Menu - Cape May NJ Travel Guide and Vacation Planner Blog

Month: November 2012

Annual Congress Hall Christmas Tree Donated by Local Man

Local Man Donates 30 foot Tree for Annual Congress Hall Holiday Celebration

Congress Hall’s Christmas tree is a time honored Cape May tradition. This year’s tree was donated by Mr. John Gerolstein, a local resident of Cape May. Workers cut down the 30-foot Blue Spruce Evergreen on Monday, November 19th and then transported it the short distance to Congress Hall.  The tree is now up on the Grand Lawn in all its’ splendor. The Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place Friday, November 30th. According to Mr. Gerolstein, the evergreen became known to family and neighbors as the “picture tree” because each year the family would decorate it and take their holiday photos in front of it. Those photos are now some of the Gerolstein family’s most treasured.  Mr. Gerolstein estimates the tree to be about 30 years old, although he and his family moved into the house about 18 years ago.  Mr. Gerolstein decided to donate the tree because it has become too big for the yard.  The Gerolstein family spent many holiday seasons in Cape May, and are now happy to contribute to Congress Hall’s annual celebration so other families can enjoy taking photos and creating memories with the “picture tree.”

At left: John Gerolstein, Heidi Belnay (Gerolstein), and Garrett Belnay in front of the “picture tree.”

MAC Christmas Tree Lighting Saturday, Nov. 17 at the Physick Estate

The first of Cape May’s three Christmas Tree Lightings took place Saturday at the Physick Estate grounds. The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts event kicks off the holiday season on the Island and  kids were thrilled to see Santa arrive just in time to pull the  switch and light the giant tree. Visitors could also enjoy the Old-fashioned Christmas exhibit in the Carriage House Gallery as well as caroling and refreshments.

Thanksgiving in Cape May

What restaurants are serving Thanksgiving dinner in Cape May?

Let it be known that Cape May is open and ready to welcome any and all who might be looking for a Thanksgiving retreat.

Most of the B&Bs and hotels are open through the holidays and many of our great restaurants are taking reservations. Over at Congress Hall for example you can dine by the fireside in the Blue Pig Tavern. They are offering three delicious courses featuring Butternut Squash Bisque, Roast Turkey with all the fixings, Maple-Glazed Short Ribs with Candied Yams, and Traditional Thanksgiving Desserts from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. for $39 per person. Over in Congress Hall’s Ballroom, a buffet-style dinner is being served from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. for $32 per person. You can enjoy traditional Thanksgiving favorites like Roast Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing and traditional desserts. Reservations for both bountiful events are required. Call 609-884-8421.

Over at the elegant Virginia Hotel on Jackson Street, the Ebbitt Room is serving a Classic Thanksgiving Dinner. The menu features traditional Thanksgiving staples for all to enjoy. Guests only need to choose one item per course from the multi-course Thanksgiving Prix-Fix Menu. ($60 per person, $35 extra for wine pairing per person). Call 1-800-732-4236.

Those staying in the Cape Resorts cottages can have a home-style dinner without all the fuss of cooking it themselves. Ebbitt Room Chef Micari offers two packages – Gourmet Thanksgiving To-Go and A Very Customized Thanksgiving. Gourmet Thanksgiving to-Go allows cottage guests to order a fully-prepared, gourmet, packaged meal to be delivered hot on or before 2pm. If guests choose to eat later, the meal comes with re-heating instructions and a personal note from Chef Micari. (Must be ordered a day in advance; $45 per person).

In the category of A Very Customized Thanksgiving: Select cottage guests are invited to prepare their own Thanksgiving meal at their leisure. Simply pre-order this Thanksgiving meal package prior to arrival and all necessary ingredients will be stocked in the cottage’s kitchen pantries. Menus and recipes will be available in advance with a note and instructions from Chef Micari. ($45 per person). For more information on these packages or to make reservations call 609-884-8421.

Over at Aleathea’s on Ocean Street, located in the historic Inn of Cape May, a select menu is offered to diners, with six items to choose from, complete with whole turkeys carved tableside, served family style and yes, you can take home the leftovers, which as anyone knows are the very best part of any Thanksgiving turkey dinner. Aleathea’s is open from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. For reservations call 609-884-5555.

Union Park Dining Room on Beach Avenue, located in The Hotel Macomber, is serving a four-course dinner. Adults $39/children $19. Call 609-884-8112 for reservations.

The Washington Inn on Washington Street, will be open from, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and offering an a la carte menu. For reservations call 609-884-5697.

The Merion Inn on Decatur Street is offering a Thanksgiving Day menu complete with appetizers, several entrees to choose from and desserts. A la carte menu includes two sides with entrée. Full course dinner prices include two sides, plus appetizer and dessert. For reservations and seating times call 609-884-8363 or visit

The Peter Shields Inn, aka PSI, is hosting a Thanksgiving dinner from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. with three special courses at a prix fixe of $60 for adults and $25 for children. For reservations call 609-884-9090. For a peek at their holiday menu visit

Off Island, Rio Station in Rio Grande on Route 9 is open Thanksgiving and serving your Choice of ham or turkey – $16.99 Adults, $10.99 Kids. Refills on adult platters, $8.99. Served from 2:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. For reservations call 609- 889-2000.

Well that ought to get your taste buds salivating. If you find a restaurant that we missed, please let us know. In the meantime, start packing your weekender luggage and come down to Cape May for good food, good wine and the best sunsets anywhere around.

