Down the REAL Jersey Shore!

We have been loving our time down at the Jersey Shore!  Just to make sure you all understand, when in Jersey (locals don’t say New Jersey), you don’t go to the beach – you go “down the shore”.  Then, once there, you can spend the day at the beach.  Might not seem like a big deal, but to those of us from this great state (yes – I said GREAT state!), it is just the way it’s said.

I have also been working on my year end blog posts.  That’s right – I have 2!  One is more of a summary of “stuff” and they other will be more reflections on our first year on the road.  Interestingly though, just the other day, while playing in the waves with my hubby – I just all of a sudden said “You know what Babe?” and he said “What?” and I replied “I LOVE our life!” and he said “I do too!”  How’s that for a summary?  I know some of you will be looking for more details on “stuff”, so if you haven’t already, check it out!  Year ONE Summary on Stuff  For a few more “stuff” items, plus thoughts and reflections check here: Year ONE – Thoughts and Reflections

We had a very short drive day, and arrived at Lake and Shore Campground, a Thousand Trails campground, on Wednesday, Aug 19.  I will say briefly here, we like this place a lot better than the last place.  Much brighter, cleaner and even though there isn’t a lot (ok – none really) grass, it is sandy, which being down the shore, that is expected.  Being Thousand Trails, we got to pick our own spot, so Bill and Craig hopped into our car and went to find us some spots.  They didn’t have 2 good ones together, so we are a few sites apart, but no big deal!

The first order of business was hitting the beach!  Jo was feeling tired and wanted to work on some pic sorting for Alberto (her cousin visiting from Spain), so she stayed behind.  So, Bill, Craig, Alberto and I headed out!  It was a beautiful day on the sand!

Alberto enjoying the waves on this side of the Atlantic!
Alberto enjoying the waves on this side of the Atlantic!
Craig taking a nap while holding on tight to the umbrella!
Craig taking a nap while holding on tight to the umbrella!
Bill down by the water's edge - some might say he was being a bit anti-social
Bill down by the water’s edge – some might say he was being a bit anti-social
I love how there are so many shades of blue!
I love how there are so many shades of blue!

One morning, Alberto volunteered to make us breakfast, his specialty is crepe’s and let me tell you – they were delish!  As good as any I’ve had out!

Alberto busy making us breakfast!
Alberto busy making us breakfast!
ready to eat!
ready to eat!

Friday night, we decided to spend some time walking the boards at Ocean City, which is Bill and my fav boardwalk.  We started taking our kids there when they were just babies.  We loved it then, and we love it now b/c there aren’t any bars – no rif-raf to put up with!  Some of you might think that makes for a boring trip to the boards, but we like it that way.  That’s not to say we don’t visit other boardwalks, we do, but this one is our fav.

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this place always makes me think of my daughter
this place always makes me think of my daughter

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Alberto and Craig decided to get brave!
Alberto and Craig decided to get brave!
yes - they are up there - CRAZY!
yes – they are up there – CRAZY!
I was the keeper of the TX baseball cap while Alberto went on the rides
I was the keeper of the TX baseball cap while Alberto went on the rides
finishing up another ride!
finishing up another ride!
Alberto posing with the parrot - he even let the parrot borrow his TX baseball cap!
Alberto posing with the pirate and the parrot – he even let the parrot borrow his TX baseball cap!

One evening, Mike and Mandy, full-time RV’er friends we met at the 2014 TN rally, came to visit.  They have recently closed on their home, so they are “newbies”.  We loved catching up with them, and hope to tour their new full-time 5th wheel, a Big Sky, when we are back in PA next month.

Mike and Mandy
Mike and Mandy

Another afternoon, we decided to head out and visit Cape May County Zoo.  This is totally a great inexpensive way to spend an afternoon.  There is no entrance fee, but they do accept (and I believe its safe to say, expect) donations.  I used to bring my kids here when they were small, my GF’s and I would pack a lunch and snacks and pile into my van.  We could partially tour the zoo, head out and have lunch, let the kids play on the awesome playground and then finish the zoo, if we felt like it.  It was always a great way to spend a summer day – and still is!  My friend, Tracy, is doing a page on her blog about great things to do for under $10 – I’d say this qualifies!  Check out this page (and the rest is pretty awesome also!) Camper Chronicles – Under $10 page

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HUGE playground!
HUGE playground!
Bald Eagles
Bald Eagles
Hyacinth Macaws
Hyacinth Macaws
Red Fox
Red Fox
Peacock
Peacock
I forget his name
I forget his name
Ostrich
Ostrich
Zebra
Zebra
cheetah
cheetah
some kind of albino deer
some kind of albino deer
another white deer
another white deer

Alberto was looking to go on some BIG roller coasters, so one evening we all made our way to Wildwood Boardwalk.  We would visit this boardwalk in our younger years, Wildwood has great free beaches, if you feel like walking half a mile to the water’s edge.  I might be exaggerating just a bit on that, but it is quite the hike to the water.

