Wednesday, June 30, 2010

McGlade's Restaurant

I know there are many wonderful places to eat breakfast/lunch in Cape May, but I really don't think you can do better than McGlade's on the boardwalk. We eat there about 1/2 the days of our vacations, and between the view, the ocean breeze, and the healthy yet delicious choices, you can't beat it. Please check it out and leave me a comment if you like it!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hello there!

Last week we had the time of our lives in Cape May and its 'greater metropolitan area.' We visited many places we've visited before, and a few places we had never seen other than in photos or the web. For example, we met those guys pictured to the left. My kids probably got their names, I just know them as alpacas at the alpaca farm near Higbee Beach. Visiting the Bay Spring Alpaca Farm is free, and the proprietors -- Barbara and Warren Nuessle -- were just as friendly as could be. The beauty of this part of Cape Island is really breathtaking.

To get there, take Broadway towards North Cape May, and Broadway becomes Seashore Road. Right before you go over the canal via the back bridge, you will take a 45 degree left turn onto what briefly continues to be Seashore and quickly becomes New England Road. Follow this road out almost to Higbee Beach (not the preserve), and on the left you will see the Alpaca Farm not long before Higbee Beach.

Here's a few more photos of these cute guys/girls:

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Blue Pig Chilling

Kate Delany and bongo player

Day 5 started in Wildwood -- Raging Waters -- and ended up at the Blue Pig Tavern, with a middle break at the Lobster House's Schooner. Great fun all day and the blue pig's food was out of this world. I will do a longer review later. And finally, I have to note that we listened to Kate Delany in the Brown Room after dinner. She plays the Brown Room on Wednesdays and The Rusty Nail on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Check her out; her brand of mellow folk rock is great for the soul. Her version of Lennon's Real Love was otherworldly.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Convention Hall Update

If nothing else, it appears the city leaders are figuring out that the lack of a Convention Hall is really beginning to negatively impact the city. Here's Jack Fichter's update: Thursday night meeting scheduled on Convention Hall.

As a visitor who loves CM, it certainly seems to me that the lack of a Convention Hall on the boardwalk is dragging everyone else down. So many storefronts on the boardwalk are closed -- it's a bit depressing. It reminds me of the current economic downturn, and I don't think you want to reinforce that to your visitors who are ready to spend money. At least, that's my take. Build the Hall!

The halfway point

Day Four started at the bakery above -- Cape May Bakery, just off Broadway in West Cape May. My second-youngest daughter and I enjoyed their great sweet treats in Wilbraham Park, and then worked off the calories by bike riding up and down the boardwalk. Then, the six of us terrorized the streets of West Cape May on bike for hours, finally wrapping up the cruising by moving over to George's Place for lunch. WOW. Must put in a good word for George's -- out of this world breakfast and lunch goods. More biking, with visits to Flying Fish Studio for some great deals and some laughs at all the kitsch, and a quick pit stop at the new Exit Zero store. I suspect we'll be back to find some good buys. Then all the way across town back to the Roc, and finally a great dinner at Merion Inn. Through the rain, some Kohr's to go put us to lullaby-land.

Tomorrow: On to the Wildwood waterparks....

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

one more dolphin photo from last night....

From the Cove...last night as the sun set...

and on Day Three...

I like to think we take advantage of the full day when in Cape May. So on Monday we began again a family tradition, Dad takes a child out (one each morning) very early for breakfast to a "secret spot." Usually this trip takes place via bike, but we had not had enough time to rent bikes by Monday morn. So my youngest -- age 6 -- and I walked up and down, and up and down, the byways of Cape May. We headed for Avalon Coffee via Hughes Street, and then hooked a right somewhere or another. My indecisive baby decided she wanted to look elsewhere, and we headed to Zoe's...then "Hot Bagels".... then all the way to La Patisserie when Zoe's and Hot Bagels didn't meet her prerequisites. Finally, after rejecting La Patisserie -- who in their right mind, other than a six-year-old, would reject La Patisserie? -- we ended up back at Avalon Coffee!

Upon our return home, the family and I finally rented bikes, at Shields' Bike Rental. We always rent there, they are fair-priced but also always look to help when something goes wrong, etc. We tried a few places over the years but Shields Rental is the place for us now, after trying the others. They also will deliver your bikes to you if you're out of the way, and then pick them up at the end of the vacation as well-- all for no charge. With our bike rental out of the way, we trekked all the way to Wawa, taking our time to work up a sweat. Picked up some Wawa 'shortis' and hoagies and made our way to the Harbor Park for a nice picnic overlooking the harbor. Gorgeous.

Next, we biked to the Nature Center, and then to Cape Roc to see PapaBob, and finally -- exhausted -- we biked home in the sizzling heat.

