Don’t miss the last few chances to take a magical sail on the A.J.Meerwald. This is a beautiful oyster schooner restored by the Bayshore Center at Bivalve NJ, and in Cape May only until September 3rd.
Combine the beautiful, graceful boat, the enthusiasm of the crew for their educational mission, and the graceful action of the craft slicing through the waves for a calm, transcendent, serene experience. This is not like a motorboat ride. This is unlike any other boat ride you’ve taken. Don’t miss it. Call now and chill.
Susan and I just visited Beach Plum Farm for the first time. Sometimes it takes us Cape Mayers a while to discover new local attractions. It is an organic farm, garden, gift shop, and restaurant owned by the Congress Hall / Virginia Hotel crowd. It is really beautiful. There’s a wooden barn-like building which houses a breakfast and lunch spot, a gift shop on the first and second floors, a produce stand, and some herb plants to take home. The building is flanked by a formal herb garden laid out as a parterre. There are pick-nick tables and chairs and benches to sit among the flowers. There are golf cart tours of the grounds.
Beach Plum Farm is an idyllic country experience only a couple of miles from Leith Hall. It’s beautiful. It’s calm. And it’s healthy. Come visit us and, when you need a break from the beach, visit the farm and it’s near neighbor Willow Creek Winery. The winery is another beautiful country spot, only a few yards from the farm. It includes a beautiful big building set up as a wine bar, restaurant, and wedding hall. Willow Creek also offers tours and grounds to relax in.
Don’t worry. Sherlock and Dr. Watson are here. It happens every year. The buds are swelling. The birds are chirping. Someone is mysteriously killed. Friday evening, March 18, everyone will gather and one of their number will be snuffed out. The characters are acting suspicious. Saturday, you get to tour through lots of Cape May bed and breakfasts (including Leith Hall, of course) searching for clues. Deduct (or guess) who’s the villain and see if you are right. Sunday morning there will be honors and prizes galore.
Leith Hall is participating in this year’s Sherlock Holmes Weekend, presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts. Go online at www.leithhall.com to make your reservations now. Then either email Janice Coyle at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to their website www.capemaymac.org to buy your package tickets. Let them know that you’re staying with us and your room will be paid for through the package.
It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. No, I take that back. It was just the best of times – at the Cape May Dickens Christmas Extravaganza. If you like a little culture with your Victorian vacation, consider coming to the Dickens Extravaganza, December 6, 7, and 8th. Dr. Elliot Engle has had a mini-series on PBS, and is a wonderful, entertaining speaker. Sunday evening, there will be a talk about Edgar Allan Poe and Dickens. Monday is a talk about Winston Churchill and another about the Bronte sisters.
Tuesday, Jay Friedlin of the Philadelphia Dickens Fellowship will lead a discussion about Nicholas Nickelby. Later, there’s a talk about Railways in the Victorian age. The afternoon and evening are filled with a fascinating talk about Dickens and the Jews, followed by a Dickens Feast at the spectacular Washington Inn.
Come stay with us at Leith Hall bed and breakfast for the full Extravaganza package. $435 Is the cost for the three night package for one person and a room and breakfast at Leith Hall. $631 is for a room, breakfast, and two participants in the full package. Give us a call for discounts on partial Dickens packages.
Halloween is here and the Creepy has started already. The first installment is the Phantom Ball at Congress Hall, this Friday October 30th. A $25 ticket will get you a specialty cocktail, a full desert and candy bar and admission to the after party in the Boiler Room.
That same evening, psychic Craig McManus will lead Midnight at the Physick Estate – talking about his ghostly discoveries and perhaps rousing a spirit or two. Two tours; Phantoms of the Physick Estate, which is a scary drama enacted in the house, and the Ghosts of Cape May trolley tour, which is a tour of town pointing out the many haunted houses of Cape May, will also be available for Friday October 30th and for weekends afterward. There are lots of other, less spooky, but no less wonderful things to do on that weekend. Willow Creek winery has fire-pit Fridays, where you gather around the fire in a gorgeous setting with food and drink. Cape May stage is presenting Trying, a great play that Suzie and I saw a couple of weeks ago.
