Wednesday, August 31, 2011

MORE Post-Irene Bargains

An avalanche of post-Irene deals showed up in my inbox yesterday, specifically for properties in Atlantic City. So on top of what I wrote about then, the following places are also offering Good Night Irene (or some iteration of that) deals: Showboat (including hurricane drink specials with souvenir glass in addition to room rate deals), Tropicana (hotel and the Palm), Trump Plaza (room rates), Trump Taj Mahal (room rates and the Price is Right contestant search has been rescheduled for Friday plus specials at Il Mulino and Trattoria), Atlantic City Absecon Lighthouse, Atlantic City Marathon (refer a friend and get $10 off your registration with offer code ACMRaF), Blue Water Grille at Flagship Resort, Carisbrooke Inn, The Chelsea (a "storm survival offer), Ramada Atlantic City (room rates and a casino coin package), Tony Boloney's (the The P.O.I or Peace-Out Irene! sandwich), Tun Tavern Restaurant & Brewery, Tripician's Macaroons, Vive Day Spa at Showboat Casino and Web Feet Beach Boutique.

Call the properties for details.

ALSO! And this might be my favorite: for those of you who had your Atlantic City wedding washed out by Irene, Cinematic Movements Video wants to talk to you. They're going to pick the best wash out wedding story and offering that couple a free three to five minute Love Video Story. According to the press release, "Even if the couple ended up doing something different such as using a justice of the peace in town hall, Cinematic Moments Video would like to shoot the couple in their chosen AC venue, and have them tell their story to the world to be shared on social network sites. There will be a simple, no obligation contract to sign, and the couple would need to accommodate Cinematic Moments Video's camera crew's schedule for filming." To submit your story contact Marie Scott-Eldred at 609-926-3195 or

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Post-Irene Deals

Based on the traffic jams yesterday, looks like a lot of people were headed back to the shore.

If you want to be one of them but didn't have a rental or hotel room, now might be your chance to get a good deal. Yup, it's post-Irene special time.

Here's the few I know:

Cape Resorts - which runs Congress Hall, the Virginia, Star Inn, and Beach Shack in Cape May - is offering discounts if you book this week at one of their properties. Call and ask for details.

Avalon Campground - the place where I spent all my summers as a kid - is accepting walk ins. Just give them a little time to clear off your site. Call first, though. They announced this yesterday and may have filled back up.

Bally's, Caesars, the Golden Nugget, Resorts and Harrah's are all have post-Irene specials on room rates, meals, entertainment and special package deals. Call for details.

The Annual Stone Harbor Sidewalk Sale has been pushed back to this Saturday at 9am. It's always a zoo, and for a good reason. Lots of deals.

That's just what I'm seeing. Anyone else have something to add?

UPDATE: The Scarborough Inn in Ocean City is running a 20% off deal. Call for details.

Don't forget - signed books for $15 through September 6.

P.S. I ended the Jersey Shore Fact of the Day series a week early because of the storm. Doesn't feel like a good fit right now.

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Monday, August 29, 2011


In honor of the Jersey Shore surviving Hurricane Irene - WITH FLYING COLORS - I'm going to drop the price of signed copies of my book to $15 (includes shipping).

So if you want a signed, personalized copy sent right to your door, email me at jenmiller27 [at] gmail [dot] com.

Think ahead to the holidays, folks. They'll be right around the corner. Signed copies were very popular for Mother's and Father's day gifts :-)

This offer will last until Tuesday, September 6.

To order, drop me a line at jenmiller27 [at] gmail [dot] com. I take credit cards and paypal :-)

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Post Irene

Well then. How's everyone doing today? We good?

In what feels like a miracle, most of the South Jersey Shore was spared. There was flooding, trees down, and wires down, but last night, businesses started opening back up and I'm sure there was a hell of a party happening in most parts of town.

Thank you to everyone who followed along on twitter. I did the best I could to get the word out, check in on people who had stayed during the storm, reported during the storm, or who had fled and were worried about losing everything.

Don't believe anything that this storm was overhyped. Just look at what's happening in Vermont, or the pictures of a boat going down Route 18 in NJ. If more people had stayed, this could have been worse.

I want to head down the shore today, but I need to get some help for myself. I have stress induced eczema. I was having a bit of a flare up pre-Irene, but over the weekend, it got out of control, so I'm headed to the doctor this morning.

I know it sounds silly that I was so worried when I don't even own property down the shore, but - this is my favorite place in the world, and I knew so many people put in harm's way. I tweeted for a solid 12 hours on Saturday trying to help them out, which resulted with me sitting in my office shaking for two hours as the worst rolled ahead. I really haven't been able to eat since Saturday though my appetite is coming back now.

