Monday, July 12, 2010

My mini-vacation to the Jersey Shore - Wildwood NJ

After I finally bought my car, we knew we could still go on a mini-vacation during the week we both took off a while ago.  I had compiled a list of possible places to go, in decent driving distance and we looked them all over.  The winner was Wildwood NJ & the Jersey Shore.  It is funny, my last car's first roadtrip was to King of Prussia in PA and over to Atlantic City NJ.  This time my new car went to the whole Jersey Shore.

We got the last room at this cool retro motel called the Caribbean. It was such a fun place and the people were very nice.  It was one of our top 2 choices but the other motel, though it looked nice, had come reviews about the lady who runs the place being a bit nasty.  She had asked me our ages when she emailed me back which struck me as odd and even though I told her our ages and that we are quiet, we still look pretty young and funky so I was worried she would not like us LOL  We made the right choice.  Our room was on the 2nd floor overlooking the pool.  I always found a parking spot where my car was covered in the shade, one spot per room.  The pool was a cool crescent shape and though it was smallish, it is perfect.  They have tons of lounge chairs and chairs outside your room.  Unfortunately, people from another room were almost always in the chair outside our room so we never really sat out there.  We did, however, use the pool and chairs down there.  On the rare occasion the pool seemed quieter (a large extended family was staying at this time and generally took over the pool and patio area) we would go swimming to cool off.  We were on the Jersey Shore where it is known for being hot during the East Coast heat wave.  We almost always needed to cool off LOL  

This motel is pretty funky, all retro doo-wop, even the rooms.  Here are some pics:

On the first day, we went to the Boardwalk after getting settled in.  We walked and walked in the heat.  We were already exhausted from the drive down and just trying to find some food and hopefully air conditioning.  Usually I plan this stuff better but I wanted to wing it, we learned this first night that we better at least plan possible places to eat since you can check reviews online and never know what you might get otherwise.  We ate at Stewarts of Wildwood (as in Stewarts Root Beer).  The food was good but a bit much for my tummy.  I got a Buffalo Chicken sandwich and asked for no cheese but I am pretty sure there was blue cheese on the bottom.  Luckily, it was so spicy, I didn't eat much of the bottom. I took a pic of myself and I look frazzled and soaked with sweat so I know I was tired and way too hot.  We walked the boardwalk and took the tram car back to the other end and hobbled to the motel.

I knew I had to go swimming so I went in the pool while the BF played on his netbook poolside.  He won't swim if there are many people in the pool, I was too hot to care.  After we cooled off, we went out for a late dinner.  We ended up walking to Duffer's Restaurant and Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor.  They have an outside ice cream parlor, mini golf and an arcade and gift shop so this place was pretty booming. We got a table after a little wait and ordered some dinner.  I got what I would normally call a French Dip but it had a different name on the menu.  The BF got a sandwich, can't remember what.  Then we shared some BBQ Babies which are dough rolled BBQ pulled pork that get fried.  Very unusual contrast of flavors and textures but I liked it.  I kept staring at the sundae counter in awe.  My dairy allergy and lactose intolerance said NO NO NO but my eyes said YES! I was a good girl and didn't get anything but I had to have a taste of my BF's peanut  butter chocolate ice cream.  He ordered a single scoop and got about 3! We walked back to the motel and relaxed in the air conditioning for the night.

On day 2 we needed breakfast.  I took the BF to a place called Larkins.They have been around since 1950 and are truly old school retro.  We had a nice quiet breakfast, very basic but there is nothing wrong with that.  I got french toast & bacon and I love that they use cinnamon as much as I do when I make it.  After Larkins, we knew we wanted to go fudge shopping.  I drove over to the road here the best rated fudge shops were and we parked, paid the meter (shocked to see you could pay it by cell phone if you wanted LOL) and walked over to Laura's Fudge and then the Fudge Factory on the Boardwalk. We rushed back to the car with barely a second to spare before the meter ran out, then back to the hotel to get our fudge in the cool AC as soon as we could.

After that, we knew it was too hot to go to the beach (especially for the BF who has trouble with the bright sun).  We decided it was time to drive up to Margate and see Lucy the Elephant.  We just missed the tour at that time so we waited for the next one.  They have a tour every half hour.  We got a water ice to kill time and snapped some pics.  We saw a bunch of people leave from the first tour and somehow, we were the only ones for the 2pm tour.  We had a private tour of Lucy, pretty cool.  We climbed up into her belly and got to watch a video about her history.  Then we looked out the windows that are her eyes.  After that, we climbed up top to stand on her back and see the view of the town of Margate and the Atlantic Ocean.

