Monday, May 31, 2010

First Beach Trip of the Season!!

This weekend my dog Macy experienced her first vacation to the beach! 

She saw the ocean for the very first time and dipped her precious paws into the Atlantic!

On Saturday, Macy and I packed our bags, picked up my friend Rebecca, and jetted off to Wildwood, New Jersey.

When we arrived, my wonderful Aunt Tess and Uncle Fred were sitting out on the porch to welcome us.

The place they had rented is a family favorite, for it's friendly to dogs, overlooks a beautiful lake, and has a fabulous heated pool, making it suitable for any time of year!

Sunday Mass at the beautiful Church of the Assumption was in close walking distance, and Rebecca and I savored the little Catholic gift shop in the vestibule before going in.  Having a fancy for Scapulars, I bought the most beautiful 5-Fold Scapular that I have seen yet, with each wool square having a different and unique design or picture sewn into it.

We decided to sit close to the front in this large, beautiful church, and this afforded us the chance to receive a little something special when we went up to receive Communion.  Each of us received a piece of the large host that was held up by the priest during the consecration.  I always consider myself lucky when that happens!  :)

Then the four of us went to Cape May, an adorable little coastal town where the buildings are cute, the colors are bright, and where the breeze brings upon you a hint of the taste of saltwater, plus the feeling that the pace of life here is slower and much more savory.  I think this may have been my first time visiting it!

My Aunt Tess took us to see a memorable place from her childhood, the St. Mary by the Sea Convent for the Sisters of St. Joseph.  It was absolutely beautiful.  We also drove by the Cape May lighthouse.

Cape May has a wonderful dog-friendly place called Sunset Beach, and taking Macy onto it and watching her reactions to such a majestic sight was certainly an honor! 

She was a bit afraid of the waves coming in, but she dipped her paws in the Atlantic and tried her best to follow me into the water (until, of course, a wave came and scared her back onto my beach blanket).

Out in the water were the distinctive remains of a shipwreck.  The wreckage was so close to us that I could see the interior of the ship and some of its side windows. 

The S.S. Atlantus was an experimental concrete ship that used to transport home our World War I soldiers. 

It was was later deemed inefficient due to its weight and was retired in 1920.  It was brought to Cape May to function as a historic docking station, but a storm in 1926 pulled it away from its moorings -- and it has been slowly disappearing under the water ever since.

But, because of its presence in the water, something delightful started happening. 

The patterns of the water current changed slightly, and--as a result--beautiful cream-colored stones started washing onto the shore.  And when these are polished and cut, they become what is known as beautiful Cape May Diamonds (although they are not real diamonds).

I inherited one of these beauties when I was a little girl.  I'm pretty sure I have a full carat.  I will have to ask my mother, for I think I may have inherited it from my great Uncle Albert.  The story goes that he found the diamond in the rough on the beach, took it to a jeweler, and the result was a beautiful stone which I ought to have set in a ring or something!