May 29, 2013

Cape May in May

Blessings come in many shapes and sizes.  As a teacher I consider the season of Summer a blessing.  Not that the other seasons are not blessings but Summer holds the treasured promise of vacation.  And it has been several years since I have been to any beach. Hence my return to a favorite stretch of sand and surf I have visited since my childhood.  Cape May New Jersey.

There is sun.

There is sand. 

There is surf.

And there is ... this bird that likes to scavenge around for food on moss covered rocks. 

Cape May is a relatively quiet town at the south tip of New Jersey.  The only place more south than Cape May is Cape May Point which sits just under Cape May and right beside Sunset Beach.  I'll share a few photos from my wanderings in those locations in another post.

Cape May is also the home to many beautiful victorian houses that are a treat to behold.  Several are now bed and breakfasts where visitors can enjoy calling a historical bedroom home for as many nights as they wish.

Here is a photo I took of a beautiful peach/pink victorian house near to where I stayed for the week.  What a charming place to call home! And well maintained too.

This porch would be very refreshing once the summer heat arrives.  I can just imagine how relaxing it would be to sit and enjoy the views on one of those rocking chairs.

I love the detail on this one!  Isn't all that white painted framing around the porch and windows beautiful? It even has an iron wrought gate around the perimeter.  Classy!

I got at kick out of this happy and bright victorian B&B.  The Merry Widow indeed!

Of course there is also the more lavish and expensive hotels such as the Congress Hall Hotel.  They even have valets and bellhops at the front entrance ready to serve. This hotel has quite the history in Cape May. It began very simply as a boarding house for the visitors in summer.

Thomas H. Hughes, the owner, was elected to congress in 1828 and his little boarding house was dubbed Congress Hall in his honor.  It grew and was renovated and became very popular.  Several US presidents, composer Philip Sousa, and a reverend all fell in love with the building and played a part in keeping it alive.

  And just a across the street from the main entrance of Congress Hall is the Washington Street Mall.  It is the oldest outdoor mall in the country and quite charming.  There are many places to eat and even more places to shop for just the right memento or special gift.  They even have their own fudge store!  Everything is made right there.

There is ice-cream and popcorn, and saltwater taffy just to give you an idea of the snack shops available.

There are art galleries, toy shops, kite stores... I could keep going but its so much better to go and experience it for yourself.

The streets here are landscaped with brick and plants and flowers dot every block of the mall.  To learn more visit this link: Washington Street Mall.
And as much fun as the outdoor mall was my favorite specialty store was one that had only one thing in mind... cheese.  Cheese from all over the world!  The Seaside Cheese Co. is amazing.  They let you sample any cheeses you want and people are cheerful and courteous.

I had a wonderful time sampling all the cheeses I could!  And of course I couldn't leave without buying a few.  Oh my goodness.  I think its a good thing the store isn't so close to my hometown or I would be there every day.  I love cheese!  There was Blue Moon Cheese that I had never heard of before and even cheese from Spain.  If you are ever in Cape May you must visit this place and sample the cheese. Seaside Cheese Co.   *Sigh*  Mmmmm.  Cheeeeeese....

Thing to realize is once you step into Cape May you immediately feel the relaxed and peaceful atmosphere.  In Cape May there is no hurry.  That doesn't mean that services are not professional or timely.  They are but as a visitor you don't feel the hours go by.  My friend joked with me that we were no longer on the hours but on the schedule of the tide.

And it was so true!  As we strolled on the boardwalk with the salty are and cool breezes I felt so refreshed.  I could hear the waves crashing on shore and see the seagulls riding the breezes.  It was so good to be back in Cape May! 

And we made it a tradition to visit the beach by evening every day.  In fact, we soon learned that the locals never missed the sunsets if they could help it. 

So my friend and I decided to join them.  Along the way, strolling along the shore, we would see the remnants of sand castles, watch surfers, and the occasional sailboat.

Ah yes.  Cape May sunsets are beautiful!  Every one is unique and people will go out with blankets or chairs and get comfortable for the evening show.  It is possible to see Cape May Point from Cape May's shore.  And the easiest way to know where Cape May Point begins is to spot the lighthouse.

Even professional photographers arrive to capture the gorgeous colors.  Who says you can't capture your own postcard design? 

I'm missing Cape May already.  Oh Cape May how I've missed you!  I will return one day.  I just can't help myself. 

Thank you Lord for the opportunity,
for the safety, and the health to revisit a cherished and beautiful
Thank you for the beautiful weather and the happy memories.
You refresh my soul.

~ Sincerity


Denise said...

Awesomely beautiful.

Brenda said...

everything you have put in this post is truly beautiful and it was a pleasure to glide through. What a beautiful week you and your friend have had. I love historical places and the coast..... and I love cheese! Thankyou for sharing this part of our lovely planet.

T-Childs said...

The tourist board where you went in Cape May should pay you in gold bars; absolutely stunning location and lovely photo's too. I should do something like this myself as I am a photographer myself and love to travel when time and money permits.

' *Sigh* Mmmmm. Cheeeeeese....'
I second that emotion!!! I adore cheese, I just can't eat it or I won't lose weight!!!


Denise: Isn't God amazing?

Brenda: Thank you. Cape May has just the right combination of all my favorite things!
If you ever get the chance you must visit. But better to go in May or late September, early October. That way you miss the crowds of tourists and the beach tag fees.

T-Childs: Thank you for your kind words. Yes... cheese is a weakness for me. I don't have it very often so I indulged with no guilt. :)
The best part of Cape May for me is that I can easily walk to just about anywhere I wish to go.

Julie Hargreaves said...

Very nice blog great photos

Alexandra Marie said...

That house is SO pretty! Alex


Julie Hargreaves: Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed your visit. :)

Alexandra Marie: I wish I had taken more photos of the houses. Each one has its own personality and there are so many in Cape May! Thanks for visiting.

Rissi said...

What BEAUTIFUL photos, Sincerity. God's creation (the sun, sand and nature) is nothing less than flawless though. :)