Outdoor Fine Art and Craft Show

By Donalie Nugues, in All Communities

My mom is an amazing painter, so last Sunday I was delighted to be invited to attend a special event hosted by the Rehoboth Art League – the 39th Annual Outdoor Fine Art and Craft Show in Rehoboth Beach.

For me, Rehoboth Beach is an “art community” and the Rehoboth Art League is the great inspiration behind this, since being founded in the late 1930s. The Annual Outdoor Fine Art and Craft Show is typically hosted over two weekends in August on the Art League’s 3.5 acre campus in Henlopen Acres. If I could “paint a picture” of the scene… it’s natural and very pretty, set in a wooded area with views of the water and docks… I could see boats going in and out. This property is the year-round home to several galleries showcasing local and national artists, thriving classrooms and historical buildings.

If you are reading this before August 18th or 19th, you can catch the second and final weekend of the show! The event showcases high quality paintings (acrylics, watercolors, oil painting and charcoal), photography, jewelry and crafts from over 100 pre-selected artists based out of the Mid-Atlantic region.

The atmosphere is very relaxing. It’s wonderful to walk down the little paths, view the art, talk to the artists, and grasp how talented someone can be. I had the privilege of meeting Jerrod Ranney, a local oil painter who I could describe to paint the scenes of “everyday life” that we may overlook, for instance. I noticed a cool new art trend as well called “Reclaimed Wood Art,” which involves repurposing wood for a design.

I was delighted to see some new faces playing live jazz, blue grass, and folk music. Not to mention how impressed I was by a very young, but very talented pianist.

Root Gourmet and Nage, two local restaurants, are catering the event with several types of sandwiches. The side of pasta salad that I had with my chicken-salad wrap was delicious! Baked goods and pastries are being provided by Bakery Shoppe and coffee by The Pointe Coffee House.

Echelon Custom Homes, Tidewater Mortgage, Ocean Atlantic Sotheby’s, and Schell Brothers are sponsoring the show, so we have a booth set up (#28). We have a wonderful painting that people can enter to win in a raffle… the winner will be drawn at the end of this weekend! On Sunday I attended on behalf of Schell Brothers, and spent some time talking to patrons about the companies that we represent and answering any questions that they might have about what the differences are between them. I also had the pleasure of meeting some Schell Brothers and Echelon homeowners, who stopped by to say hello. Everybody was so nice!

So don’t miss this weekend’s show. Feel free to stop by our booth because we will be glad to meet you! You can also sign up to win the painting by Carol Gray. For more information about the show please call 302-227-8408.

The Most American Thing I Have Ever Done

By Donalie Nugues, in All Communities

Last week I went to the 93rd Annual Delaware State Fair in Harrington and this is by far the most “American” thing I have ever done. I loved it!

The Delaware State Fair “comes to town” every year for ten days in late July. The fairgrounds, over 300 acres located on RT 13 (South DuPont Hwy) in Harrington, DE, is home year-round to the Harrington Raceway & Casino, and during fair week hosts a giant carnival, concerts, vendors, rodeos, agricultural exhibits, competitive exhibits (animals, culinary, hobbies & games, home arts, youth), free entertainment and so much more!

This year the fair admission was $6 (children 9 and under are free), but thanks to my friend’s advice to sign up for a Harrington Raceway & Casino Player’s Club Card a few days prior, I not only took a fancy limo bus from the parking lot to the gate, but I also received free admission into the fairgrounds.

Once we were inside the gate, my friends wanted to go on rides. I have to admit that I was a bit scared to spin round and round at high speeds on amusements, because the last time I got on a ride I was only 8 years old. But, hey, I figured I should be a kid again! After I rode the first ride, I wanted to try every one.

I almost drew the line though, when I saw “The Mega Drop,” which literally drops you from the top of a large vertical structure about 115ft to the bottom. After some convincing on my friend’s part, I decided to go for it! I sat in a seat on the center structure, pulled the bars down over my head, and then the ride attendant told us to hold on. The “cab,” slowly made its way to the top. I started to realize how high up we were we going and I almost freaked out. But then for a moment, I was calm and distracted by a breathtaking view of the entire fairgrounds. By night I can only imagine how spectacular this view is with all of the lights! All of a sudden, before I knew it, I got that funny feeling in my stomach, a rush in my head, and we were in fact free-falling from the top. In an instant all of my fears were over when we made landfall because this ride was awesome!

If you are not a big fan of speed, and want to see an aerial view of the grounds, I would opt for the Ferris Wheel.