One of Wildwood's 3 ride piers
One of Wildwood’s 3 ride piers
I TOLD you it was a LONG walk out to the water!
I TOLD you it was a LONG walk out to the water!
there are people in those blow-up things!
there are people in those blow-up things!

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That's Craig with his hands in the air!
That’s Craig with his hands in the air!

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Who wants pizza? US!
Who wants pizza? WE DO!
YUMMY!
YUMMY!
making fudge - with walnuts
making fudge – with walnuts

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who doesn't love a carousel?
who doesn’t love a carousel?
Bill and Jo riding the famous Wildwood Boardwalk Tram Car
Bill and Jo riding the famous Wildwood  “Watch the tram-car please” Boardwalk Tram Car
Alberto getting bit by a shark!
Alberto getting bit by a shark!
no one went on this, but I took the pic b/c I remember my kids going on it, one year Michelle went with her cousin (my niece) Angela, and the following year Billy went by himself - its the one where you hare wearing a harness suit thing and they attach you to a bungee and hoist you up and then you pull the cord and away you go!
no one went on this, but I took the pic b/c I remember my kids going on it, one year Michelle went with her cousin (my niece) Angela, and the following year Billy went by himself – its the one where you hare wearing a harness suit thing and they attach you to a bungee and hoist you up and then you pull the cord and away you go!
Jo was able to get a still frame from a video she took of the old wooden roller coaster we went on to finish off our night in Wildwood
Jo was able to get a still frame from a video she took of the old wooden roller coaster we went on to finish off our night in Wildwood

Another afternoon, our friends, Michael and Johanna brought their girls, 11 year old Olivia and 8 year old Juliette, and came to see us!  They hadn’t seen the rig before, and I’ve told you tons of times how much we love showing off our home on wheels.  They had never seen a rig like ours, and I think they liked it.  After some sandwiches, we headed out to spend some time at Ocean City Boardwalk.  They had never visited this boardwalk and we had told them about how clean and nice it is, especially when compared to Seaside.  They told us about how even Pt. Pleasant, which used to be the place to bring younger kids, had gone down hill.  It’s such a shame that these places have been let go, and are filled with bars and head shops.  TV shows like “Jersey Shore” certainly don’t help the public perception of these places, even though that show (which I only watched once) isn’t even close to being real.

Juliette making a mess of her ice cream!
Juliette making a mess of her ice cream!
All of us (L to R - Bill, me, Olivia, Michael, Juliette and Johanna) after a round of mini-golf
All of us (L to R – Bill, me, Olivia, Michael, Juliette and Johanna) after a round of mini-golf
later in the evening, making eating s'mores!
later in the evening, eating s’mores!

Alberto had to return to Spain on Tuesday.  Jo and Craig were, needless to say, a bit out of sorts having to say goodbye.  He is a great kid, I’m sure he will have a bright future!  It was really great getting to know him!  Maybe someday Bill and I will find ourselves in Spain and we can look him up!

After all the stress of getting Alberto ready to head home, plus driving him to Newark to the airport, Wednesday we all went to the beach to chill and relax.  What a perfect day!

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Jo and Craig and Alberto’s duck – enjoying the sand!

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I posted this one on FaceBook - and said
I posted this one on FaceBook – and said “toes in the sand – today I want for nothing!” Can’t say it better than that!

Thursday turned out to be a perfect day for sailing, so Bill and Craig headed to Johns and Barnegat Bay to get Bill’s boat in the water.  Jo and I stayed behind and got rig chores and hair dye done, but here are a few pics they took.

in Johns yard
in Johns yard
set up at the boat ramp
set up at the boat ramp
Happy Craig!
Happy Craig!

