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Ocean City ~ Another Trip to the Boards

So this past Winter we asked our girls where they would like to go for our summer vacation, Disney World or Ocean City, New Jersey they both answered without hesitation, “Ocean City, New Jersey!”

So here is another picture blog (sort of) of our trip this month, back to my favorite destination as a kid.

We left for OCNJ the week after school let out for summer. And while it was plenty hot where we live, 10 hours to our North they were still trying to unwrap summer. Actually, the kids were still in school at this time.

Day 1

Eat Breakfast at Browns Donuts.

We always rent bikes in OCNJ and take a trip down the boardwalk in the morning. Browns is conveniently located at the one end of the Boards, so we start our daily bike ride from there.

This is one of two places we visited once a day (at least) on vacation. They are soooo good!

We love Brown’s donuts!

We go to Texas Roadhouse about every other week where we live. Every time we go there the young hostess asks if we had been to Texas Roadhouse before?

We walked in Browns donuts and got a big hug from the staff, which we had not seen in close to two years.

Something you might not be surprised to see then in America’s Greatest Family Resort is the playing of the Star Spangled Banner at 9am every day on the boardwalk as they raise our flag on the Boards.

Yes 9am, not too early…..cause we are on vacation.

In Ocean City, NJ a seagull flies through the scene as they sing, “God bless the USA” at around the first minute into the video. Not and eagle or jets that you see other places  🙂

It is the coast after all.

So every morning bike ride one of the things we try to decide is ‘where are we going to play miniature golf today?’

The Ocean City boardwalk has no shortage of kid courses.

Mini golf with a view…rain or shine apparently

Our first day on the Boards we opted for Medieval Golf, a.k.a., ‘the place with the dragon‘.

Skye hiding from the dragon

Next in the OCNJ routine is back to the beach house, quaintly known as 4 Beach Road this year, conveniently located to Browns and a beach grill, to freshen up and head to the beach.

Now one of the heroines in this story, Dylan, is at an age where she does not like the beach so much; it’s too dirty.

But Skye loves it! So off we went!

We dug a warm tidal pool in front of the cold Atlantic

So working on the reputation of ‘the world’s greatest daddy’ (Fathers Day was right around the corner) I dug a wall around the out-flowing water of the retreating tides to create a warm pool for Skye to play in.

This was some work as you had to stay busy and a lot of fun!

Speaking of the beach grill, here is a shot from there where Mom and I enjoyed some local ‘Philly Cheese steaks, while Dylan and Aunt Sue practiced volley ball.

Take a look in front of us.

Parents, how many of you have kids that like to lay face and belly down in the sand and just get coated top to bottom?

Life’s a beach!

We showered up afterwards and headed over to the appropriately vacation themed ‘Island Grill Seafood House for dinner. This is another place we talked about all spring as we planned our vacation.

our Miss Drama on vacation

Then back to the boardwalk for the last two destinations we dreamed of all spring,

Amusement park rides on the Wonderland Amusement pier ….

…and Kohrs Brothers Frozen Custard!!!

Kohrs Bros. frozen custard accept no substitutes

This frozen soft custard ice cream goodness really can’t be over stated. And by the end of the week Dylan had her favorite Kohrs Brothers stand with her favorite staff.

Can you imagine any finer destination for a kid then, donuts, bikes, beach, putt-putt, amusement rides and soft ice cream all in one day?

And why this beats Disney World every time?

Day 2

Browns….

4 Cinnamon, 3 chocolate, 1 powdered and one vanilla…all Mine!!

Bike ride to decide on the  mini golf course to play.

Tuesday’s winner was the unforgettable favorite Seaport Village.

A household favorite, Jaws Golf

This has always been a family favorite after that unforgettable experience Skylar had years ago on her first encounter with putt-putt on the boards…and sharks!

Then it was back to the beach….

Yes a blonde life guard

…. then Castaway Cove Amusement Rides….

Fearless!

…and more Kohrs Bros.

Time for a daily dose of Kohrs Bros. Note the jackets

Notice the proper order…..

rides then ice cream and not the other way around.

Day 3

Browns donuts

Beware the paparazzi!

Boardwalk, bikes, mini golf…..

Today was the much awaited (and argued about), the legendary Congo Golf.

Congo Golf! The gorillas in the helicopter sing

Argued about you say?

Well trying to get two kids to agree on which course to play!

3 courses inside Congo golf (they all play Jimmy Buffett inside

Yes, dad took all the arguing in stride as they play Jimmy Buffett throughout the course..inside

Then back to the beach…

Today the post-card team of lifeguards actually came to life!

A family of swimmers drifted out past the breakers and could not make their way back to the shallows. A few of them waved for the lifeguards for Help.

I would like to insert a (blonde) joke here but I was really impressed.

Without hesitation, one of the lifeguards sprinted to the sea with an orange float under one arm, completely ignoring the 60 degree ocean temp.

