A Shore Thing

Dunes, grasses and sky…..

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!

Dunes at the entrance to the Stone Harbor beach near 121st Street

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.

Another shot of that smoky, hazy sunrise……

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! 🙂

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