For quite some time now, Andrew has been telling me about all of the fun things his family always did when they went to the beach in Wildwood, New Jersey; everything from the boardwalk, to the really big beaches, the historic hotels, and the beautiful homes in nearby Cape May. This is one of those things that you really have to be there to fully experience everything...so we went! For as long as I can remember, my family has always vacationed at beaches in North and South Carolina, so I really had no idea what to expect from "the Jersey Shore."
We traveled to Andrew's parents' house in PA on Friday, and then continued our journey, along with Andrew's mom and sister, to New Jersey on Saturday. We were staying with Andrew's grandparents, as well as some more of Andrew's extended family.
Once we arrived we decided to do a little sightseeing since we couldn't get into the house yet. First we went to Sunset Beach, where there is a sunken concrete ship not too far from the shore.
Apparently because of the strong tidal flow hitting this ship, lots of little river rocks get washed ashore at Sunset Beach. Instead of sand on the beach, it's all tiny little pebbles. It's not too pleasant to walk on with bare feet, but it's neat nonetheless. At one of the gift shops nearby, they sell "Cape May Diamonds" which are those same pebbles on the beach that have been polished for a really long time, and then were cut and put onto a necklace. It's hard to believe that the rocks on the left (in the picture below) were turned into the necklace that I now have! It might not be a real diamond, but it sure has a neat story!
Afterwards, we went to (and climbed!) the Cape May lighthouse.
It was really interesting on the way up to look on the walls and see where people had signed their names a really long time ago. This one says August 26th, 1868!
The view from the top was amazing! You could also see this old WWII bunker from the top. It used to be a ways inland, but due to shore erosion it's now practically in the water.
After we had finished our sightseeing for the day, we went back to the house, got settled, and then went for a long walk on the beach. That evening we relaxed, played some games, and also enjoyed this beautiful sunset.
The next morning (and Monday morning as well), Andrew and I went for a bike ride on the boardwalk. This is definitely one of those things that you just have to experience to fully understand. It's basically a 2 mile boardwalk along the beach with lots of food vendors and souvenir/beach shops running the whole length. There are also three amusement piers coming off of the boardwalk with all kinds of rides and attractions on them. In the picture below, you can see one of the roller coasters.
We rode to the end of the boardwalk and kept going until we reached the Hereford Inlet lighthouse. It's a much different style of lighthouse from the Cape May lighthouse, and it's also surrounded by beautiful gardens.
After our bike ride, we ate lunch and then went to the beach for the rest of the afternoon. In my opinion, the water was really cold, so I didn't get in past my ankles. Andrew, on the other hand, was a little more adventurous and actually got in the water! It was so nice to relax on the beach on Sunday and Monday for most of the day.
Andrew and Katherine boogie boarding
Then we enjoyed some funnel cake! mmmm.
One night we also went to the beach at sunset and took pictures of us sitting in the lifeguard stand, which is another tradition at the beach. The first picture is Nancy and Katherine and the next picture is of Andrew and me.
We also made an attempt to fly kites, but I don't think there was enough wind so we couldn't get them to stay up in the air...oh well!
Tuesday was there before we knew it and it was time to go home. But before we left we explored Cape May to pass the time before our ferry ride. The picture below is of some of the cute homes there. There were so many of them that were very similar in style to these.
This is the beach at Cape May...we just took this picture from the car because you have to pay to go on that beach.
On the way home on the Bay Bridge.
We got home late Tuesday night and I was very glad that I had already taken off work the next day! We had a really great time and we look forward to going back again!
P.S. Thanks Grandma and Grandpa Brown for letting us come stay with you at the beach!