In less than a minute two more life guards came literally sprinting down the beach full speed from the neighboring beach, floats in their hand, and dove into the ocean.

A minute later an all-terrain vehicle pulled up with two more lifeguards. And then another.

Life guards pulling swimmers from the ocean. I stood up as if I could be some assistance to the rescue

This rescue on this family of 5 was really impressive!

Adding to why this is such a great place to take your kids.

…speaking of,

later that day…

Rides

Did I mention Fearless?

…Kohrs Bros. ice cream, er, frozen custard

Chocolate and rainbow sprinkles

Day 4

Today on the Boards we tried a break in the routine,

a perk,

a decadent diversion….

Boards, Bikes, and Kohrs Custard…for breakfast

Soft Custard for breakfast!!

We still had our Browns donuts earlier on the bike ride.

(I put on so much weight this trip!)

Still no shortage of mini golf..

Pirate Island

Pirate Golf right down the boards from Congo

…that has the talking Parrott and Alligator…that tries to sell you DQ Blizzards

And the mandatory family pic….

mandatory family picture

more Beach..

This week in Ocean City they held the Miss New Jersey pageant at their famed Music Pier theater on the Boards.

This night they held the Miss New Jersey pageant ‘parade’ on the boardwalk so every one could get a glimpse at the contestants…

Miss New Jersey Parade

..ahhhh, the constants:

ahhh Ms. New Jersey parade

Each contestant rode in their favorite car and got made up to look like their favorite woman in history.

..then more rides

The Wonderland Bear says Hello to the two most avid riders

..as we were preparing to say good-bye to the Wonderland and Castaway Cove Amusement piers.

Summary:

So by now I guess you know our routine.

I didn’t take any pics of riding our bikes on the boardwalk. That, in itself, is a true highlight of a trip to OCNJ, for young and old a like.

We did not miss a single morning, rain or shine, hot or cold on the Boards with our bikes.

Here is a glimpse of what that is like..

Two and a half mile of beach homes, other bikers, joggers, and surreys.

Shops, sounds, smells and sights of vacation!

Candy, fudge, warm fresh caramel corn, ice cream, mini golf, souvenirs, beach stores.

A wake, up-stretch-your-legs, this-is going-to-be-a-great day, intro to vacation.

I stop, inhale, and marinate the ‘shangri la’ experience this is, and has been for me. Its good for the soul.

Shang ri la ~ the boards are good for the soul

Perfect morning on the boards

..cause I am pretty much still a kid at heart.

One mini golf place we did not mention or capture was the Haunted Golf with the skeleton out front that talks and sings to you.

No pictures cause it’s all inside.

Which can be a really cool thing in the summer; pardon the pun.

And that brings us to the sunset of our summer vacation.

The Sun going down to the west

Thanks for taking the time to look in and visit with us!

Sorry is it is so much of the same, past OCNJ posts. But each trip, I think this marks the 5th with the kids, is a new high with new experiences.

One more glimpse from the ferris wheel as we take the bridge across Egg Harbor and head home and  say good-bye.

It’s a great place to be a kid!

Want one more version of why Ocean City is Americas Greatest Family resort and the perfect place for kids? Listen to this unbiased version from a 10-year-old strolling down the boardwalk as he gives you a narrated tour of the Boards. Too cute!

This is the Ocean City experience… as seen through the eyes of a child.

 

Cast of Characters in Another Trip to the Boards:

Browns Donuts

Kohrs Bros. Frozen Custard

Ocean City Boardwalk

Bikes on the Boardwalk

Miniature Golf of Ocean City

with a very special supporting to Johnson’s popcorn

(in which a gallon tub was consumed during the making of this vacation)

(I am such a tub of lard)

If I know you, and I miss your birthday or special event, you are getting a tub of this in the mail

A Great Place To Be A Kid

Well pardon me…

Its time for another great version of:

What I did on my summer vacation!

(How has everyone been?)

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Three guesses where we went?

Yes, the very day school let out here we packed our bags for …

“our favorite beach town…its Ocean City, NJ”.

Actually you all know this by now I guess.

Again this town, now TOWN(!), is a GREAT FAMILY Resort.

ocean city

It markets itself that way and does a great job to brand itself that way too.

Imagine a resort where they don’t sell alcohol (at least not on the island)? All that tax revenue gone.

But the no alcohol sends that element somewhere else and you are left with a vacation spot full of young families, older folks looking for a quiet town and some really well raised teenagers.

It truly is a great place to bring be a kid.

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This is the place where my parents brought me and my siblings when I was young. We made some great memories!

Now its our turn to bring our girls back OC and let them make some fun memories; as well as recreate some of our own.

What were those memories?

As Junie B. Jones would say,

‘It is my favorite thing in the whole wide world! And it starts with the letter B.