Anyway - let's all take a big sigh of relief and get back to the last "official" week of summer down the shore.

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Sunday, August 28, 2011


Thank you Irene for (mostly) sparing the Jersey Shore! If you were supposed to start your shore vacation on Saturday, PLEASE BE PATIENT. As of right now, the Garden State Parkway South is still closed exit 98 down. Some homeowners/inn keepers aren't even allowed back in yet. They will get to you as soon as possible. Just let them get themselves re-settled first.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hunker down time

Atlantic County officials are saying that the bay will meet the ocean on all barrier islands today. For the south jersey shore, that's everyone but Cape May (they weren't clear if they meant JUST their county islands or all the barrier islands at the Jersey Shore). So thoughts and prayers for everyone in that area - whether they chose to stay or not - are appreciated.

And at this point - stay safe, and let's get ready for the cleanup.

For continual, live updates from the South Jersey Shore, you can follow the following accounts on Twitter: @capemaycooke, @atlanticcity911, @jasonnark, @amysrosenberg, @Dgood73 and @s_watson - to name a few. I'm @jerseyshorejen and will be tweeting and retweeting as long as I have power in Philadelphia.

And if you don't have twitter? Today might be a good day to sign up for an account.

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Friday, August 26, 2011

And now we wait

Anyone else feel like sobbing? I do.

I know we will get through this. But to think of this place we all know and love so well being destroyed just breaks my heart.

Irene, please go out to sea. Please.

For those who have asked, I'm in Philadelphia hunkering down. Godspeed to those still down the shore.

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Irene is no joke, folks, and she's almost here.

I've been tweeting and retweeting information as I have it - if you want to follow along, I'm at

What you need to know:
1. LEAVE. I don't care if you're a lifetime resident or someone who doesn't want to have their shore vacation cut short. Would you rather die? Leave.
2. Gas stations around the shore are already reporting that they'll be running out of fuel soon.
3. Most shops and stores are closed and boarded up as of this morning. I've been retweeting those photos this AM - sights that are unreal to me.
4. Yes, traffic will be bad leaving the shore. But dying would be worse.
5. You're not out of the way if you're inland, either. Philadelphia is on alert. The ground is already saturated. There's going to be a lot of flooding if Irene stays on her current path.

I heard a tip on NJ 101.5 yesterday that if you must be separated from your pet, to take off his or her collar (choking hazard) and write your name and number in black Sharpie on his or her belly. For some reason, this is what really got to me.

I hope Irene turns and heads out to sea, but it's looking like she won't, and that we're going to sustain a major impact. So don't be stupid. Risking your life to ride out this storm just isn't worth it.

P.S. To lighten things up - this article about high roller suites in Atlantic City came out today. What timing.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

More evacuations, road closures, etc.

As of this evening:

-Cape May County is under mandatory evacuation.
-Atlantic County east of Route 9 is under mandatory evacuation.
-The causeway into LBI will be shut down tomorrow morning.
-Both lanes of the Margate bridge will be made into westbound lanes only. You will NOT be able to get into Margate via that bridge. Only out. UPDATE - this will start at 6am on Friday.
-Ocean City, Brigantine and Long Beach Islands have issued their own mandatory evacuations.
-Traffic on Garden State Parkway out of the South Jersey Shore is heavy per KYW Newsradio.
-The gas station on Stone Harbor Boulevard is closed per tweet by Ann Delaney of Ann Delaney's beach blog.
-UPDATE: Rumors that the Atlantic City casinos will close at 2pm tomorrow per Amy Rosenberg's tweet.

I hope this storm is not as severe as current projections, but it could be. Godspeed to all the emergency personnel and reporters who are staying to cover this story.

As I said on twitter earlier today: You are no hero if you're staying to watch you're house. You're a fool. No other way to put it.

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UPDATE: Mandatory evacuation of Cape May County

Official, starting immediately. More information here.

If you're a year round resident and trying to find a place to stay once you get out of dodge, leave a comment or email me at jenmiller27 [at] gmail [dot] com. I can try to hook you up with someone up here who has a room or couch to spare. I don't know if this'll work, but it's worth a shot.

Another way of putting it, to quote a tweet from John Cooke, president of Cape May's chamber of commerce (copied as is): "Freeholder Sheetz signed order at 2:00 Frank McCall says if you are staying write your name on a card stick it in your shoe so Identify U."

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New Jersey State of Emergency

As if my warnings weren't enough...

New Jersey is in a state of emergency because of Hurricane Irene. Gov. Christie is calling for a voluntary evacuation of the barrier islands by tomorrow afternoon, and urging people not to go down the shore this weekend. The state may enforce a mandatory evacuation, too.

