Friday, June 16, 2017

Weekend at the Shore

     I'm in Cape May, NJ, for the long weekend. For those of you who do not come from the Northeast, Cape May is also known as Exit 0 -- at the beginning, or Exit 0, of the Garden State Parkway -- as opposed to The End, which refers to Montauk, NY, which is out at the tip of Long Island.

the town
     Montauk sits across from New London, CT, while Cape May is located at the point where Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic ocean. It's actually at just about the same latitude as Washington, DC, which means it enjoys a more mild climate than anything in New York or New England.

     Cape May is named after the Dutch captain Cornelius Jacobsen Mey, who explored the Jersey shore and the Delaware River in the early 1600s and claimed the area for the province of New Netherland.

     The place became a prime vacation spot for Philadelphia high society in the mid-to-late 1800s, and despite some ups and downs over the years is now known for its many well-kept Victorian buildings -- reportedly the second largest collection of Victorian homes in the country after San Francisco.

the beach
     Today, Cape May has become a prime destination for weddings. And so, sure enough, I am here for a family wedding, which takes place on the beach, before we retire inside for a reception at one of the seaside Victorian-style inns.

     There are a lot of retired people who live in Cape May, including the woman in the other side of the two-family house we are renting. But this house we are in is not like any two-family house I've ever known. It has four bedrooms, three baths, nine-foot ceilings, a spacious front porch. It is also completely renovated, sits two blocks back from the Atlantic ocean, and is worth close to $1 million!

the house
     B and I actually came to Cape May a couple of times in the past few years, when we were shopping for a place to retire. But we ultimately decided against, because the town seems pretty lonely and deserted from October through May.

     It's also in New Jersey, which means it's an expensive place to live. The real-estate prices are high (as you can see), and so are the taxes on retirement income.

     We couldn't really afford to live here -- not in the style we'd like to become accustomed to in retirement -- but we can afford to rent here for a long weekend. So I guess for us, Cape May comes under the heading of ... nice place to visit, but we wouldn't want to live here.


Stephen Hayes said...

It looks like you found a tremendous house to rent. Enjoy!

Rian said...

I feel the same way about Maine... great place to visit (vacation), but don't think I could live there (way too cold winters). But Cape May does sound like a place I'd like to check out sometime.

Anonymous said...

It is very expensive to live here in Washington state at the tip of it next to Portland Oregon rents have become horrible and where the good jobs are yet to be found..the fact it has rained, snowed and been abysmal has us thinking of relocating to the west of in Colorado where we came from nearly 40 years ago just not the pricey Denver/aurora/etc. areas. We are totally open to sunshine and blue skies it changes the way people think and here people are pretty closed minded and very judgmental and crude..we grew up in Portland a town we don't care for at all..the govt. just cleared the former governor and his gal pal from lots of stuff they actually did his gal pal fleeced money yet he had to resign in discrage, this was his 4th time at bat..He was a wonderful e/r physician and smart as can be but fell for a woman who is cunning and manipulative his fiancé they are not married and doubt they ever will be. Politicians in my opinion are crooked as hell, yet the citizens of Oregon voted for this man and elected him 4 times. our governator here in Washington is great friends with the governor, he is reportedly trying to go back into public life. come on..give it up..New Jersey we are told is the most expensive state to reside, taxes and more taxes, the west is different but still spots without millions of people one has to get used to living way out and enjoying the beauty of the land..We love the shore of Washington state but it is definitely cloudy and raining most of the year and no hospitals and doctors if one needs those cannot have heaven on earth..enjoy your wedding and family and fun~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DJan said...

We moved here to Washington State to retire, and we came from Colorado. We actually enjoy the rain (most of the time), and it was a good move for us. The next season is more sun than rain, and the long days seem to never end. I have never been to New Jersey but Cape May looks very inviting indeed. Congratulations to the happy couple, Tom. :-)

Anonymous said...

Yes, Cape May itself can be expensive when speaking about buying a home or business, but not unlike many places. I live just outside of the city of CM itself as do many and it is the best of both worlds. The southern end of NJ is a wonderful place to live....we like to keep it ur secret. Nothing like mid to northern NJ. We have wonderful beaches, restaurants, sightseeing opportunities. This area really only has a down time from Jan 1 to Presid nuts weekend when things start to reopen. Christmas and the pre holidays are absolutely beautiful in CM!
I hope you get a chance to walk around and take in the beautiful sites or take a carriage ride or trolley tour. Hope you enjoy your stay in the county I was born in and have lived forever r 64 years. I cannot marine living anywhere else and I am quite well traveled. Enjoy!

christina neumann said...

I've never been to Cape May even though I grew up right outside NYC. But it sounds lovely.
I feel the same way about Capitola which is a beach town and really lovely. but we couldnt probably even afford a rental there. But it's fun to camp there and still experience the town.

Madeline Kasian said...

I grew up in Collingswood area of South Jersey and Cape May and OCean City were "our" beaches. When we went down the shore it was one or the other. And I was married to Ken on our favorite beach in Ocean City. My married life took me to Arizona and I am in love with it here, but at times i do miss being closer to the beach.We'll be driving to San Diego in a few weeks for a getaway. Since I've only owned homes in Arizona I have complete sticker shock when my NJ relatives tell me how much property tax they pay! I could never get used to that after our low cost of living here in Gilbert,Az. We're retired now, and Arizona is still my favorite place to be. Very affordable for retirement!! Yes, our summers can be brutal ( I actually like the bright sunshine, the slower pace we MUST adopt, and swimming in the pool every morning and evening)..but the other 9 months are like Heaven on Earth!! Still, visiting beaches is high on my list of happy things to do.Glad you're getting to enjoy Cape May's beauty!!

scott said...

Nice! Growing up in NJ, every summer we went "down the shore", great beaches, great pizza, great memories. Enjoy it!

Tom Sightings said...

I only discovered the Shore two or three years ago ... and was surprised that it is much nicer than I thought it was going to be.

Janette said...

Sounds lovely. I will have to brave the ferry and go over sometime!

Anonymous said...

The lady who commented Djanity came from Boulder where it is the priciest in all of the Denver area to live..good luck in living there NOT and more NOT..we had a lovely home in an unincorporated area of aurora, but it is sadly over developed & the freeway is horrible now..We enjoyed Arapahoe county and further from Denver/boulder a lot, we hiked and biked and went everywhere but one cannot buy a home there due to sky high prices and many many people. Bellingham where Djanity lives is no bargain because people know they can get their money from all the WWU students who attend all year long..Many retired people live there in august and September only and return to sunny enviorns when it starts to get really cold and they do have snow in winter. One cannot have heaven on earth..Hope you enjoyed the wedding and family and friends and the whole shebang! Many live here from New Jersey and always tell me prices and the shore here is absolutely wonderful..Many told me that one has to pay to go to the shore, I grew up on the west coast my hubs in the east Washington still has places homes are reasonable but it is far from here, eastern Washington is lovely..but one has to get used to not seeing any shores just lovely lakes and streams as I said before one cannot have heaven on earth and we are grateful for our living experiences but if crime continues here we will move, we are not fans of that whatsoever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Barbara said...

Interesting. I've never been up that way. Maybe I'll be lucky enough to be invited to a wedding up there.