Cape May, NJ-Completed
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Dates: June 11-18, 2005
Where: Seaboard Walk Townhouses, Cape May
Who: Me (Grace), DD (Lauren), ...
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Dates: June 11-18, 2005
Where: Seaboard Walk Townhouses, Cape May
Who: Me (Grace), DD (Lauren), DS (Angela), Mom & Dad, DB (Garvin), DSIL (Karen),
Celebration: Annual summer vacation to Cape May when we aren’t in Disney
My sister planned this trip. It was a nice break for me since as the resident Disney expert, I plan our WDW trips. She found a nice rental with 4 bedrooms, 4 ½ baths, a tv/vcr/dvd combo in all bedrooms and living room, internet access, exercise room and pool. It was very, very nice and only 2 years old. Of course the week’s rental cost a pretty penny as we were on Beach Ave just ½ block from the beach.
We arrived in Cape May within ½ hour of each other and I didn’t get lost once! For those that know me, getting lost one of my foibles. We oohed and aahed over the townhouse. I kept calling it a condo and was roundly corrected. What’s the difference anyway?
First order of business was allocating bedrooms and unpacking the bags and bags of supplies. It was furnished, dishes etc supplied and lots of extras like beach tags, a library of VHS tapes and DVDs and a very nice sound system. That was a nice perk.
Then it was off for our first stroll around town and the boardwalk. We ended up at the family arcade and my DD quickly spent her quarters. Her goal of course was to collect enough tickets and tokens to get prizes. The whole family was recruited in her efforts. Three cheap prizes later, she was ecstatic and I could have bought the prizes for less than we spent in playing. Oh well, it was vacation time. We ordered take out pizza from Jake’s for dinner. Not great, pretty average for delivery pizza.
Byran is 13 months old and just starting to walk so that’s all he wants to do. ‘course he can’t walk alone yet so one adult was always available to lend fingers to his efforts. I’d forgotten how active a young toddler can be. My DD (7) was having a great time being the “big sister” as she called herself and was a great help except when it came to changing the “stinky” diapers. We all crashed early tuckered from the drive.
Beach time!! It takes time to get 8 people up and motivated. We were slow starters today. First order of business was to brew a pot of coffee. A few of us walked a few blocks to the bakery for bagels and pastries. When we returned with fragrant boxes, my nephew was up and downing breakfast. That boy lets you know when he is hungry and my, if you are late you hear about it!
We split up, part of us to the grocery store to stock up on perishables and the rest went off to the beach. We regrouped at lunch and took it easy during the hottest part of the day. That meant a nap for me. After nap time, we checked out the heated pool. Very nice and was not crowded at all during our stay. DD and I splashed around for a while until DSis joined us. We spent a few hours in the pool and helped DSiL introduce Bryan to the pool. After a few tense moments he thought it was the grandest thing to be floated through the water while kicking his feet.
Dinner was tossed together quickly. It was such fun having everyone at the table all talking and sharing their day. I was still pretty tired despite my nap so it was an early night for me. DD wanted to share the “kids” room with my DSis so I had a room to myself. What a luxury! I believe a few went out for a stroll but quickly returned due to loitering blood thirsty mosquitoes.
We rose slowly again. Beach time, vacation time all contributed to a relaxed casual atmosphere. I put the necessary coffee on and broke out the Eggo waffles and Dunk’em pancakes. Hey, we’re on vacation no real cooking allowed. We spent some time at the beach and then walked around the shopping district. One problem with so many family members together, we had trouble making decisions. Deciding on meals was a very tough thing. DD was voting for the pool so we returned to the townhouse for our swim stuff. Ah, very nice to relax in the pool while DD splashed around.
Afterwards, Gmom and Gdad took DD to the arcade. She was determined to win more prizes. I took another nap. I hadn’t realized how stressed and tired I was from work until I had this respite. I couldn’t keep my eyes open.
Tonight we had a scrumptious lobster dinner at home. DBro had stopped at the Lobster House and bought lobster, shrimp and clams. We had a Chinese-style lobster bake. I cooked the shrimp in beer and seasonings which went very well with the dip I had made from ketchup, chili sauce and wasabi paste. This was our appetizer while the lobster cooked. GDad boils the lobster in water seasoned with lemons, ginger, scallions and wine. Yummy!! The clams were cooked in the left over broth from the lobster. Oh man! What a meal, we were all stuffed to the gills. After dinner we waddled to the couch, good thing it was only a few feet away and put in a movie. Before long, most of us were headed for bed.
Today we were going to the Cape May Lighthouse. It is a tradition for us to stop here. We coaxed DSiL up with us, I forget about 140 steps or so. It wasn’t until we got to the top that she told me she was afraid of heights!! She did very well for all that and once we pried her hands off the bars, she was able to walk around the platform with us. We got a few shots of her proving she had mastered her fear. Of course we had to get the souvenir pressed penny at the base of the lighthouse and pay a visit to the gift shop. It’s a very small cramped building and we were shuffling in trying to see what was available. I purchased a Christmas ornament and DD found a paint it yourself birdhouse she just had to have. She’d been a good sport climbing the lighthouse in sweltering heat so I gave in.
We returned to the house while my brother and Dad went to the market for lunch fixings. They came back with fried chicken. Just in time too, a thunderstorm moved in while we were eating. Yea, nap time!! Hee hee, can you tell naps were important to me? DD watched another movie and played with her game boy while the storm raged. For dinner we got take out from a Chinese restaurant. Not too bad. It was a quiet night and we just enjoyed being together.
