For me, the ability to take my out of town guests somewhere, or to do something they have always dreamed of seeing or doing is the best possible reward. If I can do that very thing for them, and do it with an unexpected twist, all the better.
It is something human in us, I think, to travel coast to coast and want to put our feet in that “other” ocean. This country really does run “sea to shining sea” and maybe we feel like it makes us a part of that continuity – I don’t know. But for a child of the American west to be able to dabble feet in the Atlantic in two states in one day is a phenomenon that is tough to picture in Washington State.
So the plan was to catch the Lewes, DE to Cape May, NJ ferry. (www.capemaylewesferry.com) We headed to catch the 11:15, but arrived in Lewes about an hour early – just enough time to run out to Cape Henlopen State Park for a first glimpse of the Atlantic. The weather was odd, in a pre-storm kind of way, with huge threatening clouds rolling across the sky, sinking closer and closer to the water.
The air temperature was pleasant, though, and the water temperature turned out to be perfect – maybe not for a distance swimmer, but certainly for playing tag with the surf. Joy is hard to find sometimes, and sometimes it comes in the simplest things.
From the beach to the ferry – the 90 minute ride across the mouth of the Delaware Bay could not have been more serene and beautiful. The clouds stayed a respectful distance away, giving us a beautiful blue passage.
I have to admit, I am glad of that. Tossing about for and hour and a half is not the introduction to these waters that I would have wished for me or anyone. There was a haze in the air, of course, but it only served to make the Cape May lighthouse slightly mysterious at noon, which is a hard thing to do.
Disembarking in Cape May, we went immediately for something to eat. Sure, we could have grabbed something on the ferry, but the weather was too good to sacrifice, and face it, I’m not such a thoughtful guide as to have packed a picnic (though I think I will remember it for next time.) As it is after the season in a big way at the Jersey Shore, we sort of scratched for a place to eat, but the up side of that is that the wide beautiful beach was nearly deserted. This gave us a chance to take another go at the ocean which was surprisingly much colder, making my friends think that they were experiencing yet another sea.
From Cape May, the plan was to drive up to Smithville, in Galloway Township to visit The Motts Creek Inn.(www.mottscreekinn.com)