After leaving North Carolina, we drove through Virginia and into Delaware, where we took the ferry over to Cape May, New Jersey. The drive was scenic with water views, lush vegetation, and farmland. Interspersed along the stretches of highway were dozens of little seafood shacks selling fresh clams, crab, and shrimp. Gasoline cost less than $4.00 per gallon, which seems a bargain to us these days. My daughters enjoyed the 20 mile stretch of bridge and tunnels and the ferry ride.
I had never explored this area before, and I admit that when my sister-in-law and her family invited us to join them on their annual summer retreat to Cape May, my initial reaction was, “Seriously?! People vacation in New Jersey?”
I am happy to report though that I was pleasantly surprised by the quaint beach town with its Victorian style homes, boardwalk, cute restaurants, and plentiful fudge shops. Having lived right on the ocean in Newport Beach, CA and in Miami, FL, this chilly northern Atlantic water is a bit brisk for me though. The beaches are crowded with tourists made up mostly of Mid-Atlantic locals, who enjoy a nice beach getaway within driving distance of their own homes, and who aggressively stake out their sandy territory each day with big colorful umbrellas, chairs, and loads of gear hauled down to the shore for their sunny respite. I have never seen so many people in swimsuits smoking. It’s a very different crowd than the Southern Cal home of my youth.
That aside however, it is very nice to visit with my husband’s family, to see our nephews, and to watch our daughters endlessly enthralled with digging for treasure and seashells along the oceanfront shoreline. I am looking forward to sampling some of the local seafood and chocolate while we are here.