaware Beaches, Southern Delaware Eats!

Starting a diet on Monday…resolutions usually start on Monday, not in the middle of the week, right?  Monday is a fresh start for most of us.  Not eating meat on Monday, apparently, is not a new concept.  There is also Wheatless Wednesday.

The awareness of Meatless Monday was reintroduced as a public health awareness campaign.  It has taken off more so since 2003, with many restaurants offering Meatless Monday dishes.  In our homes this is a concept easily adopted as 1, 2 3.

We need it today because after all the eating on Thanksgiving….some of us started before that, LOL.  This recipe for Spinach Pie was given to me by my cousins in Puerto Rico.  It is one of those recipes that is good, only 5 ingredients, and you can serve it for breakfast, lunch or dinner….adding or topping it with whatever comes to mind to make it your own.  I hope you like it.

SPINACH PIE

1 package spinach – 10 ounces

1 block cream cheese (I use the less fat one)

1 onion

4 eggs

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease lightly a pie dish. Let spinach defrost and squeeze it to get all the water out. While the spinach is defrosting take the cream cheese out of the refrigerator.  You want it a bit soft.

In a blender put eggs, spinach and cream cheese.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  I usually just add the pepper. Blend.

Pour into the pie dish.

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Place in the oven for 10 minutes, then sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top to cover. The cheese will make a crust and will add taste to the pie.

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It will take probably another 20 minutes to be ready.  Test it.  It should have a nice rich, and brown crust.

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Take it out of the oven, slice, and enjoy!!

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Have a great day!!

Note:  If you want it to be gluten free, please grate the Parmesan cheese yourself.

October 4th, 2016

What’s Going On? Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach, Events, Films, Entertainment, Delaware Beaches, Southern Delaware, The Best of The Beaches!!

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It is that time of the year when our beaches get a well deserved rest…..hahaha….I don’t think so.  That happened so long ago, I do not even remember.  If anything, every week there is something to do besides a walk on the Boardwalk, chilling out, reading, listening to live music…..so What’s Going On?

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Thursday, 10/6 – WALKING TOUR OF REHOBOTH BEACH – Starting at 9 a.m. at the Bandstand.  This tour is sponsored by the Rehoboth Beach Historical Society.  $10 and reservations are required by calling 302-227-7310.  More info? Please visit http://www.rehobothbeachmuseum.org.

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Thursday, 10/6 through Sunday, 10/9 – GREYHOUNDS REACH THE BEACH – You will see hundreds of Greyhounds coming to the beach for this annual, very well attended event.  And if it does rain, they don’t care.  They still will have their raincoats on!!  You will see them in Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach.  Wine and Biscuit Preview Party on Wednesday evening, Ice Cream Social, and Greyhounds in Art show.  More info? Please visit http:/ww.grtb.org

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REHOBOTH BEACH FILM SOCIETY PRESENTS:

Wednesday, 10/5 and Thursday, 10/6 – THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK. This is a new documentary by Ron Howard. Remember him? Happy Days!  The touring years is based on the first part of The Beatles’ career (1962-1966). It is the period in which they toured and captured the world’s acclaim. Ron Howard’s film explores how John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr came together to become this extraordinary phenomenon “The Beatles”. Screening times are at 4 p.m.  Tickets can be purchased at the Cinema Art Theater starting 30 minutes before each screening.  Admission is $8 for RBFS members and $10 for future members.  Location? 17701 Dartmouth Driive in Dartmouth Plaza, behind the Lewes Wawa in Lewes.

Wednesday, 10/5 and Thursday 10/6 – THE HOLLARS. This is a comedy about family interaction which will make you laugh.  The Director, John Krasinski, takes a poignant look at the bonds of family and friendship.  The screening will take place at 7 p.m. and tickets can be purchased at the Cinema Art Theater starting 30 minutes prior to the screening.  $8 for RBFS members and $10 for future members.  Location? 17701 Dartmouth Drive in Dartmouth Plaza, behind the Lewes Wawa.

