A Classic Summer Holiday at the Jersey Shore

We are taking a few days of rest and relaxation to celebrate the end of my classes at Lehigh. We drove 3 hours yesterday from Freeland and are staying at the “Jersey Shore”. More specifically, in Seaside Park, which is a small town on the Barnegat Peninsula, a narrow barrier peninsula, just off the mainland of north-central New Jersey. We chose Seaside Park because it is just outside the Island Beach State Park, the largest undeveloped coastline in the state.

The peninsula is very crowded, as is most of the coast, due to its proximity to the metro areas of New York and Philadelphia. For generations, Americans have come to summer on the “Jersey Shore” (I would call it the Jersey Beaches instead). It is some pretty expensive real estate, and people are attracted here because of the white sands, blue water, and cool breezes coming off the Atlantic. We had a wonderful afternoon and evening, making sand castles, throwing the football around, and diving in the big waves crashing on the sands. The water is a bit cold however, not Lake Superior cold, but extremely refreshing. The beach was not crowded with plenty of space for everyone. We are staying at the Beach Club Hotel a small, family-run hotel near the beach which is perfect. The peninsula is still recovering from Hurricane Sandy, which hit the New York/New Jersey area in October of 2012.

Nadia and I are taking great pleasure in watching the kids play and have fun! That is what raising a family is all about.

The Jersey Shore


No, this is not a blog post about the television reality series, but about the actual shore itself. I spent the day today in the Island Beach State Park, which is coincidentally, adjacent to where the show was filmed in Seaside Heights, New Jersey.

I really had a fantastic day, soaking up the sun, swimming in the cool Atlantic Ocean, and checking out the bird life on the other side of the barrier island, Barnegat Bay. I was skeptical, thinking that the beach would be crowded and commercialized, but the park was very well preserved and it was a quiet day under the hot sun.

I spent about an hour in the bird blind at Spizzle Creek. The blind overlooks the brackish flats of Barnegat Bay. It was truly awesome to watch the Osprey soar and the large egrets gliding near by. There were also no signs of damage from this spring’s Superstorm Sandy.

The Great Egret

I highly recommend this part of New Jersey! I came on a Monday and there was not much traffic and the beaches were not crowded. If you are going to the bay side, I would wear insect repellent as the flies were relentless.

Hoboken, New Jersey


Nadia is pictured above in Hoboken, New Jersey, along the Hudson River, with Manhattan in the background. The main purpose of our visit was to see my sister and the famous, “Cake Boss.”

The city has an interesting history. The name comes from the Old Dutch word for “high cliff” and the first recorded baseball game was played here in 1846. The city was very industrial but has now become “yuppie” with many New Yorkers living there and commuting across to work in Manhattan, like my sister. As you can see, they have a beautiful waterfront with parks and a running/bike trail. They also have quaint little shops and buildings. It was very pleasant.

The kids were excited to see Carlo’s Bakery, site of the TLC reality series, “The Cake Boss.” The popular series in its fourth season and shows the power of television. Each day there are lines of tourists at the shop. The owner, Buddy, makes elaborate cakes and the show follows his family and employees as they make different cakes for a variety of occasions. The guy is making a mint from the show and is opening up stores in NY and NJ and he is renting a factory/warehouse to ship nationally.

Nadia wanted to try his famous cannolis, an Italian dessert. They were delicious, the right combination of lightness and sweetness. We took a bunch of pictures, walked down to the Hudson River and had lunch at a 50’s hamburger place called Johnny Rocket’s. A fine day indeed!

Because of the influx of New Yorkers to Hoboken, it has driven up real estate prices. I couldn’t believe that a one-bedroom apartment goes for around 750,000 USD. Hoboken is part of the New York Metropolitan Area which is a vast urban area of around 22 million people. It is the largest urban zone in the US and rivals the megacities outside the USA.

A cute Ollie on the streets of Hoboken