Saturday, October 09, 2010

WWD Wine Festival

Mary and I made reservations for an overnight stay in Cape May, NJ to investigate the Cape May Wine Festival. We anxiously made it through the work week looking forward to bugging out of town and boarding the pups for some "us" time. Saturday is here and the wx looks great! We head to the normal place that we board our dogs and I have to listen to the vet tech tell me they need a wellness exam (to the tune of $85). I said your kidding right?, no they were serious. The dogs needed a "Kennel cough" shot since it's been a while and I was ok with that, but an exam to make sure they were healthy and could get the shot???? Gezzzz put a mask on at least if you want to steal my money.
Needless to say,in my typical hard headed you ain't taking my money attitude, I proceeded to call our regular vet and ask if they had room. When the tech heard the call (that I made at the counter) she said we can talk with the on call vet. Our regular vet had room for our furry monsters and I said thanks but no thanks to the boarding place and walked out, both dogs in tow. It was a few miles out of our way and we had to double back the same route to head to the airport. What a way to start things off.
We were finally on our way to the airport and we both felt good about our pups boarding with our vet. We rolled through the gates and the airport was packed with cars. Apparently there was a static airshow hosted by Red Eagle and we had no clue. While it was neat to see the ramp busy, I wasn't all that keen on people walking down the line of aircraft tied down and snooping in windows. Maybe by this time I just had an attitude on this morning and was looking for a bone to pick. Mary and I hadn't lost a beat when it came down to uncovering and getting ready to fly. It went as smooth as a nascar pit stop, the cover and plugs, bags unloaded and reloaded into the plane, the truck taken out to the parking lot and my preflight finishing up when Mary walked back in.
I had filed a flight plan for KWWD but it was just to nice out to be in the system when we could listen for traffic with Philly, Dover, Millville and Atlantic City. It was a short hop anyway and in 25 minutes we were rolling to a stop in front of the FBO, Big Sky. Ace Sharper had our rental car brought out to the ramp and we transferred bags and covered the aircraft. 08Romeo was safe and secure parked right out front of the Big Sky office and Clarance is top shelf when it comes to service and running the place, we had no worries.
Our rental was a white Hyundai Sonata, it was roomy and had a big trunk for all our bags and two folding chairs for the Festival. We gave some thought about checking in at the hotel first but it was to early. Instead we made our way to the Cape May Ferry Terminal and got in line to park. It was getting busy and we made the right call to stop here first. It was a short stroll from the admin parking lot to the terminal and the place was buzzing! We checked on my employee discount and got that squared away for the cruise ticket purchase and Mary picked up new sunglasses since hers got scratched. With all that taken care off we went out to hear the band and grab lunch.
We passed on purchasing tickets for the wine tasting since we were coming back for the sunset cruise and wine tasting event around 5pm. There were many tents set up for various wineries and different crafts. The craft tents had a few jewelry tables, various specialty cheese shops and a few olive oil type dipping sauce stuff, a pasta shop with every type of pasta you can imagine, yes, we even saw pumpkin pasta. I found my way to the eats and ordered an Italian sausage with onions and peppers, Mary had a lamb gyro, both sandwiches were great! We checked out as much as we could then decided to head to the hotel for check in and to freshen up for this evening.
I tried to be adventurous and took a new route to town. I was clueless but we had fun picking our way through the streets. Heck, once you cross one of the main bridges you can't go to far with out going into the ocean or the bay. We found our way to the Palace hotel and parking was brutal. Apparently there were two weddings booked for the weekend so the lots were full. I did find a place under cover of the building which made for an easy schlep of the bags to the front desk. Paperwork complete, keys in hand and we are on the elevator for the 4th floor, ocean view. Well we sort of had an ocean view, that is if you went out on the balcony which is on the side of the building but you could technically "see" the ocean, whatever, it worked for the overnight accommodations. We each took a short nap and then got freshened up for the cruise.