After a nap, the girls explored the mall and we all made our way back to the roc for some swimming. Dinner at the best diner anywhere -- the Ocean View -- and finally sunset at the end of the boardwalk... with two of my children lucky enough to help take down the US Flag as the sun set.

Some arcade-time for the kids, and off the bed at about ten -- which is early for these kids in cape may! Finally, after mama bear and the cubs hit the hay, daddy bear sat on the front porch, and watched the crazy young'uns walking and biking to and fro so late in the evening... another day in the books... another one to come.... and oh yeah! That photo above -- while the sun was setting, the dolphins were frolicking in the Cove, perhaps listening to the music they play as the sun sets. The dolphins were so close to the shoreline we could have swam out to them... simply amazing.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Day Two...

mcglade's (again)... major beach day at Poverty .... Carney's for Lunner (Lunch/Dinner) ... Sunset at the Point ... and Ocean Putt Golf to finish... now that's a Cape May day! The photo above is from sunset last night...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Day One In The Books

What does one do on their first day in Cape May in two years? Well, I don't know. But this is what we did: 1) breakfast at McGlade's. We want to check out some of the other breakfast places, including George's. But for us, McGlade's on the boardwalk will always be our favorite breakfast spot; 2) People-Watch. From our vantage point at the Goodman House, we enjoyed watching everyone else enjoy Cape May. What a great location; 3) Swim at Cape Roc Condo -- our family has been spending summers at Cape Roc since a few years after it opened. If you have a young family, it may be one of the best kept secrets in Cape May. My parents own a condo there, and we spent some time with my brother and father and extended family enjoying the humongous pool; 4) Dinner at Lucky Bones. We have great memories of Lucky Bones -- would it live up to them? Indeed it did. Perhaps the best place for good food in a casual atmosphere on the island; and 5) hit the arcade. If you have kids, you know it's a daily prerequisite. Throw in a quick sidetrip to the mall, and you have a pretty full day. Now it's on to Day Two -- Father's Day in Cape May. It does not get any better!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Ferry

Not sure how, but apparently I've never linked to the Cape May- Lewes Ferry webpage. Well, that mistake is rectified.

Hopefully we'll get to ride it tomorrow night!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Build the new Convention Hall NOW!

It's Time To Get Your Act Together and Build the New Convention Hall. Joe Bogle and Susan Tischler make some excellent points in this Cape May County Herald article. Please, let's see a new CH sooner rather than later. My children are growing up!

Granddaddy Cape May Site of Them All

CapeMay.Com's Photo of the Day

Sometimes I think I don't feature capemay.com nearly enough. Thus, a double shot of the granddaddy capemay site of them all. First, the photo above -- if you're not checking out their photo blog of the day -- CLICK HERE-- then you're missing one of the great photo blogs on the web. And Susan Tischler has started updating the events of the week on Tuesdays. I find this week's upcoming calendar particularly interesting:

We are getting just a little closer to summer with the advent of the 3rd Annual Harbor Fest this coming weekend. Other signs include the season opening of the East Lynne Theater and the beginning of the Rotary Bandstand concerts.

Harbor Fest officially kicks off Friday, June 18 with a reception (6-7 p.m.) for artists at the Nature Center followed by the Blessing of the Waters at the Fishermen’s Memorial at 7 p.m. The street festival is Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Join in the celebration of seafood and song, the sea, its culture, and its ecology on Cape May’s harbor. Fresh seafood, live music, seafood cooking demonstrations, and arts and craft vendors fill the streets while marine educational programs, a blessing of the fleet, a kayak and canoe regatta, and more fill your day.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Bunker

A Cape May visitor named Isadore Berg has given us some great recent Cape May photos to peruse on her flickr page. Plus, she gives a nice description of the history of the Bunker she captured in the photo above.

Looking forward to seeing that Bunker in just a few days!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Portion of leaning boathouse collapses into Cape waterway - pressofAtlanticCity.com

Portion of leaning boathouse collapses into Cape waterway - pressofAtlanticCity.com

From the article:

LOWER TOWNSHIP - Part of an old wooden boathouse that has been leaning precariously over Schellenger's Creek for decades collapsed into the waterway Tuesday morning when some pilings gave way.

The boathouse for decades was owned by the late Delaware Bay net fisherman Capt. Robert Bennett, who docked his gillnet boat in the house and also lived there. Bennett, who was born in 1913 in Cape May on the street now called Stockton Place, passed away a few years ago and the house had leaned over even further.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Victorian Porches of Cape May NJ

This youtube video moves awfully fast but it may be that I'm just not awake yet. Video brought to you by the webpage http://www.front-porch-ideas-and-more.com .

