The North Jersey Girl Goes South: Part 2

(NOTE:  Just realized that I never published this...that's what happens when...well, when LIFE takes over.  Is there anyone out there who ISN'T running in 5 different directions at once?  [I think there's a blog post in there as well!]  If you missed it, here is part 1:

Saturday rolled in with heavy fog.  So heavy that when I first got up I could not see the ocean.  I crawled back into bed.  What good is a vacation if you can't sleep in a little?

But I'm a get up and go girl.  After a half an hour or so I put on some clothes and went for a walk to see what I could find for breakfast.  Hubby had said that there was a place that offered vegan alternatives, which is usually good for allergies.  I wandered around for under an hour, but didn't see the place he mentioned.  But it was getting clearer out.

The boy was still sleeping when I got back.  That wasn't going to last for long.  Historic Cold Springs Village ( opened at ten and the Civil War battle was scheduled for two.  I had no idea how long we'd want to stay there or how crowded it might get, so I wanted to get a move on.

But getting a tween out of bed is no easy task.  It took a while and we still had to go get some food.  My husband found the name of the restaurant ( and I called to see if they were allergy friendly.  I ended up speaking to a woman named Karen who had allergies as well and understood my situation.  I was sold!

We walked to the restaurant only to find a huge line of people outside.  The restaurant does not take reservations from breakfast or lunch.  Despite the crowd we decided to wait it out.  It was about a 30 minute wait; not something I would normally do and it was already 10!

Once we were seated by Karen and I told her we were here and waited because of her.  She made sure that our server, Sue, knew of my allergies.  The boys were thrilled with the menu; I was a little shocked at the prices, but then again we are on vacation and at a high end resort.  Sue knew the menu perfectly and came back with what I could have.  There was not much, but when I asked about having House Cured Salmon with Toasted Bagel she went back into the kitchen to check.  All was good, but the bagel WAS made in a facility that processed items with egg.  I thought I would be good, but what I really wanted was the salmon and the fixings more than the bagel.  She said she could also bring out some crackers if I decided to ignore the bagel, which I felt was very thoughtful of her.  The boy had orange juice while hubby and I had coffee.  Both of my guys had corned beef hash; although my son had it on the side with his pancakes.  The food was delicious and came quickly.  (Well, I guess they want to move people in and out!  It was still quite busy when we finished.)  I was very pleased with the service and we took the leftovers with us.  (Which my husband would eat cold the next morning.)

We made a quick stop back at the hotel and then headed out to HCSV.  It was after eleven now and I thought we should get moving.  It was only about a fifteen minute drive, but I'm sure it takes much longer during the height of the summer.

We pull in and walk up to the ticket booth.  (Pricing here is VERY reasonable!)  Son was somewhat intrigued, but not excited.  Not until my husband pointed out the sign that this was a Civil War reenactment weekend and the whole reason we were here; the whole reason behind our trip to Cape May, was this.  His mind was blown!  Or actually, as my husband pointed out, he was in shock.  We spent the whole day wandering around. 

 I asked my son if he wanted to change into his Union soldier costume, but he did not as he didn't feel it would be appropriate.  I tried to encourage him to speak with the reenactors, but he did not want to intrude.  (I know, that's what they are there for.)  Instead I approached and engaged, while my son hung off to the side and soaked it in.  My husband again pointed out that this was a little overwhelming and he was shy and not knowing what to do.  As a family we wandered around the village and the encampment. Then my son wanted to wander around alone, so my husband and I found a bench and sat and relaxed while he wandered and observed.

Eventually it was time for the battle.  I have to say it was very impressive.  Again my son just stood there and took it all in.

All in all, we spent over 3 hours there and while I couldn't tell DURING the time we were there how much my son liked it/loved it, after the fact (and continuing on) he kept thanking us for taking him there and telling us how much he loved it.  (And he's also doing some research on how to become a reenactor.  If this is the hobby that he decides to undertake; I'll be there to support him.)

We did leave the village before it officially closed and I formulated a plan for the evening.  We could go back to the hotel for a while and relax.  Then around 6 head to Sunset Beach (  The boys could get dinner from the grill there and we could watch the sun go down and the nightly flag ceremony.  We would still have enough time to get back for the evening's ghost trolley tour.

While the boys rested, I walked to the local grocery store.  I knew I wouldn't be able to eat dinner at the grill (allergy cross contamination issues), so I thought I would get some snacks and maybe even something for breakfast the next morning.  What I didn't anticipated were several things:
  • It was hotter than I thought
  • It seemed further away (probably because of the heat)
  • The store was not that well stocked (it was a chain)
  • The area was busy, so I decided to take a "short cut" home.  Do I need to say that MY short cut was NOT short?  I ended up going further north on the walk home.  Couple that with two grocery bags and the heat and you get an unattractive picture.
When I got back to the room an hour later I was cranky and sweaty.  The boy, who NEVER naps, was passed out.  I did some snacking, reading and cooling down while he slept.

