Cape May Change Year End Blog Review

Cape May Change

This time last year I was holding a closely guarded secret. My wife Suzanne and a handful of cherished friends were the only ones aware that I had accepted a position at the Sea Crest Inn in Cape May.

It was one of those too good to be true, pinch your self moments. It was an exciting, nerve-wracking and anxiety-filled time.  Medicated with a calm degree of confidence that I was making the right decision.

In my life at 58 years of age, there weren’t many planned-out transitions. I was compelled to give a respectable amount of notice to my former employer, but not so much as to quicken the transition.  2018 finished strong, with a promising future in the new year. So did the Cookes.

Cape May saw many changes in 2019.

I blogged just over 25 times in 2019. Roughly twice a month on average.  Occasionally blogs were published into articles in the local newspaper.  The most frequently read blog from 2019 was about how Cape May works in the wintertime.  Nearly 8000 of you read that post. Congress Hall was going through changes in 2019 and I think the jury is in and we like the Brown Room.

The weather in Cape May always fascinates people. Last year’s polar vortex which brought a 14 degree low, made for some nice images. Let us hope that doesn’t repeat this January.

Cape May City leadership made some outstanding decisions in 2019. Creating a fare-free Jitney service, funded without taxpayer dollars was a brilliant move. At the same time, Cape May helped alleviate a small part of the dreaded parking problem. This clearly resonated with folks as thousands of you read that piece.

Writing about Coast Guard related issues is always a popular topic in this community. People have no idea of the double role the permanent party Coasties play in the neighborhood.

Achievable Objectives

The rest of the year largely surrounded the job change and personal changes attached. Tasked with providing leadership to well-established businesses and assimilating into a staff as the “new guy,” was daunting, but achievable.

My primary objective of establishing a property management system and bringing the Sea Crest online was challenging and rewarding. You can now book rooms with us without picking up the phone. 

Suzanne was able to pursue volunteerism, first with Habitat for Humanity and now at Cape Regional Hospital. In the Diabetes unit no less.

2020 is the start of a new decade. New beginnings and continued successes. I love reading about the changes others are experiencing in new positions.

If you’re on the fence about change in 2020, go for it.

Wishing you all the best in 2020





RE: Header image was an old Instagram image. A couple approaches me this fall in the Rusty Nail, “you photographed my husband on the beach and we loved it!”


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  1. Reen
    December 31, 2019 / 12:17 pm

    Great read as always John !!!!

    • December 31, 2019 / 12:23 pm

      Thanks Reenie….Happy New Year to you and the family.

  2. Hugh Murray
    December 31, 2019 / 12:32 pm

    Good blog John. As usual well thought out.

    • December 31, 2019 / 12:33 pm

      And you guys were featured in the first blog of 2019. How we work and party in Cape May

  3. David Greene
    December 31, 2019 / 12:41 pm

    Thank you so much, John, for the lovely and insightful year-round connection to Cape May your premier blog provides.

    One more time: Happy New Year to you and Suzanne! See you in 2020.


  4. Ronna
    December 31, 2019 / 1:00 pm

    Hey John, love the blog and your leadership at the job is one of the many blessings that I count for 2019.

    • January 1, 2020 / 8:52 am

      Thank you. Your majesty.

  5. Jeff and Michele
    December 31, 2019 / 1:21 pm

    You are the best John!

  6. Mary
    December 31, 2019 / 1:59 pm

    Always enjoy reading your blogs, John. So happy that your first year at the Sea Crest was a success. Good for You!!! And, good for Suzanne. You two are living the dream.

    When I opened this blog, I thought: “I recognize that picture!! Haha. Paul’s famous; John included his picture in this Blog!”

    Happy New Year. See you on Broadway, and the Rusty Nail!!!!

    Mary & Paul

    • January 1, 2020 / 8:52 am

      See you in 2020. I am glad you like the photo.

  7. January 2, 2020 / 11:21 am

    Congratulations on a great 2019! Good things follow in your Irish tracks!! 😉 Thanks for continuing to be the Ambassador and source for all things Cape May! I am honored to have become your friend over the past several years! Wishing you and Suzanne a fabulous “off season” and look forward to seeing you in the Spring!