Monday, July 29, 2013

To the Beach

With Paul happily off to camp, the house picked up, and the home front in the hands of the house sitter, Ben and I are off to Cape Map for a few days of R&R. This beach town on the southern most tip of New Jersey is our favorite shore location and we've been here many times over the years. It holds many memories.

We brought our niece, Amy, and nephew, Daniel, here when they were about seven and nine or maybe younger. We stayed at the child-friendly Chalfonte Hotel and the kids loved roaming its many hallways, stairways, and porches. Amy's hair was so blond that she attracted the attention of the ancient owner of the hotel who hobbled over with her cane to visit and left after pronouncing them both good kids. Daniel was fearless in the water and had to be watched closely; the morning we were leaving we went for one last walk on the beach and he flung himself into the surf, fully clothed. We thought he was pretty funny. About an hour into our drive home our car broke down. The kids started crying and wanted to call Mom and Dad but we demurred, suggesting we wait until we had better news to report. And a few hours later we did, having caught a ride back to the hotel where Amy announced to everyone she saw that "We're back!", thinking that the staff and guests would all remember her. She got mostly blank looks followed by good humored replies of "How nice, dear," but we thought she was mighty sweet.

On another trip Ben's mother joined us, staying at a B&B while we stayed at the Carroll Villa. One afternoon we all sat out a thunderstorm on the porch of the Mad Batter drinking champaign and eating lovely desserts while the storm raged around us.

Cape May was the site of the Teenage Beach Party, when my mom and Jean and I chaperoned all the teenage girls in the family on a trip to the beach. We stayed on the third floor of the Chalfonte, which had no a.c. and was hot! Jean and I rented one of those Victorian styled bike buggies that you pedal around town and found it was hard work. After awhile Jean suggested we pedal by the Chalfonte, where she jumped out and got her daughter Jennifer to take her place!

When Paul was a baby he came here with with me and Jean and our friend Janice, who held and rocked him to sleep in a makeshift tent we rigged up on the beach. Jean "swam" him around the condo swimming pool while he smiled and played and later Ben joined us and carried Paul up and down the boardwalk in his baby backpack. I was a tired new mother and happy for the break.

The next year Ben and I came back and toddler Paul sat in a booster chair at the Lobster House banging away at the table with his lobster hammer. We thought he was the cutest little guy.

Well, I could go on and on, but I'd better stop reliving the past and pull myself into the present. It's a beautiful afternoon and I'm heading down to the beach to enjoy it!

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