Sunday, April 06, 2014

the first state

Sometimes you misfire. There are moments when JCD* doesn't quite get things right - not horribly wrong, but not quite right. The Eleven ended up having coffee at La Fia in Wilmington, Delaware early Saturday evening. We were killing time before our dinner reservation at 6p and while wandering North Market St., noted that La Fia was about the only option for time killing. Great lattes, excellent service, fresh and amazing gougeres. There was an inkling that we should maybe stay and eat there instead of the pub up the street, but with reservations in hand, we headed out for a middling dinner. We did return, post-dinner, for some nice cocktails at La Fia's bar before our show - we should have stayed if the lattes, pastries, and cocktails were any indication of the food quality. Based on watching the kitchen and checking out the plates while cocktailing, I'm pretty sure dinner there would have been much better. Sometimes you miss.

We were in Wilmington for the Carolina Chocolate Drops show on Saturday night at the Grand. Both the venue and the band lived up to expectations - part history, part musicology, all drop dead talent. More on them in another post.

I did mange all of our other meals and activities at my higher standard - if only I'd trusted La Fia. It eats at me. Well, it doesn't, but I like it all to be perfect. The brunch that stood out was at Fresh Thymes on Saturday morning - something that violated my normally strong desire to not eat in any place named after an herb or spice. This place is a very small, limited menu, three-employee joint that does natural, healthy foods - and breakfast/brunch seems to be the specialty. We both had massive stacks of banana buckwheat pancakes to go with the excellent coffee on tap. Not a lot of tables, we had to wait about 10 minutes, but it was worth it. When you're next in Wilmington...

Sunday we did the Winterthur House and Garden on the way out of town and it was an excellent visit all around. We actually walked from the visitor center to the house which gave us loads of quiet and empty gardens/lands to take in on the first really nice weekend of they year. There was a bit of a bite in the air so most visitors took the trams instead of walking. It's a bit early for any full bloom, but the March bank was blanketed:

We didn't do the proper house tour since you can't wander unattended and the crowd was a bit large, but we did (not by accident) visit the Downton Abbey exhibit. They've brought over about forty pieces of historical costume from the show and the exhibit was well thought out, with timed tickets that actually maintained some semblance of space within the exhibit. Hey, I only watch Downton to maintain continuity with Mr. Carson.

And, "Oh, there they are..."

Love and kisses, 

* Julie the Cruise Director

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