I thought it would be a wise decision to wait and eat after we rode the rides. If you are a “Food Lover” like me, it can be very hard to choose what to eat at the fair. Delicious food is everywhere! Corn dogs, crabcakes, pizza, shish kabob, sausage, funnel cakes, kettle corn, French fries, deep-fried Twinkies, Oreos and pickles, candy apples, cotton candy. They even had French crepes. It was very hard to choose!

I decided to buy a Greek platter that included chicken on a stick, grilled peppers and onions, Greek-style rice & salad, and a cucumber sauce. Although I was full from eating the entire platter, I convinced myself that I had to eat dessert. I love cinnamon, so I ate the biggest cinnamon bun I could find. So yummy! Inside the Harrington Raceway & Casino there is also a delicious buffet featuring American, Italian, & Chinese, carving station, seafood, salad bar, dessert bar, and so much more. During fair week, the buffet even had an ice cream station with ALL kinds of ice cream and every topping you can imagine, even sprinkles!

Although the food was my favorite part of the Fair, it turns out the largest part, and also the cutest part, is the animals’ exhibition. All the barns are open to the public, so you can walk through and see all the livestock such as cows, sheep, pigs, goats, chickens, birds, horses, and rabbits. I pet the sheep and they were so cute and soft. I saw a cow getting milked. There was even a specialty “Big-Top” tent with a giraffe as the main attraction. I was so happy to see a giraffe up close and I even got to feed him some carrots! I took a lot of pictures of the animals.

Next to the cow barn was a Mechanical Bull ride, which definitely drew a crowd. My friends dared me to get on it, but I preferred to watch everybody else try to ride it for 8 seconds. Speaking of bulls, there was also a Rodeo in a large arena on the fairgrounds with horses, crazy bulls, cowboys and even funny clowns. I really wanted to go to this, but I missed it! So, I hope one day to have another opportunity to see this.

In the distance I could hear the soundcheck at the grandstand. Every night at the M&T Bank Grandstand there is a concert, derby, or harness race. This year the fair had a great entertainment lineup – Miranda Lambert, Casting Crowns, Styx & Cheap Trick, Sugarland, Justin Moore, and Jason Aldean. I was fortunate to see Jason Aldean in concert on Wednesday night and must say his voice and show are amazing! Everybody was dancing with their hands in the air, singing to his songs, and screaming for him! It was worth every penny!

After the concert let out, we walked over to the outside bar at the casino to have a drink and relax. We didn’t go inside and gamble, but if you wanted to, there is Poker, Craps, Roulette and hundreds of themed slots. We sat outside on the patio and listened to a cover band play great music. As the night went on, more people packed into the bar area and danced the night away.

The Delaware State Fair is the perfect place to enjoy time with your family and friends. The atmosphere is great because everybody seems to have a smile on their face – it’s a dream for kids and a wonderful time for adults alike. There is something about that place where I am happy just walking around, watching the people, and smelling the food. And most importantly, the Delaware State Fair is the only place I know where you can win a life-sized Spongbob by busting ballons with a dart.



My Adventures in The Perfect City for the Summer

By Donalie Nugues, in All Communities

I must say, it’s been such a pleasure discovering NEW things about the beach area and sharing my experiences with you! Now, I want to show you the place that I enjoy every day, and what I refer to as “The Perfect City for the Summer,” Rehoboth Beach. Surly, it would have been a mistake if I didn’t talk about the top destination in the area! Rehoboth Beach is actually referred to as “The Nation’s Summer Capital” because millions of people visit here every season from Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, and especially Washington D.C.  There are so many things to see and do in Rehoboth Beach…great shopping, dining, entertainment, attractions, and recreation! And the greatest amenity of all is the beach itself because it’s beautiful and relaxing.

I believe that Rehoboth Beach has some of the best restaurants I have ever eaten at – food at its finest! Last week we hosted our Club Echelon Happy Hour at a delectable restaurant called Salt Air. Salt Air, located on Wilmington Avenue, uses local produce and fresh fish to create simple, unique, and innovative dishes. My glass of Merlot, paired with an array of Cheeses, Angus Sliders, and Crab Deviled Eggs, put a big smile on my face. Not to mention, the Flatbread Pizza with Duck Confit, Arugula and Blue Cheese Butter, tasted…well…amazing! For dessert…I walked down the street to a place I know called Café Papillon, which is located on Penny Lane in between Rehoboth Avenue and Wilmington Avenue. Café Papillon is an authentic French Bakery, owned by a French pastry chef. The croissants taste…well… for a moment I think I am back in Paris! And, for anybody who hasn’t been to Rehoboth, I am obligated to tell you about the places like Grotto Pizza and Thrashers’ French Fries, which are nostalgic and a must-have!

