I am most grateful this week for the use of my friend's Condo in Anglesea N.J., a small town which borders North Wildwood along the Jersey Shore. Down the shore is South Philly speak for the beach. Not having planned a summer vacation this year was really getting to me. I am one of those people who love everything about the beach and was really missing our annual jaunt to Hilton Head Island. Our dear friends, Helene and Gene bought this efficiency Condo about 9 years ago. Now with 3 grandchildren they have outgrown this place, and bought a small house in a nearby town. With the economy as it is, they have not yet sold the Condo and rented it to us for a pittance - jusy enough to cover the cost of utilities. It is small for the 3 of us and the beds are not the most comfortable,but we are at the Beach. I would prefer to be here longer than 5 days, but that is all that our schedules permitted and we are at the Beach! Ok, I'd also be happier if the weather was better. Thursday was a gorgeous day, warm & sunny with a beautiful ocean breeze. Friday we had torrential downpours on & off all day.Not sure what today will bring. It is still early - cloudy but not raining. At least we are at the Beach. Joe and Adam are just waking up at 9:30 a.m. and we are waiting to hear from our friends who are also in the same complex. One rainy day was ok. We visited Helen's new house and did some shopping in Stone Harbor, an upscale Beach Town right next to Anglesea. I am hoping that the weather Gods will smile on us today!
It has been 18 years since I spent any time in Wildwood during the Season. It has certainly changed over the years. Many of the Do-Wop Hotels of the 50's have been bulldozed to make way for construction of private homes. Many, like the place in which we are staying, have been converted to condos. There are still many New York and Canadian license plates. Among the shore towns along this part of the Coast, Wildwood has always been the most affordable and a bargain for our neighbors from the North. There are many upscale restaurants and many more well heeled visitors mingled with blue collar families who are spending their annual week at the shore.
The ticky tack boardwalk remains unchanged. The 3 huge amusement piers are still crowded with families, games of chance, and stands selling funnel cake, french fries, carmel corn, and soft serve ice cream. A gazillion tee shirt and souvenir shops line the boardwalk along with a few Tarot Card Readers and Tattoo Parlors. IMHO, Laura's still has the best Fudge I've ever had and the best salt water taffys come from James.
This is a trip down Memory Lane for me. Growing up Jewish in South Philadelphia, familty vacations at the Beach meant going to Atlantic City, while Wildwood was a Beach vacation for Italian Families.. Since most of my friends were not Jewish, I spent many weekends during my late teens and early twenties in Wildwood. In the early 80's Joe & I discovered Hilton Head and we have really spent little time at the Jersey Shore. It is so much closer to home. Perhaps it is time to rediscover this stretch of the Jersey Shore! I can't believe that I forgot my camera! Think that I will buy a disposable one to take some pictures of the remaining hotels from the 50's, before they are bulldozed!
It is 10:15 a.m. and still cloudy. Time to wake up my friends and plan our day. Despite the weather, I remain grateful that I am at the Beach!
I am grateful that Diana of Creative Structures">Creative Structures started this weekly thread!