One thing is for “shore” – there’s no shortage of sand, grassy dunes and wide-open sky along the Jersey coast. Everyone who lives in the mid-Atlantic states knows that when talking about the coastal vacation hot spots you are either a Jersey Shore aficionado or you frequent the Delaware Beaches. I don’t know why “shore” has been used to describe the coastline of New Jersey and the term beach is used for the Delaware coast. But, I assure you there is a difference and most people in the mid-Atlantic region definitely prefer one over the other.
We’ve always been a “shore” family. My grandparents on my mother’s side of the family vacationed in Ocean City, New Jersey. We shared a house with them for two weeks each summer. They had family who lived in Ocean City year-round and vacationing there allowed them to visit with that extended family. It was (and still is) a dry city – there are no alcoholic beverages sold within the city limits. The city was founded by a group of Methodists and has maintained its blues laws to this day. This directive has given Ocean City a reputation as a very family-oriented seaside town. Given that my grandfather was a teetotaler, it’s not surprising that this town was his choice for family vacations!
Ocean City was magical as a child. Nowadays, it is far too crowded and “city-like” for my tastes. But, as a kid, I looked forward to the vibrant, festive ambience of the city and the busy boardwalk. We would be allowed a very limited number of nights on the boardwalk during our two-week stay. Gillian’s Wonderland Pier amusement park was a favorite – along with miniature golf, salt water taffy, riding bikes on the boardwalk before 10am and sunbathing at the 9th Street beach near the historic Music Pier.
I have not ventured back to Ocean City in many, many years – preferring the more subdued, quiet side of the shore on the Seven Mile Island. Funny how our tastes change over time! 🙂