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A Dickens Christmas in Victorian Cape May

Program Number: 10487RJ
Start and End Dates:
12/2/2012 - 12/7/2012;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Cape May, New Jersey
Price starting at: $699.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Holidays
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Where better to get into the spirit of a Victorian Christmas than Victorian Cape May, the nation’s first seashore resort? The city becomes a true Christmas village, with garlands, trees and twinkling lights. The customs and traditions we celebrate today all originated during this era, as local experts and educators will tell you as they bring a Victorian Christmas to life.




Highlights

• Learn about Charles Dickens and his beloved “Christmas Carol,” plus meet Victorian-era living history actors and enjoy a workshop on Victorian ornaments.
• Take an expert-led walk on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, designed by Frank Furness and authentically decorated for the season.
• Take a holiday trolley ride to enjoy the holiday lights and attend an elegant tea lunch at the Twinings Tearoom.



Activity Particulars

Walking a few blocks per day. Some stairs in historic homes.




Date Specific Information

12-2-2012

Dr. Eliot Engel of the North Carolina Charles Dickens Fellowship will join the program along with other Dickens experts from the Philadelphia and New York Charles Dickens Fellowships.



Coordinated by Explore New York, Corp.




Cape May

More than 600 authentically restored Victorian structures make up this National Historic Landmark City on New Jersey's southern shore. Dubbed the nation's "First Seashore Resort," Cape May has been welcoming visitors to its white-sand beaches since the 1800s. Also a birding "hotspot," Cape May attracts more than 400 species of birds a year.



Accommodations
A basic Victorian-era hotel with modestly sized bedrooms. Loaded with character and clean, and for people who value the experience of an authentic turn-of-the century hotel.
Meals and Lodgings
   Inn of Cape May
  Cape May, NJ 5 nights
 Inn of Cape May
Type: Boutique Hotel
  Description: Historic oceanfront hotel with wrap-around veranda for catching ocean breezes.
  Contact info: 7 Ocean Street
Cape May, NJ 08204 USA
phone: 609-884-5555
web: www.innofcapemay.com
  Room amenities: All rooms have private bath, heat, air-conditioning and TV. All rooms have the same basic amenities but differ in location and size. Assigned upon arrival, advanced requests for specific rooms and room change requests cannot be accommodated.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar, antiques shop in lobby. All rooms have the same basic amenities: private bath; heat; air-conditioning; television. However, this is an historic inn, so room configurations and outside views differ. Some rooms have a Cape May city-view; while others have an Atlantic Ocean-view. The room assignments are made randomly and will not be changed from one view to another.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Bathroom: Some rooms have tubs; some only showers.
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Varies by season Rates vary by season.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Varies by season Rates vary by season.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Program registration in hotel lobby 3PM to 5PM. Registration for guest rooms begins 4PM. Wine and cheese reception in dining room 5PM to 6PM. You will be staying at Inn of Cape May that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends at hotel after lunchtime (approximately 1:30pm). Box lunch available at 10am for early departures. You will be staying at Inn of Cape May the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Parking is free in hotel lot for guests. Participants will get a permit for their car at check-in. Free street parking is also available in the vicinity of the hotel.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Cape May, NJ
  Nearest city or town:  Atlantic City, NJ
  Nearest highway: Garden State Parkway
  Nearest airport:  Philadelphia International Airport; Atlantic City Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Cape May, NJ
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Atlantic City

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Royal Airport Limo
phone: 609-748-9777
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$85
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hour 

 

Distance:

 

50 miles

   

If two people are traveling together, it is usually more economical to rent a car, even though you don't need one in Cape May.

 

Philadelphia

 

From Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation
NJ Transit
phone: 973-491-9400

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$18.25
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

4 hours 

 

Distance:

 

100 miles

   

The hotel is about 3 blocks from the Cape May bus terminal. Local cab service is available: AArt's Taxi (609-898-7433) and AA Plus Cab, 609-889-9595.

 

Philadelphia

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Rapid Rover
phone: 856-428-1500
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$185
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

 

Distance:

 

90 miles

   

If two people are traveling together, it is usually more economical to rent a car, even though you don't need one in Cape May.

