Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cape May Girls Only Vacation


I had actually intended my next post to be about Paris…not that I’ve been there yet, but I certainly hope to go some day! After visiting Italy, Paris is next on my bucket list. Since I just returned from my annual Girls Only Week in Cape May, NJ, I decided to do a quick post about this fascinating, relaxing location.

Cape May reminds me of a step back in time. Besides the intricately designed Victorian structures, it is simply the small hometown feeling that one senses by walking along Beach Avenue or in the Washington Street Mall area, seeing the visitors enjoying a horse & carriage ride along the narrow streets, families donning helmets as they pedal their way around the streets in covered surreys, visiting Della's 5 & 10 cent store where they have an old fashioned soda fountain-type counter in the rear, browsing through all of the unique boutiques and shops…hardly a chain store to be found here. 

We’ve been enjoying this week every year for over 20 years, and it never gets old. We rent the same house on Kearney Avenue, and this is a perfect location—2 blocks from the beach, an easy walk and very quiet when we are sitting out on our gigantic side porch where we lounge around in our jammies, not easily visible from the street.

Each year we like to plan an unusual activity in order to take a break from all of the beach time, shopping and eating. This year, we thoroughly enjoyed a two hour boat ride on A Tiny Cruise Line (http://www.atinycruiseline.com ). There were seven in our party, and the tour took us from the harbor located by the Lobster House, along the coast with a view of the Cape May beaches, out past Cape May Point and the lighthouse, along the waterway beside the Cape May-Lewes Ferry terminal, and then a shortcut back to the harbor. Captain Doug and his First Mate, Lexi, were personable and informative about the sights we were viewing. Lexi was kind and patient enough to take several shots of us with multiple cameras, God bless her. We highly recommend this tour! Call 609-602-1118 to discuss the possibilities. BTW, they also run a hop on and off water shuttle that runs between various waterfront restaurants. I would  imagine that their sunset cruise is absolutely amazing. We’ll have to try that one another time.

We had a wonderful dinner at the Merion Inn. My Chilean Sea Bass was out of this world delicious. I would highly recommend this restaurant.

Mary Ann usually departs a little early from the beach and prepares a dip, crackers, cheese, pepperoni, etc. so the starving beach bunnies will have something to chow down when they arrive from the shore. One of our favorite meals is our Italian dinner that we prepare in our own kitchen, complete with Aunt Minnie’s delectable marinara sauce. Many thanks to Aunt Minnie, as she has been supplying this sauce for us for a number of years, lovingly made from scratch. Chef Candy grills the steaks, Cheryl & Calf make the humungous salad (and a special thank you that they indulge me in providing a small individual salad for me with NO dressing…one of my many food quirks), and Calf also produced a gigantic potato salad.  Dee Dee prepares the asparagus, and we have those fabulous garlic knots from Mario’s in Cape May. Robin & I work on the cleanup because we stay out of the way while the cooking is in progress. Obviously, we can only have so many bodies crammed into a kitchen at the same time and still be productive. We usually have Lori in the mix, but she was touring Italy this year, and her little spark was greatly missed.
Fireworks that we could easily view from our beach chairs, strategically placed along the shoreline, were spectacular and memorable. We love walking to Uncle Charley’s in Washington Street Mall for a late night ice cream before they close up for the evening. We assume that the walk back to Kearney Ave. will eliminate the calories we have just ingested. Walking at night in Cape May has its own charm because it offers the best view of some of the lighted parlor areas inside the many Victorian bed and breakfast establishments which line these charming narrow streets. One could easily arrive in Cape May and never again feel the need to drive a vehicle, except for a quick trek to the Lobster House, which is just a little too far for a walk from the center of town unless you are accustomed to lengthy hikes. 

Although Cape May is a captivating location, it is really the friendships and laughter that are the best medicine during this vacation. Dee Dee annually performs her rendition of Yankee Doodle Dandy, which was captured on video this year, but she threatened litigation if I post it. I absolutely love these girls and the memories we share. They understand when I am quiet and preoccupied. As a writer, I always have multiple projects in various stages of completion running through my brain. They just let me be me—for better or for worse, and they are the best.

                                                                           Photographs by Lexi Quinn
Special thanks to Lexi Quinn, Realtor
Jersey Cape Realty, Inc.