So each Summer we take a ‘seashore vacation’ to the Jersey shore, usually that means a trip to Seaside Heights, a throwback to my childhood week-long stays at grandma Ella Mae Crouse’s shore home on M-Street there. These days, that vacation is very short, like an hour’s late afternoon drive of 60 miles from home to the shore where we walk the boardwalk, stop for dinner on the boards and turn around for that drive back arriving home by 9pm.
Recent years with my knees getting worse and worse with age, that walk on the boards would be limited to about two blocks, then sitting down to dinner, followed by one block back, sitting on a bench and a request for Pam to go get the car rather than my walking that final distance. Monday this week was a perfect day for our annual ‘vacation’ trip and so we left home about 3, arriving at the boardwalk in Seaside about 4, very curious to see how they had recovered from Sandy and the later boardwalk fire. This time we parked at the southern end of the amusement area and found that handicapped parking was free, a nice surprise. (prior years we parked on the street midway along the long boardwalk ride/games areas, minimizing the walking)
Must admit we hardly recognized the area that I had been so familiar with these past 50+ years. Gone were the pier and log flume rides, etc. Instead there were brand new wooden walkways, sandy picnic table eating area with a dozen or so palm trees followed by a beach buggy ride attraction ($10 for one seat, four laps around the hilly sculptured beach area, a 5 minute ride – very tempting, but no, we didn’t do it…). We walked without pain the long boardwalk chatting about how things were so different and what a great job they had done in rebuilding what had been showing its decades long age before the storm & fire refresh these last couple of years.
One of Pam’s aunts actually owned the famous carousel ride and she recalled riding it free for too many rotations while mom talked with that aunt, she and her sister getting dizzy from that too long repeated (free) riding.
We stopped 3/4’s of the way to enjoy a nice seaside dinner, then continued the walk to the northern end before turning around to start back.
Ok, I confess that we stopped on a bench to watch the surfers as the bright sun began to set, resting both the pain-free replaced left knee and the as yet undone right knee (which was showing some signs of complaint, but nothing like prior years). What a difference from last few years of feeling like an invalid! This was a very pleasant new adventure again, pain-free walking together, enjoying the beach and crowded boardwalk scenes of such an entertaining variety of people. Can those girls wear any less, showing off both pretty and odd body scenes without shame or concern, constantly pulling what little they had on to cover back up what they were showing off?
Walking back to the (free) parked car, we drove down Ella Mae’s M-Street home as part of the annual tradition, honestly not being sure with all the renovations which house was hers, but we took pictures anyway (smile). Ah, such wonderful memories of childhood days that each of us grandchildren got to spend with her!
An hour or so later we were back home, ready for a good night’s sleep in our own bed after enjoying that fresh sea breeze of the Jersey shore.
Total spent on 2015 Summer vacation: $25 (which includes $2 on the impossible to win
crane amusement machines and a turn of the wheel of chance or two,
also impossible to win) and not counting gas for that 120 mile round trip.
No sunburn and not a bad way to celebrate life and that new knee!