 

New York City

 

From Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation
NJ Transit
phone: 973-491-9400

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$33.25
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

5 hours 

 

Distance:

 

250 miles

   

The hotel is about 3 blocks from the Cape May bus terminal. Local cab service is available: AArt's Taxi (609-898-7433) and AA Plus Cab, 609-889-9595.

 
Driving Directions
  Baltimore, Washington DC I 95 to Delaware Memorial Bridge, to Rte 40 East, to Rte 55 South, to Rte 47 South, to Garden State Parkway South into Cape May. Follow Lafayette St. to Madison Ave.(first traffic light), turn left. Follow Madison Ave. to Beach Dr., turn right. The hotel is directly ahead on your right. or via the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, exit the terminal onto Rte 9, to Rte 109 South into Cape May. Follow Lafayette St. to Madison Ave.(first traffic light), turn left. Follow Madison Ave. to Beach Dr., turn right. The hotel is directly ahead on your right. (Approximately 3 hours from Baltimore and 4 hours from Washington.)
  New York Garden State Parkway South to Cape May. Follow Lafayette St. to Madison Ave.(first traffic light), turn left. Follow Madison Ave. to Beach Dr., turn right. The hotel is directly ahead on your right. (Approximately 3 hour drive.)
  Pennsylvania Walt Whitman or Ben Franklin Bridge to Rte. 42 South, to Atlantic City Expressway, to Garden State Parkway South into Cape May. Follow Lafayette St. to Madison Ave.(first traffic light), turn left. Follow Madison Ave. to Beach Dr., turn right. The hotel is directly ahead on your right. (Approximately 2 hour drive)
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Welcome to Cape May/Orientation Reading of "The Christmas Carol" by Dickens expert Dr. Eliot Engel
(Sunday, December 2)
   
 Afternoon: Program registration in hotel lobby 3PM to 5PM. Registration for guest rooms begins 4PM. Wine and cheese reception in dining room 5PM to 6PM with introductions and mini-orientation.
 Dinner: Dinner served in hotel dining room
 Evening: Performance: "A Christmas Carol" Dickens scholar Dr. Elliot Engel brings this holiday classic to life.
   
Accommodations: Inn of Cape May
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Dickens Lecture & Seasonal Readings Victorian Social History and Architecture Lectures Architectural Walking Tour Living History Performance
(Monday, December 3)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel. Choice of either a hot breakfast, oatmeal or cold cereal.
 Morning: An O. Henry Christmas- Dr. Engel returns to discuss the master of the short story by emphasizing the forces which shaped his unique and universally appealing fiction. Season's Spirits: The History and Mystery of Wine- Dr. Engel traces the ancient origins of wine and continues the story through the wide and often wild popularity of wine today. (Cape May Stage Robert Shackleton Playhouse, Lafayette & Bank Sts.)
 Lunch: Lunch at hotel
 Afternoon: Introductory lecture giving overview of Cape May history by local historian/educator. Richly illustrated lecture on Cape May's unique and unparalleled collection of Victorian architectural gems. Field trip through the historic district to see examples of architectural styles.
 Dinner: Dinner served in hotel diningroom
 Evening: Holly Trolley Ride. Board the MAC trolley for a guided experience through the charming gaslit streets of Cape May.
   
Accommodations: Inn of Cape May
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Dickens History and Victorian Social History Lectures/Free afternoon/Performance/staged reading
(Tuesday, December 4)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel. Choice of either a hot breakfast, oatmeal or cold cereal.
 Morning: Great Expectations: Jay Friedlin, president emeritus of the Philadelphia Dickens Fellowship, leads a discussion of Great Expectations Dickens & Poe (Puppet Show & Talk): Did you know Charles Dickens and Edgar Allan Poe met once in 1842? Herb Moskovitz from the Dickens Fellowship explores how the two authors interacted personally and professionally and how they influenced each other and changed literature forever.
 Lunch: Lunch at hotel
 Afternoon: Victorian Consuming Passions: The development of improvemts on our dining habits and preparations, Find out just what Mrs. Crachit feed Bob and why. (And just what Mrs. Dickens feed Charles for that matter.) “Dickens Illustrated”: James Armstrong gives a pictorial tour of the novels of Charles Dickens, focusing on the relationships Dickens had with his numerous illustrators, including Robert Seymour, Hablot K. Browne, George Cruikshank, Marcus Stone, Luke Fildes and others. We will take a close look at the interplay between text and image and examine how Dickens shaped the work of his illustrators, and vice versa.
 Dinner: A four course Dickensian feast will be served at the Washington Inn. Dine in the spirit of Charles Dickens.
 Evening: Free evening.
   