I had to wake him around 5:30.  We headed to Sunset Beach a little before six.  There were plenty of people there, but room for all.  I found a table on the Grill's deck area with an excellent view.  (Who am I kidding; there wasn't a bad view to be found.)  We sat and enjoyed the beauty of the setting sun over the water.  The boy kept getting up and wandering around the beach and jetty.  (But I didn't have him look for any Cape May diamonds as I should have.  All the reason for a return visit.)  It was a lovely evening and I was pleased to see how respectful everyone was during the flag ceremony.  Everyone stood during "God Bless America" and "The Star Spangled Banner."  No one spoke the as flag was lowered.  It was quite moving and gave me hope for our country.  It was all perfect and I would HIGHLY recommend this evening ritual to anyone.  If you want peace and beauty this is the place to find it.

Our ghost trolley tour was not until 9, which gave us plenty of time to go back to the hotel (I wanted to grab my sweatshirt), walk around the Washington Street mall ( and even hear part of the final summer concert at Rotary Park.  No purchases were made (other than a small bottle of wine for me to enjoy later in the evening) despite all the enticing offers.  I could have spent hours wandering around the shops and I know we missed some.

We made sure we were by the trolley stop early, which was good because the trolley was pretty full that evening.  I think everyone was there early, which gave our tour guide a chance to find out where everyone was staying, as many of the resorts were on the tour.  The tour was all too brief; the stories were excellent and I wished we had more time to stop at each location.  I understand why we couldn't but I would LOVE a longer tour.  It certainly whetted my appetite for more.  A return visit is definitely in the cards and I think we'll have to plan for some more tours with the Mid-Atlantic Center for Arts & Humanities.  (  They have so much to offer and I was and am impressed with the organization.  (I think I just may have to become a member!  It's certainly a worthwhile organization and if we do more than one tour the next time we go it will MORE than pay for itself.)

We walked back to the hotel, showered (it had been a long and hot day) and packed up most of our belongings before climbing into bed.

I awoke Sunday morning to another overcast day, but one that was not foggy.  I decided to get up and do my daily walk; taking in as much of Beach Avenue as I could.  I also wanted to take some photos to remember this fabulous weekend by.  

 An over cast day, but beautiful none the less

From the south end of Beach Avenue you can spy the Cape May lighthouse.  We definitely need to visit this location on our next visit. 
How can anyone resist the architecture of this lovely town?

 Back on the Washington Street mall before anything opened.

On my walk, I had passed a coffee house that I thought would be just perfect for us for breakfast:  Coffee Tyme (  So when I got back from my walk, I got the boys up and dressed and we made our way down.  Hubby had already eaten the left over corned beef hash so all he wanted was some good coffee.  Did I find THE place!  But first we brought down MOST of our luggage to the car so that we wouldn't have to make numerous trips up and down the stairs.

My son saw the cinnamon rolls and was hooked.  He wanted two of the monsters.  Hubby wanted a French Vanilla coffee and I had been craving a Cafe Mocha.  We were all more than satisfied with the results.  (Hubby still says it's the best French Vanilla he's ever had.)  I wished we were staying longer so I could try more of their delicious concotion.  (Chocolate Covered Raspberry? YES PLEASE!).  While I was waiting for my beverage, the boy downed most one of the cinnamon rolls.  We took our coffees and meandered back to the hotel, where we finally managed to score some rocking chairs on the front porch.
It was the perfect way to wrap up our weekend.  (Although we were all sad that it had come to an end.)

One more trip upstairs to gather our belongings and take in the view one more time. 

As you can see, by the time we walked back from the coffee shop, the clouds had cleared and it turned into a beautiful day

Three or so hours later (with only one rest stop and one traffic jam near the exit to Atlantic City) and we were home.  A wonderful, if all too brief trip to the southern most point of NJ.

Cape May charmed us all and we definitely will be going back.  The question, as always is, when?  The only answer I have is NOT soon enough.

NOTE:  Since this post was two parts and there was quite a time lag in between the posts (too many other things came up...oh well!) I wanted to share some links to the best parts of our vacations in case any of you want to check out Cape May as well.

Our incredible sunset cruise was by: and they do much more than just sunset cruises.

Shopping is just part of the fun:

Where we saw our friend perform:

And if you're looking for some music and/or where said friend might be performing in South Jersey, Pennsylvania and who knows where else:

Food that was worth the wait:

History and fun:

Free sunsets and memories to be made:

Cape May Tours and so much more:

Incredible Coffee and then some:


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