Gobble, gobble!!

Growing and Training With Love!

This month’s Good Read: The Dog’s Mind – Understanding Your Dog’s Behavior by Bruce Fogle, D.V.M., M.R.C.V.S. This book is a slow read, since it has so much interesting information which is explained and backed up by research. Also, because the information is a little heavy or technical, while at once extremely interesting – you will want to think about the information rather than skim through it. You will probably go back to sections periodically, even when you have finished reading the book.


In August we talked a little about choosing the right breed for your life style and likes, or choosing a “mutt” who will, likewise, fit into your family like a hand in a glove. After choosing your new puppy/dog, you want to infuse all the love you can into growing, training, and adjusting to the family as a full fledged happy member. Your dog will surely thank you for it, as they love you unconditionally.

Guinness and Jamison

First of all, when you get your new puppy/dog home, plan to visit your vet as soon as possible. This is such an important step, whether you are adopting or taking in a puppy or an older dog. You and your new dog need to establish a growing and knowing relationship with your vet, one based in mutual and comforting trust. Your vet will be your dog’s and your best friend! Your vet can discuss and help you with information about vaccines, what’s needed and what’s not needed; parasites and treatment; feeding schedules and dog foods; training and socialization; crating; puppy/doggie proofing your home; grooming; microchips; any common breed specific ailments; and so much more. Any question you may have to make your dog’s welcome into your home the best it can be, your vet can help you with. This is also a good opportunity to find out about items, plants, foods, which may be toxic to your newest family member, for example, no chocolate, no grapes, etc.

Your vet will be able to advise you as to what vaccinations are needed and on what schedule they should be given. Dogs, like people, react differently to shots and checkups and your vet will know the best way to handle your dog’s first visit, and his/her vaccination schedule. The first visit will also help to establish an ease and comfort with future visits.

Our dogs Guinness and Jameson love to go to the vet since they get treats just to get on the scale. Geez, how much easier and more fun can it be! Many dogs need to be treated and checked annually for worms and other parasites. Your vet can also recommend medications for fleas, ticks, and heartworm. Parvovirus can be fatal and your dog should be treated in accordance with your vet’s recommendation. All of this sounds so complicated and scary, but that’s why a relationship with your vet is so very important both for your puppy’s/dog’s health and happiness, and for your peace of mind and happiness.


Your new dog/puppy will be anxious to explore and will find all kinds of things of interest, or things with which to occupy themselves if you are not paying attention – to play with, to chew, and to eat! When we first got Guinness and Jameson, we were in the yard with them, not wanting to leave them by themselves in a new, big yard with lots to explore and get into – like a pond! Before we knew what happened, Guinness started to stagger and became very listless. We didn’t actually see him eat anything or do anything to cause this, but we knew something was suddenly very wrong. We took both dogs to the vet, where we had just been a week or so before for our initial visit. The vet did an x-ray. There was a definite blockage in the digestive system. The vet did a few other tests, questioned us as to what he could have possibly swallowed. We brought them home with instructions to watch both of them closely, and to return the next morning. He improved as the day went on and next morning he was fine. Apparently, he had swallowed a small pear that had fallen from our pear tree. It initially had blocked his digestive tract but then it had digested! He was back to running and exploring with Jameson. This time it was nothing toxic, fortunately, but for a puppy, a digestive problem, nonetheless, and a real scare for us, especially since we thought we were watching! Since he was a puppy, and since I did not actually see him eat the pear, even though I was outside with him, I had no idea what it was until after seeing the vet to make sure it wasn’t a different, more serious problem. Because we had already been to the vet, our vet knew Guinness and Jameson, and Guinness and Jameson knew our vet, making a very scary experience one that we all were able to get through a little better because we knew we were in good hands.

Visiting your vet is the foundation for a good future. When your puppy/dog gets to know your vet, learning friendship and trust, it makes every vet visit to follow an easier, happier experience for you and for your puppy/dog, and a happier healthier dog for loving!

When traveling with your dog, be sure to inquire about a trusted local vet, just in case!

Happy Doggy Thanksgiving, and remember that some table foods may be great for you, but not for your dog and his/her digestive health. Careful about what you feed your dog from your table, and how much, and you’ll all have a much happier holiday!

Mahaney Wins Cape May Mayoral Election by 12

Mayor Edward Mahaney

Dr. Edward J. Mahaney, Jr. was officially reelected  mayor by a 12 vote margin. The Cape May County Clerk’s office issued the final tally for Cape May City Wednesday night.  Mahaney garnered 50.38% of the electorate or 668 votes. Mahaney’s challenger, Rusty Chew was the loser with 49.47% or 656 votes.

The election had been too close to call and the time to receive absentee and provisional ballots was extended by Gov. Chris Christie in consideration of  Hurricane Sandy and the interruption of mail service it caused.

About an hour after the polls closed, City Manager Bruce Macleod announced the results. At that time, Mahaney, who ran against retired Cape May Police sergeant Rusty Chew, was two votes behind – 545-547. However, once the absentee ballots were counted the vote stood at 666 for Mahaney to 647 for Chew.

This is Mahaney’s fifth win and second four-year term.

This municipal election marked the first time it was rolled into the general election. Prior to this year, municipal elections were held in May. The move was voted on last year in an effort to save the taxpayers money.