Cape May, Part 1

Some housekeeping: I’ve got a ton to blog about, feel like I’m way behind, and haven’t been blogging ‘enough’ anyway. As always, I’m torn between the feeling I’m documenting my life for an Eric Peterson museum no one will ever visit, and the desire to get it down before I forget it. Well, keep on keeping on… almost 20 years now. I’ve already decided that for my birthday, which is next Saturday, I’m going to spend the day learning WordPress more thoroughly and turning this site into the latest incarnation of http://www.toastpoint.com. Fun, huh? A girl really knows how to treat herself.

anyway…


So, the day after “The Scattering”, I met my Aunt Joyce for breakfast. Oddly enough… actually, as I write this, I’m remembering I did figure out why… the casino didn’t have a place for a good sit-down breakfast, just a Starbucks-y coffee shop. And now I’m remembering the casino does have a buffet which is probably their breakfast place normally, but in times of COVID, the buffet is shut down. Oh, yeah. So we got bagels and yogurt and juice and stuff and sat and had a nice chat. Joyce lives in Media with her two younger sons, and is quite healthy and active for, um, someone of her generation. We’ve never spent a ton of time together one-on-one, but we like each other a lot and this was delightful. (again, I wish the rest of my family hadn’t had to skedaddle so early so we all could have had breakfast)

C and I were now in ‘vacation mode’ and only had to get our butts down to Cape May, just an hour a way. We knew we wanted to get some fabulous White House subs for lunch, but we had to be checked out by 10:00, and it wasn’t lunchtime yet. White House has a second stand inside the Hard Rock casino (I hadn’t realized there was a Hard Rock casino), so I proposed that we go there, park the car, walk on the boardwalk, and then pick up the subs and head south. So we did.

By ‘walk on the boardwalk’, I meant ‘push C in the wheelchair’. We were both getting used to the wheelchair, so that was an interesting adventure, particularly when we found our way through the casino to the boardwalk entrance and realized that particular entrance wasn’t wheelchair-friendly. (4 steps) C can walk, just not well or far, so he just got out of the wheelchair, went up the stairs and I carried the damn thing up myself.

It was nice to do the boardwalk, although we didn’t do nearly the whole thing. It was actual exercise/work to push the wheelchair, and it was also hot and muggy. But we did a fair chunk of it. Ran into our share of Atlantic City crazies along the way. (AC is fascinating. I bought a book on its history as soon as I got home.) But it was nice. We didn’t go into any shops or buy saltwater taffy or anything (I don’t like it, and I don’t think C does either).

Back to the Hard Rock, a lot of wheeling around to find the sub shop. The main sub shop on Arctic Avenue can have a line down the block – this one at this time took our order right away. He got a classic Italian, I got the spicier version with capicolla. Then back to the car and headed to Cape May. Neither of us could wait, we dug into those subs while we were driving and hoovered those things down, ruining two shirts in the process.


Once in Cape May, we found our hotel (The Grand Hotel) and I ‘checked in’, although our room wasn’t ready yet. We went back out to where the bridge is, by the Lobster House, and went to an antique store we’d seen there, just to kill time. Drove around some, then got the text that the room was ready. Got settled in the room, and I went to get us coffee from the gift shop, but that was a non-starter (they had a Keurig, but it wasn’t working). Stole some creamers, made some in the room instead.

I’ll say right now that we’d never stayed there before, and we really liked it, so we’d go back. The attached restaurant (Hemingway’s) is excellent and we ate there a couple of times. The room itself had a little kitchen area with not only a coffeemaker, but a mini fridge, a microwave, a sink, and plates and stuff. All rooms fronted on an external balcony that looked out on the parking lot, pool and the ocean.

Grand Hotel, Cape May, from our balcony

And every room had a chair or two outside on the balcony, so you could sit and enjoy it, which I did.

We decided to go to The Lobster House for dinner, as per tradition. The last time we’d been, it had been a Saturday, it had been raining, and the immense parking lot had been so full I’d dropped C off to get us on the list and then spent a good half hour getting the car parked – part of this was they’ve rigged the traffic pattern there that you must turn right out of the lot, which routes you off the island without a chance to turn around until you’re over the bridge. However – first, I’d discovered there is a clever way to make a u-turn if that happens, they’ve got a route that specifically loops under the bridge for you to do that, so good to know for later, and second, this time there was plenty of parking. We thought on a Wednesday after Labor Day, we wouldn’t have to wait long, but because of COVID, they’d shut down half the restaurant space, so we still had an hour+45 minutes wait. No more beepers, now they text you. But we went around to the back and got drinks from “the schooner” and sat in the covered raw bar area and had a couple of cocktails and thought about ordering appetizers, but didn’t. And finally we got our table.

Food was great as always. I started with the turtle soup, which I ordered because I’d already had lobster bisque the night before, and I thought ‘oh, I never have this, let’s try it’, only to have C tell me that I order that every time we go there… eek, brain is decaying. It was good anyway. Then I had shrimp parmesan, which was huge and heavy – delicious, but I boxed up more than half of it. I forget what he had, probably oysters and then the day’s special, which involved lobster and other seafood, and he boxed up most of that too. Funny how eating enormous subs at lunch time can put you off dinner. I did get dessert – they didn’t have the key lime pie, which is what we wanted to split, but I had the chocolate mousse which was spiked with rum and which was yummy. And back to the room to lie in sated splendour.


This post is part of a larger project, #MOC19. Read more about the Mass Observation COVID-19 project here

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