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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¬† ūüôā

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.

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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!’

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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

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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!

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

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..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!

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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!

I sea you!

OK, by now you have probably noticed I have not been posting as much as I have last year or so. The truth is, I have been in between cameras. Our girls trashed my last one a few years ago. My cell phone can only handle so many tasks. And unless Aunt Sue was in town, I have been hurting for decent, blog quality photos.

Enter American Express! I finally squirreled up enough reward points with American Express to earn a new camera. After doing some research, I settled on a Casio EX-Z2000. It is a small, pocket sized digital that earned some good ratings in its category.

So I packed my new camera away and decided to learn and experiment with it on our vacation last week.

My main goal was picture clarity; picture quality of that of a much larger camera. The Casio EX has that capability but what it makes up for in quality it desperately lacks in picture speed. That’s why you WONT see pics of our girls riding the rides in Ocean City. But if you want to judge how well the Casio does in capturing pictures of nature stick around. I have a picture or two of the beach in Ocean City to show you.

 

Now I am not claiming to be much of a photographer, maybe an amateur amateur photographer. My sister is much better. But I do enjoy trying to capture some scenes, details, textures, and colors. But in prepping this post I realize you will have to click on these picture themselves to get the most appreciation for the photo I took.

Like this pic of the beach at dusk.  To me the camera captured some of the texture of the sand through the depth as well as shadows up front. The clouds are in such a pattern that it looks like they are being sucked out to sea or rolling in like invading aliens (yea, I watch too much TV).

Ominous clouds at dusk

Ominous clouds at dusk

Do you have an eye for detail? What can you pick out in another photo at dusk?  What do you see? .

CIMG0004Yes, there are two surfers approaching the beach on the left side. Some picturesque yellow umbrellas against the ocean blue sea in the middle. that is too much like a post card. There are the manicured rows of sea grass for dunes, planted similar to the biggest fields of corn, as well as a few couples soaking up the last bit of sun and sea for the day along the waters edge.

What about here? Can you pick out the two surfers slicing up waves amongst the rolling ocean spray? How about the surfer advisory flag?

CIMG0012Yes the flag tells you you better be prepared and an excellent swimmer if you want to go out in these fall waters. In fact, if the life guard was there these two would probably get whistled!

See?

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But I will be quiet now and just offer a few more of my favorite pics of nature on our recent trip.

Tell me what you see?

Sunrise... sadly on the best day weather wise on our getaway

Sunrise… sadly on the best day, weather wise, on our getaway, the LAST day ~ I was told I better get a sunrise pic!

And later that same morning…

CIMG0009Kinda ideal for a jogger, huh?

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If you can’t tell I just love the ocean spray blowing off the top of the waves. It is my ideal day on the beach and in the water.

…if the water was 80 degrees… and free of shells….and seaweed… and..

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doing some curls

Doing some curls

She is completely unaware of the power behind her. She only knows her sand castle is going right there!

The waves are sneaking up on her, getting closer

The waves are sneaking up on her, getting closer

 

Thanks for indulging my new part-time, if-I-only-had-time, amateur hobby photos! I will try to dig up some fun pics from our trip tomorrow.

Have the best day everyone!

SMILE for the camera!

I have one now…

Post Card from Ocean City, NJ or how I spent my summer vacation

We are recovering from a long trip back from New Jersey this week.  We drove almost 12 hours, half of which seemed to be in the rain on the way home.  Its been a jet lag and vacation withdrawal kinda week.

So in between unpacking and work I have been trying to put together some pics and videos from our trip for family and friends.

I think I told you earlier how Ocean City, New Jersey was a favorite vacation spot of mine when I was a wee kid. I loved it. It had so many fun, new things that I couldn’t do at home.

So naturally we looked forward to our kids having as good of a time for a vacation as we did. I think this is a great spot for kids and young families. Ocean City is a great family resort. It claims to be the “Greatest Family Resort

ocean cityIt does seem to cover all the bases when it comes to having fun for a kid. Here is a glimpse why:

ice cream

Kohr’s Bros frozen custard is reason enough for a visit

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Johnsons pop

(the BEST hot caramel popcorn in the world!)

