Cape May


Jun 24 2009

New Traditions -or- Cape May Revisited

Published by under Travel

Cape May Inn--photo by Llalan

Cape May Inn--photo by Llalan

Walking amongst the inns, hotels, and bed-and-breakfasts that line several streets in Cape May, New Jersey is like walking through Candy Land. The giant old mansions ramble around the blocks with their wrap-around, plant covered porches, intricate lattice-work, and what one can only describe as outrageous paint jobs. I saw yellow and orange, orange and blue, blue and pink, and pink and pink. The bright colors towered above us on gables and turrets and shown through the trees that lined the narrow streets.

Originally a whaling town, Cape May started to become a resort town in the 1850s. The Moon Handbook to New Jersey says that such “luminaries” as Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Harrison, and Franklin Pierce visited the vacation spot. And now it’s one of my favorite spots. I’m guessing none of them got as sunburned as I did…or even body surfed the icy waves. But I do wonder how Abe would fare against me in a game of bocce. Beating people in the game is one of my favorite new Cape May traditions.

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May 30 2009

Personal Havens -or- Cape May Dreaming

Published by under Travel

Moon Handbook to New Jersey

Moon Handbook to New Jersey

I will soon be leaving the greater die-hard Red Sox fans area for a much needed escape from the city: in a few weeks I will be headed back down to Cape May, New Jersey. I went there last summer, and was so enchanted I can hardly wait to return.

Everybody has at least one place in the world that they go to in their heads to retrieve some quiet, relaxation, pleasant memories. Be it a seaside room from a honeymoon or a lush garden from childhood, this place exists for you alone and provides a sense of peace. Cape May is one of these places for me (and Erieau, of course).

On days when I need a reprieve from reality I can slip back into the hushed house near the beach, make myself a gin and tonic and sit on the porch. Or I can carefully apply suntan lotion to every exposed inch of fish belly-white skin and lie on the beach absorbing the warm sunlight, orange behind my eyelids. I can prove again my superiority at bocce ball while smelling our dinner of fresh fish on the grill. I can even watch the bats flit about above my head in the purple dusk and later amble down the darkened beach, sit in the life guard’s chair, and listen to the waves come ashore.

…Excuse me, I wandered there.

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Jun 14 2008

A Jersey Girl Returns

Published by under Travel

Cape May birds

Pocket Naturalist guide to Cape May Birds

When you leave the city of Cape May on the southern tip of New Jersey and start north on the Garden State Highway, a large green sign greets you: “Welcome to New Jersey!” And that’s exactly how it feels. Cape May is its own entity. Rows of Victorian houses painted like Easter eggs, rambling old hotels wrapped in latticed porches that belong in New Orleans, those weird bike things that five people can pedal along on at once–everything you need for a lovely weekend away from the sweltering city. Everything including nature: I saw dolphins! Dozens of them arcing out of the ocean, blowing spray into the air, and causing general panic among the beach-goers who thought they had spotted a shark. And the birds! Cape May happens to be the home of the World Series of Birding. (Yes, there is such a thing.) Continue Reading »

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Jun 05 2008

Becoming a Jersey Girl

Published by under Travel

New Jersey Moon HandbookOkay, laugh all you want, but I’m going to New Jersey on vacation this weekend and I’m excited. I’m not going to the New Jersey that I know you’re thinking of, though. Cape May is located on the southernmost tip of the state, drifting down the Atlantic coast and wrapping around westward along the beaches of Delaware Bay. Starting as a successful whaling town, the city is now known for its Victorian-style houses, the beachfront promenade, and general un-Jersey-like quaintness. There are state parks to visit, beaches to lounge upon, birds to be birded, and a bar called Ugly Mug that sounds perfect for me. But I have to go–got a bus to catch. (To be continued…)

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