Wednesday, December 29, 2010

News from Around the South Jersey Shore

Yes, the Merion Inn *did* re-open.

There was a fire in Sea Isle, too.

The Jitneys continued to work through the snowstorm. I swear that those things are indestructible.

This Chicago Tribune piece has an interesting tie to Cape May. Here's a direct link to that blog.

And since this is technically a travel blog: I wrote a piece for AOL Travel about gifts for travelers, which ran while I was away. They're all great, but the two to note are Scrabble Flash and SailorBags. I have been bringing Scrabble Flash to bars, and it's PERFECT in that setting. And I'm in love with the SailorBags. I have two, and they will be my shore bags for 2011.

Digg this

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Merion Fire

Sad news about the Merion Inn in Cape May: it caught fire on December 23. The blaze broke out on the second floor of the building, and owner Erik Watson had to be flown to the Temple Burn Center.

There's two pieces of good news: First, Eric is expected to make a full recovery. Second, the fire stuck to the second floor, so the restaurant and kitchen were not damaged. They'll be re-opening today. So if you're in Cape May, stop by for a drink. They lost out on two major days for the business - Christmas and Christmas Eve - so they could use a boost.

Digg this

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from Jen & Em! I'm away next week, so I'll blog you all after the holidays.

Digg this

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Update AGAIN: Keystone Cops in Wildwood & Sea Isle

This just keeps getting more interesting.

Ralph Grassi from emailed me about the Keystone Cop that I said was from Fun City in Sea Isle (RIP) but I was then told was a Keystone Cop from Hunt's Pier in Wildwood (also RIP).

Well, apparently both are true. Says Ralph: "You're right about Fun City in Sea Isle once having Keystone Kop figures. I too remember them being there. Years ago on one of my visits to Fun City I saw they had been removed. I asked an employee as to their whereabouts and that I was interested because I knew that the Keystone Kops had originated in the Wildwoods. He went on to tell me that Fun City's Keystone Kop figures had indeed come from Wildwood but wasn't sure what happened to them once they were removed. As fate would have it years later I salvaged many of the Keystone Kop figures and other props from that ride. In fact I restored and donated the two that are now in our Wildwood Museum."

He also makes minis of the Keystone Cops. He's got buckets more information on Wildwood, including photos of the Golden Nugget teardown. Hard to believe that was almost two years ago.

Digg this

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Update: He's a Keystone Cop!

Thanks to everyone who commented and emailed me about this picture. I guessed it was from Fun City in Sea Isle (RIP). But several of you told me you thought it was a Keystone Cop from Hunt's Pier in Wildwood (also RIP).

I emailed Jack Morey of Morey's Piers in Wildwood (they now own what used to be Hunt's Pier), and he said he thought it was a Keystone Cop, too, and pointed me in the direction of Anthony's Mr. Boardwalk to verify. Unfortunately, the email bounced back, but I'd go with Jack's hunch. So thanks everyone for your help!

The Keystone Cop, by the way, is located at Media in Motion, a sign design shop. As far as I know, it's not for sale (sorry, dad).

Digg this

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

For Jersey Shore Brides & Grooms: Wedding Planning

Got an email today that reminded me engagement season is coming (holidays, New Year's, Valentine's Day).

If you are planning a shore wedding and want to ask questions PLEASE FEEL FREE. I don't mind. Hit me up at jenmiller27 [at] gmail [dot] com.

Now, I won't plan your wedding for you, but I can help. I've done everything from putting a couple in touch with the right wedding planning people at a casino to finding a kosher deli open in November.

Of course, there's a plug: My book makes a great item for guest gift bags and/or presents to your bridal party, especially if they're traveling in from out of town (c'mon, I had to say it). If you're planning on buying a lot, let me know and I can see about getting you a bulk discount direct from the publisher.

You don't need to buy a ton to get the deal, either - and this goes for anyone who would want to buy in bulk (ahem, Realtors). If you're buying 6-11 copies, it's half off plus fright. For 12-249 copies, it's half off with free freight. The new edition will be out in April - full color! If you want them signed, we can figure that out too...

Digg this

Monday, December 13, 2010

Winter Wonderland

Oh, how fun that was. I spent the weekend in Cape May for a mini winter getaway. I stayed at Congress Hall, which is doing a bunch of "Winter Wonderland" themed events through December, including running a kiddie sized train around the grand lawn. I almost paid $3 to ride, but by Sunday, which is when I thought about actually doing it, the wind was so bad that the train didn't appear to be running. This photo is of the tree in the Congress Hall lobby. It's nothing compared to the 40 foot tree outside! Tip: if you want a great room, as for a corner room. I was in 432, and got to watch the sun rise from bed. It was stunning.

