I’m sure whatever piece of legislation created Presidents’ Day had more lofty thoughts than just a holiday or a big sale. As a matter of fact, I still remember when George and Abe each had their own day, so don’t let today’s schoolchildren know they’re getting shortchanged.
It’s really hard to moan about how we all need a break from winter, considering the relatively mild weather we’ve had, but that’s what Presidents’ Weekend symbolizes for many people. It gives us a long weekend in the middle of February to hope the worst of winter is behind us. Of course, if you want to throw in with that Pennsylvania rodent, winter really is behind us. And if he’s right and spring is just around the corner, Presidents’ Weekend is a good time to celebrate.
Here at the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC), we’ve begun to stir again. For a few weeks after the holidays, the Physick Estate is a pretty quiet place with only a handful of cars in the parking lot and far fewer feet treading the stairs in the mansion. It’s our time to regroup, clean, spruce up and plan and sometimes it seems like that “winter” time doesn’t last long enough.
Presidents’ Weekend, Feb. 16-18, is as welcome to us as it is to our visitors. It’s good to see our trolleys back on the streets again, the doors to the shop and the gallery exhibit open, and people waiting on the porch of the Physick House to take that step back into time that comes with every tour. This house has a remarkable story to tell about Cape May and its residents in the Victorian era, and it’s a welcome sight to see visitors once again.
The Cape May Lighthouse reopens and a climb to the top is a perfect way to warm up those winter-lazy muscles. Admit it. Those resolutions to eat right and exercise with a brisk walk every day went out the window the first time the thermometer dipped below 40. Then you chipped and dipped through the Super Bowl and sweetened up with Valentine’s Day, so 199 steps up the spiral staircase is just what the doctor ordered.
Shopping is, too, exercise! There’s all that walking. Carrying those bags…I’ve walked off a pound already. So, head for Cape May Convention Hall on Feb. 16-17 for the Crafts & Antiques in Winter Show for your weekend work-out.
There’s more for the weekend that we just can’t disguise as exercise (like eating chocolate at the Chocolate Lovers Feast), but it’s sure a lot of fun for the winter-weary, with winery tours, trolley tours, a Cape May Wine Trail and Wine School class, and more.
Around town, restaurants will be reopening and owners of B&Bs and hotels in town will begin preparations for the season ahead. Like us, they’re happy to see the trolleys trundling around town again. The pulse of the town begins to speed up as it stretches and yawns after its brief winter nap. And the beach is calling, even in winter. For those of us who live here because of it and those who wish they did, the sandy beaches of Cape May exert a tremendous pull and we’ve been away from them long enough.
We need a long weekend. Thanks, George. Thanks, Abe.
--Jean Barraclough is manager of publications & website at MAC