Monday, October 12, 2009

Victorian Week, 2009

The weekend of Columbus Day is the start of Victorian Week at Cape May. For years, Joe and I made it our custom to spend that weekend right there. Then a few years ago we began going to Downrigging Weekend in Chestertown, Maryland, and we just couldn't manage to do both of these wonderful escapes. This year, we returned to Cape May, spending three nights at the Humphrey Hughes House, a bed and breakfast inn right in the heart of the historic district and one block from the beach. In all the years we've gone to Cape May, we'd never before stayed here, and it was really quite wonderful. A great big place, with many gorgeously appointed rooms and lovely, spacious communal rooms, HHH made us most comfortable. The porch is high up and generous and the first morning our breakfast was served right out there. The other two mornings it was a tad chilly, and we ate inside at huge tables that held ten or twelve guests.

Our room was a little suite, the queen bedroom beautifully decorated in shades of lilac, and the adjoining sitting room held the television and comfortable places to read. We were most content. The breakfasts were nothing short of miniature works of art, and utterly delicious. I enjoyed a dish that I never expected to try, let alone request the recipe for, called "Grits and Greens."

We took a long walk on the beach one morning, picking at the shells and pebbles, always admiring the gulls, and marveling at the group of skimmers, standing so precisely, almost like a military drill team. One night we went to Cape May Stage and saw an outstanding play called "Proof." The acting was stellar, and the story captivating. While there we ran into some old friends and walked home together.

Dining is an important part of Cape May. Joe always likes to go to Louisa's and I love a place called Frescos, and this year we managed to get to both of them. We shopped a little bit on the mall -- I picked up a pair of size five pink Crocs for Caroline and Julia Child's book, My Life in France.

When I write about Cape May, I always talk about the inns and the restaurants and the shopping. I seldom write about one of the most important aspects of this town. It is on the migratory route for several species of hawks and other birds of prey, and down at the nature center at Cape May Point, there are stands where a person can wait with binoculars and help with the counting of the migratory birds.

Also, oddly enough, the town is on the migratory route of monarch butterflies and Victorian Week is exactly when they pass through. We saw some goldenrod along the Promenade that was just laden with monarchs, and I was tickled to see some resting on the sand as we walked along.

A good friend from home has just bought a home in Cape May, and we stopped to admire the progress she is making as she turns it into her own.

All too soon it was time to head north, leaving behind the hawks, the monarchs, and the people wandering around dressed from head to toe in Victorian clothing. It was a lovely, relaxing, and delicious getaway. We're so glad we went.

9 comments:

AnnieO said...

Sounds deliciously restful. Glad you got away and enjoyed nature and relaxation with your hubby.

Julie in the Barn said...

What a wonderful get-away! I love this time of year for travel. Your little trip sounds perfect.

anne bebbington said...

After all the hectic stuff at work this sounds like just the ticket

Pat said...

That old song "On the way to Cape May" keeps running through my head. Your pictures are delightful.

Kristina said...

I didn't know that about the monarchs and Cape May. Very cool.

Winda aka DutchQ said...

oh... how I wish now that I could have gone with you to that magical place! Victorian stuff is right up my alley and butteflies make me all mooshie.... I would have loved to be able to see them gather in a tree ready for traveling.... You are a really lucky person to be able to see it! Did you take any pictures of those butterflies? I sure would like to see them!
Over here we don't have monarchs migrating....

Anyhow
Hugs from the Netherlands
Winda aka DutchQ aka (*ΓΌ*)
XxX

Micki said...

Sounds like a wonderful restful place. It reminds me of Salt Beach near Galway.
Micki

Karen L. said...

Cape May is a wonderful and unique place, isn't it? My Dad was a birder and we often went with him when he went out to band birds. We also picked beach plums for jelly making, visited the concrete ship, and picked up stones and beach glass on Higby's Beach (wonder if that is still all there?) My Grandfather had a little house in Avalon, NJ so we were not far from there. My favorite bird of all is the blackskimmer so I was so glad to read that they are still in the area. Love their sound and the way they fly!!!! Glad you had such a nice, relaxing time. I spent many years down the shore. I really miss it now.

carole ann said...

Love Cape May, so nice and peaceful, although during the summer months it can get crazy. Haven't been for a few years hope to get down there this summer.
What a wonderful get away for you.