Crowded and cold

Whenever we travel we need to make choices matching best places to visit with the best time of year to be there.  We prefer to visit places when the weather is warm, and there’s little chance of rain. Planning our 9-month road trip meant that we were going to have to compromise our standards for weather.  When we took off and drove through the desert, it was WAY…TOO…HOT, but in South Dakota and Minnesota the weather was close to perfect.

When we plotted out the stops on our long trip a year ago, we decided to add Cape May, New Jersey – a seaside town at the very southern tip looking out to the Atlantic Ocean. The weather there is perfect in the summer with crowds filling the sandy beach.   For a perfect peak season beach vacation there is a price to pay:  it’s hard to get seated at the restaurant of your choice and the expense to stay in the most humble abode would cause you to gasp. So we chose to visit Cape May in the off-season.  “How bad could a visit be in early November?” we asked ourselves.

At this time of year the only crowds were the birds, sanderlings in this case, a common shorebird.  Luckily for us, we could walk the beaches and see very few people.

Because everyone wants an ocean view on Beach Avenue, the painted houses are almost touching.

The first few days the weather was glorious, and we took a long walk on the beach only seeing a few people.  How lucky to have come to Cape May in the off-season!

The next day the temperature dropped and every day after got a little colder.  Clouds blocked that lovely sun and finally the rain started. We stayed inside for a day while the weather did its thing: bumping up the humidity.

We ventured out the next day to our own rain-induced maintenance issue, when Beth’s Sony RX100 II camera froze on a day’s outing in a nature reserve by the sea.  The camera battery and memory card were removed, and all were set out in the driest, warmest location in the apartment.  We waited.  A day later, with hope, the camera was reassembled.  Beth tapped the “on” button and heard the magical click of the camera coming to life.  It had worked!  We don’t know if this is temporary or if the camera is now back to normal, but we’re enjoying having it back with us on our walks.

Along with the cold, the wind picked up.  We put on our hats and gloves.  We wore layer upon layer to stay warm.  As we walked down a little used road, we’d been thinking maybe it was a strange time to visit Cape May.  Then we saw something ahead in the road. Could it be a little yellow ball?

When we got closer we could see a broken hard boiled egg shell with the white still inside at the side of the road.  There, perfectly placed in the exact center of the road, sat the round yolk.


We walked on and spent our last day strolling through Cape May Point State Park and observing birds, enjoying the quiet.

Staying in Cape May during off-season had been risky.  We enjoyed the lack of crowds of people and the presence of “crowds” of birds, but the windy, cold and rainy days left us yearning for warmth.  Should we head further south?


November 2018

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
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9 Responses to Crowded and cold

  1. icelandpenny says:

    I like off-season, especially in places that bulge with tourists in-season. You pay the price of poor weather and fewer amenities/attractions — but you gain the feeling of being in a real town, with real people; of being backstage instead of out front in the audience, watching the performance.

  2. plaidcamper says:

    On balance, I’d take the cold and fewer people over crowded beaches! I visited Cape May in October, when it was sunny, but there was a chill wind for the few days we were there.
    Hopefully, you’re warming up nicely as you head south…

  3. We try to embrace whatever the weather gods throw at us. Having said that, I sure wish it would have been warmer in Kazakhstan 3 weeks ago! And boy have we had a lot of rain in Spain the past few weeks. But the trade off, as you said, is no crowds at even the most popular tourist spots so it makes visiting much more enjoyable. And of course you have each other to help stay warm 😄.

    • Our travel is almost always based on the best time of year to go to the places we want to go to. But there’s no getting around the fact that a 9-month road trip in North America is going to include some places in off-season. We walk everywhere we are – but high winds and rain really dampens the enthusiasm when the plan is to be outdoors. Looks like you solve the problem with lots of museum visits.

  4. Good to hear the camera decided to do its thing again. I wonder how long that hard boiled yolk lasted before someone ran over it. Nice to have the beaches to yourselves.

  5. Pleased to hear that the camera was just ‘packing a temporary sad’ Head south before it snows.

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