I didn't check out the website, but this video certainly does a great, if very fast, job of catching the beauty of our great town.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Salty Knitters are Back

The Strawberry Festival was a great success, according to Jack Fichter in the CMC Herald. And as you can see from his photo above, the Salty Knitters contributed to the decorations in Wilbraham Park. I'm looking forward to seeing their work in person.

In other news, the City Council decided to wait until the new council is installed before tackling the new Convention Hall. A sensible decision which bodes well for the future.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I've Been Searching for the Dolphins in this World

A tiny little blog post about Cape May's Higher Grounds Coffee Shop right HERE.

And from the makers of the dolphin-watching video that I linked to earlier today, a nice blog post about Memorial Day Weekend in Cape May, including this photo of your favorite Cape May Weekly, and mine:

Dolphin Watching Cape May NJ - 5-31-2010

Dolphin watching in Cape May on Memorial Day 2010. Cute music.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sailing to Cape May

One type of blog I have not linked to much is that of the blogging boater. More and more I find boaters describing their trips around the northeast, often including trips to Cape May's marinas, like Utsch's, above.

A good example of this type of blog is named Cruising on Southern Skies. These blogging boaters are on their way from Annapolis to NYC, with a stop in Cape May. One thing nice about these type of blogs is they often include photos of Cape May from the water, like this one:

I recommend checking out this blogging boater's blog. All the photos I've posted here are from their blog, including just one more:

Have a great Monday! Think of it this way... you're one day closer to going to Cape May, no matter how soon the trip is....

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Laura's Watercolor Paintings of Cape May

Laura's Watercolors is another artist's blog featuring many -- and I mean many -- Cape May paintings. The artwork above should be recognizable to you, and make sure to check out the rest of her works as they are worth a view. Here's another one:

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Chart Metal Works & The West End Garage

interesting photo courtesy Chartmetalworks blog

A blog named Chartmetalworks has an interesting blurb about Cape May and the West End Garage. What is the West End Garage?

Good question.

So I did a little internet digging. According to its new website, the West End Garage is a

new Cape May destination, but it is not a hotel. The West End Garage has been transformed into a market featuring shops and stalls with local art exhibits, antiques, collectibles, crafts, and fresh, locally produced food specialties. The West End Garage is the primary shopping destination for all guests of Cape May's premier luxury hotels: Congress Hall, The Virginia Hotel and Cottages, The Star, and the Beach Shack.

Its located at 484 Perry Street, which is not particularly close to Congress Hall, thus making me wonder why it tries to connect to the Congress Hall and the other Bashaw-owned properties. And that's your answer, I suspect. It must be owned by Bashaw's group.

Looking forward to checking it out with the missus. And if I understand right, ChartMetalWorks has some nautical-type stuff for sale there. Looking forward to checking them out, too.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Cape May receives nine bids for new Convention Hall - pressofAtlanticCity.com

Progress on the new Convention Hall? Perhaps, but I'm not holding my breath. Read the Press's article here: Cape May receives nine bids for new Convention Hall - pressofAtlanticCity.com

And for more details on the story, read Jack Fichter's story in the Cape May County Herald. Not surprisingly, Jack gets more details:

CAPE MAY — Nine construction companies submitted bids June 3 to construct a new Convention Hall here again exceeding a $10.5 million bond approved by voters with the lowest bid coming in at $11.7 million.

The nine bids were down from down from 11 bids received on March 30. All bids received March 30 were rejected for being too high.

The lowest bid submitted June 3 was $11.7 million from Domus Construction. That included $10.5 million for the building, $700,000 to bump out the Promenade towards Beach Avenue and $505,370 for a geothermal heating and cooling system.

No winner was announced at the meeting. While nine bids were submitted, there are a number of variables.
The bid specifications for a new Convention Hall contained a number of alternatives, items the city would like to have as features of the new facility but not considered an absolute necessity.

Each bidder submitted different figures for all the alternative items which must be considered along with the price quotes to construct a basic building, change the Promenade to accommodate the hall’s location closer to Beach Avenue and to install geothermal heating and cooling.

