To say that my morning starts with Joy would not be an understatement. Owning a four year old Golden Retriever named Joy would make anyone’s day start early. Mine usually begins around five thirty, well before the sunrise. After ravaging a closet full of Sea Gear clothing, Joy and I head off for our morning ritual of welcoming the sunrise at either the Meadow at Higbee’s or over the Mt. Vernon ramp onto the Cove Beach.
Cesar Milan once said that watching a dog run off leash in nature is his favorite way to commune with God. I have to agree, and add that sunrise on a Cape May beach can be described as a spiritual event.
After the hour romp through the sand its back to the Victorian Motel to have the office open by eight, welcome the staff and early rising guests and start the morning. Once open it’s a quick exit to head around to the Mad Batter restaurant for French Toast Almandine and of course being a Philadelphia native, scrapple. Occasionally I get to greet my own guests on the porch of the Batter.
Firmly anchored back at the Victorian, I balance the dual responsibilities of running the motel and presiding over the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cape May. Using two tablets, one white for the Victorian and one yellow for the Chamber I can check to do lists and keep priorities in order. The privilege of promoting tourism in a place like Cape May can hardly be described as simply a job. Checking emails, answering a few phone calls or handling any tourism related issues go hand in hand. But on my Perfect Cape May Day, I get a phone call from the Corinthian Yacht Club of Cape May that John Wilsey needs a sailing partner and I take the day off.
After picking up lunch at the Depot Market I head over to the yacht club where John and his J-24 crew are waiting. We motor out of Cold Spring Inlet and into the waiting wind and waves off Poverty Beach. With the stiff breeze, John assigns me to the pit and rail, which means I gladly hang my bare feet off the side into the chilly Atlantic. On down-wind legs I feed out the Spinnaker like an America’s Cup pro. Wet, cold and with an earful of Captain Wilsey’s polite instruction we head back to the dock having won both our races.
Late afternoon, Joy usually has a need for another leg stretch after napping under my desk all day. They say Golden Retrievers are smart and Joy is no exception. When the front desk needs change, Joy and I head over to Cape Bank and she greets the tellers with two big paws on the counter. We leave with not only change, but a mouth full of biscuits-Joy’s not mine. After a careful detour around the Washington Street Mall, we head over to The Dog Days of Cape May in the Washington Commons- a great store with more treats and a much needed rawhide bone, which Joy will be seen proudly carrying down Carpenter Lane avoiding the mall again.
It’s back to the motel for check-in time and to make sure all the guests are happy. If they are happy, and the Chamber of Commerce is happy, then it can only mean one thing. It must be Happy Hour, and that usually means a trip to the Carroll Villa and happy hour at the Mad Batter, where they know I will have any beer that ends in fish.
On a perfect Cape May day, Suzanne doesn’t have to cook, so after we leave the Batter, we turn left and head down to the promenade and stroll down to the Rusty Nail for some ribs or fish tacos and listen to Carl Behrens try to sound like Jimmy Buffet. If you sit back and watch the sunset over the cove it can be like Heaven on Earth.
Previously published in Exit Zero Magazine.