This is really odd, but I had some terrible service this weekend in Cape May. Exceptions: Congress Hall (of course); the Ebbitt Room, which was offering a $60, four course tasting menu, which is a STEAL there; and the bar at Elaine's Dinner Theatre. I went there to meet a friend and was surprised to find a fabulous old wooden bar inside that you could go to even if you weren't going to the dinner theatre show. This is absolutely going to be added to my must-visit bar list.

The other thing I took care of this weekend was Christmas shopping. I am now done. But check out what I saw while going out to Flying Fish Studios:

This has GOT to be from Fun City, the old amusement pier in Sea Isle City. Of course I forgot to write down the name of the store, which is right next to Flying Fish. So, my Cape May and West Cape May people, what's the name of this place? I MUST find out how they got their hands on this

Digg this

Friday, December 10, 2010

Deck the Halls

As promised, here's my story in today's Philadelphia Inquirer about holiday decorating tips from the pros.

I included the Chelsea in Atlantic City and Congress Hall in Cape May because - really - they do a fab holiday display, and the Chelsea reminds me of the engagement party scene in White Christmas. Can't wait to get down there later today...

Digg this

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Shore Notes - I Heart Emily edition

A few notes to roll you into your weekend:

1. Today is the five year anniversary of when I adopted my sweet sweet Emily. Dog, it's been quite a ride, full of belly rubs, long walks and maybe a few dead bunnies and birds along the way (hey, it's what terriers are bred to do). She's a wonderful dog - and a reminder that if you are looking for a dog, please consider adopting an adult dog from your local animal shelter. She was four (we guesstimate) when I adopted her from the Animal Welfare Association in Voorhees. She's been just the right pet for me (and bonus: she was already trained!)

2. I'm going away this weekend, down the shore of course. NO I'm not going to tell you where I'm staying (until the post-weekend post, of course), but there will be a lot of food involved. Dinner at the Ebbitt Room? Yes, please.

3. If you're up at the North Jersey Shore, there's an arts and crafts fair in Manasquan this Saturday.

4. I have an article about holiday decorating in Friday's Philadelphia Inquirer - shore location included!

5. My latest for Aol Travel is about places that have seen a tourism boost because of a movie. ROCKY!!!!!!

Digg this

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

News from Around the South Jersey Shore

Yes, Strathmere is STILL trying to secede from Upper Township.

More on the state's plan to take over part of Atlantic City :::shakes head:::

Will they do something about stuff like this? The Garden Pier, which is home to the Atlantic City Arts Center and Atlantic City History Museum, has been deemed unsafe. If I were a betting woman - which I'm not - I'd be on "no."

Really interesting piece on tear downs - the practice of tearing down an old shore house to build up something that I'd call "monstrous" in its place.

Tony Luke's finally opened in Wildwood Crest (yes, the sign said that it would be coming in summer 2010. Whoops).

Shesh, I'm not finding much nice stuff today: more flat screen TV burglaries from shore homes, this time in Ocean City.

Don't worry, folks. It's still Hoy's, no matter what the sign says.

And a dolphin died in Stone Harbor?! I give up.

Digg this

Friday, December 3, 2010

Lucy the Elephant becomes an inn - for one night

Wow. I just got notice that a couple is going to be celebrating their 23rd wedding anniversary at Lucy the Elephant in Margate. "At" is not quite accurate. They're going to be staying in Lucy. Yes, overnight.

The lucky couple are Peter Guttman and Lori Greene. Guttman is a travel author and journalist. Greene is an executive producer of

Pretty cool. Now, can they do anything about her broken tail?

Digg this

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

All roads lead down the shore

If you listen to NPR's Marketplace Money show, you'd have heard Saturday's edition, which was all about the history of healthcare and its roots in Philadelphia (if you don't listen, subscribe to the podcast. It's free and invaluable).

One of the reports, which you can hear here, is about Philip Physick, a Philadelphia doctor who is called the "Father of American Surgery" (click on the "Surgical Ampitheatre icon).

Name sound familiar? It should. His grandson, Emlen Physick, built the Emlen Physick Estate in Cape May. Emlen was also a doctor but, after graduating with his medical degree, promptly moved down the shore for good. If I remember correctly from my Physick Estate tour, he didn't practice medicine in town.

Atlantic City also got a shout out in this report about the history of annual physical, which took a stop at an AMA conference in Atlantic City in 1900.

Digg this