On the Road Again.

Sometimes, my posts are well-planned in advance. I research a trip, plot my route, make reservations, and then write about it afterward. An example would be my trip to the Honda  Heritage Center in Ohio. Other times, I wake up with an empty calendar, open my “Road Trip USA” guide book, pick a destination, and then write about it upon my return. The trip to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania  was one trip such as this. Finally, however, sometimes I have no intention at all of writing a post, but after returning home, sorting through the photos, and thinking of my experiences, a post comes to mind. Like the past few days.

I had a few days off from work, so a friend and I headed down to the New Jersey shore once again, our destination my family’s shore home near Cape May, New Jersey. The weather forecast was miserable, with lots of rain and thunderstorms predicted, so our plans consisted of sitting indoors, having a TV marathon, and dodging raindrops to go out to eat. Indeed, after returning from Uncle Bill’s Pancake House on Tuesday morning to a steady, driving rain, it seemed we would indeed be a couple of couch potatoes.

However, around noon, we noticed that the rain clouds had cleared. It was still cloudy, but we had been giving a respite from precipitation. Desperate to get out of the house, we scrambled to come up with somewhere to go, before I had a lightbulb moment: my friend had not seen Lucy the Elephant, and my visit there a few months ago had only been a fly-by. Neither of us had taken the tour. Fifteen minutes later, we were out the door, headed up the Garden State Parkway to Margate, New Jersey, home of Lucy.

Tours of Lucy are very reasonable- $8 for adults and children 13+, $4 for children ages 3-12, and children 2 and under visit for free. The funds go to pay for the upkeep and future of this very cool tourist attraction. The tours are led by a guide and last for about a half hour. Our tour guide, Devin, led our group up a set of narrow, winding stairs in Lucy’s rear right leg and up to her belly, which is also the museum. After learning more about her, we headed up a set of even narrower winding stairs to the houdah, which sits atop her back. Despite my fear of heights, I made it all the way to the top and was rewarded with a beautiful view.

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DH, at Lucy once again.
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The inside of Lucy functions as a museum. During its existence, it has also been a residence, an office, and a bar.
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Lucy essentially has a double-hull construction. The inner rooms were built later in her history. You can still see her outer walls and the craftsmanship of her original structure.
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Lucy’s eyes are windows out into the world.
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View from the top. Fear of heights? Check.
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The more cynical might deride her as a tourist trap, but I think Lucy is a must-visit spot. The federal government agrees: she’s a U.S. National Historic Landmark.

After Lucy, we headed south again, returning to Cape May in time for dinner. Having gotten into a bit of a rut, restaurant-wise, we decided to broaden our horizons and try a new restaurant: Tisha’s Fine Dining on the Washington Street Mall. We sat outside, enjoying the warm sea air as we dined. The meal was terrific, and afterward we spent some time walking around the Washington Street Mall, including a brief stop in The Original Fudge Kitchen, a candy store that is a Jersey Shore tradition. Homemade fudge? Check. Salt water taffy? Check. Irish potatoes? Check. A happy belly afterward? Check.

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The Original Fudge Kitchen.
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Fudge and Salt Water Taffy sampler. Yum!
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The Washington Square Mall toward sunset.
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Photo opp on the way home after dinner.
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DH, with the MV New Jersey in the background. I had wanted to stage this shot for the post I wrote about the ferry ride. Oh well. Better late than never.
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Not the best sunset Tuesday night, but the sky was out of this world.

Wednesday morning, after an early breakfast, we headed off to another very cool place at the Jersey shore: the Cape May County Zoo. Located off of Route 9 in Cape May Courthouse, New Jersey, the Cape May Zoo  is a surprisingly beautiful location, with large enclosures for its animals and a strong sense of conservation. It feels like a place where much care goes into the nurturing of a safe space for animals that can also be an educational environment for families. I tend to cast a critical eye toward many zoos, which often have abysmal records of animal rights… but the Cape May Zoo just feels different. You also get an up-close look at many animals and birds that you might otherwise ignore in a larger, higher volume zoo. The zoo hours are 10:00 am – 4:30 pm, 7 days a week, and the zoo is completely free. Donations, however, are appreciated.

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Entering the zoo. Is that a ticket booth? Nope. The park guide gives you a map and parking directions, and then kindly asks for donations.
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The goats were friendly.
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So friendly, in fact, that they had their own Facebook page.
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The Reptile House was pretty cool. Snakes a-plenty. When I saw the boa constrictor, that scene from the first Harry Potter film definitely flashed through my mind. This little guy instilled less fear.
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Thousands of tourists, and this lizard slept through it all.
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Golden Lion Tamarin.
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Cotton Top Tamarin. Or, as I call him, the Albert Einstein Monkey. You heard it here first.
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Snowy owl.
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The bald eagle. 
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A rather sleepy Amur Tiger.
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For a zoo that does not get national attention, it is both surprisingly large and also diverse.
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Quick lunch stop at Atkinson’s Restaurant and Bar a few miles south of the zoo.
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On the way home, another small milestone broken.

The forecast for a soggy three days turned into good weather and a fun set of adventures. As I looked through all the photos tonight, I realized that I needed to create a new post. There is a much longer road trip scheduled for this coming weekend, which I will be certain to share. I’m so excited for it, I am already thinking about writing the next post, and I have not even started the trip yet! Thanks for coming along on this impromptu voyage of DH!

‘Til next time.

 

3 thoughts on “On the Road Again.

  1. What in the world? I’m just noticing that the entire parking lot at Lucy is filled with Hondas. Did they specifically have that area roped off for Honda owners? And the “goat facebook” cracks me up. Looks like a fun little adventure!

    Liked by 1 person

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