After a nice meal, such as mentioned above, I might go out for an evening of fun with my friends to a pub. I wanted to try a new place, so Jeremy Bell, the Schell Brothers Internet Marketing Manager, suggested that I go see “The Fleshtones” play at Dogfish Brewpub & Eats on Rehoboth Avenue. Unbeknownst to me, Dogfish Ale is native to Delaware, brewed in a 10,000 square ft factory in Milton, and there are over 20 Dogfish Beers sold in 25 states. Needless to say, I had a great Friday night…drinking the local ale, dancing, and meeting new people.

And, Rehoboth by day? – I pack my towel and some sunscreen in a bookbag, and ride my bike to Jungle Jim’s Waterpark! Jungle Jims is located on rt 1, across from the main entrance to Rehoboth Beach. There are six giant waterslides, a lazy river, a wave pool, a kids sprayground, an activity pool, and many lagoon areas. My favorite slide is the Anacoda because I think it’s the fastest and most thrilling! I can easily spend a whole day there, tanning, floating on the lazy river, and riding the slides and go-karts. This may sound out of the ordinary for a Waterpark, but there is a café inside that makes the best Fruit and Granola Yogurt in the world! So good!

Speaking of healthy foods, I like to shop for fresh and local products at the Rehoboth Beach Farmers market, which is held every Tuesday from Noon to 4pm in Grove Park (behind the Rehoboth Beach Chamber of Commerce). Every week there are all kinds of vendors, sometimes they host local chef demos, live music, and special guests. It’s the perfect market to find fruits, vegetables, candy, honey,  fresh bakes goods and cookies…  All kinds of healthy goodies and some treats too!

The Farmer’s Market is typically held during the season, circa May-August, as is the same for live entertainment at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand. But, forget any mention of Rehoboth Beach being “off” in the off-season. In my opinion, the best events are actually held in the off season, such as the Chocolate Festival, the Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival, the Sea Witch Festival, Greyhound Weekend, the Independent Film Festival, Restaurant Week, the Annual Sidewalk Sale, Christmas Parade…and so much more! Every week there is something happening! And if you haven’t already done so, get your tax-free shopping on at the Tanger Outlets. Just recently, I bought a really nice pair of Nike sneakers for only $40. Everything is up to 70% off, so like me, you may become a shopping crazy!

Life is typically easy here. Park for $7.00 at the Dart First State Park and Ride and everybody in your car receives a free unlimited ride bus pass to and from Downtown Rehoboth. The bus is frequent, a quick and easy ride, and it picks-up/drops-off at Rehoboth Avenue and the Boardwalk. You can even shuttle to/from Dewey Beach on the infamous Jolly Trolly for only $2.50/pp each way. The Jolly Trolley also picks-up/drops-off at Rehoboth Avenue and the Boardwalk. And if you don’t want to drive at all, there is a bus that runs during the summer, on Saturday and Sunday (Washington D.C. to/from Rehoboth Beach and Dewey). It’s only $39 one way.

If you are not familiar with Dewey Beach, it’s less than a mile from Rehoboth Beach and can easily be described as relaxing by day and a crazy party by night! My favorite place to go in Dewey Beach is to a very cool bar called The Starboard. Not only do they have a great menu, DJs, live performances by the best cover bands around, and specialty drinks, but it’s the home of Suicide Sunday “Build Your Own Bloody Mary Smorgasbord.” There is never a cover and their breakfast is awesome!

Rehoboth Beach and Dewey are two great cities to enjoy a perfect summer. Not only can you experience unforgettable moments with your family and friends this summer but also all year long.

 

A Soothing Summer Day in Lewes

By Donalie Nugues, in All Communities

Everyone has been telling me that I have to go to Lewes! Naturally, I wanted to see what the buzz was all about, so I woke up bright and early on Saturday morning and took the bus there (Route 204 – Rehoboth Park & Ride to Lewes). I stopped in Cape Henlopen, crossed over the bridge, and was pleasantly surprised… it is SO beautiful. This is the first old style city that I have seen in the United States. I love a city that’s full of history and Lewes is definitely one of them!