We headed for the Cape May Zoo today. Unfortunately the thunderstorm yesterday did not reduce the humidity very much. I like this small zoo. There is no entrance fee but they do ask for donations. They do a nice job in a small space. It is not on the par of the National Zoo in DC but the animals are housed as best as possible. We didn’t linger very long as the heat was becoming unbearable. We stopped for lunch at the Seaview Diner (I think). It was nice, good food at reasonable prices and within walking distance of the townhouse.
After a rest we headed back to the pool for a bit. Dbro and SiL went for a walk while we kept Bryan entertained. They took the opportunity to have a nice dinner out while we snacked on left overs. We decided to walk back over to the shops and browsed around for awhile. I was trying very hard to be good since on our last visit I blew my budget but good.
Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! I got up early and after putting on coffee I headed out for one of the many bakeries lining Beach Ave. I got some yummy pastries and restrained myself from sampling them although I did get a lovely iced coffee that tasted just like a Milky Way bar. When I returned, most of us were up though Dbro decided to sleep in today. No pastry for you!
After breakfast we went to the beach and had a nice morning playing in the surf. The waves were a bit stronger than I remembered and the sand much coarser. DD had a blast jumping the waves and then combing the beach for shells. We brought back quite a few of her treasures. My sister and I had scratches on our legs from the waves and sand hitting them. By 1 pm it was too hot to stay out so we headed back and took nice cooling showers. I can’t remember what we had for lunch, we may have gone back to the diner or had more leftovers. It rained again in the afternoon and I enjoyed the quiet relaxing time. DD was having a good time playing with her cousin Bryan.
It was late when we started thinking about dinner. Dad had wanted to go to Vanthia’s, a restaurant we had eaten at two years ago. It was that good, he wanted to go back. We called to see if they would have a table available. It is a popular place to eat. We were in luck, they had openings and 10 minutes later we were seated. It had expanded since we were here last but the food was as delicious as ever. I can’t remember what everyone had but mine was shrimp and scallops in a spicy marinara sauce served over pasta. I think Mom had the salmon with spinach, Dbro had a huge crab cake and DD had the chicken planks. It was very good and huge portions. We all took doggie bags home.
Our last full day. We were going up to Historic Smithville. It was a historic village with shops and restaurants and looked like fun. The map we had wasn’t very clear and we got lost on the Garden State Parkway. Apparently the exit we wanted wasn’t there if you were headed north, its only on the southbound lane. Doh! Luckily my gadget laden brother had his GPS locator thingy and was able to get us back on track. A hour later we finally arrived.
Smithville was neat. There was a small train you could ride around the perimeter of the area, a small lake with paddle boats and vintage arcade games. Remember the one where you had to grip the horns and push and it would tell you how strong you were? Or the “Love-o-Meter” that measures your passion rating? We had a hoot there. Of course there were shops, lots of shops. There were natural homemade soaps, garden stuff, artwork etc, etc, etc. The coffee shop with specialty coffees and teas was fun. I’m not sure what we looked like sniffing the different flavors like maniacs and saying, “try this one…you’ve got to smell this!” I’m sure they were used to demented visitors from PA. The candle shop and Christmas shop also warranted a long visit. Many items were artisan made and just beautiful. I did put a dent in my wallet here. It was lots of fun and I would like to go back and maybe stay at the inn there.
As we were getting ready to leave, we had the ever difficult dinner question. Dad didn’t want to go out again so we decided to stop at the Lobster House for…you guessed it…more lobster! We got lobster and clams, no shrimp as we were dining light tonight. Another great meal. My dad is the best cook! Dbro and I are the admitted seafood lovers so we were into our lobster and done in no time. DSiL had never had to shell her own seafood so we were having a bit of a laugh at her difficulties. She was a good sport though and eventually got the hang of it. Our prize for finishing dinner first was clean up duty.
We had to clean the house and make sure it was in good condition or my sister wouldn’t get her deposit back so the rest of the evening was spent cleaning bathrooms and doing laundry. I guess it was preparation for returning to the real world. Right now I was regretting the 4 ½ baths! We were all up late packing and I think I tumbled into bed around midnight.
Departure Day: It didn’t take long to pack up the rest of our stuff and run the vacuum one last time. It took a bit of maneuvering to pack up the two cars. I will never understand how we could pack food, drinks and supplies, use them all week long and still have bags of stuff to take home? Eventually enough room was found for all the passengers and we drove to the Sea View Diner for breakfast. It was busy but breakfast was served fast and hot with lots of coffee. Perfect. After dropping off the key at the real estate office we pointed the cars north and returned to my sister’s apartment.
It had been a grand week and I truly enjoyed having so much time to reconnect with my family. Its so easy to drift apart living in different states and only seeing each other every few months. We all agreed that we’d have to do this again; after next year’s Disney cruise. It will be a family tradition. Doesn’t that sound nice.
I hope you’ve enjoyed sharing this trip report. I’ve certainly had fun writing it. I’m sorry that it lacks some detail but I procrastinated so long that I’ve forgotten some things. Teaches me not to forget my trip notebook next time.
Great report! I love Smithville. It's always a great place to go visit. They sell the BEST coffee in the coffee shop there. I always buy a lb. or two of their Coffee Cake flavored coffee. It's so yummy!
Just catching up Grace. So glad you had a wonderful time. We have friends who live in Cape May Courthouse. I just love the Cape May Zoo. Did you go to the Basket shop just down the street? It's a great place!!