I actually have to order more Johnson’s Popcorn for my wife as I gave our last tub we brought home to our pet sitter this week…she wasn’t very happy about that decision…

"Sandy Monster"

“Sandy Monster”

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OC Vacation 2011 023

a popular T Shirt on the boards

a popular T Shirt on the boards

Like I said, we had a great time with so many great things to see and do…and TASTE!¬† So I put together Top 10 Reasons this is one of our favorite family resorts. Or, otherwise a glimpse at how we spent our time on vacation week. These are the things we enjoy in Ocean City. Maybe, hopefully you’ll see it too.

OUR TOP TEN REASONS WE VISIT OCEAN CITY, NJ

1. The Boardwalk.

Most of the fun for a kid, Dad or even a Senior revolves around the 2.5 mile long boardwalk. Their literally is something for everyone here and probably lost of it. Its a mecca for fun in OC and every trip is planned around trips to, as well as what to do on the boardwalk. Here are a few images:

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What?????

Some elaborate Mini-golf courses

Some elaborate Mini-golf courses

2. Rides of the Boardwalk.

There are two amusement piers on the boardwalk. Most of the rides are geared towards the little adventurer than the teenaged one but there is something for everyone. I think we went through over $250 in TICKETS for these rides in one week. Ouch!  But it is all about the kids. Here is few examples of the fun:

3. People You might meet on the Boardwalk.

I am not talking celebrities here. More like mascots. There is even a mascot parade every week. But what fun for a kid and some photo taking ops; if they’re not too scared.

I think you saw Skylar with Mr. Fries at the beginning of the week. Some of the other party mascots include….

We met Andy the Android

We met Andy the Android

…Andy the Android from Verizon. Actually we had to take this one since my wife works for Verizon.

There was also the Kohr’s Bros. Custard monkey. I’m sure he has a name. Whether he did or not the kids sure loved him. Really, Kohr’s Bros. is the only name you need tot remember!

Kohr's Brothers mascot

Kohr’s Brothers mascot

We also saw the sailor from one of the miniature golf courses on the boards. But whoever it was the kids sure loved their chance to meet a kid celebrity.

4. Miniature Golf.

There is a miniature golf course for everybody on the boards with at least 10 courses up there. There are courses of all type from the standard pool table bounce-off-the-boarders type of putt-putt to elaborate mazes for holes in ones. With so much competition many go to great length expense to lure you in.

You might have seen Jaws on Skylar’s video on Monday. Here are a few more we visited…

Give credit to the family resort… how many places start the day with our national anthem in front of a putt-putt course? And talking parrots pitching Dairy Queen?

5. Food of the boardwalk.

 manco

Many agree, all the various food stands and restaurants are the prime reason for visiting OC’s boardwalk. This isn’t the best food of the boardwalk, or Ocean City. These places of some of the BEST vacation / snack / junk food anywhere. They are practically their own food groups here, in that you should try to get a helping of each one DAILY.¬† And many try!

browns donuts

So here are our Top 5 places to eat / things to try / must haves / Reasons to visit Ocean City and its boardwalk. We actually talk about each one of these places on the way up. Really! We are that nerdy!

Top 5 at 5


...that’s “Hot, Fresh, Made-To-Order” donuts at Brown’s They are so good!

Now, how many of your kids would love that food in the video? How many of YOU would enjoy it? Its your vacation, right? Calories don’t count!

But, if they did, or if you are worried about fitting in your suit the next day, Ocean City has a way to help you out….

6.  Vacation Ways for Exercise and / or Transportation on the Boardwalk

Every morning a ritual occurs on the boardwalk. We look forward to riding bikes on the boardwalk as a way to explore it quickly, wake up, stretch our legs and set the plan for the day. Runners (lots of) show what they got on the boards in the morning too. Others find their favorite ways to stretch and get some exercise with other modes of transportation.

Because what kind a of resort has you feeling guilty or wishing you could try those donuts? Get up and work it off. You have until noon….

I guess some lucky people don’t have to work that hard.

7. Live Entertainment on the Boardwalk.

First Ocean City has its own Music Pier the sticks out towards the ocean from the boardwalk that dates back to 1928. Each year there plays, big bands, and other forms of entertainment lined up for the  summer.

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The last time we were in town there was a skit on one of our childhood Saturday morning cartoons, Schoolhouse Rock. Have I told you how nerdy we are?

But anything could happen! One overcast night last week, while we were sampling the pizza, fudge and  frozen custard we kept on running into live bands plugged in. Again, it was really a kick for young and old kids!  A little something for everyone!

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8. Protected Beaches.

