If truth be told, Atlantic City is our favorite Jersey beach city.
I know, I know. People have so many preset notions against Atlantic City, it’s a wonder I dare to even admit my love for it. Still, it is the beach we went to in our early years of dating, it is the place I took my grandmother during her early years as a widow and gosh darn it, it is a place full of life and excitement!
When we crave the small town, clean, feel good beach scene, we always go to Cape May. I don’t think we have ever sun bathed or set toe in the ocean at Cape May, but we have spent hours walking up and down the shoreline chatting about life.
Though we had been told Cape May stays alive in the winter, we have never been so daring as to attempt to experience it. As part of Hubby’s new found Christmas excursion kick, he readily agreed to drive down to the bottom of New Jersey for a time of shopping, light gazing and, of course, food.
When we reached the outskirts of Cape May, it was evident that something more than lights, shopping and food was taking place on the streets of Cape May.
After driving our usual route and finding roads blocked and not a single parking spot, I went to the Mighty Google and discovered that we had chosen to not only go to Cape May on the day of their Christmas parade, but we had also decided to show up ten minutes before the parade began.
Yup. That sounds like something we would do.
We managed to find a parking spot only a fifteen minute walk from where we would end up for dinner a few hours later. Since we had nothing else planned aside from shopping and enjoying Cape May, we started searching for a comfortable spot to enjoy the parade from.
While all the locals were prepared with their beach chairs, blankets and snacks to endure the four-hour event, we found ourselves lacking the necessary parade viewing elements. Fortunately, we found a brick wall to sit on, that I am certain is not actually for sitting, in front of a lovely B&B.
As we waited for the parade to begin, I attempted to take a decent picture of hubby and me. After looking through these pictures, I realized why I do not have many pictures of the two of us together.
I literally have the same expression in every picture while he is goofing off the entire time.
The parade didn’t reach our way until around 5:20. Our B&B stoop was located across the street from Dock Mike’s Pancake House and I found myself daydreaming about fluffy buttermilk pancakes and warm maple syrup.
There were multiple street vendors roaming the streets in attempt of getting parents to pay for overpriced balloons and light up toys.*
*If you think this statement is a tad harsh, it is because I am still suffering from my parents never giving in to street vendors at such events. All I wanted was a glow-in-the-dark bracelet, Dad!
At first it seemed like this was the fireman’s parade as the parade kicked off with about half a dozen different firetrucks, old and new.
We had only viewed about two minutes of the parade when it came to a halt.
Boy am I glad we don’t have to manually crank our engines to get them started anymore.
This wasn’t any amateur town parade. The fire trucks were followed by bands of all shapes and sizes, antique cars, the U.S. Coast Guard, a beautifully lit Cinderella carriage, the Island of Misfit Toys and more!
After an hour or so, when we discovered that the parade was scheduled to last until 9 pm, we decided to head for Washington Street where the real fun was waiting for us: Shopping!
While the streets were lined with parade spectators, we popped in and out of every single store on Washington Street.
Even the lingerie store had some eye catchers in their window…
It was the perfect time to be in Cape May. Christmas music was playing in and out of every store. People were cheerful, full of excitement for Christmas. Everything about Cape May was even more perfect than usual.
I have a rather difficult time deciding my answer to the “What would your last meal be…” question. It’s a toss up between Kate and Al’s pizza (only found in Columbus, NJ) and Oyster Bay’s Filet Mignon & Crab meat. I have never had a better filet, crab or Bearnaise sauce than the beauty you see pictured above.
As we strolled back to our car after dinner, we were lucky enough to run into the star of any Christmas parade: Santa!*
*I know him!**
**If you don’t get this reference you’ll either want to stop reading this blog or watch the movie Elf immediately.
Had we known that a parade was going to be rolling throughout the main streets of Cape May that evening, chances are we wouldn’t have gone. I’m so happy for fortunate mistakes like this, because in the end, Hubby and I both agreed, it was the most wonderful time to have been there.