Monday, July 23, 2007

Bowling at the Shore

I wish I could start this blog with a happier post, but it just so happens that today is one of those days where you want to curl up in a ball and watch cartoons all morning. This isn't shore weather. Shore weather involves a nice sea breeze, low humidity and plenty of sun sun sun. The temps should then cool off a bit overnight, enough so that you can put on a light sweatshirt and still want ice cream. Instead, it's chilly, rainy and damp today, a day more suited for fall than the end of July.

What would be a good thing to do today? When I was a kid, I spent my summers at the South Jersey Shore (which is what this blog is going to be all about) in Avalon Campground. Yes, we stayed in a trailer, but we also had plenty of things to do -- go to the beach (if mom drove us), ride bikes through the woods, hang out by the pool, play a video game or two at the clubhouse. But on rainy days -- well, most of those options weren't available.

Our favorite thing to do was go bowling at the Showboat Hotel & Casino. Not only did we get to go bowling, which is obviously fun for four young kids, but we could walk past the casino areas, which was full of noise and lights (also obviously fun for four young kids). My mom would play a quarter slot or two, rarely win, but we'd cheer her on from the sidelines anyway.

But the bowling alley at the Showboat has long since closed. Instead, you can head down to Wildwood to bowl at 3J's . They're usually closed on Monday, but when it rains, they open up their doors and alleys to you and your antsy kids.

I won't be bowling today. Instead, I'll be working on my book, which is the reason behind this blog. The South Jersey Shore: Atlantic City through Cape May: Great Destinations will be published in April by Countryman Press. It's part of a series of informative, thorough and at times funny travel guides about great areas of the country. Being a life-long Jersey girl, I can't imagine why they didn't have a South Jersey shore book earlier, but it could be that not everyone gets the area like those who live here do. If you're from Philadelphia or the Philadelphia suburbs, you don't go to Ocean Grove, Belmar or Seaside Heights. You don't go up. You go down the shore. This book will give you the ins and outs of what's fun to see and do, along with a few stories of my adventures (or misadventures) in the course of doing research.

I thought I knew this area like the back of my hand. But my second day of research proved that I was completely wrong. Lucky for you, you can follow along as I discover what I should have known was there all along.

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