And that stands for….

Boardwalk!’

BOARDWALK _20160608_095220045

And Ocean city’s boardwalk is a great place to be a kid!

(click  HERE or at sunset HERE and take a peak at whats going on right now

…and get fat!

Yep, you just try and run all this food off...

Yep, you just try and run all this food off…

Ahhhh…. yea!

Some of the best food known to kid-dom resides on ‘the Boards’! And when I say the Best, it is truly the best of the best…

“Laura’s Fudge is so so nice
Kohr Brothers is cool as ice
And top it off with a slice
And they’ve got FroYo, too

Eating all you can
Pants start to expand
Even ate some sand
Where you think you’re going baby?”

Well, we went each morning to Brown’s Donuts on our bikes. We strategically rented a home a block away from Brown’s.

BROWNS DOUGHNUTS_20160609_093706303

This is the spot where I try to sell you on brown’s, again. But this year it was summed up our very first day.

As we walked through the front door to get a table two ladies in their 50’s were sharing some donuts on the bench by the door. And as I walked on by one won-over lady was licking her fingers and said,

“Best donut ever!”

Ahh yea! They are.

Warm, fresh, made to order Brown’s donuts.

Accept no substitutes!

Powdered, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Vanilla, and Honey

Powdered, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Vanilla, and Honey

After Brown’s its a trip down the boardwalk on our bikes as we try to decide what stores to stop in and where to play miniature golf at on our way back.

'how hard did you hit that Daddy?'

‘How hard did you hit that Daddy?’

Getting back to the Boardwalk, it now carries several regional brand names synonymous with the Boardwalk. (You will see below in the vid)

If some one say Kohr’s you think the best soft custard ever!

If someone says Johnson’s Popcorn you think warm fresh, smell-to-die-for caramel corn.

If someone in Philadelphia says, Manco and Manco they know they are talking about delicious 26 inch pizza pies.

And I already told you about Brown’s Donuts.

Yes, the stores carry t-shirts, pictures, key chains, and refrigerator magnets with these brands on them

So? Best place to be a kid?

Howabout a place with world famous soft custard, warm caramel corn, pizza and donuts. I promise you we ate 3 of the 4 EVERY day (I’m such a pig) including Browns donuts every morning and Kohr’s soft custard every night.

We did!

lose 10lbs

Its like being a kid in a candy store!

Like a kid in a candy store

Like a kid in a candy store

Oh yea, they have a few old, established famous ones there too!

BOARDWALK CANDY_20160605_132223258

Did I forget to mention fresh fudge kids?

Now here is the part where I try to find a video that summed up OC’s boardwalk but I found this gem instead.

Kudos to Mom and Dad and their talented kids for pulling this off!

Their smiles and enthusiasm are A-typical of the kids in OC and the kids in all of us!

Sing along with them to the familiar tune:

We come here ev-ver-ree year.

To the beach where there is no beer.

We really like it here.

We think you will too…

We take a walk on the boards
This pizza won some awards
We’re on the Jersey Shore
But not the tacky one”

I love it!

Now if you ask our kids what the best part of their vacation was they will tell you

THE RIDES!

BOARDWALK_20160608_191721847_HDR

There are two amusement piers on the boards with a lot of carnival type kid rides. One pier may be geared more to younger kids than the other.

We went to both.

OMG don’t ask me how much money we spent on tickets!

It starts to put a Disney trip in perspective!

PIRATES_20160610_105448345

This year we thought we would hang out with some Pirates too.

Savvy?

We took a trip on a pirate cruise.

Again, this adventure, that we have always been curious about is geared to small kids.

Skylar let one loose....her 'Stinky Pete the Pirate' joke..

Skylar let one loose….her ‘Stinky Pete the Pirate’ joke..

We sailed around in the OC Harbor.

Tried to sink that smelly ol’ Pirate, Stinky Pete.

PIRATES_20160610_114155659

We They even found seem Pirate grog buried deep in the harbor.

PIRATE TREASURE_20160610_114828568

It turned out to be in a Treasure Chest with a lot of plastic kiddie toys and a 2 liter bottle of root beer.

It was great…if that gives you an idea of how cold that harbor water is!

Great job you scallywags!

RIDES_20160606_184000977_HDR

But while the trip was for the kids (most of it) Dad likes to go to the beach.

BROWNS TO THE BEACH _20160606_093233214

..where I can listen to the tides, watch some girls gulls, (an abundance of laughing gulls), chill, and get rid of my flip flop tan..

 

"Beach-Life tan"

“Beach-Life tan”

Sadly, the air temperature was chilly for being the first week of June. We all had to buy sweatshirts. It kept a lot of the people off the beach and even more out of the cold ocean water.

I shore do love a picture where the land breeze blows the spray off the tumbling waves though!

