Monday, October 09, 2006

A Shore Thing

I should have done this post right after we went to the Shore which was two weeks ago, so here it is.

Yes, I know. We left our trip to the shore a bit late in the year. Of course you’re supposed to go in season. We just didn’t make it for whatever reason. It was drizzling rain here when we left but the weather forecast for where we were headed was overcast with only a 30% chance of rain. Our destination goal was Point Pleasant. From nearly everyone we had talked to, Point Pleasant was the closest typical boardwalk experience within striking distance of our house.

It rained a bit on the way down and the roads were wet, making for a messy drive on the Garden State Parkway. The traffic wasn’t too bad and it took us about two hours. We headed for Jenkinson’s Boardwalk on Point Pleasant Beach. We were hungry, so we wanted to eat first before exploring. The guidebooks pointed us to Spike’s Seafood, an unassuming little fish market with a restaurant. Inside it was a tiny place, mostly taken up by the fish counter teeming with freshly caught fish of all kinds, with some wooden tables. We were the only ones there except for one couple when we first got there, but it was only 11:30.

We ordered off the Daily Specials menu even though they are known for their Lobster Rolls (chunks of lobster on a hot dog bun drizzled with hot butter). We had an appetizer of Garlic Clams which was good but didn’t really *WOW* us. Rick ordered Crab Stuffed Shrimp and I had the Cod with Tomatoes & Capers. Both were excelllent. The place filled up fast as we ate our meal, and many people came in just to buy fish at the counter. It was obvious that many were locals and most people were ordering huge mugs of chowder followed by the popular Lobster Rolls. Maybe next time we’ll try those. Lobster is not my favorite thing though. Too rich for this gal.

On to the boardwalk! We parked (not a problem at this time of year—parking lots were empty!) and started up the boardwalk. We happened to park on the far end where most of the houses were, so we got to enjoy looking at the empty beach on one side and many interesting houses on the other. Privacy is not important, obviously. Neither is landscaping since yards are made of sand. Some people chose to make little oases in between their house and the neighbor’s. Some houses were gorgeous, while others looked like poor little cousins. It must be a very lively environment in season and I can certainly see the appeal of being right on the beach. Here are is an example of a “street” right off the boardwalk and someone’s idea of an oasis.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

After a short stroll we found ourselves at the real reason we came: Jenkinson’s Boardwalk. It was very quiet for a weekend. We can only imagine how busy it was in the summer season. If you’ve never been to a boardwalk before, just imagine a carnival atmosphere with arcades inviting you to try your luck at their game [of course, chances are slim you will ever win one of those prizes], candy shops selling salt water taffy and all kinds of sweet treats, restaurants of all kinds with all the junk food you could ever want, a small amusement park for the kiddies, and much more. We indulged in some wonderful ice cream that was smooth as butter, and just as deadly! Here is what it looked like.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

We spent about an hour walking around and then headed back to our car before our parking meter ran out. It was interesting, but I think I’d like to see it in full swing. But then again, on a cloudy September day it still had lots of charm, just a different kind.

On the trip home we drove up the shore as best we could, goggling at the size of some of the mansions along the way. We drove through Spring Lake [wow, the houses—ritzy!], Belmar, Avon-by-the-Sea, Bradley Beach [all lovely] and unfortunately Asbury Park [very ugly]. Once on the GSParkway again the traffic was very heavy. Not my kind of driving, but it doesn’t bother Rick at all. It’s at times like those that we realize how densely populated NJ really is.

Next time I’d like to visit some of the lighthouses, such as Sandy Hook, Twin Lighthouses, and Sea Girt. So much to explore!


Welcome, I'm Lynne. You know me better as a 'new' Jersey Girl. But now I've moved once again, this time to North Carolina. Here I write about my thoughts, good food, and of course, dogs.

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