a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Monday, September 9, 2013

Camping in-style in South Jersey

The rustic cabin where I spent four nights vacationing this summer outside of my comfort zone. (Scott Beveridge photo)

By Scott Beveridge

CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE, NJ – A party of at least nine people and their yapping dog moved in next door into an identically-small wooden cabin designed to sleep four where I spent the first week of September just north of Cape May, NJ.

Thankfully, this large group arrived about the same time I would check out of the otherwise quiet Ponderosa Campground in Cape May Court House, wondering how they would all fit in that pine box smaller than your average motel room.

I couldn't help but notice the bumper sticker on their vehicle, either, which read, "Worry about your own damned family."

"They must get a lot of dirty looks," a friend replied via text message after I mentioned this discovery that Friday on my smartphone.

Yes. I stepped outside of my comfort zone for this summer vacation by choosing to bed down in a campground. I mean you're reading about a guy who prefers a clean hotel room, crisp sheets and a great view when he travels.

However, at $40 a night during the off-season along the South Jersey Shore, a cabin here with a bathroom with a shower, a small refrigerator and air-conditioning called my penny-pinching name.

And, other than it having an air-conditioner that made a racket and occasionally spit pellets of frozen condensation, the place was comfortable. It was especially quiet, too, that Monday through Friday after most tourists and beachcombers here had already headed north for the approaching winter.

This campground also was less than a 15-minute drive to my destination of Cape May, NJ, America's oldest resort town discovered by Henry Hudson in 1609, and later explored by Cornelius Jacobsen Mey for the Dutch West India Co.

Cape May is a gorgeous town boasting many rows of pretty, meticulously-restored Victorian-era houses, whose gingerbread adornments provide a great opportunity for a good house painter to never go without work.

But, this place is a tourist trap that appears to draw mostly white people with deep pockets who like to purchase over-priced merchandise in shops by the sea. 

I also found the locals in the towns up and down these beaches to be a bit snobby, similar to old-school Bostonians.

Yet, the area is worthy of a visit for the relaxation and beaches it offers, and, if, for no other reason, than to sample the Centennial India Pale Ale brewed by the 2-year-old Cape May Brewing Co.

An elegant painted lady along Stockton Avenue, one of the most-beautiful streets to be found in Cape May, NJ. (Scott Beveridge photo)

1 comment:

dtecklenburg said...

"draw mostly white people with deep pockets who like to purchase over-priced merchandise in shops by the sea. " Hey, I resemble that remark! I was there last weekend as well- with two Bernese Mountain dogs. How can you call a town snobby when they let you take your dogs to restaurants with outdoor patios? Try THAT in Wash PA!