Aug 20, 2009

NJ Beach Vacation, Shore to Please!

After writing about NJ’s corruption a while ago, I started to feel homesick, so we packed up the car and took the family to Cape May. That’s a seven-square-mile, Victorian beach resort at the southernmost tip of NJ. Cape May was a great adventure.

First, I tried to go shopping, but was attacked by a swarm of wasps. They were all over me. I had to bat them away with my smallest son while trying to remember how to escape these stinging demons. Do you jump into water? I sprinted into a hotel lawn where the sprinklers were running, but that worked for all of 30 seconds until the sprinklers turned off. Rats! More bad luck, and the swarm was regrouping behind me.

Throwing another screaming son into the swarm to allow myself time to think, I decided it’s best to immerse myself into a larger body of water. I ran to the hotel's pool, and, dipping my toe in, found that the temperature was really too cold. I prefer my pool water tepid, so I couldn’t plunge in. Plus, I didn’t have my bathing suit on. It’s just uncivilized to jump in without your suit.

Fortunately, I spotted a crowd of school children getting off a bus in the distance. They were all wearing red t-shirts, so as not to get lost. Red is a color I know bees love, so I ran through the little children, shoving them out of my way and found that the swarm had taken the bait. Whew! The sounds of the children's cries told me I was safe to continue with my shopping.

When I looked down to examine my wounds, I found that I really had just been stung only once. I checked my sons, who had a couple stings each. I had some AfterBite, which works miracles on stings, but I wasn’t sure if it would be enough for all of us over the entire week, so I kept silent. My sons are really easy going, so they didn’t complain. I’d hate for their medical issues to ruin everyone’s fun.

Next, we continued our shopping by going to the Fudge Kitchen. Cape May’s Fudge Kitchen makes the best fudge in the world and they give out free samples. Our family walked past the sample girl enough times to fill our tummies with sugar. She finally said in a snippy voice, “One sample per day,” which is very crass, in my opinion, so we left.

Now it was time to go to the beach. As you know, they charge you to get on the beaches in NJ, which is unethical. We’re in America, and Americans shouldn’t have to pay to get on beaches that were free to the Pilgrims. Cape May is celebrating its 400th anniversary this year, and I’m sure people didn’t pay for the beaches for at least six of those years. I launched an angry complaint with the beach-pass lady who obviously didn’t know her history. She told me to either pay or get out.

Like Thomas Edison, who made 1,000 bad light bulbs until one finally worked, I am not one to give up. We walked casually past her watchful eyes and then made a run for the sand dunes. Once we got over them, we’d be home free on the beach. She tried to put up a chase, but her walker slowed her down in the sand. She gave us a New Jersey gesture and said a few choice words, but by that time, we were splish-splashing in the warm Jersey waves, being careful to dodge the needles and medical syringes that splash in from the waters of New York.

Next, we decided to go to the Cape May Zoo. I like that zoo because it’s a donation-only zoo, which, translated, means a "free" zoo. We pulled up, despite threatening storm clouds, only to find that they now make donations mandatory in order to get in. My husband begrudgingly gave up a $5 bill and we parked. Just then, lightning struck and the rain started pouring. It was a sign from God that we shouldn’t have paid so much. Everyone else was leaving, but I wanted my money’s worth. We went to the tiger cage and to see the monkeys, but all the animals were hiding under shelter. I felt cheated, so we smuggled out a prairie dog to even up the score and left.

By that time, it was time to meet my parents and sister’s family at the hotel. We went out to a lovely seafood dinner, which was great until the middle of dessert when little Albert, our new prairie dog, escaped from my purse and was found in the kitchen. The manager asked us to leave immediately. We didn’t even have to leave a tip. Now that’s hospitality. No wonder we love NJ.

It was a great day, and each day of the trip got better. Coming back is difficult after having such fun, but we will go back in two years, when the city’s restraining order expires. If you want a low-cost, fun-filled vacation, I highly recommend Cape May, NJ. It's the best!

Your friend,