The Family Reunion, Part Two: The Locale.

A few things have happened since my last post. For one thing, on Friday, there was a fire at the house next door. Who said the first day after a family vacation is always boring?

I was the only one home, so the neighbors had to come over and ask me to call 911 after they evacuated. Nobody was seriously hurt, but there was smoke pouring out all the windows and the chimney. The street was lined with fire trucks for a few hours, the most traffic our street has gotten in years.

All of this rendered the rest of the recent events–dropping Nick off at school on Saturday and finally caving in and buying the Relatively Bare-Bones Retail Edition of Season One of “Get Smart” on DVD for an impressive price the other day–sorta unimpressive. Still, I made a promise in my last blog post that this one would include more stuff from Cape May, and I am a man who keeps his promises.

The first morning, I decided to walk around and familiarize myself with this wonderful town.

There she is, the welcome sign.

“Cape May National Historic Landmark”. I realize it’s referring to the town in general, but I like the thought that the water tower itself has historical significance.

“And, if you look to your left, you’ll see the very spot where the famous Warner Brothers and their sister, Dot, first made their heroic escape in the Great Totally Insaney Battle of 1993. Onlookers are reported to have described the carnage as ‘zany to the max.’”

Yes, I’m a dork.

Washington Commons, a shopping center that seems to have higher security than the Walt Disney studios in Burbank. (Seriously, we used the Disney Studios entrance for a u-turn once. The guard was much friendlier than the guy here.

Jim Backus invites you to his inn, a subsidiary of Thurston Howell Enterprises.

My references are all so hip and relevant.

I’m pretty sure “For ladies and gentlemen” here is a euphemism for “Don’t you DARE bring your horrible little urchin children! We just finished cleaning the Kool-Aid and ketchup stains out of the rug from last time my sister INSISTED on bringing her toddlers by to visit! I swear, if you let one little pipsqueak get within ten feet of this house, I will rip our your entrails and feed them to a seagull!”

Or something to that effect, anyway.

They say Periwinkle, but that his clearly a blend of Light Fuschia and Dark Terracotta.

It’s pretty hard to find available lodging in Cape May, as demonstrated by the seemingly countless inns and boarding houses with some sort of “no vacancy” sign. But my all-time favorite was this one, which just says, in a not-particularly-apologetic font, “Sorry”. “Tough luck, pal, maybe next time you won’t SUCK too much to register a little earlier!”

Futurama jokes FTW!

This is The Inn of Cape May. Not the Cape May Inn, but the Inn of Cape May. Cape May is not some mere adjective to describe the inn, no, it’s the inn’s *owner*. That inn belongs to Cape May, and to Cape May alone. You can’t have it!

This caused me to wonder how many other inns I would encounter that try to cash in on the Cape May name, as if brandishing the name of the town itself indicated that the inn had the endorsement of the entirety of said town. I began to search for other inns with such titles.

Okay, so the sign is kinda small, but this one is “Cape May Cottage”. That counts as number two.

And what do we have here? Oh, never mind, it’s “Captain Mey”, not Cape May. Apparently, this Captain Mey fellow is trying to *trick* us into associating his name with the town’s name. How diabolically deceptive. You’ve bested me again, Captain, but I shall emerge victorious!

I wish I had a real arch rival so I wouldn’t have to talk to fictional mascots on signs like this.

Anyway. By this point, I got bored in my search for Cape May-ish names, and decided to move on to browsing the inordinate number miniature golf courses.

Oh, look, more cashing in on the Cape May name. Why am I not surprised?

This golf course claims to be Cape May’s finest, but I don’t believe it. Sure, that waterfall is pretty awesome, but come on, you can’t even see the beach from this course.

Stockton Golf. Right across the street from the beach.

This is a nice little golf course, with a smaller, less ostentatious waterfall. This course is simple. Unobtrusive. I’m sure Henry David Thoreau would love golfing in a place like this. And yet, it’s still not quite good enough for your average vacationing family with their ADD children, OCD mother, and BYOB father.

Ocean Putt Golf, down the street from Stockton, still across from the beach.

This is your more typical kid-centric minigolf course. Kitschy statuettes and cheap animatronics. Seals and giant rabbits. And what do we have here?

A genuine, honest-to-God loop-the-loop. This wins, this is the town’s finest minigolf course. Cape May Miniature Golf, please hand in your badge at the door, we have a new champion.

Something not pictured, but still greatly enjoyed, was the Cape May Pizza and Popcorn Factory, a tiny little fast food/ice cream/deli/whatever place that has what might be the best fries I have ever tasted in my life. Seriously.

Coming Soon: I walk to a lighthouse.

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