Have you ever read the book Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck? It's not one of his most well-known works, but it is charming. Steinbeck loved America and decided to see it up close and personal way back in 1960. He packed up his pick-up truck, Rocinante, that had been equipped with a camper, and took to the road with his French poodle, Charley, to learn about the people and land he loved. I couldn't help but think of this book when I was out on the bike paths of the Delaware again the other day with my husband Bob. Now that we are both retired we do a lot of exploring together. He's John Steinbeck, of course, easily chatting with every stranger we meet, and I'm his Charley, just happy to be along for the ride. I have seen little towns and hamlets I never knew existed so close to my own hometown. We go in search of antique shops (my passion) and eateries (his passion; he's a true foodie) and the end result is we discover lovely places and lovely people (most of the time). We've discovered so many things, from an antique shop whose barn once stabled George Washington's horses, to an historic tavern that hosts phenomenal jazz sessions on open-mic Wednesdays.
Once my daughter's wedding is over, we should have more time to branch out in our explorations, but for now we are enjoying getting to know the lovely things Central Jersey has to offer. I took a few snapshots of our recent bike excursion along the Deleware in Frenchtown which I share below. I love this little town, so many cute shops, like my favorite, Thistle, and of course quaint eating places like The Bridge Cafe, where you can get the best spinach cakes in the world and the more refined Frenchtown Inn that offers exquisite French cuisine. Both boast al fresco dining with delightful views of the river.
This time we sought refreshment in a brand new coffee shop that Bob had read about in the Hunterdon Democrat. After our 6-mile bike ride we stopped at the Eary Bird for some espresso to recharge! Great place...hope it does well.
The bike ride was delightful, Spring was in full bloom. The path was lined with feathery Queen Ann's Lace and a beautiful flower( I don't know the name of ) that appeared in multitude shades of purple .
I was amazed at how much the landcape had changed in just one week. The trees were lush with leaves, the grasses tall and green and flowers, flowers everywhere. The river views from this section of the path were different too from the Stockton- Lambertville stretch...but just as scenic.
If you get a chance, visit Frenchtown, NJ... another quaint river town along the Delaware. Who knows where my "travels with Bob" will take me next.