My family loves going to the shore, although we don’t often get together in a big group for beach getaways. So it was a nice last-minute surprise opportunity to visit Ocean City, N.J. again with relatives from multiple households. That included two aunts and uncles, four cousins, two sons of one cousin along for the trip, my mom and myself.
The first New Jersey stop on the way to the shore was in the Clarksboro area to meet up at one aunt and uncle’s house. We packed up for the road, decided who was riding in what car and were on our way.
Arriving in Ocean City, I loved seeing all the beach properties with porches, balconies and even spiral staircases winding up to rooftops! People were milling about with their beach gear, either to relax on the sand or cool off in the ocean. It wasn’t scorching hot like it had been for a few days back in July. The day’s weather was perfect for simply enjoying time at the shore.
With the lot out of regular spaces, we parked our cars along the walls of a golf course building that resembled a rocky cliffside. Next door to that was The Golden Galleon, its giant pirate and octopus sculptures early glimpses of the seafaring-themed boardwalk attractions.
Those of us who set out together from Clarksboro walked a short distance along the boardwalk to the nearest station for beach tags. At a station near Manco Pizza and another eatery, Crabfries, we met up with relatives from points farther north in New Jersey. Setting up on the beach, a spot was picked just beyond where the sand dipped to a lower level.
It was coming up on lunchtime, so after arranging a rainbow of beach chairs and umbrellas, my mom and I took to the boardwalk. As we window-shopped our way passed a few stores, we spotted two of my cousins riding side-by-side on a covered rental surrey. What a great way to explore the boardwalk!
We ended up at Primavera, where we could go and sit inside at a booth to cool down during lunch. After each having tuna subs and fries, it was back to browsing a few more boardwalk shops. I went into one called Only Yesterday and although it was filled with classic pop culture memorabilia, I didn’t buy anything that day. With many favorite movie-themed items, this shop was right up my alley!
The top of a Ferris wheel rose up over more shops not too far down the boardwalk, near the historic Flanders Hotel. I would love to stay there on a future OCNJ trip, by the way! As I entered Castaway Cove, I could see an ornate carousel swing ride that stood just in front of the hotel. The maritime-themed amusement area had everything from kiddie to thrill rides. Whenever I’ve gone to amusement parks, my favorites always included the Tilt-a-Whirl and the pirate / viking ship swaying back and forth.
Wandering around the rides, it certainly brought back a lot of fun memories of boardwalk and amusement park trips with friends! I almost always loved the thrill rides, with two exceptions. I can’t remember what it was called, but my best friend wanted to go on this round silver ride. It started out spinning over the ground and passengers sat inside its cars that dangled beneath. Eventually, it stood like a Ferris wheel as it went faster and faster, silver two-person cars swaying left-to-right. I was hesitant to try it, but was persuaded in the end and actually loved it! The same goes for a ride similar to the pirate / viking ship, but painted to resemble a space shuttle and went further for thrill ride fans. That ride’s eventual build-up of momentum taking passengers upside-down and all the way around a few times had me doubting my nerve. But, again, I ended up giving it a go and loving it!
Overnight Aug. 11 – 12, I saw a show called “Ride-iculous” on the Travel Channel. The episode featured a giant swing ride at Colorado’s Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in one segment. Just watching in on TV, my draw was dropping! Would you ride the Giant Cavern Swing?
While at Castaway Cove, we cooled down in the shade of an umbrella-covered picnic table eating Dairy Queen treats. Kids and their parents rode past us on a little red train that circled the amusement area. I took a few more photos of the rides and soon it was back to the beach. My mom, a cousin and I walked down to the water for more cooling off; it felt a bit chilly at first. But that feeling went away quicker than that of losing balance from the waves as they wash ashore and go back out again. One kid was sitting in a beach chair right on the water near where I stood, awaiting each new splash as the tide grew higher.
My family group stayed another hour or so before packing everything up and heading for the cars. Along with re-visiting some boardwalk shops, next time I’ll also have to try the food at Crabfries. After leaving the OCNJ area, some of us finished out the day with dinner at the Texas Roadhouse in Millville.
It had been a fun day at the shore and I hope that my next visit to OCNJ won’t be in the too-distant future!
For more scenes from the shore, check out my OCNJ photo set on Flickr.