Writer’s Block: It Was a Dark and Stormy Night…

By Corinne Wnek

I recently got back from spending a few days down the Jersey shore. As a bona fide Jersey lover, I find it odd that I hardly go on vacation to our shore. My little piece of heaven is Cape Ann, Massachusetts, where huge rocks line the coast of Gloucester and twin lighthouses can be spotted offshore in the foggy distance. Due to the limited time we had, my husband Rich and I chose to go to Cape May for a little getaway and stayed at one of their famous Victorian bed and breakfast places.

Quiet and quaint are two words that are often used to describe Cape May. Although this is certainly true, I couldn’t help but notice that many families with kids of all ages also chose to spend their shore vacation there. When I was a kid, ‘the shore’ meant the boardwalk at Seaside and begging mom and dad for just one more roll of tickets for rides like the Himalaya or the Cyclone. They always caved. It was kid heaven; sights, sounds, lights and all the junk food you could possibly want. There’s none of this in Cape May. Wildwood definitely, but not Cape May.


So it was a bit surprising to see so many kids, and teenagers, at the shore, actually enjoying the shore. Like a flashback to another time, they were playing catch on the beach or standing around admiring the endless varieties of seagulls and sandpipers or hunting for shells of all kinds that washed ashore. Some kids were jogging with dad and others were taking pictures.

But nothing could compare to their mad rush to the water’s edge when suddenly a pod of dolphins swam right in front of us. We all got up to watch as they dived down into the Atlantic and then gracefully torpedoed out of the water, just like you see them do at Sea World. Then another pod came by and still another. These guys really knew how to entertain the masses! It was a picture perfect beach day.

And that’s why it couldn’t last. Very late in the day, the clouds began to roll in and there were reports of thunderstorms heading our way. Back in the day at Seaside, this would have elicited cries of “It’s raining and there’s nothing to do.” But no matter. My husband and I had just returned from dinner at a restaurant that another guest had recommended to us during breakfast that morning. That’s what’s nice about an inn. Everybody gets to know one another pretty quickly.

We parked ourselves that evening on the big, semi-enclosed front porch and I read while he checked email on his laptop. Other guests came out and found some rockers and soon we reinvented the art of conversation. So there we all sat, all different ages, sipping wine, trading vacation stories, talking politics and waiting for the storm to descend on Cape May.

Nature did not disappoint us. But we continued to sit and carry on as if we were removed from the thunder and pouring rain. Like the old people we used to laugh at when we were kids, there we were; in rocking chairs, talking and laughing on the front porch thinking life doesn’t get any better than this. Now I know that this is really true. Too bad youth is wasted on the young.

Amidst a storm, this was the most peaceful getaway I ever had. And if there’s a heaven on earth, Cape May might just be it.

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