True stories with a twist!

Posts tagged ‘Lambertville’

Drive to Memories

We were driving on Route 287 to southern New Jersey. As soon as we hit Route 206 we’d be on our way to spending a perfect day in Lambertville: one of our favorite places to stroll, meander in and out of art galleries, and walk along the Delaware Canal where barges, pulled by mules, used to pull boats through the canal.

The first sign causing a double take was a street called “Dory Dilts Road.” I know it’s not polite to laugh, I thought, But I am very happy that I don’t live on “Dory Dilts Road.” Not only that, but I am extremely grateful that I wasn’t born with a name like Dory Dilts. Can you imagine the teasing that poor child must have endured at school?

A few miles down the road was the exit sign for the State park. That brings back memories. That State Park was the site of the Old English Sheepdog Dog Show, where we went for a fun afternoon one summer and came home with a new Old English Sheepdog puppy. I remember that whenever anyone asked what kind of dog an Old English sheepdog was I explained, “The one in Disney movies whose fur always falls over its eyes,” and they immediately visualized the dog I meant.


Onward towards Lambertville we passed the exit to Flemington. It took will power to keep driving and not detour for a quick stop at their many outlet shops. Who can’t resist a bargain, and the Flemington shops are famous for their bargains on clothing, shoes and kitchen ware. But shopping was a different mindset from strolling the barge walks and visualizing donkeys pulling the barges through the canal.

The drive to Lambertville was fraught with temptations, and was difficult to stay focused on the goal. That’s because next on the road was the Amish Food market, where Amish farmers bring home baked goods, meat specialties, home made pickles (have you ever tasted “pickled baby beets”) and other wonders designed to make the mouth water. And they do whether we stop or stay the course, resist temptation and keep driving.


Deprived but determined we reach our destination. What a beautiful afternoon to be out in the country! The Delaware River was full of graceful sailboats and fishing boats, the colors in the canal were sparkling, and the dirt path alongside was unspoiled and uncrowded. We meandered in and out of the many art galleries in town, and completed the day with a lovely dinner in a restaurant alongside the canal.

We were glad not to have succombed to the temptations along that road on Route 287 south, and to have left all those exits as old memories.

Doing the Delaware Thing

A summer Sunday in Lambertville, New Jersey. A break from this summer’s humid weather, and a welcome change of scenery.

Walking along the streets of town, browsing through art galleries along the calm, peaceful Delaware River. Stopping for iced cappuccino coffees to sip along the way.

In one of the galleries we stepped into, a knowledgeable salesman was speaking to a couple about an artist whose work was featured. We were both impressed with his comments, certain that he had a meaningful education and background in art history.

Then the couple asked him to recommend a restaurant in town. He immediately said, “The Hamilton house. I’m a waiter there. Just tell the Maitre ‘d that you’re happiest when Pete serves you. Today is my day off.”

“How interesting,” we thought, “that a person has such varied skills: waiting tables and selling oil paintings.”

Next stop was a walk across the bridge over the Delaware River leading from Lambertville, New Jersey to New Hope,  Pennsylvania. Hobensack and Keller, a shop that collects and sells garden pieces from old estates, has a yard filled with fancy wrought iron gates, pewter troughs and cement planters. Inside are antique serving pieces and all kinds of odds and ends. You never know what you will find, and it’s always fun to drop in.

As we approached the shop, we saw a wedding party posing for pictures in the garden. Inside was a man I had not seen before. I asked him if Larry was there. I had dealt with Larry before, and enjoyed hearing his stories about histories of the pieces he found at the last estate sales.

“No, Larry isn’t here today. He’s working at his other job. Larry is the Mayor of New Hope, and he’s officiating at that wedding outside. He often allows wedding parties to meet for photographs.”

I was starting to feel like a character in a sit com, where the same man wears different hats and performs all kinds of different services.

Complain of the number of mosquitoes this summer, and he will put on his exterminator hat and offer to spray your property. Mention the nasty fall you took on your front step and he’ll put on his construction hat, offering to reset the stairs. Discuss a book you’re enjoying and he’ll put on his bookstore hat and rave about the new novels that just arrived in Tuesday’s shipment.

But, I realized this was no sit com. This was an interesting element in this true slice of American life in a small town.

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