Remaining eight bidders from lowest to highest were:
* A& E Construction, total: $11.9 million including $10.7 million for building, $760,000 for Promenade and $521,000 for geothermal system.
* Ernest Bocks and Sons, total $12.1 million including $10.9 million for building, $635,00 for Promenade and $525,000 for geothermal system.
* Fred M. Schiavone, total: $12.2 million including $11.4 million for building, $300,000 for Promenade and $521,000 for geothermal system.
* Torcon Construction, total $12.4 million including $11 million for building, $950,000 for Promenade and $500,000 for geothermal system.
* Art Anderson and Associates, total $12.4 million including $11.1 million for building, $700,000 for Promenade and $521,000 for geothermal system.
* Benjamin R. Harvey Co, total $12.6 million including $11.7 for building, $300,000 for Promenade and $600,000 for geothermal system.
*Gingerelli Brothers Construction, total: $13.1 million including $11.5 million for building, $1 million for Promenade and $521,000 for geothermal system.
* Network Construction, total $14 million including $12.8 million for building, $687,000 for Promenade and $521,000 for Promenade.

City Council approved an amended agreement June 1 with architect Kimmel Bogrette for the proposed new Convention Hall for $47,530 to produce specifications for a less expensive facility.

Mayor Edward J. Mahaney Jr. called the Convention Hall project the single largest capital improvement in Cape May’s history. He said the new facility would provide year round recreation and social events for residents and tourists and allow the city to be a destination for conventions and the performing arts.
Cape May’s voters approved the financing to construct a new $10.5 million Convention Hall in an 818-421 vote, Nov. 4, 2008 by a two to one margin.

Special Weekend at the Point - The Sisters of St. Joseph

from the Philadelphia Inquirer

I often feature things to do in Cape May on upcoming weekends, but this weekend there is a very special event that you really should attend if you are in the area. The Sisters of St. Joseph are opening their home at the Point for all to see, as part of the 100th Anniversary celebration of the home.

Both the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Atlantic City Press feature the Sisters of Saint Joseph and their St. Mary's By The Sea home in Cape May Point today.

You can read the Inquirer's story HERE and the Press's story THERE. Both stories celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the home. Here's a nice snippet from the Inquirer article:

CAPE MAY POINT, N.J. - It is a storied place, one of prayer and providence.

And when St. Mary-by-the-Sea, a religious retreat owned by the Philadelphia-based Sisters of St. Joseph, throws open its doors this weekend to the public, it will be among the few times it has welcomed nonreligious people into its sacred space during its 100-year history.

Artists, poets, writers, and others can wander the muse they long admired from afar - the distinctive U-shaped, white-framed building, so long the sanctuary and solace for only those in religious life.

The celebration, called "Lifting the Creative Spirit and Tapping the Artist Within," runs Friday through Sunday and includes tours, a wine tasting, an art show and sale, and lectures and workshops in fine art and photography.

"Although this retreat house has been here for 100 years, there is still a sense of mystery about us," said Sister Carol Zinn, who works as the order's general counsel. "So we wanted to take the opportunity to allow the public to see this unique place that for so long has offered peace to so many others."

The Press tells us even more, and summarizes the activities for the public this weekend:

Saturday: Morning and afternoon workshops with artists, poets, writers and photographers. A wine tasting and art auction begin at 6 p.m. Call 609-827-7900 for prices and reservations.

Sunday: Public is welcome at 9 a.m. for Mass. Free tours of St. Mary's from noon to 3 p.m. There also will be an art and print sale. At 11:30 a.m., artists, including amateurs, are invited to go to three locations at the building and paint, draw, sketch or use any medium they want to do renderings of the historic building.

St. Mary-by-the-Sea is located on Lehigh Avenue in Cape May Point.

I will be there in a few weeks; I hope they allow visitors to attend Mass at that time, as well.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ugly Light Piers to Stay?

moonrise photo courtesy the sailors of the litenupdowneast blog

According to Jack Fichter and the County Herald, the 'lighthouses' on the bridge are staying. After all the brouhaha earlier this year, I'm surprised they are staying. What is not surprising is that money is the issue -- read the AC Press's version of the story and see whom you think is at fault.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cape May.Com's Summer Preview of Who's Gone & Who's New

CapeMay.Com's annual June column on changes to Cape May stores & restaurants is always a must-read. I hope somebody does a good in-depth article on the dearly departed Stumpo's Restaurant, one of my family's favorites for many years.

Memorial Day Photo & Other This & Thats

from the Cafe Casey Blog

The Cafe Casey Blog makes its home in Cape May Point, and occasionally gives us great photos of the greatest island in the world. Since today is the day after Memorial Day, I thought y'all would appreciate a photo of Memorial Day in Cape May Point, since if you're like me, you couldn't be there.

And in other Memorial Day-related blog postings, the BirdsbyKim Blog has adorable photos -- including the one below -- of some Cape May piping plovers, and these photos were taken on Sunday.

baby piping plover from birdsbykim.blog

And finally, for a nice video about the WW2 Lookout Tower, and the men who volunteer there now and served there then, click this AC Press link and start watching: WW 2 Tower Video.

Can't wait to hit Cape May in a few weeks!