Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wildwood NJ: Memories That Will Last A Lifetime

When you go on a vacation when you are a child, you get nothing but the bells and whistles that go along with it.  But when you take your family on vacation, you get the added bonus of seeing your children react to all of the bells and whistles.  It is an amazing feeling that you honestly cannot compare it to.
My wife and I take our son to Wildwood, NJ every year for a few days.  This past year our son got one of his friends to come along with him.  That’s always good for him, because adding one more just makes things more fun; plus there is a much more all important purpose.  If you look on the Morey’s Piers website, there is a great variety of rides for people of all ages to partake in.  There are also several of those which require at some point in the operation of the amusement where my rear end would have to be over my head.  This is not something that is in the cards for me.  I try to stay away from these contraptions as much as humanly possible.  Besides, I would rather sit there with the video camera filming the boys while they scream as they suddenly realize that their butts are over their heads and they are moving in a direction not normally meant for humans.

The highlight of the trip would have to have been the water park.  The one we went to, Ocean Oasis, was a particularly large outdoor water park right on the beach.  You couldn’t throw a rock without hitting a waterslide.  There were slides of every variety and for every level of daredevil.  You want one that brings you down to the water at a nice soft poof?  You got it.  Want one where the slide suddenly ends and you drop ten feet into a pool as if you are being pushed out of a helicopter in the middle of the ocean?  They got that too.  Oh and if for some reason you want to walk a set of stairs that rivals the Empire State Building, then go down a slide at almost a straight drop splashing you down unexpectedly making you think you should have gotten your affairs in order on the drive down; they got that too.  The kids enjoyed that as well.  Oddly enough, what they enjoyed the most was the simplest thing in the park.  The Lazy River.

The Lazy River is an eleven hundred foot long man made stream.  All you do is hop on an inner tube and float.  That’s it.  No tossing you off the side of a building, no putting your butt over your head, and it was the agreed upon best thing in the water park.  I remarked to my wife that I would have set up a tray to put a sandwich on if not for fear of the inner tube tipping over.   For its simplicity, it’s possibly the most enjoyable thing about the park.
One of the great things about the Ocean Oasis park is that there is access directly to the beach.  Don’t have to walk all the way down to the end of the pier.  Just go through this little access point and you’re on your way to the Atlantic Ocean.  Word of warning, wear sandals.  On a hot day, the sand is warm enough to strip paint off the Statue Of Liberty.  Don’t say anyone did not warn you.  While you are there make sure to go down to the beach.  It’s the original water park.  Except for the seaweed.   In an effort to give my wife a little bit of a scare I went under the water and swam toward her.  I came up to the surface ready to yell “boo”, when I suddenly realized my entire upper body was covered in seaweed.  I looked like an old timey Universal movie monster.  If you go into the water, you will get covered in seaweed.  But nothing beats trying to jump the waves as they come at you.

If there were no amusement rides in Wildwood, NJ to speak of; two things would still cause people to flock to the little shore town by the millions every summer.  Food, and the SightSeer TramCar.  Both are available in very plentiful amounts.  Think of this, you have a few mile long boardwalk where there is a place to eat every four feet or so.  And if you are tuckered out from the day’s events, you have these wonderful contraptions called TramCars.  It’s a little electric train that goes down the boardwalk at a leisurely pace.  A great way to help you get where you want to go, because this place is spread out and there are things to do the entire length of the boardwalk.  But be sure if you are in the path of one, don’t be surprised if you hear a stern yet friendly voice advising you to “Watch The TramCar Please!”

The food, like I said is extremely plentiful.  There is something for you no matter what palate you have.  The pizza places are to absolutely die for.  Most of them have been around longer than time itself and still use the original recipes.  You can walk right in to any of them and see a pizza made the exact same way it was fifty years ago.  We’re a Mack’s Pizza family, in all fairness to the great pizza shops in Wildwood.  Not a trip goes by where our last stop before heading home is to Mack’s to pick up a pie to eat when we get back.

Saltwater Taffy and Fudge is abound here also.  Much like many of the pizza shops, these are businesses that have  been around for decades so you know you are going to get nothing but quality.
The amusement rides, like I said previously are some of the best in the world.  Morey’s Piers has more rides than DisneyLand.  They have amazing stuff like the IT, which is prime butt over head territory.  Several great roller coasters and classics amusement rides that people have been enjoying for decades.  One of their newest creations is the recently unveiled Ghost Ship.  Opened in 2010, this is not like any haunted house you have ever been in.  It is a several minute long journey through a haunted World War Two naval vessel.  If you want a nomination for best money’s worth for a ride, the Ghost Ship is it.  Just let yourself suspend disbelief for a few moments, and you will feel like you are in a zombie movie.  That’s about all the description I will give, I don’t want to spoil it.

I lived in Michigan for the majority of my life, and had not heard of Wildwood, NJ until a few years ago.  On our first trip I saw the light in my wife’s eyes as she would tell me about the boardwalk and the rides and all that came with it.  I didn’t truly understand until I stepped foot on the boardwalk for the first time.  We all wish sometimes that we could enjoy things the same way we did when we were kids.  Wildwood, NJ is one of those places that lets you do that.  If you’ve got children, be sure to take them.  When it’s all said and done, memories are what we have.  And Wildwood will give them a lifetime of memories.

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