Once again on the road, back to the ferry terminal. We overheard a few folks talking in the elevator and they said the wedding reception would end around ten, good timing we figured, we would have a shot at some parking before they all got back, at least we had a plan. The festival activities were ending at 5pm as we drove back on the property. We headed directly to the terminal and the foot passenger parking and somehow managed to find a parking spot three cars in from the front doors, clean living I guess. We could see the ferry on its way in from Lewes Delaware and wandered our way up to the second floor for the walk on passenger loading tube. Mary and I were on the boat and heading upstairs to the "Crows Nest lounge" to pick out a table that faced west for the best sunset viewing, we were working the plan here. The room quickly filled up and another couple were seated next to us and Mary invited them to join us, they obliged.
Barbie and Don both from Cape May or he will be soon. Recently married this past July 4th. Don is working in new York and Barbie is working in Cape May at least for the next year or so....yikes!...and the price of gas for all that traveling. We had an absolute blast with our new found friends and it made the evening pass by very quickly. Mary and I had a great time, she sampled the wine and I enjoyed the hors d'oeuvre's and together I think we laughed all night. The hors d'oeuvres were duck wrapped in a light crispy/crunchy pastry dough, Lobster with some vege in there and a reduction sauce, chocolate truffles with nuts and sage and last, Rockford blue cheese with poached pears in a pear reduction sauce. That last combination required the all down the hatch at once to make it work, the cheese was really strong and had a bite to it but the pear offset it just enough to make it taste very good....go figure. Mary's favorite wine this evening was the Pinot Greggio and I did give the Riesling a shot and it was ok. Mary does not like red wine so she passed on those samples but was able to "sample" more of her favorite. I really don't like wine but I knew it would be a fun night out for the both of us and it turned out perfect.
We said our goodbyes and swapped info with Barbie and Don. Barbie wanted us to get in touch the next time in town so we can all get together....we all had a blast. Thankfully our parking spot was close and we had a short walk to the car. It was very cool out tonight and the breeze had a chill coming off the water. I took the normal route back to the hotel but we had a few laps to do for a parking space. There were none available at the building so I had to park on the street at a meter. I dumped in a few quarters to get us past the magic hour when the locals stop patrolling.
Sunday, October 10
It was soooooo nice to sleep in and NOT have to let the dogs out or feed them. The plan for today was to eventually get out of bed and head back to the airport. We talked about having breakfast local but instead took advantage of 08Romeo and flight planned for KCGE, Cambridge Maryland. We returned the rental, loaded the plane and got started. I did not open my IFR plan since it was so beautiful and we wanted to enjoy the ride together. We launched out of Cape May and circled the lighthouse and ferry terminal so we could gain some altitude for the Delaware Bay crossing. once satisfied with my altitude we pointed towards the waterloo VOR (just north of Lewes DE)and went feet wet....we crossed the Bay. It was a short hop maybe 30 minutes and I was announcing my position to enter the pattern at Cambridge. Traffic was light this morning and I entered midfield crosswind for the left down wind three four approach. A super smooth landing with plenty of stall horn as I held it off for most of the runway to save taxi time. I rolled with no brakes and made the last turn off in front of Kays restaurant.
Kays was packed as always with the locals and a few of us pilot folk. There was a V tail Bo on the ramp and a straight tail Cessna on floats too. It didn't take long for us to be seated and put our order in for breakfast. Mary had sausage and gravy, I had two over medium with crispy scrapple and grits. Food and service was excellent and we were ready to head home with full tummys. Mary said she felt like a full puppy, ready to take a nice nap, what a surprise.....NOT. I was in the air flying VFR home to Wilmington but had filed just in case I needed to pick up clearance in the air due to the presidential TFR over Philly. I was pretty sure we could be on the ground prior to 3:30pm. Mary, yeah she was out in no time with her little neck pillow in place. She woke up when I contacted Wilmington tower, about ten miles out.
It was a fun trip, a short hop and having the plane made it so easy. The thirty minute hop for breakfast by plane would have taken us about three and a half hours by car, no traffic. The trip from home to Cape May is two and a half hours by car and it took us twenty five ramp to ramp. We love flying and taking advantage of the time savings!!!!

1 comment:

Steve said...

I love October for flying weather! As always, great write-up and photos. We had a wedding this weekend (were gone Thu-Sun) so I was grounded but I'm planning on taking the Cub up tomorrow if it's available - I think it's illegal to not fly when we have this kind of weather.