Jo had been wanting to get in some casino time, and Atlantic City Boardwalk was a bucket list item for her, so Friday, we headed that way.  Sadly, none of us won (no one got pooped on my a gull or pigeon Gene!)  but we still had a really nice afternoon.

we parked at Trump Taj Mahal, since it is right on the boardwalk
we parked at Trump Taj Mahal, since it is right on the boardwalk
Jo - trying her best to win big
Jo – trying her best to win big
Steele Pier
Steele Pier

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Having a few drinks at Landshark
Having a few drinks at Landshark – right on the beach!
Greetings from Atlantic City!
Greetings from Atlantic City!
Craig and I in front of the Margaritaville blender!
Craig and I in front of the Margaritaville blender!
Craig trying to win back Jo's slot loses, didn't work out the way he hoped
Craig trying to win back Jo’s slot loses, didn’t work out the way he hoped
Afterwards, we headed to Sea Isle City for an early dinner at Mikes Seafood
Afterwards, we headed to Sea Isle City for an early dinner at Mikes Seafood

Jo and Craig pulled out on Saturday, they had an appointment to bring their rig back for more repairs.  They were NOT happy leaving!  Who won’t rather have their toes in the sand and walk the boards in the evenings?  Jo and Craig had never been to the Jersey Shore and we were more than happy to share our “old stomping grounds” with them!

Since they have left, Bill and I are on our own.  I have to say, we love traveling with others, but we also love our time to ourselves, just doing our own thing.

Bill bbq'ing some delish chicken for dinner one night!
Bill bbq’ing some delish chicken for dinner one night!
watching the super-moon rise over the ocean!
watching the super-moon rise over the ocean!
a bit later the same night - love the kites!
a bit later the same night – love the kites!
Since I don't have room for every single t-shirt I see that I like, I find just taking a pic is usually good enough
Since I don’t have room for every single t-shirt I see that I like, I find just taking a pic is usually good enough
LOVE this one!
LOVE this one!
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I’d rather have “my house” – wouldn’t you?
No - this isn't a t-shirt, I might have to go back for this Christmas ornament
No – this isn’t a t-shirt, I might have to go back for this Christmas ornament
Ocean City at night
Ocean City at night

We decided to take the boat out one afternoon.

have to stop for breakfast first
have to stop for breakfast first
setting up
setting up
the marina in Ocean Gate is very nice
the marina in Ocean Gate is very nice
Bill - motoring out before we put the sails up
Bill – motoring out before we put the sails up
beautiful day!
beautiful day!
me - trying to strike a pose - don't think I succeeded too well, was a bit uncomfortable
me – trying to strike a pose – don’t think I succeeded too well, was a bit uncomfortable
back at John's - the deer were hungry
back at John’s – the deer were hungry
the bigger one is an 8-point buck!
the bigger one is an 8-point buck!

One afternoon, we were sitting outside having our coffee and a young man (teenager) came by and asked if we had a hitch in the back of our truck (we have a cover that is mostly always closed).  Bill asked why did he want to know?  to which he replied that his family needed to move their 5th wheel into the storage area, but their friends that usually move it had a family emergency and could we move it for them?  I was a bit hesitant, what if something went wrong, I didn’t want us to be responsible for something happening to their rig or our truck.  Bill followed him over a few sites to check out there rig.  He came back and said it would be ok, he would help them out.  That’s my man!

pulling out of their spot
pulling out of their spot
very weird watching our truck pull another 5er!
very weird watching our truck pull another 5er!

All together, it took less than an hour and they were very happy and grateful!  That’s what its about right?  Helping out others when you can?

One day I took some pics of where we are staying.  It is a Thousand Trails Campground, and pretty nice.  They have a great area for the kids, which we are parked far away from – LOL!

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lake with a fountain
people on the lake beach
people on the lake beach
playground
playground
water park area - my kids would have loved this place in their childhood days!
water park area – my kids would have loved this place in their childhood days!

Our last few days at Lake and Shore were spent as we usually spend our “down the shore” time, toes in the sand, walking the boards, eating a vanilla/orange twist cone from Kohr Bro’s and just chillin’.  I have worked on my blog, made some doc appts for when we are in FL, just taking care of business.

We have a busy few weeks coming up and we will be on the move more than usual, getting in last minute visits before heading to KY to begin our jobs at Amazon.  Had I mentioned that before?  I don’t remember.  Well, either way, now you know.

Thanks again for reading – catch ya later…