Travel Guide | Cape May, New Jersey

Cape May Lighthouse

Travel Guide | Cape May, New Jersey

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to pack my overnight bag and head down to Cape May for a well planned “me day” adventure.

And, in case you don’t know what a “me day” is … it’s a day that’s all about you! So, if you want to kick back and watch TV all day, so be it … just do all of the fun things that you want and like to do!

Now, I’ve been to Cape May before, but with my family, never alone. So, this trip was definitely one to appreciate, because I got to do all of things I wanted to do without the long sighs and eye rolls from my husband and kids.

The Itinerary

So, the plan was to explore as many places as I could, before the rain. The forecast called for rain around 8 PM and I wanted to be back on the road and halfway to my next destination.

To come up with my itinerary, I googled “best places to visit in Cape May” and “fun places to visit in Cape May”. TripAdvisor was the first to come up with a lot of cool places for me to visit and the best part were the rankings and in depth reviews. In depth reviews make the decision process ten times easier, if you ask me!

Surprisingly, the Jersey Shore Alpacas came up first, but I figured why see one animal, when you can check out the Cape May Zoo and see all types of animals and reptiles, too! So, the Cape May Zoo went down first on my list of “things to do”. I can check out the alpacas another day.

Next, I remember hearing about dolphin and whale watching tours … I figured, how cool would that be to venture out on a boat and see some dolphins? I googled “best dolphin watching tour in Cape May” and I got Thundercats Dolphin Watch. With a five star rating and pics and videos to support their high rating, I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. The dolphin watch tour was second on my list.

Next, I wanted to learn a little history about Cape May, so I picked the Cape May Lighthouse.

And, since I’m a wine lover, I knew I couldn’t leave the area without visiting one of the local wineries … so, I decided to check out the Cape May Winery & Vineyard.

My last stop would be a nice restaurant, but I was going to wait and see where the locals suggest I dine to get the ultimate Cape May experience and the recommendation I got was The Lobster House.

My itinerary and links to visit:

Cape May County Zoo – 10 AM – 12 PM
Thundercat Dolphin Watch – 1 PM – 2:30 PM (12:30 PM check in time)
Cape May Lighthouse – 3 PM – 4 PM
Cape May Winery & Vineyard – 4:15 PM – 5:15 PM
The Lobster House – 5:30 – 7 PM

Cape May County Zoo | 707 N Route 9 | Cape May Court House, NJ  08210

The Cape May County Zoo opens at 10 AM on Saturday, so I was up and on the road at 8:30 AM. I wanted to get there early and beat the crowd. The morning’s weather was perfect! Sunny with clear skies! I arrived at the zoo a few minutes after 10 and was ready to make my rounds. A couple of things that I love about the Cape May Zoo is that you pay what you like to visit and the grounds are quite enjoyable to walk around. I’m a huge fan of the big cats and giraffes!

Thundercat Dolphin Watch | 1001 Ocean Drive | Wildwood Crest, NJ  08260

Granted TripAdvisor listed Thundercat Dolphin Watch as one one of the “best” dolphin watch tours in Cape May, I still had to check out their Facebook page. And, I was still impressed by the reviews and the pictures! I visited their website and found that they offer daily promotions. For Saturday, I was able to save $5 on the $32 ticket cost. I love saving money! I opted for the 1 PM tour time, because it wasn’t too early and it wasn’t too late … perfect time to be out on the water. Tour end time was 2:30 PM.

Check in was a breeze! You don’t have to bring anything, you just have to give your name. After that, you just walk over to the boat and line up, until the team is ready to board. When boarding, it’s really no need to be picky about the seats, because the team makes sure you see the dolphins on all sides. But, if you want to get a good picture or video of the “best dolphin show”, you have to sit on the back row. You’ll see what I mean when you watch my video!

My thoughts …

I truly enjoyed the Thundercat Dolphin Watch Tour and I would highly recommend checking them out, if you’re looking for something fun to do out on the water! The tour takes you out to the ocean and up along the Wildwood beaches (Wildwood Crest, Wildwood, and North Wildwood). Snacks are sold around the halfway mark of the tour at a fairly reasonable price.

