Ahhh, our highly anticiapated family vacation in Cape May. The build up was almost more than we could handle and then we were told the disapointing news that we weren't getting our room that we always get, had hoped for. Nope, we were getting the Presidential Suite. Yup, we squealed! There had been a mechanical issue in our beloved room in the attic, and well it was just our luck. We lived it up large on a small one room budget. It was fantastic. I had fun being the First Lady and ordered room service for dinner. Easy peasy. I had to remember that next year we'll be back to the charming fourth floor and our piss pot will be much smaller, so why not add a little whimsy.
Congress Hall is a cool place to stay no matter what floor you stay on I suppose. It is the first hotel built along the shore in America and it is full of history. I like the ambience, old and very loved. Our rooms were directly over the ballroom. I had plenty of time to imagine all the waltzes that were danced below when I couldn't fall asleep. In fact, I didn't sleep most of the trip, even though it was comfortable. I enjoyed watching House Hunters and gasping at the horrible show Toddlers and Tiaras. Cable in bed is a luxury for us. Late at night, when everyone was asleep I could smell thick wafts of cigar smoke sneaking in our room from down below. It seemed appropriate. The next day we would take a gamble at the arcade. It wasn't exactly a gamble, it was a total loss because although Geir and I knew we were throwing our money away, the girls thought they had a chance to win the BIG prize, they only needed another 975,00 tickets to win it. They whinned to us of course. It was a nightclub for kids, loud crazy music blaring, flashing lights and a solo cup full of coins, instead of beer. Vivian got scolded by the old lady behind the counter because she threw the Skee ball instead of rolled it. It was last call. The girls left unhappy, they didn't get the stuffed whale or the glass doll. The tradition of going to the arcade down the shore is lost on me. We headed straight for the beach after that and walked off that energy. We collected shells, splashed each other and took the ocean in - all of its beauty.
The girls could hardly contain themselves. It was the first time that they had their own spending money to buy trinkets. I had no idea of how obsessed they would become over shopping. It took center stage, and I was annoyed. Not all was lost, they learned a great deal about money. Especially Ella who spent all her money on one thing. I tried to talk her out of it, but no, her mind was set, she was buying that doll. It was Mom who suffered, I was the one who had to cheer her up (aka listen to her whine) the rest of the days while her little sister shopped away buying shells, a pink dolphin, stickers and butterfly wings. I bought myself this book and a pair of earrings shaped like flip flops.
I read a book for the first time at the pool since Ella was born. I kept yelling over to them in the pool "Girls, look at me, I am reading my book." It helped to curtail their "Hey Mom look at me, I can splash!" But when I was really impressed with their new trick I'd tell them not to forget to show Dad, he wants to see too. Geir relaxed, read newspapers, magazines, built a sand castle with the girls and was a safe pilot for Vivian who wasn't sure about the double-bike ride. It was all good. My favorite part was coming home feeling relaxed and happy. We went to our favorite diner in Philly on the drive back and ate ham and cabbage with boiled potatoes. We took vanilla cake home to eat later. It was decadent. I am not bragging, I am rejoicing! Life is good and it feels great to notice it, be with it and share it.
We all fell fast asleep that night.
Everyone has a happy glow today and in a bit we'll walk up to the farmer's market, play outside with neighbors and eat homemade food. I'll put a few loads of laundry in, and I might even start a new felted mural.
I look forward to this summer.
This was our very first stay. Click here to see.