Ode to the Jersey shore

We just got back from another enjoyable vacation at the Jersey shore, LBI to be exact. Every year we spend a week at the shore, with the exception of last year (I was 9 months pregnant). So this is my ode to you, misunderstood and under appreciated Jersey. Even though I know I will hit some crazy, slow-moving traffic to get to you, I still get in the car and endure the drive. I know I’m almost there when I ride over the bridge in Edison, see the busted looking movie theater on the left and boats in the bay on the right. Only an hour and a half to go. Should I go express or local lanes? Always local. Jersey drivers zoom by doing 90 but I don’t mind. Bruce is singing about Wendy as we pass the Arts Center and see Foreigner, Night Ranger, and Journey are playing tonight. Night Ranger? Didn’t they sing Sister Christian? I love that song. We are definitely in Jersey. But on we go……getting closer to exit 70 something.

Our house this year is just three houses from the bay (see view above) and across the street is an amazing multi-million dollar home. Who can afford these places? Doesn’t matter that our duplex has ants and ancient air conditioners. We are at the shore and the beach is just a short walk away. Yes, the beach. Soft, white-ish sand, hot as all hell and leading right to the water. The waves aren’t too rough and the water is a warm 72 degrees. The jellies are washing up but that’s okay. Riley collects them in a bucket and keeps herself busy while mom and dad relax by the water’s edge. I see two teenage girls lying by the lifeguard chair, listening to music on a portable ipod player. I remember being that teenage girl, a long time ago, singing, quite loudly, to Red Hot Chili Peppers. Except that was at Seaside. The beach is much different now. Not really the beach but the experience at the beach. It was so nice to nap on the beach, read a magazine even. Instead you’re on high alert and napping is for night-time. You can read your mag on the toilet.

Now its all about winning your kid a stuffed toy. Keeping them busy all day so that they pass out early at night so you can enjoy a glass of wine and an episode of Dateline before you pass out from too much sun and too much fun. I think I may have strayed a bit from my ode but I’ll get back there……Like the food at the shore. How you can I forget the food. All I got to say is 4 lobsters, 2 soft shell crab, 6 crab stuffed garlic clams, 3 corn on the cob, a load of fries….did I miss anything? Slaw too. So good, so fried, so flavorful. Tastes like the beach or the bay or Jersey. I don’t know, it just tastes like vacation. Did I mention the fudge? Yes, of course fudge. No taffy here. Taffy is for people without cavities. Soft, sweet and chocolatey. I could eat the whole 1/2 pound box but instead I share it with the kid. I guess I have to. That would be the nice thing to do.

How can I wrap this up without missing my point? The point being that the Jersey shore is friggen great. Or should I say just okay. I don’t want all five of you reading this to start booking your vacation next year at my potential beach house. If so, go to Seaside. You’ll love it there, I promise. No, leave me LBI with its nice beaches, not too wide, not too narrow. The summer beach house families, friendly and unpretentious. Delicious pizza, a bit pricey but thin crust non the less. Long Beach Blvd, mini golf, liquor stores, and the best breakfast place on the island. But don’t you go there. You stick to Seaside. I promise, you’ll love the clubs there. And they have a boardwalk. You’ll love it.


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