We went on vacation a week or two back and decided on going to New Jersey. I know how strange this may sound to many people who have never spent much time there, which includes pretty much everyone I know, but there's more to Jersey than meets the eye. Now don't get me wrong, I'm still not a huge fan of the state, especially after living in New York. You just grow to feel disdain for the Garden State when you're in the Big Apple, whether it's fair or not. However, there are many people who are very loyal to it, and people don't realize that there are a lot nice beaches. The only problems are that they are very developed, and the entire easter seaboard visits them during the summer.
Now I've forgotten where I left off so my apologies if I'm repeating myself, but we were originally thinking of going to the Cape but we didn't have the time. We also wanted to go someplace warmer and figured going south might accomplish this, which it didn't, but it sounded good in theory. Finally, we didn't want to go to far away. We looked into Georgia and North Carolina, which were too far this trip, and then thought of Delaware, which is supposed to be nice but not practical. Florida was too expensive during school break, probably because everyone has the same thing in mind.
Mom finally decided on New Jersey, specifically Cape May, which is at the southern tip of the state. Now I'd been to Cape May before nearly 20 years ago and didn't get the greatest vibe. It struck me as a bit stiff, but I didn't want to make waves (no pun intended) with our plans, and truth be told, it was actually very nice. We all enjoyed it a lot, and our place was pretty cool.
Mom found a room through AirBnB and the rate was pretty reasonable. We were across the street from the beach and there were plenty of places to eat. Cape May is actually a fairly nice town, though it was early in the season and many places were closed. The drive down was a bit rough because it's long, and I don't think we really planned it properly because we stopped too soon on the first day, such that the second day was a long haul. However, as I mentioned, our time in Cape May was nice.
First off, the beaches are nice and spacious, and not too developed. I could imagine surfing down there, though the waves were tiny. We rented bikes and as always, they were key to having a nice family vacation. Once you have bikes you can just cruise around and check out the sights and go out for a meal. The weather was cool-ish, which made for good riding, and because it was early in the season, it wasn't too crowded and the traffic wasn't too bad.
We hung out around Cape May on our bikes exploring all the different places, and then made some day trips up to Wildwood and Ocean City, both of which are very interesting. They are majorly developed, with massive boardwalks with food stands and carnival rides (see pic). It was like Coney Island on steroids, I couldn't believe the scale of the place. What made it extra eery was that there were no people; the place was completely deserted save for one or two people (locals I guess) walking around. It reminded me of a Steven King horror story.
All in all it was a nice time, and I would go back, though I could imagine it would be nutty in the high season. On the way home we stopped in Mawah NJ to rest for the night, and it wasn't easy getting around. At least in the sections we were in NJ seemed like on big strip mall, with big roads and even bigger stores, not unlike LA, mind you. The traffic was amazing, and even getting to our hotel was a logistical nightmare. We decided to head over to New York, which was very close, to get some supper, and even that excursion required getting on a massive interstate highway just to go a few miles. We ended up in Suffern NY for supper, which was interesting, as well. For a small town there seemed to be a lot of ethnic diversity. I wonder if the people there took the train down to NYC for work, it's a doable commute.
The final leg of the trip was a bit of a trek, but we made it just fine, stopping in a small town for lunch before getting home. I have to say that I enjoyed Cape May, it was nicer than I expected. I'm not sure if we'll ever go back again, but it's reasonably close, fairly affordable, and has nice beaches. What more can you ask for?
Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Nestor Rivera Jr for the pic.