Cape May Lighthouse | 215 Light House Avenue | Cape May Point, NJ  08212

Next on my itinerary was the Cape May Lighthouse. And, I have to be honest about this tour … I enjoyed it, but I have to admit that halfway through the tour, I was asking myself, “what the heck were you thinking?” By this point of my “me day” it was about 90 degrees outside. I’m inside this lighthouse that is quite narrow with one open window halfway through … the second window was closed … and the 3rd was a port window! I can laugh now, but as I went higher and higher it got hotter and hotter and the sweat was pouring off my face … I was HOT! I’m not a quitter and I wanted to see the view from the top, so I kept pressing on … and when I got to the top, the view was amazing and so was the breeze!

Cape May Winery & Vineyard | 711 Town Bank Road | Cape May, NJ  08204

Now, I’ve been to quite a few wineries in South Jersey for wine tastings and other events, but Cape Winery & Vineyard was a fun and welcoming place for this solo traveller.

Once you walk inside, you’re greeted and told about the various events taking place at the winery. They offer two different tastings for $10 and the one I chose allowed me to sample six wines. I love wines that are either sweet or fruity or a combination of the two. I enjoyed their Isaac Smith Apple wine, Lighthouse White, and the Lighthouse Red.

When I finished my tasting, I headed out back to check out the live entertainment and grab a small bite to eat. They had tapas on their menu, so I ordered one of their lobster sliders. Buzzers are handed out when you place an order, so you’re able to move around and check out the grounds of the winery.

While I waited for my order, I went back inside to get a glass of their Lighthouse Red. I came back out and found a table and waited for my buzzer to go off to pick up my order. It was about eight minutes or so, before the buzzer went off for my food. I picked up my order and returned to the same table. The lobster slider looked so delicious, that I couldn’t wait to take a bite …  and it was very delicious! No complaints froand that’s when a couple sitting at the table next to me invited me to join them at their table for some cheese and crackers.

How cool is that?

They asked if I was waiting for someone to join me and I shared with them that I was out on a “me day” adventure. They thought it was the coolest thing that I was out on my own and had explored so much of Cape May in a short period of time. We talked about other things, as the entertainer played his guitar and sang … careers, retirement, and my next destination! I shared with them that I was in search of a seafood restaurant to check out for dinner. And, they both recommended that I check out The Lobster House in Cape May.

The Lobster House | 906 Schellengers Landing Rd | Cape May, NJ  08204

The Lobster House was about five minutes or so from the winery. The parking lot was packed, but I was able to find a spot. I went inside and gave my name to be added to the waiting list. For a party of 1, my wait time was estimated to be around thirty minutes, which wasn’t bad, because I had nothing but time. The wait time was pretty spot on when I was seated at a table with a view of the marina.

Dining should always be an experience, so I ordered their shrimp cocktail and their Lobster House specialty, which consisted of lobster tails, scallops, and shrimp over garlic butter linguine. Bread and butter is also served. The wait for my meal was an acceptable amount of time, because when it came out I was ready to dig in!

The cocktail shrimp were jumbo and chilled. The entree was very pleasing to the eye and quite delicious! The seafood was well seasoned and very tasty. I can honestly say I wasn’t too crazy about the pasta, because the sauce was a bit on the runny side, making it a little messy to eat. Other than that, it was good … and I can definitely see myself eating it again in the future.

24 Fun Things You Can Do Alone

24 Fun Things You Can Do Alone

I’m always looking for fun things to do alone … and here is a list of my most enjoyable things to do alone, in no particular order.

1. Participate in a group horseback riding lesson that is open to all skill levels.

2. Learn a new language or brush up on a language you learned in grade school.

3. Wine and dine yourself at your favorite restaurant.

4. Go to the movie theatre and check out the latest movie!

5. Visit a museum and take tons of pictures!

6. Become a volunteer at your local animal shelter.

7. Try a new fitness program!

8. Treat yourself to a mani/pedi.

9. Treat yourself to a full body massage and facial.

10. Go to a conference.

11. Join an organization.

12. Create a space that inspires you.

13. Go for a scenic walk or hike.

14. Donate your old clothes and other household items to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army.

15. Travel. Whether it’s a day trip or a weekend getaway … research your destination and go for it!

16. Make a dish you recently found on Facebook or Pinterest and share your results on social media!

17. Create a vision board.

18. Read a book.

19. Get your finances in order – create a budget, pay some bills … or open a new account!

20. Check out your local outdoor market.

21. Jump on SnapChat and have a little or a lot of selfie fun with the cool filters!

22. Create a music playlist of your top songs that get you moving and singing along!

23. Make yourself a sweet treat to enjoy with your favorite show.

24. Participate in a cooking class.

A Quick Guide to Online Auctions

A Quick Guide to Online Auctions

 