Accommodations: Inn of Cape May
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Lecture/Field Trip to Emlen Physick Estate/Lunch with Living History Program/Free Time/Living history performance
(Wednesday, December 5)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel. Choice of either a hot or cold breakfast.
 Morning: Brush up on your etiquette and manners during this presentation in the hotel to prepare you for a visit to Dr. Physick's home. Then enjoy by a guided field trip by trolley through Cape May's Historic District to see the Victorian homes dressed for the holidays, followed by a visit to the 1879 Emlen Physick Estate, Cape May's only Victorian House Museum, for a guided visit through the interior. Trolley shuttle transportation provided to and from hotel.
 Lunch: Lunch at one of Cape May's famous restaurants. After lunch, a small lecture / performance will be presented by a professional playwright and actor on how the literary works of the season, such as O'Henry's "Gift of the Magi" and Moore's "A Visit from Saint Nicolas" influenced generations on just what the holiday truly means to us all.
 Afternoon: The Physick Family - Dr. Emlen Physick, his mother Mrs. Frances Ralston and Aunt Emilie Parmetier, come to play a call on you at the hotel. They are prepared to share with you the news of what's happening in the Cape May of the Victorian era, including choice bits of gossip. They welcome questions about their world
 Dinner: Dinner served in hotel diningroom
 Evening: A professional actor will present "Sincerely Ebenezer" a one man adaptation of "A Christmas Carol."
   
Accommodations: Inn of Cape May
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Origin of Holiday Traditions Lecture & Workshop/Winery Field Trip, Holiday film and discussion/Holiday Performance
(Thursday, December 6)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel. Choice of either a hot breakfast, oatmeal or cold cereal.
 Morning: Most of the of the holiday traditions followed today got their start in the Victorian era. This richly illustrated slide lecture shows the origins of holiday traditions. The lecture is folowed by a hands-on workshop where you'll create your own Victorian-style ornaments. Includes all supplies and instruction booklet of Victorian holiday crafts.
 Lunch: Lunch at hotel
 Afternoon: Visit the Cape May Winery to learn about the winemaker's craft, from growing the vines, to harvesting, to blending the grapes. Followed by a tasting of these locally made wines. Trolley shutte transportation supplied to and from the Winery.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel
 Evening: Victorian views of Dickens "A Christmas Carol." Enjoy a screening of a vintage version of Dickens' famous work and discuss the reflections of life during his times.
   
Accommodations: Inn of Cape May
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Final Class Meeting
(Friday, December 7)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel. Choice of either a hot breakfast, oatmeal or cold cereal. Servers will take final count for box lunches.
 Morning: Final class meeting to review final exam. A visit from America's March King and Cape May favorite, John Phillip Sousa. Diplomas will be distributed. Opportunity for feedback with instructor/coordinator.
 Lunch: Lunch at hotel. Box lunch available at 10am for early departures.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Cape May, NJ Cape May County Historical Museum
(609) 465-3535, Museum and center of local geneological history For additional information, visit www.cmcmuseum.org
  Cape May Lighthouse
Museum of maritime history located in Cape May Point State Park For additional information, visit www.capemaymac.org
  Leaming's Run Gardens
(609) 465-5871. Largest blooming garden in US. For additional information, visit www.leamingsrungardens.com
  Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts
(609) 884-5404 or (800) 275-4278 For additional information, visit www.capemaymac.org
  Nature Center ofr Cape May
The Nature Center of Cape May was founded in 1992, with the twin goals of creating a responsible stewardship program for open space surrounding Cape May Harbor and providing environmental education for people of all ages. For additional information, visit www.njaudubon.org/Centers/NCCM/
  Naval Air Station Wildwood
Aviation Museum PHONE (609) 886-8787 For additional information, visit www.usnasw.org
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Victorian America: Transformations in Everyday Life