Does this suck? TOTALLY. But hurricanes and even tropical storms are no joke. It's not just the winds we need to worry about at the South Jersey Shore, but the flooding too. Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate, Longport, Ocean City, Strathmere, Sea Isle, Avalon, Stone Harbor and the Wildwoods are ALL on barrier islands, and Cape May, being at the tip of the state, is surrounded on three sides by water. Flooding is a very real and dangerous threat. Losing a day or two off your vacation is worth not putting yourself in harm's way.

If you are renting this week or next, contact your realtor or hotel/motel and BE PATIENT. I'm sure they are dealing with everyone calling them at the same time - and remember that they're being urged to evacuate themselves, too.

You can follow news updates almost everywhere, so I won't list them here. One I will share, though: The New York Times has a Hurricane Tracker here.

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Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 102: Irene is coming

I leave for four days and miss an earthquake and the first freak out about a hurricane. Jeez. Maybe I'm not meant to leave the region.

So as I'm sure you heard (as it was plastered across every single TV at the gym this morning), Hurricane Irene is barreling toward the East Coast and is set to make a mess of the weekend. The weather reports keep changing (yesterday it was YOU'RE ALL GOING TO DIE and early this morning it was more MEH and now it's back up to WE MIGHT DIE again), but know this: hurricanes are NOTHING to mess around with. Take this from someone who went to college in Florida and was evacuated from her dorm her freshman year.

So pay close attention to the weather. Be smart. Waiting around to just "see" if Irene is ratcheted up to a category three, four or five for its Jersey Shore hit is just stupid.

If this does drop down to a tropical storm and you ride it out down the shore, please be careful about flooding, which will happen quickly and often. Also, if you plan on getting out of dodge sometime on Saturday, you might want to leave early. You'll already be battling rental changeover traffic - add in hurricane fleers and it's going to be a mess.

But boy will Monday make a great beach walking day.

P.S. Moreys will be making a call about the Wild Half tomorrow. Stay tuned...

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 101: Strathmere's getting another $4 million of sand

Strathmere has one of my favorite beaches. And now it's going to get wider - $4 million worth of sand wider.

This is on top of the $6 million dredging project of 2009. Interesting wording in here about why they're spending the money - because Strathmere has "$400 million in ratables."

So again we're back to the tax issues in Strathmere and why Upper Township wants to hold onto it, even though the township is primarily mainland.

Sometimes local politics in shore towns are so off the wall that I think I'm reporting on fictional towns. That or it's August and I've been writing about this stuff for too long in a row.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 100: BYOB vote coming to Ocean City

100! Woooooooo! I realize I might have messed up on the numbers somewhere along the way, but I'm not sweating it. I don't think you guys expect me to be perfect ;-)

This again. So those who want BYOB allowed in Ocean City got enough votes to put BYOB on the ballot. And in the process, has torn the town in two and splashed negative headlines about the town all over local media.

Congrats, everyone (and I don't mean this toward one side or the other - it's ugly both ways). This is now going to drag out until November. Lovely.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 99: Cape May revenues are up

Cape May revenues are up - at least when it comes to parking in beach tags.

Parking meters: Revenue through July 31 is up 14 percent from 2010 for a total of $538,792

Beach Tags: Revenue through July 31 has exceeded 2010 by 9.5 percent for a total of $1.4 million.

These numbers were funneled through the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cape May. Not bad, especially for those who rely on tourism in Cape May ESPECIALLY in these grim economic times.

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 98: You can visit alpacas in West Cape May

I've written about this on the blog before, but since someone else just did a story about it, I'll make it today's fact of the day: alpacas! In West Cape May!

Bay Springs Farm is a working alpaca farm that you can visit on weekends. They're funny creatures, which makes for a fun visit. There's an attached farmhouse store, too, with plenty of alpaca wool goodies for sale.

You pass it right on you way to Higbee Beach, which I wrote about yesterday.

And with that, I'm off to a short trip to the Adirondacks in a place with no electricity and I'm told no cell phone service (HOORAY FOR A TECH BREAK!). I'll be back in the middle of next week. That means pre-written Facts of the Day. So if something big happens - the ghost of Frank Sintra shows up at the White House Sub Shop or something - and I'm not writing about it, that's why.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 97: AAA Can't Help You on the Atlantic City Expressway

It's true, and unfortunately I found this out myself yesterday.

I left for the shore bright and early at 6am yesterday to get to a breakfast meeting at 8:15 in Cape May. Windows slightly down, gorgeous day, lalalalalaaaaaaaaaaa!