The audacity of Ocean City to want to charge you to use their beach, a gift of nature. Yes, each visitor pays about $10 a week for the privilege to use Ocean City ‘s beaches. What?

Yes, everyone on the beach needs to be displaying a beach tag saying they paid their beach toll that day.

You know what? It works.

Ocean City’s beaches and dunes are some of the best maintained I’ve seen anywhere. They look like right out of a book. They have a beach service their that includes at least 4 life guards per beach, including life guard stands, life boats, jet skies, and yes , whistles. ( i hate to get a whistled at….by life guards. parents of any age can feel safe knowing their is that much help and resources around.

And that $10 or $15 fee, well lets just say that just helps to keep America’s Family Resort for families

The ultimate validation, last fall’s Hurricane Sandy ripped death and destruction in every direction of Ocean City, NJ. Its eye hit a few mile north in Atlantic City. Yet, this town is running like a clock this summer. And I have to think in part due to a well established and maintained dune system. Sure most of the dunes ended up on main streets a block or two inland. But that boardwalk was preserved. Most of the houses were preserved. A way of life was preserved…

Waiting to catch a big one...

And the waves are for real…

9. Beach bunnies.

No, I am not talking about curvy beach bunnies…

What's not to like?

I wish I was but I’m not…

I am talking about those adorable little bunnies that now call some of the protected sand dunes home. They blend right in at first but then the more you look the more you see.

I think any other resort claiming to be America’s favorite would have to be very creative¬†to top Easter Bunnies at their resort.

Happy Easter Bunny day!“, right Skylar?

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"Happy Easter Bunny Day!"

“Happy Easter Bunny Day!”

They only seem to come out at dusk, avoiding the hot summer sun. Let other beaches have their mostly nude beach bunnies. OCNJ has Easter bunnies! Well done!

10. Kids just have fun here!

Yes, kids, kids of all ages can have fun in Ocean City, New Jersey. If our Top 10 reads like a checklist, how much of this sounds like fun. its fun for kids, families and even seniors due the wholesome atmosphere that is there brand.

And there are lots more things to see and do in Ocean City too. These are just some of the things we like. There is downtown shopping. Water sports in the bay as well as Atlantic City only being a bridge away to the north.

If anyone reading this has been to OCNJ and would like to add their favorite activities to our list please feel free to add them in the Comment section.

In the end it really is a great family resort; for the whole family. Although when asked which she liked better, Ocean City or the Jamaican resort where they furnish a nanny for the day, she still preferred Jamaica.  And, yes, they did have bunnies the kids could feed there as well.

We may just alternate back and forth…and throw in a Disney adventure as well.

America's Greatest Family Resort!

America’s Greatest Family Resort!

**Keep your toes in the sand, the breeze in your hair, and the sun to your back. Life’s a Beach**

Promotional consideration was given too but not reimbursed by the following:

City Of Ocean City

Brown’s Donuts

Manco and Manco

Kohr’s Frozen Custard

Steel’s Fudge

Johnson’s Popcorn

Johnson’s Popcorn Online Ordering

Ocean City, NJ: America’s Greatest Family Resort plus My Top Ten List of Firsts at the Beach!

This past weekend there was a lot of excitement at our house as the time is drawing near for our summer vacation. We are opting to take the girls back to my favorite childhood resort, Ocean City, New Jersey.

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Ocean City, New Jersey likes to call itself “America’s Greatest Family Resort“. And with good reason. This barrier island is designed to be conducive to families and kids. They do this to the extent that no alcohol is sold on the island; not in stores, in restaurants, gas stations, nowhere. Coming from a restaurant background I have a feeling for what kinds of revenues this city sacrifices in order to keep it ‘family friendly’.

If you must have a beer or a cocktail there are plenty of stores on the other side of the bridge before you enter Ocean City. Or, if you are feeling lucky, Atlantic City is on the other side of the north bridge leaving Ocean City. But in town, this nostalgic ocean community, there is no booze. And the tourists that frequent this resort town are the type that appreciate this!

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The Urban Dictionary has an entry that describes OCNJ simply like this: Dry town with Liqour stores 10 seconds over the bridge. Every guy in town either plays basketball or surfs, usually both and every girl lives in bikinis and their only job is to work on their tan. ~ Does that remind you of any highfaluting’ resort town?¬†Ocean City is¬†simple. Its laid back and it caters to kids and families. And it has all the fun a kid can ask for!