We drove back towards our motel and I stopped to buy my ticket to the Silver Bullet.  I badly wanted to go but the BF dislikes boats, especially speed boats so he said it was ok if I wanted to go alone and I did.  What a fun time!  It is a speed boat ride, a dolphin seeing tour, and a fun cruise all in one.  We got to see the bay, the whole coastline of Wildwood, some dolphins in the water and got splashed too!
After the 90 min boat ride I was starving.  I went back to the motel to get the BF and we went back to the Boardwalk.  This time we ate at the DooWop Diner and it was so good.  I got thePorky Pig (BBQ Pulled Pork on a bun with fries) and the BF got At the Hop (Grilled chicken with bacon, onion rings, jack and
American cheese smothered with BBQ sauce on a bun with fries). Now that was a satisfying dinner.  Just a sidenote: if you accidentally find a french fry in your pulled pork sandwich, leave it there, it is quite yummy!

We wandered the boardwalk, took the tram car and I played a quarter toss game.  I only let myself toss 4 quarters, why keep trying to keep losing? LOL I wanted to play a water pistol game but the BF kept insisting if just the 2 of us played, they would make us wait for more people.  I don't think so but he would not listen, oh well.  We did a little cheesey tourist shopping.  After that long day in the heat and boat ride I was pretty tired.  We walked back to the motel and rested as much as we could.

On to the third day. We went back to Duffer's for breakfast.  No wait this time.  I got french toast and bacon (again).  Not bad but nothing exciting to write home about.  After Duffer's, we headed to the beach at Wildwood Crest.  Did I mention it is only a block from our motel.  Mind you, the walk on the beach to get close to the water is a lot more than a block.  Wow, did I love this beach.  I  have not been to many coastal beached but out of all of them, this is my asbolute favorite.  The sand was soft and white.  The sand under the water was smooth.  I hate it when my feet get stuck on rocks or plants or something else under the water.  That did not happen here. I went out into the waves a couple times to cool off and it felt great.  I loved not wishing I had aqua shoes on and after last year when waves pushed rocks on my foot and scraped it up at Rehoboth Beach in DE, I loved feeling safer here.  After the BF had enough of the sun, we headed back to the motel and jumped in the pool.  It felt nice to have the pool to just us.  We showered and got dressed and headed out to get a cooler for the drive home so the fudge and chocolate would not melt.  We drove around to see what was around and headed to Cool Scoops for lunch. We didn't see any indication that they had more food like shown on their website menu so we just got hot dogs in hot rods (hot dogs with chips served in a hot rod).  The food was not bad.  I enjoyed the hot rod while sitting in a retro car turned booth.  I so badly want one for my future house! They had dairy free ice cream so woohoo I got some.

From here we went back to the motel and headed to Cape May for Washington Street Mall shopping.  We found it okay though it was a little hard to find parking, not too bad.  We walked and looked in the shops.  I got some fun stuff at Bath Time and Just for Laughs. We got a ton of popcorn and kettlecorn at Cape May Popcorn & Pizza and Best Darn Kettlecorn. From there we walked over to the coast and took pics of the beach and looked in the beach side shops before heading back to the car.  I found a cool little jewelry shop called Summer Shine Jewels and got a pair of earrings and a necklace. 
We headed back to Wildwood and eventually went to Li'l Kurtz's Seafood for dinner.  We ate at a picnic table on the bay right after sunset.  It was really nice.  The poor BF ordered deep fried soft shell crab and did not realize it would be the WHOLE crab deed fried LOL He said it was hard to eat but tasty.  I got fish n chips.  After dinner, we went back to the Boardwalk one last time.  We took pics of everything lit up at night, we got dessert.  The BF got an apple & cinnamon crepe and I got a Dutch Ice in blue raspberry.  I felt sad knowing this was our last night at the boardwalk.  I still could not convince my BF to play a stupid water pistol game with me so we took the tram car back and relaxed at the hotel and started to pack our bags.
The last day was here.  We checked out and walked to Wildwood Crest beach to snap some pictures.  Then we headed to breakfast at the Star Diner & Cafe.  By far the best breakfast of the trip!!! Guess what I ate?  French toast with bacon LOL  I am a creature of habit.  After our delicious breakfast, we headed to Atlantic City.  My BF had a sun allergy reaction from the day before so he was miserable and it was roasting hot out.  All the statues at Caesars were dressed like cooks or chefs because Food Network was coming later this month so that was fun for some pics. We went to the Pier Shops at Caesars first.  I got a coupon book at the main desk with my AAA card which gave me a discount at It's Sugar (where they had a Lucy the Elephant made of jellybeans!) and Lush, woohoo! I got candy and bath stuff.  Then we watched some of the water show in the Pier Shops and headed out to the boardwalk until the BF could not take it anymore.  We walked to the Atlantic City outlets and I got a nice bag at Fossil. Even though I would have liked to have seen or done more, I didn't want my BF to melt or get sick so we headed home. 

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