And then my radio dies. And then all the meters in my car - speed, gas level, everything - hit zero. The car is still working just fine, but something was obviously wrong ESPECIALLY since I had to have my car jumped on Saturday for no apparent reason.

I make it to the Farley Service Plaza, park by the Sunoco, turn off the car. Try to turn it on. It's dead, of course. Then I called AAA.

Turns out AAA is not allowed to help their customers who are stuck on the Atlantic City Expressway (and I have been told that this is also the case with the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway). My only option was to be transferred to the people who run the Expressway and have them tow me to the nearest exit and THEN call AAA to tow me home.


Fortunately the AC Expressway service guy was great. He ended up jumping my car again with the hopes that I would have enough juice to drive to my garage in Bellmawr. If I died again and was still on the Expressway, he said he'd just jump my car again. So I avoided that tow. But still. Really? Also, if you do get stuck, you can call AAA and they will transfer you over to the Expressway folks who can help you.

I almost canned the entire trip, but it was such a nice day, and the people I was scheduled to meet with could move their appointments back, so my mom picked me up from the garage, took me to the PATCO High Speedline, which I took into Philly, onto the subway, and to where my boyfriend's car was. Then I headed BACK down the shore. In total, the trip took 6 hours and $500 (approximate cost to replace my alternator).

Thank goodness it was a gorgeous day. Unfortunately, the whole car thing meant my plans to both run and then sit on the beach after my appointments wasn't going to work. I only had time for one of those activities.

I think I chose wisely. This is Higbee Beach if you're wondering.

ALSO! Please be extra careful in driving in traffic that's moving slightly faster than stop and go. This was the case for parts of the AC Expressway on my second drive yesterday and I saw what looked like a four car pile up happen because someone rear ended one car, which caused a chain reaction. So be careful, folks.

ALSO AGAIN! I have another piece about running in the New York Times - ran today. Click here to read along. It involves a cow....and the Asbury Park Half Marathon and the Ocean Drive 10 miler.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 96: Two and a Half Weeks Left

Am I depressing you with this one? I really don't mean to, but it's true: we only have 2.5 weeks left of the 2011 summer shore season.

I tell you this now, and not next week or the week after that, because I want you to have ample warning that NOW IS THE TIME to get in any last must dos for the shore this year. Didn't get your cone from Kohrs, or your slice of Mack & Mancos, didn't see that sunset at Higbee Beach or that Big Night Out in Atlantic City? GET ON IT.

GET ON IT if you need to do this in, as the Beach Boys called it, the Warmth of the Sun. All of these things are available to you year around. But I know it's not the same if you're a summer fan. So. You've been warned. Get to work.

(I'm down the shore today, but last night, I spent a good chunk of time settling details of the slew of fall trips I'm taking, which include stops in the Outer Banks and Vancouver, among many many more - some for work, some not. As I was looking at those September and October dates, I realized I was automatically skipping over the next two and a half weeks. Writing for magazines will do that to you since our deadlines are so very far in advance. Hence the thought behind this fact of the day.)

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

News & Notes

Check out the August 15 issue of American Way Magazine for my article about Asbury Park. If you're flying American Airlines this month, you can see it in print by checking the seat pocket in front of you.

I've long written book reviews for American Way, and this is my first travel piece for them. My second should be published this fall.

And, if you happen to be house hunting, my mother's house is for sale. There may or may not be embarrassing pictures of me on the walls (EVERYONE had a bowl cut in the '80s). Maybe I'm partial, but it's a great place to grow up. Nice yard at the end of a court that's bordered by a convent. Huge old growth tress. I'm not going to lie: I cried when I saw the for sale sign on the lawn. It's a very special place.

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Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 95: The Atlantic City Airshow is tomorrow

It's almost Thunder Over the Boardwalk time!

The annual Atlantic City Airshow is tomorrow, and it will fill the skies over the Boardwalk and casino with planes from U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team, U.S. Navy Super Hornet, and a lot more. Check out the details here.

My two tips:

1. If you can, go today. It's their practice day, and the crowds will be much smaller (estimates are that the Wednesday event draws 750,000 people). There's no schedule for practice because that depends on the weather, but if you're in town or thinking about sneaking down, this could be a reason why.

2. If you go tomorrow, do not plan on leaving right after the show. Atlantic City (and Ventnor, Margate and Longport for that matter) are paralyzed by traffic when the show is over. So make other plans (dinner anyone?) to avoid that crush.

And enjoy! I'll be in Cape May working tomorrow. Maybe I'll catch sight of a few planes on my way home.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

More vintage Jersey Shore

This time in Sea Isle City. I want that jacket!

