I was born and raised in New Jersey.  I do not identify as a Jersey girl (or worse yet, a Jerzey girl), but I do enjoy visiting our coast.  Notice that I didn’t say I enjoy the Jersey Shore.  I simply refuse to put that phrase in writing.  Here in NJ, we don’t say we are going to the beach, we say we are going “down the shore.”  I tried to fight it for a long time since it’s so grammatically awful, but some things just get stuck in our vernacular, you know?

This is an actual wave from Saturday.

Wildwood, NJ is a pretty famous beach, as far as I know.  There’s a long Boardwalk and according to the loudspeaker announcement I heard while wandering it on Saturday, Wildwood has the cleanest and safest beaches in the country.  I don’t know if that’s true, but I try not to argue with loudspeakers.

It’s about a 3 hour drive down the lovely Garden State Parkway from my house to Wildwood.  3 hours in the car with a 5 year old is lots of fun.

It’s worth the ride, if for no other reason than for the snacks.  In the 48 hours we were there, I indulged in ice cream, a sausage peppers & onion sandwich, fried Oreos and funnel cake.  Also on this trip, I found out my bathing suit, the shorts kind that are so popular now, doesn’t really fit and every time I bent over the button popped open.  That was also fun.

Friday night was pretty chilly and though I packed enough stuff to be away for a month, I forgot to bring a sweatshirt.  You can’t get a plain sweatshirt down there for less than $25 and the Boardwalk is lousy with places that will iron on decals for about a zillion dollars per inch.  I managed to find a discount rack of discards for $5.  I was able to pick up this gem.  My husband then proceeded to speak to me in a brogue for the rest of the trip.

Isn’t this NICE?  And only $5!  Though I am 25% Irish,
I am not one to wear my heritage on my sleeve(s).

The weather was beautiful Saturday afternoon, so the boy was able to enjoy lots of beach time running in the waves and some pool time, too.  Many of the motels in Wildwood have cages around the kiddie pool for those kids who can’t swim.  I must admit, it is convenient.

Boy in a pool cage.
The Boardwalk has lots of rides too.  Nathan is trying very hard to overcome his fear of rides.  He tried a new one this time around.  It was an oval track and he was in a rainbow race car.   When the car took the first turn though, the boy was whipped around and freaked out.  He screamed so loudly that the chick working the ride actually stopped the ride.  I felt badly that he got so scared after I told him it would be fun.  I had to retrieve him and carry him off.   I said, “Oops!” to the woman giving me the stink-eye as he sobbed into my shoulder, but she was unsympathetic.  It’s not like they didn’t restart the ride for the other kids.  Sheesh.
This was before the ride started.

The child is a huge fan of mini-golf and skee-ball.  He put a lot of time and effort (and his parents’ money) into perfecting his chosen sports.

Doesn’t he look at ease with the club?
I swear he’s not stoned, his mother
just can’t take a picture.

The other lure of the Boardwalk is the acquisition of new “guys.”  This kid LOVES stuffed animals.  On the trip down, we were accompanied by a motley crew of creatures.

SpongeBob, Hammer, Eric, Al, Rex, Manta and Blankie

Since his father is a master at the crane machines, we added the following guys to our family:

Ironman, Spiderman, Black Karate Domo, Red Karate Domo,
White, Red and Yellow Angry Bird, Numero (the turtle) and Super Domo.

After lots of fun and sun, it was time to go home.  And no family weekend getaway would be complete without sitting on the floor of the hotel, crying and pouting about how unfair it was that it was time to leave.

Linking up again with Yeah Write, a wonderful community of bloggers and writers.  Be shore to check out the other posts and vote for your favorites on Thursday! (Get it, shore?  Because this was about the beach?  That pun is on every sign down there.  Wildwood: Shore to Please! HAHA!! Hee-hee. Ahem.)

read to be read at yeahwrite.me

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57 Responses to “Wildwood.”

  1. You totally make me want to go down the shore :) I’m in CT and around here we tend to go “up the cape” but it’s getting old and we need a change of scenery! Wildwood sounds perfect for the kiddos!

    I’m visiting from “Yeah Write” and although I haven’t gotten myself into gear to submit anything, I’ve been enjoying the reads! Am a new follower and would love it if you’d consider doing the same. Thanks!

    • Following done!

      I have family in CT and I’ve heard up the cape! Wildwood is great for the kids. depending on where you are, the ride wouldn’t be too bad for you.

  2. carrie says:

    Oh yeah. I’ve seen the pouty face before. They really know how to perfect it! Sounds like you had a pretty good trip, screaming ride aside!

  3. Delilah Love says:

    I want to go to the beach. Waah. I need a vacation. And my kids look exactly like that last picture whenever it is times to leave a hotel. It must be in their manual. Haha!

    • I need a real vacation, not 48 hours, but that’s a ways off for us. it’s funny, the kids don’t come with manuals but i think you’re right that they have one to pull off their best stunts!

  4. Gia says:

    Ha great pics. I used to LOVE getting stuffed animals on the boardwalk.

  5. I grew up in PA and my grandmother lived “at the shore.” So I know and love that vernacular. Here in CA we do say we’re going to the beach. I love the variety of our language! Your husband rocks at that crane game. Cute post and cute photos of the child. Uplifting, and we all need that from time to time!

  6. Vanessa says:

    I love it when you get to lay down those family vacation memories. So glad you had a nice time. So jealous because I’ve got to wait until July.

  7. Pish Posh says:

    Looks fun to me!

