Cape May
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Traveling In The USA - New Jersey - Cape May
Victorian Cape May, page 2
By Tom Ryan

The way we approach our family vacation itinerary is really quite simple: each family member picks one thing that they definitely want to do, and we make sure that during the course of the trip we do at least those things at the top of each person’s list. Upon arriving and settling in to the seashore-themed unit, we gathered around the table and briefly discussed our priorities. My wife wanted some time to mull the brochures and think about what she wanted to do, but my daughter Kira had one and only one thing on her mind: the beach!

Her mind was filled with sandcastles, and beachcombing, and feeling the salty spray of the ocean. All I could think of was sunburn, sand fleas, and lugging around 2 tons of plastic shovels, sifters, and sandcastle molds, but this was her must-do for the vacation. So we wrote it down, and all I could do was hope that she’d forget...

We were at the beach; my daughter was giddily burying me alive when my wife yelled down from her beach chair above, “I know what I want to do!”

“What?” I asked enthusiastically, spitting out a mouthful of course, white sand, in hopes that her desire was to leave the beach immediately and never look back.

“I want to go for a bike ride!” she said.

“Great,” I replied. “Let’s go. Let’s go right now!”

My wife gave me those eyes that said she knew very well what I was up to.

“No rush,” she replied, “let Kira enjoy her day.”

“That’s easy for you to say,” I muttered.“You don’t have hermit crabs crawling around in your...”

“What was that?” “Nothing, honey...”

The following morning, with the horrors of the previous beach day still visible by the glow of my sun-burnt skin, we set off on our biking adventure. Cape May is one of those coastal towns that lends itself perfectly to travel by bicycle. You can just picture an 1880’s gentleman, handlebar mustache and all, careening the Cape May streets on one of those seemingly un-rideable high wheel bicycles. Don’t have a bike of your own? Not to worry; Cape May has a number of locations where they can be rented, including Cape Island Bike and Beach rentals; and if you’re arriving off-season, you can rent one for less than $40 per week.

Most Bike rental services offer a number of different spoke-ular vehicles for your choosing, including surreys, two-seaters, and more traditional fare. We rented two two-wheelers and an attachable trailer for the little one, and headed off into the morning sun. The best thing about riding bikes in Cape May becomes instantly apparent the moment you begin to pedal – no hills! I don’t know about you, but I, for one, want to make sure that I don’t get any actual exercise while I’m on vacation, so the lack of any hilly terrain was appreciated.
The other great thing about biking in Cape May is that the town is small enough that you can peddle along at your own whim, and be surprised by where your feet take you. Running along the entire beach area is a rocky breakwater with a paved surface, and bikers have free reign from 5am to 10am.

We soon found ourselves at Cape May’s “boardwalk.” The place hadn’t changed a wisp since I was a kid. Cape May’s boardwalk promenade is little more than a collection of shops, a convention hall, and an arcade (if you’re looking for Carnival-style midway games and Ferris Wheels, look to the splintery planks of the Wildwood Boardwalk – a mere 10 minute drive to the North.) As my daughter tried her hand at skeeball in the arcade, something caught my eye and instantly transported me back to 1979. There, among the pinball machines and one-dollar video games, was an old photo booth. It was the kind you’d sock a few quarters into and in exchange get a strip of pictures of you and your loved ones making the kind of funny faces you wouldn’t dare make at your annual family photo shoot at Sears. This was the impetus for my must-do vacation activity. I decided to spring it on them over lunch.

Go to page 3 of Victorian Cape May

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