Vacation at Wildwood
Relax for a Minute
Every August, as summer comes to a sleepy close, the kids are clambering for just one last swim before Labor Day and the lifeguards are beginning to pack up the beaches and pools for the impending winter season, I begin to sense that "holiday feeling". I am an incurable Christmas addict and I begin to celebrate long before the northeast thermometer dips below freezing. By the same token when spring turns into summer, I begin to dream about the smell of the ocean and the feel of sand between my toes! Ahhhh, Wildwood! The Jersey shore, the beach, the Boardwalk. This is my idea of vacation! I am always ready to spend a week or so on the shores of New Jersey; although, admittedly, I rarely have the opportunity! That could be the reason why it seems so special to me. I have been down to Wildwood, New Jersey, with my family, and those memories are the ones that roll over and over in my mind as vacation season begins. Even when I can't be there, it makes me happy to be able to relive those wonderful memories when I just need to relax for a minute.
My family and I arrived at our hotel on a hot, sunny day in late June. We chose a place just over a block from the boardwalk with double rooms to accommodate the six of us. Even before we were all settled in I was headed for the boardwalk. The salty, musty smell of the ocean drew me in! I took my five-year-old granddaughter with me and we hit the crowded walkway. It had been a long time since I had visited the shore and I was like a kid out of school! People on rented bicycles sped along while others walked in and out of the many stores and restaurants that stretched as far as my eyes could see. Every so often the tram car, filled to its brim with vacationers, would announce its presence as it rumbled by. I took a deep breath and drank in the atmosphere. All around me were the sights and smells of an amusement park.
There was nothing you couldn't find as you made your way down the long wooden walkway. In the shops many of the salespeople and cashiers were young people from different parts of the world who were spending summer vacation by working on the beach until it was time to go back to school. There were ice cream shops, casinos, cafes, restaurants, and stores where you could buy anything under the sun. A little bit farther down the boardwalk was Morey's Pier. We could see its brilliant lights at night from our hotel. We spent an evening there with my granddaughter who ran from one ride to another with an enthusiasm and an energy that left us older folks in her dust! She met another little girl whose family had also chosen the same hotel as we had for their vacation, and they went on all the rides together. How beautiful it is to watch the face of a child you love reflecting the innocent magic of their surroundings!
Sunset on the Beach
Among my favorite memories of vacation at Wildwood were the colorful sunsets we would spend by the water. As the sun lowered in the distance and the Boardwalk would begin to light up the darkening sky, my family and I would head down the beach right to the edge of the waves. There were a few people still lingering on the sand, reluctant to see the day come to a close, and seagulls moved through the sky above us, seeming tired and gliding lazily to the rhythm of the ocean. The sky would become a canvas of pastels and we would splash up to our ankles through the waves, picking up and examining seashells with the kids. And all was right with the world!
These memories I hold within my heart, hanging on every detail as I remember, always with a smile. My children now off living their lives, doing what they do, raising their families as my grandchildren grow too fast for me to comprehend, I remember when we stole away for that magical time together at Wildwood.