First, I explored the most famous street in Lewes, which is surprisingly called Second Street. It’s very quaint, and there is a great selection of restaurants (Seafood, Latin, French, Italian, American…), a wide variety of specialty and boutique shops, a wine bar and coffee shops. At Notting Hill Coffee Shop, I had a Frozen Hot Chocolate topped with whipped cream and it tasted so good! At the corner of Second Street and Market Street sits the St. Peter Episcopal Church, which I read is more than three hundred years old. I explored the surrounding streets to discover the beauty of the older houses, and I came across the Lewes Farmer’s Market.

My first impression of the Farmer’s Market was great! Actually, it’s the nicest market I have ever been to. It feels as though you’ve been invited by friends. It’s a tradition, it seems, to meet there every Saturday from 8 to Noon, to talk, eat good food, and share secrets about a better life. It’s a very good place to find everything you need for a healthy meal, including organic vegetables, fruits, and homemade bread. There are also delectable snacks. I tried some Tuna, Bulgur and Baby Spinach from Nancy’s Fine Foods, and it was delicious. And for dessert, I ate Blueberry Crunch Ice Cream from Chesapeake Bay Farm. I could kill to have another one right now as I’m writing this! I am happy that I found a new place to buy seasonal produce for the summer!

As you can imagine, I was somewhat stuffed from eating all those wonderful treats, so I wanted to walk it off a bit. What a great opportunity to stroll through Lewes and learn about the history of “The First Town in the First State.” The Zwaanendael Museum immediately caught my eye. It was built in 1931 as a tribute to the 300th Anniversary of Delaware’s first European Settlement. The architecture of the museum is very unique and stands out among the other buildings in Lewes; it reminded me of a Bavarian-style home.

I must have been the luckiest girl, because in the park adjacent to the museum there was a very cute flea market. I bought a few trinkets there and then I walked a few streets over to the Cannonball House (the famous house with a cannonball still stuck in its side from the British attack in 1813). It’s an indescribable feeling to stand in front of this house and think about what happened!

I can’t wait to go back to Lewes and discover more. I have plans to see Lightship Overfalls, Cape Henlopen State Park, and even take a ride on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. It would be great to simply have a nice dinner at one of the restaurants. If I could depict Lewes in one sentence, I would say it’s as soothing as listening to jazz music and drinking a glass of red wine!

The Junction and Breakwater Trail

By Donalie Nugues, in All Communities

Summer is here, and to make the most of my experience in Rehoboth Beach, I decided to get a bike! The first thing I wanted to do was ride along Junction and Breakwater Trail. If you have never been there, you will have to add it on your “To-Do List!”

The Junction and Breakwater Trail is six miles long and starts at Wolfe Neck in Lewes near Breakwater and Cape Henlopen High School and ends in Rehoboth Beach, not far from The Avenue.

Riding your bike along this trail is not only a great way to bypass traffic and parking meters in Historic Lewes or Downtown Rehoboth, but it’s also just simply beautiful and soothing. Along the trail, you can enjoy spectacular views of coastal wetlands, forests, open fields of farmland, and the animals that dwell there.

Although I biked along the trail by myself to take pictures and enjoy the weather, I’m positive that walking or riding this trail is a great idea for many other pastimes. Exercise with friends, go bird-watching, walk your dog, spend time with your family, capture beautiful images on your camera, and you may even spot some deer.

I really enjoyed my two hour round trip because the trail is flat and there are many places where you can admire scenic views of marshes. I started my trip at the end of Wolf Neck Road by McDonald’s and Wawa on Rt. 1 but you can also park at Cape Henlopen High School Parking Lot (when school is not in session), in public lots in Lewes, by Grove Park in Rehoboth Beach or behind Tanger Outlets Seaside Center on Rt 1.

Early June may be the perfect time to enjoy the trail, but it’s great all year long. Enjoy!



3rd Annual Bras for a Cause

By Donalie Nugues, in All Communities

Before I arrived in Rehoboth Beach, I was naturally drawn to do a Google search on “Schell Brothers.” I came across some interesting photos/videos of my soon-to-be boss in the Gallery section of the website. For some reason, Chris Schell and fellow male co-workers were dancing on stage with bras on! If you can imagine my thoughts at that time… maybe this was a little “odd”… but, how ironic it is that my first assignment/event with Schell Brothers would be just that, making a bra for a man??

For the last couple of years, Schell Brothers has participated in a fun event called “Bras for a Cause,” which is hosted by the Sussex County Women’s Council of Realtors. The community bans together for a live bra auction at Aqua in Downtown Rehoboth in which a large portion of proceeds are donated to the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition.

