Growing up in the Tri-State area, I spent much of my time growing up down the shore. In fact, my very first experience traveling happened to be a trip down the shore when I was nine months old.
Over the next coming years, I would spend much of my time there, visiting friend’s homes during the summer or ending proms with a weekend in Seaside or Long Beach Island. But, in my most recent years, aside from a day trip or two here and there, I haven’t spent much time there. Instead, I would rather escape America each summer for exotic, far off destinations.
While that’s been wonderful, after meeting Jeff, I have been beginning to realize that home isn’t all that bad, and that there are places to escape to here as well. That includes heading down the shore, and this past weekend, that’s exactly what we did.
We headed down for Saturday night, and headed straight to the boardwalk in Seaside Heights, yes, the Seaside you’ve seen on television if you’ve ever watched Jersey Shore. While some of my high school years, including senior prom, had plenty of time spent on this boardwalk, it was something Jeff had never experienced. Since it’s one of those places you have to see to believe, I was up for the challenge of experiencing it at least one more time.
Immediately, we knew we picked a perfect night for people watching. Between the outfits and bits of conversations we heard, there was nothing quite as entertaining as this boardwalk. Since we couldn’t spend the entire night just watching people, we played a few games and won a few prizes. Then we grabbed a slice of pizza and decided that after an hour, there wasn’t much more we could take, so we headed back to the hotel.
We woke up the next morning to visit friends in Tom’s River, a much different area of the shore. This town is made up of canals that lead to the bay. Each house has a backyard, and sometimes a front yard too, that leads to a canal, where one can watch jet skis, kayaks, and boats drive past. Everyone says hi as they float by and the overall atmosphere is beyond friendly.
On shore, you can sit on your deck, enjoying a glass of wine, while completely relaxing to the gentle sounds of the water lapping at the docks. It’s serene and calming; the perfect getaway from life and the craziness of some towns at the shore.
But, the real fun is in the water. Jeff and I decided to first take out the kayak, which is something I’ve never done in the ocean. The bay was a bit rough, so instead, we drove it around the canals, looking at houses and waving to the people we passed.
Later, we took out the jet ski, which I haven’t done in about twelve years. After a quick lesson, Jeff was in control, and I hopped on back. After slowly weaving through the canals, we sped up as we got to the bay and surrounding areas. It was the best feeling in the world speeding through the water with my hair flying in the wind.
My short time down the shore was better than I could have imagined. Part of me feels guilty for pushing aside this paradise near home away for so many years. I used to think everywhere in the world was better than home, but slowly I’m realizing, that while it’s different than what else is out there in the world, in its own way it’s also just perfect.