October 25, 2017

A Week in Cape May

In the times of stress and frustration that often go hand in hand with my first college semester away from home, I like to let my mind wander back to the peaceful and carefree times spent in Cape May near the end of summer vacation. My friend was generous enough to invite me to her family trip in Cape May for a week of relaxing by the beach. So I packed my favorite swimsuit, some lightweight dresses, a few books that I was currently reading, and of course, my camera to document the fun parts of our week.

My friend, Kaylah

When I was young, it was family tradition to stay in Wildwood Crest for one week in the summer, and dedicate one of those days to a fun shopping visit in Cape May. Now that I was going to spend a whole week in the historic town, I was excited to admire more of the Victorian cottages along the streets as well as discover fun, new tourist attractions throughout the trip!

One of my favorite parts of our stay was going to Sunset Beach to watch the sun slowly set into the sea and transform the sky into hazy pink clouds. In the distance, we could see the remains of a sunken concrete ship which I later researched and found out was called the SS Atlantic. The ship was launched in 1918 and carried American troops back home from Europe after World War I. In 1926, a storm made the ship break free and it landed within 150 feet of the coast. With the history and many years behind it, the sunken ship is a tourist attraction in itself!

What remains of the SS Atlantus 

Another day of our trip was spent walking across the boardwalks of Wildwood at Morey’s Pier. My friend’s sister was pumped to play some skee-ball so we used all our quarters playing skee-ball at the arcade for a good half hour. We didn’t care to keep our tickets in the end, so I decided to give them away to a young girl who was just starting to play and had an empty bucket that she was collecting her tickets in. You could imagine the shocked look on her face when she saw the big handful of tickets that I was generously offering!

After our little skee-ball tournament, we walked down more of the pier and I spotted my favorite wooden roller coaster that I had enjoyed riding with my sisters on past vacations. With enough convincing, my friend eventually agreed to ride it with me so we could share the fun experience. The roller coaster was more rickety than I remembered, but it was still a thrill to ride the slight loops and twists.

As we returned to the boardwalk, we happened across a couple of my high school choir friends, so we met and talked for a bit about how relaxing our summer vacations were in Cape May so far. One of the girls recommended to us that we check out the basement level of the Boardwalk Mall since there were some really old arcade games still operating down there. She also told us that we would find some funny-looking models scattered around the room, so my friend and I were obviously intrigued and had to check it out. Sure enough, we found a lot of plastic male dummies with odd facial expressions. Some of the old arcade games were ones that we recognized such as Pinball and Pac-Man, but others were completely foreign to us, so it was definitely an interesting find and I’m glad that my friend had recommended it!

To end the night, we all rode the ferris wheel which provided an awesome view of the pier and its different rides and spectacles. It was a peaceful ride and a good conclusion to our fun evening.

On one of the mornings, my friend and I had decided to wake up super early (if you consider 5:30 am early) to catch the sun rising over the beach. But while the sun undoubtedly did rise (well, not technically anyways), we couldn’t see it at all! The weather report had predicted that it would be sunny, but unfortunately it turned out to be so cloudy that we couldn’t see any of the sun as it started to get lighter outside. But despite our disappointment, we made the most of it by taking in the peace of the waves on the quiet shore. My friend was kind enough to take some pictures of me since I was wearing one of my favorite dresses and my hair was actually down (it rarely ever is)!

Since we both love to indulge in super fruit smoothie bowls, my friend and I often rode our bikes to a couple of smoothie places in town for a nice treat. Each smoothie place we went to had their own characteristic value. The one called Juice Caboose not only had a catchy name for a smoothie place, but also made their own home-made oat-based granola. It was the best granola that I’ve ever tasted on top of a smoothie bowl, so I’d love to go back to enjoy their recipe next time I visit Cape May! The other place named the Aloha Smoothie Company had more smoothie bowl recipes to offer. I decided to try the Marley bowl since it contained healthy fruit and fulfilling ingredients like organic acai, bananas, strawberries, hemp protein, almond milk and honey. It was so delicious that the next time we went, I ordered it again but in a bigger bowl size! Though the Aloha smoothie place was a farther bike-ride, our exertion to get there in the humid weather made our smoothie bowls that much more refreshing and satisfying. We also had a view of the beach, so weren’t that far away if we wanted to walk along the beach after our meal. All in all, I’d definitely recommend both smoothie places if you ever visit Cape May!

We couldn’t experience Cape May without exploring the Washington Street Mall. It’s the place where my family would always spend most of our one-day shopping visit. On this particular vacation, the street mall was within close walking distance, so we visited a few times throughout the week. Since we usually did beach activities during the day, we would head to the street mall at nighttime and walk through some of the stores for a couple of hours. It was just as crowded and bustling at night as I remember it being during the daytime. There are a variety of amazing restaurants to dine at, souvenir stores to shop in, and live music to listen to, so it’s no wonder that the street mall is such a big Cape May tourist attraction! My friend and I couldn’t resist walking inside the Christmas-themed store since we wanted to get a preview of our favorite holiday (which is coming up soon!). We also stopped for some fudge samples outside the Original Fudge Kitchen. There was a sweet smell of chocolate filling the room due to the endless amounts of flavored fudge and candy that were on display!

On the second to last day of our vacation, we embarked on an evening whale watching trip.

Though we didn’t see any whales, we saw plenty of dolphins near the boat jumping up out of the water. The captain told all of us that if we happened to see the eyes of the dolphins as they jumped out of the water, then that meant that they were probably checking us out as well. Soon enough, my friend and I saw two dolphins jump out of the water side by side. We could plainly see their eyes, so maybe they really were looking back at us. It was as if two dolphin friends were exchanging a glance with two human friends for a moment!

It was serene to watch the sun slowly set in the distance. It looked like a bright pink ball disappearing into the sea.

It was such a fun week with my friend, and I will always cherish our vacation in Cape May as one of the highlights of my summer. Check out my video to see some of our bike rides that I filmed on my GoPro:


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