When I mention that I’m heading to the shore, my friend Madeline invariably responds with “huh?” What can I say? She’s from California and there, they call it the beach. Silly people. Heading to the shore is a tradition here in Jersey. It’s what we do. When you’re in high school, it’s a rite of passage, whether it happens on the weekends or after prom. After I graduated high school, and through my early 20s, as soon as it hit 5 pm on Friday, we’d scrounge up whatever money we could and hit the Parkway for a weekend with no plans other than “hanging out at the shore.” Good times, as Nicholas is fond of saying, good times. Now that I’m older, married, with kids, we’re still heading to the shore, although the gear has changed just a tad as I struggle to find room in the SUV for two kids, a big furry dog, the baby’s swing and countless other must-haves.
If you’re lucky enough to be in the Tri-State area and within earshot of WPLJ, then you know that this morning was their Summer Blast-Off at Jenkinsons on the Boardwalk in Point Pleasant, a kick-off to all things summer. The fun starts with Joe Nolan’s speech, something I look forward to every year. A traffic fixture on ABC News and WPLJ radio, his kick-off-to-summer speeches never fail to give me goosebumps, and as I listened to today’s excited anthem, filled with Jersey pride from start to finish, it was no exception. After all, although New Jersey has its negative aspects (what place doesn’t?), we are the home to the NHL Devils, the Giants (you know, the, ahem, Super Bowl champs), the shore, the mountains, farms and everything in between. Whether it’s theater, live music, homemade ice cream or organic vegetables, even the opera … we’ve got it all, we should be proud. Sometimes it’s good to get a reminder of that. In his speech, Joe made a reference to listening to Bruce Springsteen on the way down and that resonated, because as I let Nicholas out of the car at school this morning, he reminded me that I promised him I’d make a CD for us to listen to on our next trip down the shore. I think it’s time to introduce him to Bruce and Born to Run.
Whether you’re heading to Sandy Hook, Belmar or any gorgeous point in between, it’s a time filled with miniature golf, sunbathing (in what sounds like a gorgeous weekend), Frozen Cokes on a little side street in downtown Cape May, movies at the local cinema, searching for seashells, building sandcastles and flipping burgers with friends and family. However you celebrate Memorial Day weekend, enjoy!
P.S. Need a little Jersey pride? They finally loaded a video with Joe Nolan’s speech, which you can check out right here.
Although I don’t live there, my absolute favorite thing about NJ is JON BON JOVI!! Do you live near him Cate?
I only went to New Jersey once, but I was impressed with how beautiful it was.
I (quickly) learned the correct term when I was working out of Annapolis.
Growing up we went to ‘the beach’ (on the Mississippi). In Minneapolis we went to ‘the lake’.
Here we go to ‘the coast’.
It’s all just sand and water!!!
I’m a bit of a lurker here, but as a proud Jersey girl I had to comment on this one…. go Jersey!! I love it here, I love that you live here (I didnt realize it before), and I would never live any place else. There is nothing better in the world than ‘going down the shore’…. can’t wait for our first trip this summer (we’re Cape May’ers in my family…. loooong trip but worth it). Enjoy your beach time!
i’ll always look fondly upon new jersey simply because it produced the fine, fabulous, and foxy sensation known as bruce springsteen. what a man.
You must be talking about the frozen cokes at Hot Dog Tommy’s! lol…love that place!
The Neighbor Husband says
Going to the “Jersey shore” is a tradition growing up. The only thing that really changes is you go to certains parts as kids, certain as teens and in college and last but not least certain parts as parents. Cape May is very nice. I used to go there as a teen. Enjoy your weekend Cate.
Isn’t that “going DOWN the shore?”
I love the summer blast off!
Val – I think he lives about an hour away. Love his music too – perfect shore tunes!
Kris – yup, going down the shore it is.
Dani – I’m going to have to look next time (didn’t make it there this weekend) – just a little door on a side street, but the best Frozen Cokes e-v-e-r.
Megan – Always nice to hear from a fellow proud Jersey Girl. ;)
Katie – “going to the coast” sounds funny, but you’re right … sand and surf.
Bruce is a must if you’re heading down the shore. Actually, Bruce is a must for summer.