Saturday, October 29, 2016

Cape May with the Herb Society of America

We've been catching up with things around here, but I wanted to write about our trip to Cape May last week, for the HSA regional meeting.  I'm an "at large" member because I am not cut out for regular meetings, etc., but when I got the notice for the Cape May gathering AND the opportunity to cover the expenses by vending, it took me all of 3 minutes to sign up.
Cape May was our mother's favorite shore point.
Our kids really didn't know about boardwalk foods and shops and arcades until they were old enough to go with their friends.  Instead, we'd get up at dawn and walk along the beach between the very end of town and the lighthouse at Sunset Beach.  Shops are in the center of town, in a 3 or 4 block area called "the mall" and there are great restaurants serving delicious seafood all around.
We got there Friday and set up our table.

 Then there was a reception and snacks while people came in and registered for the event.  Lots of yummy treats made and provided by our hosts, the Mid-Atlantic District.  I wish we had asked hotel management for some serving and eating utensils, though...
Afterwards, we went for a short, foggy walk on the beach

before heading out to the pier where our favorite restaurant - The Lobster House - was sporting a 45 minute wait (worth it).  Their dessert display is below.  We were too full and too tired to partake.  How's that for pathetic?
We went back to the room ready to pass out. 
The next day flew by.  I think 10 districts were represented, and we heard about all the work they do.  Pictured is Rae McKim

(current board president) seated at the front, speaking to the group about where we are, what we're doing, and where we're going.  We had brisk day of sales in between speakers, and before we knew it, the meeting was over and we were headed for the trolley into the mall.

We grabbed a bite to eat at Fins on the mall.

Seafood flatbread with a salad - not too shabby.
The mall was completely decorated for Halloween.
 It was really pretty, particularly since where we live, Halloween has become almost invisible.
So that was really fun to see.
Shopping, we picked up some fudge for the cat-sitter, looked at this gorgeous morel mushroom ornament, and then we were just done.
  It was freezing out.  We'd been sick the whole week leading up to this shindig, and although there was a ghost tour we were really looking forward to later on, we grabbed a cab and went back to our warm hotel room.
The next day we were on our own until noon.  We had breakfast at a diner where we used to take the kids as wee ones, shopped some more (got Drunken Botanist, by Amy Stewart), and found out that there would be an hour of trick or treating in the mall, followed by a parade that was heading to the same place we were headed for a tea - The Physick Mansion.  The proprietress at Good Scents let us know that we needed to be on the road well before 3, because we'd be in the middle of a huge event.  Good to know!
So off we went to the mansion.  The grounds were decorated for the occasion.
 Some of them were spectacular.  They were done by area businesses.
Some were pretty terrible, really.  That's all I'll say about that, but honestly we were shocked. 
In we went, through the gift shop, into the tent set up for our group.  I was disappointed that we didn't set foot in the actual mansion.  An actor playing Dr. Physick had spent 15 minutes with us on Friday during the reception, but he wasn't there during the tea.
  We are accustomed to our own near and dear friend's tea room (Sweet Remembrances in Mechanicsburg) so we're really spoiled by things like presentation and having the various courses explained as to what it is that we're eating.  This was much less personal.  But we ate, and then we hot-footed it out of town before the parade got there.
We were home before dark.

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