We did it!! The Boyfriend and I actually packed up our bags, booked out from work and auditions, dropped a scary chunk of change, and took off for the open road. Cape May was the destination. Goals: sand, surf, seafood, rest, and some QT with my cutie. tee hee. Mission? Mostly accomplished. I've gotta say, and it is with a heavy heart that I do so, that we didn't eat that well!! I'll say this was half our fault, for not planning ahead and making reservations and trying to cut financial corners, thusly ending up picking restaurants while hungry, based on what would feed us fastest. Also, as the Boyfriend pointed out, our approach was all wrong. We'd figured seafood was the way to go, this being a shore town and all, when I think really we should have just gone with what was recommended and looked good. Because ultimately, the seafood we had just wasn't all that. I repeat: this may have been partially our fault.
Regardless, we had a great time. Cape May is a amalgam of ornate Victorian homes, tree-lined streets, miles of wide sandy beaches, cobblestone paths, soda fountains, wildflowers, and your typical shore fare of ice cream shops, arcades, bikini stores, mini-golf, and bars with names like "Cabanas" (yes, we went there). I gotta say--and you KNOW how I LOVE me some Jersey--you can restore Victorian mansions, build first-class hotels, keep the shoreline pristine, charge $30 a plate for dinner, but I'll be damned if this ain't still the JERSEY SHORE. If you knowwhatimean. And I think you do.
The Best Parts:
The Humphrey Hughes House. We picked it fairly blindly, and our hosts reminded me at every stage of booking "Le Petit Room" that the room was VERY small. I was a little afraid we'd end the weekend hanging ourselves from the pipes in a converted broom closet under the stairs in a psychotic episode of claustrophobia. I should have known, coming from a small Manhattan apartment, that the room would be just our size. Yes, the Boyfriend is a large person and could have used a couple of extra feet at the foot of the bed, but aren't you supposed to cozy up when you're away for a weekend? The location is perfect--half a block from the beach, and just a block or two in either direction to all the dining and shopping and ice cream action you could want. The owners were friendly but not in our face--another fear with bed & breakfasts. We were shown to our room and upon closing the door, burst out into giggles and whispers. There's something about a B&B that just makes you feel like you're doing something you shouldn't be.
The breakfasts. Lucky for us anti-social folks, in the warmer months breakfast is served on the porch at tables for two. I particularly liked the carved sweet potato figurines--one morning a cockatoo, another a goose. The Boyfriend particularly liked the extra baked goodie brought around to our table every morning. Here's something interesting--I've always thought there was something wrong with me that I have SUCH a hard time waking up in the morning, no matter how early I go to bed. Turns out, when I have to be at breakfast at 9 or risk missing out on a hot apple turnover, I rise and shine, singing like a dove. Fascinating.
The bedside sherry in our room. Such a lovely touch, especially when you can drink it after dinner in a rocking chair, on the wraparound porch, with the salty beach air tousling your hair.
Porches are also good for drinking prosecco or having an evening snack of complimentary port with pretzels and homemade cookies. Not that we did that or anything...
Frozen Custard. Need I say more?
The day the skies chose to open up in cascading buckets, we made our daytime activity a trip to The Lobster House--the one place we had to drive to all weekend. While it didn't blow us away (perhaps this was our fault as well as we should have just stuck to the lobster), there were a couple of standouts. The bread. An entire loaf, served warm, crusty on the outside and dotted with poppyseeds, onion, and salt crystals, it made a mockery of the tiny cutting board it was served on, held in place by a steak knife. That's whati'mtalkingabout.
And the steamed clams were just perfect. You know how I love food that comes with dipping sauce.
The beach. Most delicious of all.
The sunset from Sunset Beach. Walk to the end of the promenade and you're at the very tip of Jersey where you can see the sunset which is hard to catch here on the East Coast. The Boyfriend will tell you we missed the actual sunset but as far as I'm concerned, pink and orange clouds + twilight= sunset. harumph.
Back to reality. Sigh. At least I've got the complimentary Humphrey Hughes House Cookbook to comfort me. I hope it can teach me how to make a sweet potato giraffe.
P.S. We also really liked listening to the free blues show at The Boiler Room at Congress Hall, and dinner at Gecko's, but I have no pictures. Guess we'll have to make another trip. The things we do for art.
P.P.S. If you're going to Cape May, I'd also recommend staying at our friend's great house right on the beach, the May Caper. I hear there are margaritas on the porch if you're lucky...