New Jersey, often bashed by the rest of the country, but now with it’s governor the (little?) darling of so many, was home to the Mannix family twice during our many moves. I had a lovely day driving the highways and byway I know so well; even seeing the refineries on I-95 felt homey. I spent a happy evening with my Jersey relatives, the ones whom we abandoned when we moved north to Boston and we miss dearly. They aren’t my only Jersey relatives, I did leave a daughter in South Jersey, but does that really count as Jersey? Those of us who lived north of Trenton know the answer.
I blasted Bruce whilst driving down the shore to Cape May. In the seven plus years that we lived in New Jersey, I had never been to its southern point. Travel soccer with three kids took us all over central and northern NJ, but no game, no leagues and no tournaments made us venture south of Fort Dix. I was in uncharted territory. The New Jersey Pinelands encompass a million acres of wetlands, forest and farms; it is a national preserve. After miles and miles of scrub pine forest with an occasional open expanse of wetland, I arrived in Cape May. A beautiful little Victorian resort town which in mid-March is quiet but I still enjoyed a nice walk along the ocean and visited a couple of shops.
My evening was spent in the company of my oldest and her fiancé. We had a delicious dinner at Keg & Kitchen, 90 Haddon Avenue in Westmont. The tap selection was worthy and we had a window seat which allowed us to watch the line at the Rita’s across the street grow longer all evening. It was the first night of spring and Rita’s gives away free Italian ice, an event that was sacrosanct in our little town.