How NJ’s Lucy the Elephant, and booze, tied into our Cape Cod vacation
So this one's an interesting tie to New Jersey. And even more, it's proof that you can't escape the Garden State even if you tried. At least, when it comes to some sort of Jersey connection.
During the last couple of weeks in August, my family and I went on a well-needed vacation to wrap up the summer season in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. My wife is the reason we go every season as she's the one who introduced me to that life.
Now yes, my wife is a true Jersey girl, having grown up in Monmouth County. But her family once owned a business in Truro, MA, and she used to spend her summers there, working at the family cottages.
Those cottages have since been sold and converted into private condominiums, and her family no longer has ties to them. However, that area has meaning for her and ever since we've been together, we've been going up almost every year.
With that said, we cannot stay at her family's old cottages since they're now private. But that's OK as we now branch off to other cottage communities and meet even more vacationers as a result.
On this particular visit, we met a very nice couple who were around our age. After getting to know them, we learned that they had Jersey ties having been here before. However, one of the stories was quite interesting and amusing.
Now a disclaimer, I'm going to do my best to remember how this story was told to me so my apologies in advance to our new friends if they read this and notice anything that might not be fully on-point. However, I do remember the general events that took place.
So on this particular trip, they were down on a military-based visit. They knew of someone who was in the Navy and were in the Margate area for a few days.
One night they were at a local bar, where their friend had a few too many drinks. No big deal since he didn't have his car with him and was getting a ride home.
While in the car, he told his visiting friends that they needed to get his car. They figured OK, we can do that. There was someone sober who could drive it so they figured why not.
When they asked where it was, he told him it was parked by the big bleeping elephant. I'm sure you can take a wild guess what word was actually said in place of "bleeping."
Confused, they both thought he was losing it in fantasy land. They both questioned, big bleeping elephant, what the heck is he talking about? And once they got him home he kept insisting the car was at the elephant. The big bleeping one.
Eventually, he got a little sicker before finally passing out for the night. Now if you were sober and heard a drunk say that, would you believe them? Of course not. At this point, they figure they'd wait until the morning to find out where his car really was.
The next morning he was back to himself. However, he still insisted the car was parked by the giant elephant. But this time, he was able to give directions. So after a bit, they headed over to get the car. And to his guest's disbelief, there it was. They couldn't believe what they were looking at.
Yup, it was a big bleeping elephant. A very big bleeping elephant to be exact. And just like they were told, there was his car, parked very close to the elephant.
That was the introduction to Lucy the Elephant for two people from New Hampshire. Needless to say, they have never forgotten that trip. Not so much over the bar incident, but the fact that New Jersey was home to the world's biggest bleeping elephant.
They were even more shocked to learn that at one time, you were actually able to rent out Lucy and live for a night inside of the giant elephant. Yup, it was certainly an interesting story, to say the least.
That's something you gotta love about New Jersey. It's certainly not a boring place to visit and will keep others scratching their heads as they enjoy their memorable stay. It's something we should be proud of.