Saturday, August 14, 2010

Wildwood, New Jersey

Yep...back in the the ole US of A again visiting with the family before setting off on my next adventure. This week we find our world traveler in none other than Wildwood, New Jersey. I had the chance to visit my old summer-time stomping grounds with my dad, sister, brother-in-law, and my three nieces.

My earliest memories of Wildwood are probably from sometime in grade school. We would load up the family car and make the 90-mile trip from Philadelphia. In those days, it would take us like three-to-four hours to get there because the Atlantic City Expressway hadn't opened yet. Now, it's more like 70 minutes or so. What always amazed me then, and what I really appreciate now, is that no matter what the financial situation was for my parents in a given year, they always made sure that we had that one-week vacation "down the shore".

Upon arriving, we'd check into one of the many fine motels in town and spend the next week going to the beach, swimming in the motel pool, playing mini golf, "walking the boards", going on rides, and generally just being in vacation mode as a family. Looking back, they were some great times.

I also have some fond memories of times that I went down with my friends. One week that was particularly fun was Senior Week. During Senior Week, all the recently-graduated high-school seniors descend on Wildwood for one last hurrah. was a fun time!

Well, times have changed. Now, instead of staying in some random motel, we get to sack out at my dad's condo, which is right across from the beach. It's way cleaner, well stocked with food and alcohol, and in a great location near both the beach AND a Wawa!

The gang started out our first day with some quality beach time. Wildwood probably has some of the widest beaches in the whole world. I actually burned my feet walking across the hot sand this week. Here's a photo down the beach with one of the boardwalk piers to the right and the ocean to the left:

Of course, there's always the "bury-your-family-member-in-the-sand time". Here's one of Cori burying Brynn. I think they traded places about five minutes later.

No beach day at the shore would be complete without buying some ice cream from the "Fudgy-Wudgy man". The Fudgy-Wudgy man walks up and down the beach all day yelling "fudgy wudgies" while hawking his ice-cream treats that have been frozen to temperatures that are colder than the surface of the dark side of the moon. Here's when I know I'm the past, the F.W. man had to carry his heroin-like treats in a big cooler on his back. Today, with OSHA rules and regulations, he gets a swanky cart. Here's Kasey, Cori, Brynn, and my sister Jackie (with kid #4 in the oven) buying snacks:

Wildwood's not really known for its big surf but you will see some people out. My niece Kasey is currently working on her form (my goal is to live my life as happy as she looks in this photo):

After hanging at the beach and then getting a nice pool swim in, we headed up to the boardwalk for dinner and some rides. Wildwood's boardwalk is over two miles long and has restaurants, shops, and amusement piers with rides and games. This is a shot facing south just after sunset:

One of the most (in)famous things on the boardwalk is the "Tram Car". This trackless train travels up and down the boardwalk all day and evening with its speaker repeating over and over and over and over and over again "watch the tram car please". If you've ever seen/heard it, you understand.

As I mentioned, the boardwalk has a variety of thrill rides you can go on. Here's a shot of my dad and Brynn on one of the roller coasters:

When you're in that vacation mode, your usual diet of grilled-chicken salads, a variety of fruit, as well as the whole-grains sometimes goes out the window. The boardwalk is a great place to indulge your vacation needs. Here's one of my favorites, Curley's Fries, where you can get some of the most amazing, fresh-cut fries around:

After you're done with your fries, you probably are going to need something sweet. Kohr Bros. has been around forever and is a great place to get some soft-serve ice cream. I can remember many nights as a kid when our last stop would be here.

With dinner and our boardwalk fun behind us, we headed back to the condo to put the kids to bed and have some much-deserved adult beverages. My dad was the bar tender this time and he served us up some mean coconut rum and diet cokes. Thanks dad!

The next morning, we headed out early to do some crabbing at a nearby inlet. For as long as I can remember, my dad's been taking us out to catch crabs. My guess is that it started out as a way to keep us busy since crabbing is much easier to get the hang of than fishing. You basically tie a piece of greasy fish to a string with a weight attached, throw it into the water, and let it sink to the bottom. You wait about a minute and then super-so-slowly bring the bait back up to the surface. If you're lucky, wait, skilled, you'll have a crab or two on the line. Here's my dad schooling us on the correct form:

And finally, here's the whole gang (minus sister who's taking the photo) having fun crabbing:

All in all, a great time. They say you can never come home again. Actually, I think that they might be right but it is definitely fun to visit. Thanks to my family for a fun weekend!


  1. Brilliant ode to family memories and WW. WW tourism should steal this post.

  2. Come again whever you like.It was fun


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