Barbara Hammond’s photos of her new home in Cape May are so beautiful that we just might have to visit! Read more from Barbara on her blog.
This week marks eight months we’ve been living in Cape May, so today I thought I would share some random musings about our new lifestyle. It is definitely new to me.
We’ve lived in suburbia and enjoyed city life as well. We’ve had a home at the beach and loved every minute of it. Cape May is completely different from all of them.
We’ve never lived in the country. But, to live in the country within walking distance to the beach is more amazing than I ever could have imagined.
Our old beach town, Ocean City, NJ, will always have a soft spot in my heart. It was the first town at the shore I ever visited and it became our second home for 15+ years.
Over the years, it went from our weekend getaway to our primary residence, after Dave’s retirement. We used to laugh as we watched all the cars parading out of town on Labor Day. It was a mass exodus we enjoyed because it gave us a couple of quiet months at the beach. The house wasn’t winter-proofed so we left by the end of October.
We visited Cape May at least once each summer and loved it. The town simply oozes charm. Although we were primarily familiar with Cape May proper, there are many surrounding areas still considered Cape May which share the same zip code. When we made the decision to sell both houses and settle here we never looked back.
It was quite a learning experience searching for our ‘forever’ home. We’re kind of famous for turning an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan, but we saw some real fixer-uppers last summer. What we gained from the search was a true love of this little country town.
Away from the beautiful Victorian mansions and charming cottages along the beach is an honest to God farming community. The primary crop is grapes, and you know what that means. Our little farm house is surrounded by wineries!
We’re also about a mile in three directions to the ocean and bay. It’s a lovely walk this time of year. And, when it’s quiet in the early morning and late evenings you can hear the ocean. I love it!
The swirling winds take a little getting used to. It seems impossible to have the wind coming in every direction at the same time. We are the tip of the state with the Atlantic to the East and Delaware Bay to the West. Yes, you can have winds from every direction at once!
Moving in right after Labor Day, we slowly noticed the emptiness around town. Traffic was light and nights were blissfully quiet and by late October the swirling winds were pretty chilly!
As we were forced inside we became fascinated with birds. This is a bird migration path and I’d never seen such beautiful birds. We got bird feeders and a bird book, which I’m sure, would shock our OC neighbors who laughed at Dave chasing sparrows off the porch with a super shooter water gun! He’s mellowed folks!
As winter enveloped us we hunkered down and enjoyed our little black stove/ fireplace. Dave had tons of projects to get him through the winter and I enjoyed quiet writing time.
Everyone warned us about February. “You have to get out of town in February! Trust me!” We heard more than a few times. So we planned a trip to visit our friends in Key West for a week. It should have been for two or three.
When we returned we started checking out places in Charleston, or Savannah for next February. We agreed, we don’t need eighty-five-degree beach weather, but 60-70 degrees would be lovely. Plus we could take the dogs and drive. I won’t leave them for a month.
As spring has gradually emerged the beauty surrounding us is breathtaking. Many of the flowers peeking out are new to us and some are favorites I didn’t even know we had, like Lily of the Valley. I’d never seen pink ones before. And lilacs in all colors!
Last week we went for a walk, headed toward the beach, then turned toward town and decided to have lunch at The Ugly Mug, one of our favorite places over the years. Afterward, we meandered back home and I realized it had only been five miles total.
I’ve been using a pedometer to measure steps and five miles is the 10,000 steps you need daily. I’ll never manage it daily, but it’s great to know I have so many wonderful routes to explore in this amazing little town.
Have you ever visited Cape May?