Author: Schlerth, Thomas


Description: A valuable and compelling portrait of the daily life of Americans during the Victorian era--the fourth volume in the Everyday Life in America series



The First Resort


Author: Ben Miller


Description: Coffee table book with great, rare archival photos and articles about Cape May's past. Cape May, at the tip of the Jersey Shore, goes from boom to bust and back again in this compelling almanac of lavishly illustrated and meticulous researched regional history. Beginning with an advertisement in a Philadelphia newspaper in 1801, city dwellers soon descended upon Cape May, introducing the concept of the American seaside vacation. Throughout the Civil War, both World Wars, and up to the modern day, the visiting population of America's evergreen travel resort has always been mixed across all social spectrums, from presidents and everyday people to renowned plantation owners and famous industrialists, all of whom are commemorated in this complete retrospective.



American Home Life: 1880-1930


Author: Foy, Jessica and Schlerth, Thomas


Description: In the pivotal decades around the turn of the century, American domestic life underwent dramatic alteration. From backstairs to front stairs, spaces and the activities within them were radically affected by shifts in the larger social and material environments.



Great Expectations


Author: Charles Dickens


Description: The orphan Pip’s terrifying encounter with an escaped convict on the Kent marshes, and his mysterious summons to the house of Miss Havisham and her cold, beautiful ward Estella, form the prelude to his “great expectations.” How Pip comes into a fortune, what he does with it, and what he discovers through his secret benefactor are the ingredients of his struggle for moral redemption.



A Christmas Carol


Author: Charles Dickens


Description: The tale begins on Christmas Eve seven years after the death of Ebenezer Scrooge's business partner Jacob Marley. Scrooge is established within the first stave (chapter) as a greedy and stingy businessman who has no place in his life for kindness, compassion, charity, or benevolence. After being warned by Marley's ghost to change his ways, Scrooge is visited by three additional ghosts "each in its turn" who accompany him to various scenes with the hope of achieving his transformation. The first of the spirits, the Ghost of Christmas Past, takes Scrooge to the scenes of his boyhood and youth which stir the old miser's gentle and tender side by reminding him of a time when he was more innocent. The second spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Present, takes Scrooge to several radically differing scenes (a joy-filled market of people buying the makings of Christmas dinner, the family feast of Scrooge's near-impoverished clerk Bob Cratchit, a miner's cottage, and a lighthouse among other sites) in order to evince from the miser a sense of responsibility for his fellow man. The third spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, harrows Scrooge with dire visions of the future if he does not learn and act upon what he has witnessed. Scrooge's own neglected and untended grave is revealed, prompting the miser to aver that he will change his ways in hopes of changing these "shadows of what may be." In the fifth and final stave, Scrooge awakens Christmas morning with joy and love in his heart, then spends the day with his nephew's family after anonymously sending a prize turkey to the Crachit home for Christmas dinner. Scrooge has become a different man overnight, and now treats his fellow men with kindness, generosity, and compassion, gaining a reputation as a man who embodies the spirit of Christmas. The story closes with the narrator confirming the validity, completeness, and permanence of Scrooge's transformation.



Cape May: Queen of the Seaside Resorts


Author: George Thomas and Carl Doebley


Description: This is a wonderful reference and souvenir of your stay in Cape May with an introductory historical essay and an extensive section of photographs of the most historic buildings of Cape May. This fine book is available at the Museum Shop of the Emlen Physick Estate and can be ordered online from the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts or call 609-884-5404 ext. 117 for mail order.



Summer City by the Sea


Author: Emil Salvini


Description: This is the story of the rise and the fall and rise again of the country's first seaside resort - a fantasy city created by whalers, river pilots and speculators and molded by fires and storms. Its two-hundred year roller coaster ride resulted in Cape May regaining the title of Queen of the Seaside Resorts. Available through the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts' Museum Shop, 609-884-5404, extension 142





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