The mission of the Rehoboth Beach Film Society is to promote cinematic arts and to provide education and cultural enrichment for our community.  For more info. on these and other events, please visit http://www.rehobothfilm.com

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Friday, Saturday, Sunday, October 7, 8, 9 – FALL SIDEWALK SALE – In Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach….9 a.m. until 10 p.m.  Get ready for some bargain shopping as the stores bring everything outside so you can get the best deals ever!!  More info?  Please visit http://www.beach-fun.com.

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Friday, Saturday, October 7 and 8 – BUDDY FEST WEEKEND – An annual event at the beach!  Raising awareness of people with Down Syndrome. Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. Buddy Up Party at the Lions Club Community Center in Dewey Beach.  A 1-mile walk kicks off Saturday’s events on the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk at 9 a.m.  Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Bandstand. After the walk please stay and enjoy live entertainment by Mario Rocco. More info? please visit http://www.boardwalkbuddywalk.com.

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Saturday, 10/8 – DEWEY GOES PINK!  In conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, The Starboard in Dewey Beach, Delaware paints the town PINK!

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This is the 6th annual Dewey Goes Pink event. Race registration opens on Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday at 9:30 a.m.  The race will begin at 11:30 a.m.  Proceeds will go to the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, now surpassing $225,000 in the first 5 years.  It is a 5k race or a 1.5 mile walk.  Steve “Monty” Montgomery and Adam Howard started this tradition in memory of their moms.  For more info., please visit http://www.deweygoespink.com.

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Saturday, 10/8 – SODEL FEST – Celebrating Wine, Food, & Music on Delmarva….Hosted by SoDel Concepts.  Location? Independence Clubhouse at 237 Samuel Adams Circle in Milllsboro (closer to Rehoboth and Lewes).  It is a benefit for Children & Familes First, Food Bank of Delaware and the Rotary’s End Polio Now….Noon until 4 p.m.  More info and to purchase tickets, please visit http://www.sodelfest.com.

Saturday, 10/8 – RUDDER ANNIVERSARY PARTY WITH THE HUBCAPS/THE FUNSTERS/LOVE SEED MAMA JUMP/GREEN MEANS GO.  More info?  Please call 302-227-3888 or visit http://www.deweybeachlife.com

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Through Sunday, 10/9 – CLEAR SPACE THEATRE PRESENTS:  HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE – “A wildly funny, surprising and devastating tale of survival as seen through the lens of a troubling relationship between a young girl and an older man.  It is the story of a woman who learns the rules of the road and life from behind the wheel.  Winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize.  Contains mature content.  For more info. and tickets, please visit http://www.clearspacetheatre.org.

Clear Space Theatre is located at 20 Baltimore Avenue in Downtown Rehoboth Beach.  Tel. 302-227-2270.

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Friday, 10/28 – 10/30 – SEA WITCH FESTIVAL 2016 – For all activities and information for this amazing festival, please visit http://www.beach-fun.com.

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Wednesday, 11/2 – GIRLS NIGHT OUT – A benefit and fundraising event for Cancer Support Community Delaware.  Location?  Atlantic Sands Hotel.  You will Shop, Share and Make an Impact!!  Cancer Support Community Delaware is located at 18947 John J. Williams Highway, Suite 312 in Rehoboth Beach.  All services are free of charge.  More info?  Please visit http://www.cancersupportdelaware.org.

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Friday, 11/4 through March 12, 2017 – WINNING PHOTOS OF 2016 DELAWARE BEACH LIFE PHOTO CONTEST – An exhibit that will open On Friday, 11/4.  The photograph above is from Joann Kingsly.  This small, but mighty exhibit of award-winning photographs were chosen from among more than 200 entries.  The images capture the many forms of life on Coastal Delaware. Location? The Rehoboth Beach Museum, located at 511 Rehoboth Ave., in Downtown Rehoboth Beach.  For more info. please call 302-227-7310 or visit http://www.rehobothbeachmuseum.org.