One week before the event, we held a secret “girls only” lunch meeting at Arena’s Deli to bounce ideas off each other about the design and names of the bras, and to determine which guy each of us would be making a bra for. This meeting is such a secret, that I heard every year Chris Schell tries to find out what his bra is going to look like. I figured there must have been some peculiar reason why he was having lunch at Arena’s too, at the same time as us… maybe spying?

These are the names that we came up with… so funny!

  • Chris Schell – “Dream Barbie”
  • Tim Green – “Precious”
  • Dion Lamb – “I Scream Sundae”
  • John Cristaldi – “Sugar Plum Fairy”
  • Dan Matta – “Alla Puttanesca”
  • Chris Tull – “Really Well Built”
  • Tommy Watts – “Hole In One”
  • Wes Frehauf – “Handle With Care”



After the meeting, Chris’ assistant Ashley and I went to Maidenform and bought eight 48DD bras. We also went to several other stores to buy crazy things like pasta noodles, a black moustache, a checkerboard tablecloth, a Play-Doh Pizza Maker, black shoulder-length wig… the perfect “ingredients” to make Dan Matta, our Customer Service Director at Schell Brothers, into an ITALIANO PIZZA BOY!

On the day of the event, we all met at Echelon Design Center to put last-minute finishing touches on the bras, and to help the guys get all dressed up. I have to admit that I was a little worried for the guys. I thought that once we were at Aqua they may be too shy to stand on stage in a bra and be auctioned off in front of a large crowd. Boy, was I wrong! One by one the announcer brought all the “bra-baring models” on stage, and they danced their way into the hearts of the bidders. The whole event, which included “models” from all over the community, brought in over $35,000! Needless to say, it was a spectacular show!

As I reflect back on my first event with Schell Brothers, I must say that I not only love the feeling of helping such a great cause, but also EVERYONE did a wonderful job. Tim Green, our Branch Out Division Manager/Bras for a Cause Participant said in an email that, “This was just another example of how well our team works together to go above and beyond.” I want to quote him because he pinpointed exactly what I am thinking. After having such a delightful experience, I can’t wait for our next event!



Following the American Dream through Rehoboth Beach

By Donalie Nugues, in All Communities

Hello, my name is Donalie and I am from France. Like many people in my country, I found myself dreaming the “American Dream”, the same one from the movies. In my dream I live in the United States and work for an important company in the city, where people are always on the run, and work in a big building, and wear black suits.

I have experience building green homes with my father in France, so my very good friend Ashley Kirk, who happens to be Chris Schell’s assistant, suggested the possibility of a summer internship with Schell Brothers. In my dream, I live and work in New York City, of course, so candidly, I was not that excited to come to Rehoboth Beach at first. Ashley told me that Schell Brothers is “the BEST COMPANY EVER!” So I thought to myself, it would be much cooler if I could live with my friend, work for a good company, and travel to many places. This sounds great, so why not! And here I am.

I’ll be blogging about my experiences here as I explore Rehoboth Beach and the rest of the area.

After an unforgettable Memorial Day Weekend, which included getting a tan at Rehoboth Beach, shopping downtown, eating the biggest breakfast of my life at Cracker Barrel, going to the Starboard in Dewey, spending the day poolside at a Tiki Bar at Seacrets in Ocean City, combined with my jet lag, you could say I needed to recoup for my first day of work. I was also nervous because I wanted everything to go perfect on my first day and I had no idea what to wear, if the people would like me, would they be nice, and would I speak English the best that I could.

I tried to be as cool as possible when Ashley introduced me to my co-workers. Everybody seemed very nice and professional. What Ashley told me is true… I do not have to worry! When I met Tim Tice, a designer for Echelon Custom Homes, I laughed because he was wearing flip-flops and suit pants. It was so funny because in France nobody can wear these kinds of shoes at work, and nobody would ever think to do that!

After meeting over a hundred people, whose names I can only hope to remember, Ashley took me to a few communities to visit the model homes. I knew that Schell Brothers builds homes, but I wasn’t expecting this! Wow, Sunset Harbour in Bethany Beach is so beautiful and I felt good right away! I wanted to stay in the model home forever to relax and enjoy the sunset. When you walk in, you can feel the happiness coming through and the peace. I was day-dreaming about how cool it would be to invite some friends over, listen to good music, eat great food and just have a good time.

After visiting Sunset Harbour, we drove to Schell Brothers’ newest community, Ellis Point. Once again… Awesome. People who live there have a private beach and it’s just gorgeous. I loved it. In that moment, I realized how happy I am because the TRUE American Dream is here and now I am the luckiest person. Stay tuned.

Tim Tice wearing flip flops with suit pants

Awesome water views at Sunset Harbour