  8. *sigh* This makes me want to go on vacation SO bad. It looks like y’all had a blast…in spite of the rainbow racing car :)

  9. man. isn’t it awful when you promise something will be “fun” or that they should “try it”? last time i did that, i wanted my son to try something he didn’t want to eat for dinner. after i lured him in to my trust, he tried it…and puked it right back up on his plate, causing his siter to toss hers too. after that, i thought, i’m totally ok with the fact you only eat chicken nuggets.

  10. Awwww you have such a lovely family.

  11. This shore was a fun read. :) I am a chronic over-packer, but it is hard to remember the number of times we have had to purchase sweatshirts on the boardwalk. I think it might be a phenomenon. Or a diagnosable condition. Without treatment.

    And I might have a little crush on your husband: maintaining an Irish brogue to ridicule you and mad skills on the claw machine??
    Who is that good on the claw machine? What kind of quarter to prize ratio are we talking about?

    And yes, your child is the first in the history of carnival rides to have a meltdown. You should play the lottery, you are so unique and so good at beating the odds. May that chick reproduce (twins maybe) and suffer the judgement of strangers on a weekly basis. Pfft. Pfft. (That is me spitting on the ground like an evil fortune teller. I think.)

    I think your photos are great! Ellen

    • One of my husband’s finest talents is his ability to torment me mercilessly and endlessly. But he’s hilarious (at least I think so). And yeah, his claw skills are insane. This is was typical too – he can get the most difficult things without spending a ton of cash. It’s amazing!

      I’m not sure I’ve ever seen how an evil fortune teller spits, but I get it, and I’m appreciative.

  12. Thank you so much for helping replace the images in my mind of Snooki vomiting on the boardwalk with wholesome family fun! I enjoyed this one! :)

  13. I grew up in PA and we went “to the shore” every summer. Here in NC we go to “the beach”. Wildwood has awesome rides and some fabulous french fries from what I remember.

  14. Oh this looks like so much fun. We don’t have anything like “the shore” with a boardwalk and games and stuff in Texas. My kids would love it.

  15. Cathy Morton says:

    Enjoyed the blog but the last punch line in the end was the best. Yep..It shore was!!!

  16. Fun times! I was NEVER able to win any stuffies at the boardwalk! No game skills what-so-ever.

  17. Can I come next time? And will you pay my way? And Noah’s? And Hot Joe’s? I’ll figure out who will take care of the dogs.

    Thank you.

  18. Wisest comment of the week: try not to argue with loudspeakers. Hell. Yes. Also, fried ores? Delish.

  19. Kristin says:

    Well, now you’ve done it. You’ve convinced me that I need to take my kids “down the shore” this season. We’ve never been, and now we need to go. I’ll let you know if I thank you after the fact. 😉

    • For an afternoon, Point Pleasant and Seaside are nice but I wouldn’t spend a weekend. Wildwood is better for multiple days. We stay at the Aloha in North Wildwood. The efficiencies are reasonable and clean. It’s also quieter that far north, even though it’s a little off the beaten path.

  20. I love Sensible Moms’ comment. I agree that the claw machine odds that were beaten is incredible. Thanks for sharing this fun family outing. It’s great to get to know you better.

  21. What a wonderful trip. It was great to follow along through the pictures. I also have a “its not fair it’s over kiddo too!!” Oh the tears! But at least you know it was a great time!!!

  22. I’m on the east coast but our beaches don’t have cool boardwalks. This made me want to go to Jersey! (how often does one say that, really? It looks awesome.) My boy would totally covet the stuffed guys won for your boy. That’s a fun gang.

  23. Melissa says:

    What an awesome weekend!

  24. That sounds like a great weekend! The picture of your little guy in the pool cage totally made me long for a swim!

  25. I grew up on the Jersey shore, right across the bay from Seaside Heights. I must have “Jersey Girl” tattooed on my face, because even while I was living in Florida people knew. They *knew*! It’s almost embarrassing, telling people where I grew up. Especially now that I live in PA. I loved it there, though. And for me, it was always “the beach” not “the shore.”
    Glad you had a great time, even though I feel a little homesick now. 😉

    • Yeah, when I tell people I live here (when I’m away that is) I get The Look. Sometimes I say I’m from “outside NYC” and they assume I mean NY and I don’t correct them! Jersey Pride {pumps fist}!!!

  26. I don’t understand the concept of Fried Oreos, though I’ve heard about them numerous times. Is there an actual breading on it?

    • They take an oreo and drop it into hot oil. Then they spoon the same kind of batter on it that they use for funnel cake or zeppoles or the like. Then they fry it and it is so good. Pretty much I’ll take that batter fried around anything :)

  27. Jackie says:

    Michelle, you were in my neck of the woods! We head down to Wildwood (only free beaches in the state) at least once a week in the summer to visit my mother in law! I must say, it’s the perfect balance of what the Jersey Shore appears to be from Mtv and how a family should vacation!
    BTW, the Ireland shirt was probably a leftover from Irish weekend in the the early fall. That weekend everyone is Irish!

    • I thought of you b/c I know you’re in south Jersey and I was thinking you could be there and I’d never even know it and that it would be pretty funny and an odd coincidence!

      We’ve been down during Irish weekend before. The shirt was on a terrible rack of rejects. I almost went with Keep Calm and Keep Drumming but it didn’t fit :)

  28. Adrienne says:

    “Shore”-I totally got it! Haha.

    My kids are suckers for stuffed animals too. We have too many!

  29. Malina says:

    You know… in the 22 years I spent living in NJ, and the countless trips I took to Atlantic City even after I left, and even marrying a guy from ‘down the shore’ (although, exit 98ish), I have NEVER been to Wildwood. Maybe one of these days :-).

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