The Mrs and I just celebrated 20 years of marital bliss. The last few of which have been a little rough because of our jobs, schedules and the kids. We don't get a lot of alone time whether it be dinners or weekend getaways. And when I say WE I mean ME because apparently, US getting away is entirely up to me. She plans the family vacation and everything else is up to me. I don't do a very good job at this.
The 20th anniversary is the "china" anniversary. So I bought her an antique porcelain pitcher (circa. 1880), a framed print of some lilies and a multi-colored pearl necklace (that will go with everything - right?). It looked something like this:
Then I did the dinner on the deck during the week and planned to go to dinner at a local French Restaurant that weekend. She didn't like anything. She wanted something more special for a milestone anniversary. She reminded me that on our 10th anniversary we went on a cruise. I reminded her that she doesn't like cruises (but it was the best vacation I ever had - drunk the whole time, great food and no kids). So it went back and forth like that for a while.
She then suggested Rat's Restaurant, which is this season's Top Chef winner Kevin Sbraga's restaurant. It's part of a place called Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton NJ (about an hours drive). We've heard a lot about this place but have never been there. We would tour the grounds, have dinner and then do an overnight at a local hotel. I called for reservations and was informed there was a 2 week wait list. Scratch that idea for now - we will revisit this idea in the near future.
Then the Mrs suggested Cape May. Another place we've never been. Cape May is the oldest resort town in the US and is known for it's many Victorian houses and Bed and Breakfasts. With a little bit of web searching, we found a B&B in the historic district with rooms available and 1 block from the ocean. Done deal. And no kids because they were camping this weekend.
We leave Saturday morning and it takes about 1 1/2 hours to get there. It's off-season so traffic is light. In-season, this is probably a 3 hour drive. We have a couple of hours before check in, so we go to the Washington Street Mall for some shopping and end up having an alfresco lunch at the Ugly Mug.
Editor's note: We forgot to bring our camera. The Mrs bought a disposable but I still haven't seen the pictures. All of the photos below were stolen.
The ugly Mug was okay. I had a fried flounder sandwich and the Mrs had a chicken salad sandwich (I think). We wandered through many stores after.
We finally checked in to Beauclaire's Bed and Breakfast Inn on Ocean Street. This place was way better than we expected as you can see from the accompanying pictures. The house is over 120 years old and was built after the big fire of 1878. The owner's, Joe and Joanne (yeah, I know) have owned the place for 7 years and were very hospitable innkeepers.
This is the main living room and the fire place is pretty impressive.
We had our Sunday breakfast here in the dining room with formal place settings. Joanne served a fresh fruit plate with yogurt followed by a french toast casserole with sausage. It was quite good.
After we checked in and the Mrs had a quick nap, we donned our swimming attire and walked to the beach. It was a nice day although a little breezy and no crowds. We saw a pod of dolphins (maybe 30 or 40) about 100 yards out, which was pretty cool. We went back to the room, cleaned up and got ready to go to dinner.
Now, I will take credit for the restaurant. I did some research and found The Washington Inn to be one of the best restaurants in Cape May. And it's a good thing we made reservations or we would never have gotten in - and this was off-season. They even called me to confirm our reservation, so I know they were looking for tables.
We started with appetizers. The Mrs had the Washington Inn Crab Cake. Now, about the only seafood she'll eat is crab cake and shrimp, so she's kind of a connoisseur of crab cake. She declared this to be the best crab cake she ever had. I found this picture of the dish on The V.I.P. Table blog and this gentleman agrees.
We headed back to the Beauclaire and got out some champagne with cherry liqueur (the Mrs brought it from home) and sat on the front porch swing and watched the carriages go by. A very nice night. So much so that the Mrs wants this to be our anniversary tradition every year...crap.
Believe it or not, I'm looking at a pod of dolphins. I'm telling you they're out there.
Good bye from Cape May.