In a recent radio interview, I talked about the perks of a road trip, how it lets you gain perspective on the area and observe how everything builds and blends as you approach your destination.
Flying into a city throws you directly into a boiling pot, but driving gives your mind a chance to process the change. Taking in the evolving landscapes, stopping at the local gas stations, and seeing the sights on the side of the road allow you to ease in and get a feel for how one area becomes another, to soak up the scenery along the way.
Yesterday as I approached Cape May, a smile formed on my face as the air came in the windows. The smell of the salty sea air let me know that I was getting close, and the pine trees of Belleplain State Forest transitioned to the marshlands that lead up to the beach towns of Southern New Jersey.
Sporting the Coolest Car and an energy that would blow the fuses on an episode of Ghost Hunters, I had a lot of recommendations to go through in only two days. I was revved up and ready to tackle the town, but I soon realized that attitude would only further disconnect me from the reason people visit Cape May.
Because there is essentially no industry in the area other than tourism, the town doesn’t look awake until about ten in the morning. Sitting at brunch, the vibe began to make sense to me. It felt like a Sunday morning even though it was Wednesday, people rising solely to relax as they would after a late Saturday night. In the case of many visitors, I’m guessing it wasn’t the previous evening – they’ve most likely had a wild and blurry twelve months at the office.
They’ve come to the town to kick back, reconnect. Cape May has a certain mystique in the morning hours, a peace and quiet that speaks louder than a thousand voices. Everyone rehabilitates in their own way: Joggers, bikers, and walkers were enjoying a pleasant hour on the beach before the heat turned up to strangely high levels, while others were slower to start, preferring coffee on the porch.
I took to the Mad Batter for some breakfast after my drive, where I tried the Chesapeake Bay Benedict at the recommendation of the owner Mark (he sat down with me for breakfast, awesome guy). It was unique in that it contained loose crab meat as opposed to a crab cake under the egg, and I found this to keep the dish light and simple, the lack of heavy filling leaving me satisfied rather than stuffed.
After breakfast I set out to accomplish that list of recommendations I mentioned, including a trip to the lighthouse, a parasailing adventure, and excessive eating and drinking. Those stories and more from Cape May to come, and this weekend we’ll start on Beaufort. I just arrived (literally 20 minutes ago) and I’m off to an early dinner after the eight-hour drive.
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