I have never written a travelogue before so you are in for a treat…or a tedious diatribe. I guess you could say I am on vacation right now. Of course, one could argue that since I am retired, I am actually on vacation all the time. I will declare it officially a vacation on the basis that we are away from home on a totally recreational trip and we are eating practically every meal at a restaurant.
In the northeastern cities of the USA when one goes to a location on the coastal areas along the Atlantic Ocean, it is referred to as “going down to the shore.” Farther south in the country, in Florida where I live, we don’t go down to the shore; we say we are going “to the beach.”
So, right now we are down at the shore, specifically, the resort city of Margate which is located in New Jersey, just a wee bit south of Atlantic City. We are visiting with BFF’s that we have known for what seems centuries, though 50+ years is the more accurate time span.
The beaches along the New Jersey shore are usually a lot more expansive and the sand is much finer that what is found along coastal Florida beaches. The water along the northern coast is a blue/gray in color. As you proceed south, the ocean becomes more tropical and the colors range from a deep green to turquoise. Another difference between the two regions is the wave height. The waves along the Jersey shore and farther north, are higher and a lot more surfboard friendly than those that roll in more gently along the southern coast.
Margate is a residential community. Its shore is lined mostly with private homes, all of which are large, alluring and very expensive—a million dollars and up by the time you factor in the exclusive property on which they are built. The houses then proceed inland, block by block, gradually diminishing in size, architectural design and cost. We’re staying in an older lovely little cottage-like home three blocks in from the shore…still very much in a desirable and enviable location. Sitting on the front porch with its full awning providing amble shade and reading the newspaper or a book, or simply observing the continual parade of beach-goers passing by, is enjoyable to the extent that you need little else to occupy your time.
Last night we drove down to the very southern tip of New Jersey. Here is the incredible old, old resort city of Cape May. My wife and I used to take the 90-mile day trip here when we were first dating and living in Philadelphia. Cape May, though a lot more popular (and populated) today, still remains a quiet, subdued shore town known for its Victorian-era homes, many of which are B&B’s (“bed and breakfast” inns). If we were ever to win a substantial lottery ticket, Cape May would be on the short list of places we would consider moving our life to.
Over the weekend, Rosemarie and I will hop aboard two trains and travel northwest to Lancaster, Pennsylvania for a quick side trip to visit some relatives there. Out visit to Penn State University, where I spent four arduous years in my younger days, unfortunately had to be cancelled. More on our vacation next time.