While their are plenty of the typical coastal amenities to do, the main focus of Ocean City is its 2.5 mile long boardwalk. Among the many attractions of this famed and nostalgic boardwalk are two amusement piers, with rides (mostly) designed for the younger kids, a music pier, all sorts of gift shops and beach stores as well as ANY sort of junk food imaginable!

This includes, fresh, warm, made to order donuts, hot caramel corn, the best soft ice cream custard, fudge shops and much, much more! The sweet smells of the boardwalk alone are worth the trip! It may not be zip lines and bungee dives. Its good, old fashioned fun tried and true over the ages.

Riding the train through the park

Riding the train through the park

I tried to introduce my family to Ocean City, New Jersey OCNJ) two years ago as I was eager for them to enjoy it like I had. The trouble was our girls were about 3.5 years old and 18 months. For the most part they were to small to get on the rides. Add to that our youngest got an ear infection the first few days we were there, that ended in a 102 fever. She was not a happy camper for most of the trip!

But that doesn’t dull the excitement of returning. We are looking forward to riding the rides, “hot, fresh, made to order Browns Donuts” on the boardwalk for breakfast and then riding bikes on the boards to wake up, the beach, did I mention the rides, the great junk food there along with all the smiles and laughter of kids that goes along with it.

This year, as the past time, we are renting a house where my whole family can stay (us, Mom, Dad, and the great Aunt Sue). That in itself was loads of fun last time. It was a block off the beach. We had our bikes. We had our beach gear rented in a wagon. Dylan even found a scooter that matched hers back home the owners of the house left for us. It was nice

Look how little she is in this!

Look how little she is in this!

And by the end of the week even lil ol’ Skylar could manage a smile…

Hey good-lookin'

Hey cutie!

Our kids (and Mom) got their first experience on the boardwalk. There were so many things to see and do, rides, eat, bike, eat, shop, eat. We caught a parade on the boardwalk as they seem to find a reason to have one most every week in the summer.

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Its just a festive place. The local theater group even put on a kid sized play at the historic Music Pier on the boardwalk, ‘Schoolhouse Rock!’ and all our the favorite hits from that old Saturday morning series. Can you remember ‘Conjunction Junction‘?

And, of course, their was the Atlantic Ocean amenity their too, with waves big enough to satisfy any Beach Bum!

Future Beach Bums!

Future Beach Bums!

This beach bum body surfer found himself in heaven with the size of these waves!

Waiting to catch a big one...

Waiting to catch a big one…

Its all about picking the right wave!

He scores!

He scores!

Of course I was having some fun in the waves with my girls too!

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And while Skylar was a bit too small for the surf (when she was feeling well) she did enjoy playing sand castles with Aunt Sue. She had a big wet beach, a sand castle to protect, her own moat, even her own pond to play in. It was her first sand castle to build and swim in and protect. She loved it!

There were dozens of other “firsts” for our girls on this past trip to Ocean City as well. But since I see I am running on here, again, I thought I would leave you with my Top Ten of favorite¬† other ‘firsts ‘we experienced on this first trip to Ocean City.

While we may be heading back up to OCNJ again this summer we’ll never have these same ‘firsts’ with our growing girls.

TOP TEN FIRSTS AT OCEAN CITY:

10) First time our 18 month’er had soft ice cream…. on a warm summer evening

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She was a wet mess!

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9) First time one of my girls went down a Giant Slide

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8) First time Ms. Fearless  went down a Giant Slide with out a mat, her daddy, waiting for instructions, anything!

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7) First time she beat daddy in a race.

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6) First time our girls played miniature golf, simply known as¬† ‘Golf Balls’ from that day forth.

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There was more than one shark on that putt-putt course….

I saved the kids from the shark....cause that's what daddies do

I saved the kids from the shark….cause that’s what daddies do

5) First time one of our girls was spun out of control in a whirlie-whirl kinda ride.

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4) First time I gave my girls my debit card.

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Yea, right!

3) First time our girls got to experience all the sights and sounds and smells and excitement of exploring the boardwalk.

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2) The first time our girls were too tired to walk all the way home after a night on the boardwalk.

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#1) The first time our girls got to eat hot, fresh (made to order) donuts in front of the ocean before touring the length of the boardwalk on bicycles, just to start their day.

Bonus First: First time my 3 year old filmed me as I changed her pull-up!

PS: we’re hiring nannies right now. If you think you could kid-wrangle my crew get your resume in today!

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