Sand in My Shoes

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Cape May shines after Labor Day. When the beach vacation people fold their umbrellas and take the kids home, that’s a good time to head for the shore. In St. Mark’s Square tourists feed the pigeons. In Cape May tourists feed parking meters that could work until 10 p.m. Bring a bag of quarters or risk a $35 ticket. A line of parked cars, including our rental, were ticketed late one night next to Congress Hall. Parking meter money and  parking tickets bring in half of Cape May’s annual budget of $2 million. Happy to contribute to historic and ever-beautiful Cape May.

Richard and I flew in from Tucson to hang out with two cousins for a few days. We visited an alpaca farm (, the Cape May lighthouse, and the sunken concrete ship. We drove over to Villas to see my Aunt Dot’s old house and to walk on the bay-side beach. Memories of past summer trips came roaring back. Everything seemed perfectly in place — the dead horseshoe crabs, the men fishing, and the beach dotted with hundreds of shiny pebbles.

A Friday highlight – we attended the graduation ceremony at the U.S. Coast Guard Training Center. Between college and grad school, Richard completed his training at Cape May and was assigned to Search & Rescue, Governors Island (N.Y.C.) Semper Paratus 1790.


When the trip was almost over, we drove north and stopped in Wildwood. A fireman’s convention packed the town and No Vacancy signs were everywhere. Ocean City was our destination for a final night at the shore. Another boardwalk with arcades, salt water taffy shops, and food stands. I had a yearning for one nostalgic treat, a waffle ice cream sandwich. Just the thought brought me back to teenage summers at Seaside Heights and the flavor of vanilla and the crunch of waffle. Now, I’m in Ocean City and the year is 2016. My eyes opened wide when the vendor asked for six dollars and seventy-five cents for a waffle ice cream sandwich. What??!!  Are you kidding me?  Nope, she wasn’t kidding.