Thanks to MTV’s latest reality stars, the Jersey Shore now has national recognition and plenty of camera crews running around Seaside Heights trying to capture the hair poofs, fist pumps and fights! Long before the Situation and Snooki came to the scene, however, my aunt fell in love with the beach and left the Midwest behind for new digs in Tom’s River, NJ, proud home of the Little League World Series Championship. Visiting her not only brings the prospect of beach bumming, but also the comfort of a real home (my apartment could fit in their living room) and shopping at suburbia stores like Target and Lowes!
Since you couldn’t be there I took some pictures so that you could see the full experience. Tom’s River is close to a few beaches: Seaside Heights, Seaside Park and Island Beach State Park. We like Island Beach State Park because it is the cheapest (you pay $10 per car versus paying per person) and slightly less crowded and less of the Jersey Shore types bopping around. The only downside here is that there are more children. One child thought her sand-castle buckets were bongo drums…for two hours…
Weekends at my aunt’s house also mean overindulging in fresh watermelon! (Not a terrible indulgence, I must say!) Whereas a watermelon in the city will run you about $20, we picked up a nice, ripe one for $8.
Then there is the boardwalk. The Seaside Heights boardwalk now home to Dunkin Donuts! You can enjoy iced coffee while you get your temporary tattoo and ride the Sky Ride—the beach version of a ski lift with zero elevation climb.
There are ice-cream, pizza and pastry shops every 10 steps so the stores need marketing creativity to remain competitive… or something.
Lastly, we couldn’t go to Seaside without driving by the Jersey Shore house! Apparently the guido, Italian flag garage door is covered in graffiti every morning so MTV resorted to painting it a solid white. Lame. Unfortunately, the cast wasn’t in Seaside last weekend so we couldn’t rock out to DJ Pauly D at Bamboo or Karma, but we’ll go ahead and cross of Number 5 from the Summer Bucket List!