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Sunday, 12/4 – SANTA FUN RUN – At The Starboard in Dewey Beach.  Plenty of notice to sign up!!  This is a non-competitive 1 mile run/walk.  Noon until 4 p.m.  More info?  Please visit Events at http://www.cffde.org

KEEPING OUR FINGERS CROSSED – No bad weather, Please!!

September 29th, 2016

Rehoboth Beach Eats! Blackwall Hitch, Restaurant, Review, Bar, Sunday Brunch, Live Music, Inside The Glass Dinner Series, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Delaware Beaches, Welcome to the Beaches

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It is the perfect time of the year to try one of Rehoboth Beach’s restaurants that opened this year. The summer crowds are gone. Locals come out and not having to pay for parking is a blessing.

So nice to get together with Debbie and Jody….birthday girl was Debbie.  Arriving early at Blackwall Hitch located at 52 Rehoboth Avenue in Downtown Rehoboth Beach.  Tel. 302-226-0550.  Website? http://www.theblackwallhitch.com/rehoboth

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Blackwall Hitch looks amazing inside.  Plenty of tables, comfortable enough that you are not on top of each other.  It is so well appointed, very chic indeed.

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The expansive bar is on the other side.  From Wednesdays through Sunday live music begins at 9:30 p.m. until 12:30 p.m.  For more info. on who is playing, please visit http://www.theblackwallhitch.com/rehoboth/live-music

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Starting with The Blackwall Salad of mixed field greens, grape tomatoes, cukes, red onion and carrots, tossed with their signature house vinaigrette.  A simple salad with flavor and big enough to share.  I could have had a different starter but after eating my way through Portland, it was best to keep it low cal, if you get my drift.

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The Chicken Lemongrass Soup was loved by Debbie and Jody…roasted chicken, lemongrass, celery and onions topped with a fried veggie dumpling.

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People are talking about their Fish Tacos and our taco connoisseur, Jody, was the one to try them.  She said they were amazing, full of flavor.  Blackened Cajun Mahi-Mahi served in soft taco shells with spicy slaw, roasted corn salsa, avocado, feta cheese, pico de gallo and avocado sour cream, served with a side of herb pearled couscous.

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My Striped Bass was delicious, as well.  It was pan seared served with a chayote squash salad and lime butter sauce.

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Debbie’s Salmon Kale Salad was colorful…Grilled Atlantic Salmon, basil oil and kale salad with roasted red beets, mango, and candied walnuts tossed in their poppyseed lemon vinaigrette.

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No dessert was necessary even though there was plenty of temptation like Sminth Island Cake, Chilled Key Lime Panna Cotta, Monkey Bread, Chocolate Flourless Torte, Pineapple Upside Down Skillet Cake, Chocolate Truffles and more.  But we were so good.  Only coffee and tea, please.

Our server was attentive, more than attentive if I should say so.  It is feast or famine, some don’t care and others care too much.

Every Sunday there is brunch beginning at 10 a.m.  For more info. please visit http://www.theblackwallhitch.com/rehoboth/sunday-brunch

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Wednesday, October 5th Blackwall Hitch Presents – Inside The Glass.  This is their inaugural event of Dinner Series.  These dinners will take place the first Wednesday of the month and will feature a specially crafted chef’s dinner.  Multi-course dinners will be paired with drinks.  4 p.m. until 10 p.m.  Reservations are recommended.  This first dinner will feature a 4-course craft beer dinner menu.  Please check their Facebook Page for more information.

Blackwall Hitch offers other menus as well:  Gluten Free Menu, Kids Menu, Happy Hour Menu, Late Night Menu…just check their website above mentioned and click Menu.

So what can I say about our dining experience?  We loved the atmosphere, and the food was very good.  I had been told that it was pricey, but we found that it was a la par to all other restaurants in Rehoboth Beach at that level.

Dinner is even better when we eat together, catching up is always priceless with Jody and Debbie.

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