Each summer (and winter), the Menzies Clan descends upon Cape May, NJ. Or, as we lovingly call it: Cool Cape May 20 Miles At Sea. CCM20MAS, for short. (It’s on my grandfather’s license plate – this is real.)
Cape May is our happy place, our “home away from home,” and each of us feels we own a piece of it. We wear Cape May t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hats throughout the year with pride.
We don’t own a home there, we simply rent different places each year and try to all go at the same time so we can enjoy giant sections of beach, family dinners, walks on the boardwalk, and trips in to the Mall for post-dinner ice cream… daily.
The series of houses we have rented over the years each had their good and bad qualities. We often walk by former rentals and reminisce about games we played, funny dinners, or AC issues, but we remember each fondly. We know the year and who stayed there. At this point it’s hard to walk down a street in CCM without saying, “Remember when we stayed there and ____ happened?”
This year, due to my work schedule, I can only go for a few days, but I am thrilled to be going at all and touching base not only with my happy place, but with my family in our definitive setting. I see most of my family throughout the year, but when we’re in Cape May, there’s a joined-ness that takes over. We check in with each other. We assume we’re accountable to each other, make plans, and stay together all day and night. I probably don’t text my cousins more than once or twice throughout the year, but in CCM, it’s an hourly occurrence. “Where are you on the beach?” “Heading to the mall, come?” “Buying Grandmom earrings at the Whale’s Tale, stop by!”
A few Cape May musts:
- Grandpop’s International Famous Annual Skeeball Tournament
- The Brown Room
- Blue Pig everything
- Lunch at the Ugly Mug
- Beach Tag animosity
- Grill-offs between Jeff and Jim Lynn
- Grandmom’s walks on the Boardwalk
- Daily ice cream runs
- Uncle Bill’s Pancake House
- The Whale’s Tale
- The Sunken Ship
- The Lobster House – and Grandpop’s Lobster Bisque
George and I are getting married in CCM next May, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to celebrate in my happy place, but also to share Cape May with the rest of my friends and family. Hopefully each of them will take a piece of Cape May home with them and they will see how special it is to us.
So, go Cape May, go Menzies, go family beach week!
Love you all!