Beach Plum Farm will have a sweet, low-key harvest festival. Darin MacDonald will be appearing at the Brown Room at Congress Hall; and the Washington Street Mall will be all prepared for your early Christmas Shopping to begin.
Winton Marsalis is coming to Cape May for this November’s Exit Zero Jazz Festival. I guess we finally have arrived. The greatest trumpeter and one of the greatest musicians in the world will be playing here with the Jazz at Lincoln Center orchestra. Not only that, but more legends like Bootsie Barnes and Buster Williams will be playing in the same festival. In fact, seventeen different groups will be participating. Go to the Exit Zero Jazz Festival website for all of the details and to order tickets online. Go to our bed and breakfast website to reserve your room or suite at Leith Hall bed and breakfast.
Can you Swing Dance? Can You Lindy? Can you Samba? It doesn’t matter. Tom Cupp will be there to teach you how to move with the best of them to the music of 1940s big band jazz. Suzie and I have been to the Naval Air Station Wildwood Big Band dance and it wonderful ! Young airmen and nurses dance, flip, and amaze. We just do a less athletic Lindy Hop.
Dance the night away
There’s food, music, and dancing from 7 P.M. To 10 P.M. Tom Cupp will teach Swing, Ballroom and Samba for us newbies; and prizes will be awarded for great 1940s costumes. Call at 609 886-8787 for tickets or go to their website and order on line.
Yesterday, Suzie and I and my sister-in-law Rena had the extraordinary experience of a sail aboard the A.J.Meerwald. It’s an oyster schooner from the 1920s, restored and operated by a not-for-profit organization as an educational institution, but that’s not what makes it so special. When you are aboard and leave Cape May harbor, the experience is magical. I know absolutely nothing about boats, but the feeling aboard the Meerwald is nothing like a ride on a motorboat. Instead of plowing through the waves, you slice through the water; ride along pulled by the wind in the sails.
It’s very sweet that the crew are earnest young people who are eager to share their information about the history of oystering, or the protection of watersheds and avoiding water pollution. It’s charming that the staff from the Bayshore Center are wonderful, enthusiastic hosts. But the real star is the boat. The ride on the Meerwald can lift a visit to Cape May from a pleasant vacation to a transcendent experience.
There are still sailings available out of Cape May Harbor, so call them at 856 785 2060, or go online at bayshorecenter.org. Hurry, there are only a couple of weeks left and there is no other experience like it. Of course, when youi visit Cape May to sail on the Meerwald, it would be nice if you stay with us at Leith Hall bed and breakfast.
LEITH HALL’S GREAT MIDWEEK SPECIAL 30% off the second night, now through mid-June
Midweek Special. Not only are there wonderful things to do in Cape May for the next month, but now it’s cheaper! We are offering 30% off your second night during the midweek. Remember, for us the weekend is Friday and Saturday night and the midweek is Sunday through Thursday night.
From May 24 through June 11 is the Cape May Music Festival, with Irish music, The Atlantic Brass Band, and a tribute to our own George Mesterhazy – featuring many musicians playing favorites from “The American Songbook.”
May 31 through June 7 is Restaurant Week in Cape May, with a host of food-related activities. There’s a progressive dinner, with each course in a different restaurant. There are contests among the chefs and waiters, a many special events with classes and demonstrations by the star chefs of Cape May. When you add Cape May’s wine and craft beer to the mix, it’ll be a fantastic experience.
Suzie and I were driving up the parkway two weeks ago on our way to visit my doctor’s office in North Jersey. I looked up and saw a solitary, enormous, raincloud hanging over the wetlands. The cloud was immense and the landscape was extraordinarily wide. I tried to memorize the scene to paint later when I got home. I just finished it. It’s the largest painting I’ve done in a few years; five feet wide and three feet tall. I’m pleased with the sense of depth in an essentially flat, featureless, landscape. And the color of the wetlands before they really turn green in the Spring.