To sum things up, online auctions can be fun or they also can be a real pain in the butt, if you start bidding without a plan!

I’ve been participating in online auctions for the last couple of years and have found some really great buys. Some I have won and some I have loss … And, I don’t know about you, but when you lose … it sucks, BIG TIME! Especially, when you had it all planned out, as to what you were going to do when you brought the item home.

But, enough about that, here’s my quick guide to online auctions and getting the items you want!

 

1. KNOW THE RULES OF THE AUCTION!

Knowing the rules of the auction is VERY IMPORTANT!

It tells you everything you need to know from the responsibility of the seller to the responsibility of the buyer. You’ll find out what additional fees (buyer’s premium – the most I’ve ever paid was 15%) are applied to the winning bid, along with any taxes (local/state taxes) you may have to pay.

Also, know that by participating in an auction, you are agreeing to its terms, if you are found to be the winner. You are bound to that agreement and will be held legally responsible. If you fail to follow the rules, you can be banned from participating in future online auctions and legal action can be taken against you to recover any funds owed to the seller.

 

2. Know the location of your item!

Is your item being held at a home, business or storage unit? Did your item come from a smoke/pet free environment or were there pets? A lot of these answers can be found in the description, if not, ask before bidding.

 

3. Research your item, before placing your bid!

Do not bid without knowing the value or the rating of your item, because you might have a real dud on your hands.

For example, if you’re looking to bid on 70″ flat screen television … find out the model number, review the specs, check out the reviews (visit multiple sites), check if the item has a site solely for its problems, make sure you have the space for your item, and lastly, make sure you have the help and the transportation to get your item back to your location.

It is very important for you to do your homework, because the sellers aren’t going to tell you, they’re going to let you find out for yourself. Electronics and appliances (small or large) are the main items you want to research, because if you had a television you loved, you wouldn’t want to leave it behind. You would take it with you! And, that goes for small appliances, too!

Also, it’s very important to have one or two people on standby, just in case you need help. These places often have your item in its original setting, so if it’s hanging somewhere, you’re going to need the tools and the help to get it down.

Help is often not provided by the sellers and depending on the item, it can be both awkward or heavy to move. For example, a man won a wall clock — instead, of the sellers having the clock ready for pick up, the clock was still on the wall and the buyer spent a good twenty minutes trying to remove it without damaging the wall. Now, don’t get me wrong, they did offer him a flashlight and moral support, but he still had to figure it out on his own!

 

4. Know Your Bidding System

Before you place your bid, it’s good to know what type of bidding system the sellers are using. I’ve had the opportunity to experience both … one I love, and the other … well, I’m on the fence and that’s only because you get no extra time when someone outbids you during the final seconds of the auction!

Let’s start with the one I love … the one I love alerts you when you’ve been outbidded, increases the auction time by 2 minutes or so (if it’s during the last few minutes of the auction), and allows a bidding war, if you’re interested.

The other system, is great for the buyers that like to jump in on the action during the last 30 seconds of the auction — this one sends out an outbid notice, but it does not extend the time on the auction clock.

Therefore, by the time you or the other people get their outbid notice and attempt to raise their bid, it’s often too late and the item is awarded to the highest bidder!

 

5. To Bid or Not to Bid …

I prefer to place my bids during the last 30 seconds of the auction and the reason for this is to reduce any chances of having a bidding war.

I’ve watched bidders go back and forth, only to lose to someone who watched the auction until the very end. Patience is a virtue.

Besides, I’m a firm believer that when you bid early, you’re only giving people more time to prepare and figure things out, so wait until the end and blow their minds!

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