Ten Things That I Am Grateful For in Cape May

Motivated by Harry Hurley of Atlantic County, New Jersey, I decided to pen the ten things I am grateful for in Cape May. I say motivated because I have been carrying this inspiration for weeks, but I needed the tipping point to start typing.

Ten Things That I Am Grateful For in Cape May

My list is a compilation of both personal and professional reflections. Encouraged in part by a text this morning from a good friend. “Sometimes you must stop and think what a beautiful area we live in, and we must look at things.”  In other words, living in Cape May County on a bad day is better than living somewhere else.

My Family

One of the first things I am grateful for is my family. My wife Suzanne, along with three cats and now Margo Mae the Shih Tzu, make up our household. In our 36th year of marriage, I am grateful that we cling to what’s essential. That is each other. Yet she gives me the freedom to pursue my career, with its long hours. This includes living almost 15 years behind a front desk.

Hospitality Business

I am a man who has been blessed not once but twice with jobs he has loved. “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life,” Mark Twain said.  Working at the Victorian Motel exposed me to Cape May from the beginning. My exposure led me to the Chamber of Commerce, which put me on the Sea Crest ownership radar.

Ambassador is another title some bestow upon me. I am really grateful for promoting Cape May without fear of competition from other hotels. Hotels in Cape May provide so many jobs. Jobs that allow people to settle down roots in Cape May County.

Hotel businesses provide the catalyst that fuels many of the other mom-and-pop stores and coffee shops that support other families in the area.

Music Specifically

To say I was grateful for the arts in Cape May would be too broad a brush if you’ll allow a pun. Seven nights a week in Cape May, you can find live music. Off-season may only be at the Mad Batter. But in-season, you can find live music everywhere—the Brown Room, Boiler Room, Harry’s, Elaine’s, etc. You get the picture.

What I am really, really grateful for are the performers. People who reveal their heart and soul for our enjoyment.

Sunrises and Sunsets.

The psalmist wrote, “the heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Sunrises and sunsets on Cape May take you away from yourself. Even if not spiritual to you, the beauty they provide speak of something larger than ourselves. If you’re still reading, I am grateful to you too.

Animal Outreach and Cape May County Rescue

For those that take care of the kitties, both feral, stranded, and unfortunately dumped. Without them, Eli, Jacob, and big mouth Silas, whose cries saved an entire litter, would not be in my home. Earlier I mentioned Margo Mae, who was adopted from Cape May County in May. I didn’t think I would get another dog after Joy.

Places to Eat in Cape May County

Cape May and the immediate area are home to many fantastic eateries. In fact, more keep opening, like Grana and Ferry Park’s Look Out. Places to eat in Cape May that are both independent and part of hotels provide residents and visitors with so many options. Whether it’s wing night at the C-view or Key West Tripple tail at the Cricket Club, there is something for everyone.

Beaches, Marshes, and Marinas

We are blessed with so much natural beauty in Cape May. I am unsure if I am an introvert who likes people or an extrovert who enjoys solitude. Cape May can satisfy both sides. I am grateful for the opportunities for long walks in quiet resting places.

Our Visitors

Remember the quote from Mark Twain? Treating visitors like visiting family or friends is more natural in my work. Arriving in Cape May county initially as a tourist provides a great perspective on what they go through to get here. I appreciate you.

The Locals

Those who were born here and those who have lived here all year, I am grateful for you. You provide history and perspective on times when Cape May rolled up the sidewalks in the offseason. You know who you are.

My Audience and Supporters

Hey you, I am grateful for your support if you have read this far. I recently walked into a bar ( no joke). A musician, we will say his name was Terry, announced my presence. A complete stranger stood up and introduced himself as a follower. He then proceeded to introduce me to every member of his family. The gentleman explained he follows me on social media and perhaps reads this blog occasionally. For him, for you, and Terry, I am grateful.


Hopefully, for you, this was a quick read. Welcome to 2023. There are 362 days left to be grateful. What are you grateful for? Let me know in the comments.




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  1. bob Hoogmoed
    January 3, 2023 / 11:57 am

    Very well said John. I enjoyed your articles. Thank you for the time you put into promoting and sharing the Cape May experience.

    • January 3, 2023 / 1:07 pm

      Thanks Bob, see you around town.

  2. j.denise Stryjewski
    January 3, 2023 / 12:53 pm

    John thank you for all your posts on capemay and keeping us updated on things going on in town capemay will always be in my heart ❤️

    • January 3, 2023 / 1:06 pm

      Thank you Denise. Happy New Year.

      • January 3, 2023 / 9:35 pm

        Happy New year to you and Suzanne and all your fur babies ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  3. Maryellen
    January 3, 2023 / 2:04 pm

    When the next opportunity arises, I’m going to introduce myself too.

  4. Deb Francesco
    January 3, 2023 / 5:04 pm

    Hi John.
    Facebook introduced us and I am happy to enjoy your blog and comments on FB and have had the pleasure of staying at both the hotels you worked at. I have since purchased a summer home close by (unfortunately can’t afford cape May city ). I look forward to meeting your wife and Margo. I was lucky
    enough to meet Joy before she passed. Im so happy you saved another, as I’m sure Margo is as well. I look forward to eventual retirement near beautiful Cape May and seeing you all around town.
    Happy New Year!

  5. Theresa Lane
    January 7, 2023 / 1:44 am

    Very Nice! Always enjoy what you write.
    Happy New Year.