IMG_20160608_161137063

And this pic below is for a blog follower, Apple Pie & Napalm, who did a photography post on ‘Sky’ while I was on vacation.She mentioned that she has started noticing the clouds more lately.

Well here is your typical ‘brush-stroke clouds cruising across the skies in OC…

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Ocean City even boasts of a well trained legacy of devoted life guards overlooking each beach, complete with rowboats, jet skies, and shaded life guard towers…

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“Its our favorite beach town, Ocean City!”

Yes, a great place to be a kid!

And its a Great place to be a kid!

Have a great summer everyone!

Retiring

I warned you I had a few more beach photo’s from Ocean City with the new camera. So I wanted to unload some for my family and friends and be able to retire this beach vacation theme here in the middle of October.

So bear with me here. If I haven’t scared you off with the pics from our kids on the first two episodes, this won’t hurt much either.

Again, we took a trip to Ocean City, New Jersey, which calls itself America’s Greatest Family Resort. And if you have a young family this is a great place to escape to when the time is right.ocean cityWell we visited on the shoulders of the off season and so the main attraction of Ocean City, its 2.5 mile boardwalk looked something like this:

the Boardwalk

The boardwalk is a great family destination for a number of reasons, not least of all is fun, great tasting, and completely unhealthy food. That’s why, literally, the first place we stopped every morning was:

Browns donuts sign

For a breakfast that resembled something like this:

Brown's breakfast

That’s right, there are two warm fresh made, partially eaten donuts for my oldest one, along with some Bavarian Waffles all topped with strawberries. A good father might have suggested she try something a little less ambitious for breakfast. But I was looking forward to finishing it!

And I did!

Then every day, after we finished breakfast, we would peddle on down the boards for some shopping; or probably more food.

Go Dylan Go!

Go Dylan Go!

Let me introduce Johnson’s Homemade Popcorn!

Johnsons popAnybody who has ever had fresh, warm, sweet smelling caramel popcorn knows what a treat that is. And Johnson’s makes it ways with about 4 different stands on the boardwalk, each making their own in-house, much like these Popcorn elves, hard at work one beautiful morning.

Johnson Popcorn elvesNot sold yet, here is the link to their online store, try some! Charge it to my account. ..http://www.johnsonspopcorn.com/

Manko and Manko Pizza is another Ocean City establishment with a huge reputation on on the boards.

manco

One particular chilly afternoon, I rode my bike down the boardwalk. It was empty. But as I rode past Manko and Manko’s there was maybe three empty seats in the whole place. Its that good!

The other must try, and we did, boardwalk treat is Kohr Brothers Frozen custard. Dylan tried to con me into taking her there every day as she knew it was my favorite spot on the boards.

Our girls HAD TO HAVE  the sprinkles EVERY TIME!

Our girls HAD TO HAVE the sprinkles EVERY TIME!

Friends if you go to OCNJ and try just these four places then leave it would not have been in vein.

FROZEN custard's my favorite

FROZEN custard’s my favorite

The other big reason for the great family fun on their boardwalk are the two big amusement piers.

Ferris WheelThere are great, carnival style rides here for all ages. I think I have documented them enough so here are just a few more pics

rides galore

The Casio camera was not so good with fast moving shots. That didn't stop the guy in the second car didn't know that though.. I never met him before!

The Casio camera was not so good with fast moving shots. That didn’t stop the guy in the second car from posing though.. I never met him before!

Skye copter

And, of course, the required Pirate, "Arrrgh matey" pose

And the customary Pirate, “Arrrgh matey” pose

Of course I am a beach bum. Any vacation of mine has to include some sand and some waves.

I showed a few pics over the weekend of the poetic surf to be found there. I would be misleading if I left you with the idea it was always like that.

One day the ocean was just plain flat

flat oceanAnd two days we had rain and storm type winds creating a different look for the beach and the ocean.

rough seaBut half of our stay the weather did cooperate with us and the girls didn’t mind the chilly ocean temperatures ( as much as I did) to let them get in the way of their fun….

my little surfers..

my little surfers..

the camera lens must have been about as cloudy as I was that morning

the camera lens must have been about as cloudy as I was that morning

It must have been a sea monster or Queen Ursula

It must have been a sea monster or Queen Ursula

And as I sat their one afternoon, not worrying about blogs to write, or to-do lists, or finances, or health my eyes kept coming back to these two.

yes, RETIRING like this some day...

yes, RETIRING like this some day…

I sat there watching them thinking, ‘yea that is the life in retirement for me. I could get use to this life I think; come out on the beach every day and read whatever suits my fancy, while warming in the sun and the crash of the waves for my backdrop. I hear it calling me….’

A most mysterious calling ocean.

So far but yet so near.

I can see the day when my hair’s so gray

and I finally disappear.”

GREAT SUNRISE

But not yet!

Have a great week knuckleheads!

I’ll try to do better next time…

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