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Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 94: Use vinegar for jellyfish stings

The weather Saturday was gorgeous - a perfect beach day.

The creatures living in and around the beach, though, were not. I already mentioned the incident with the seagulls. I finally left the beach when I was stung by a jellyfish.

For all my time down the shore, I don't think they'd ever gotten me before. I could tell right away - a pin point burning on my back. I got out of the water and immediately applied pressure with my towel. It wasn't TOO bad, but it hurt. After about five minutes, the pain and itch went away. I guess it just tapped me.

If you do get stung, go to a lifeguard. In Ocean City, they were spraying jellyfish stings with plain old vinegar which, according to the New York Times, deactivates the "venomous nematocysts that jellyfish release." I was in Strathmere, so no lifeguard to spray me. But my sting was so mild I didn't need it.

And no, urine doesn't work. That's gross.

Of course, not all jellyfish stings are alike. Read here for more information.

Thanks to reader John Tomlinson for giving a heads up as to what Ocean City lifeguards were doing on Saturday.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 93: Watch the Globetrotters, Please

The Harlem Globetrotters are playing tonight in Wildwood, and as a promo to the event, took a ride on the famous Tram Car. The recording was changed in their honor (temporarily) to say "Watch the Globetrotters, Please."

The Press of Atlantic City has a great story about it, with video.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Guster in Asbury Park

There's a reason I'm sleepy today.

Last night was the big Guster show at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park. Could I have gone to their show in Philadelphia? Of course. But it's the Stone Pony. It's Asbury Park. Worth the drive.

First, I met up with my friend and fellow writer Caren Chelser first to talk about writing, life and so I could see her six month old bambino. We strolled him right over from Ocean Grove to the Watermark on the Asbury Park boardwalk.

Oh hai, summer me.

Watermark is close enough to the Stone Pony outdoor stage that you can hear the concerts from the deck. That's where I heard Jack's Mannequin, who is co-headlining this tour with Guster.

I left Caren and her baby/hubby behind to get a good spot near the front for Guster. What a great venue, and thank goodness we missed the rain.

I can't find the setlist online yet (yes I was too busy acting like a moron to write it down, though they did play "Two Points for Honesty." Yes, honestly.) But I did find this setlist for a 2002 show they did at the Paramount Theatre, also in Asbury Park in case you'd like to go into the way back machine.

At one point in the show, they brought out a disco helmet. This doesn't capture its detailed awesomeness, but it does show its effect.

Fun show, great venue, wonderful town. Thanks Guster.

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Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 92: Ocean Grove allows BYOB

All this hullabaloo about some portions of Ocean City wanting to allow BYOB dining...I suggest someone turn northward and look at how Ocean Grove, which used to prohibit cars from being driven within its borders and *still* locks the gates between its town and Asbury Park at night, allowed BYOB. Because they do.

(Actually, I did suggest it to someone, and I think he's writing that story. I don't have time to do it - I'm working on 2012 shore features already - and I think it's best done by a news reporter than me. Anyway).

I was in Ocean Grove last night. I parked there for the Guster show at the Stone Pony in Asbury Parking. Parking in OG was free, and I met up with a friend of mine when I got into town who lives there. Together, we walked to the Watermark in Asbury Park for dinner.

That also meant I walked back to my car at about 10pm. No rowdy drunks carousing in the streets. No parties, etc. It was a very quiet, peaceful evening in a very quiet, peaceful town.

This BYOB this has been blown way out of proportion, and it's making Ocean City look like a town of petty buffoons. Do you think it looks good to visitors see the "Don't Change Ocean City" signs all over town? It didn't last weekend - and I'm sure it didn't to people who don't know much about the issue. You're taking yourselves WAY TOO SERIOUSLY. If this passes (which I don't think it will), it will not destroy the town. There's plenty of drinking in Ocean City, and it's visible too. Case in point: walking back from my Saturday morning Ocean City beach run, we passed a couple sitting a block from the boardwalk, on the sidewalk, drinking beers. At 10am.

A bit ranty, yes, but I'm tired. Got home around midnight from Guster, and was up at 5am to run this morning. And I resigned from my full time job this week, so sparks are flying everywhere. In regards to Ocean City/Ocean Grove, I'd be interested to see your thoughts in the comments below.

As always, tune into Ocean City Patch for the latest on the BYOB issue.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 91: Guster plays tonight in Asbury Park!

Yes, the band that got me through the last month of writing my first book is playing at the Stone Pony tonight in Asbury Park. Yes, I'm going. Of course, I can't wait.

Tickets are still available through Ticketmaster. And, hey, if you've got one to sell, I'm still looking.

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Monday, August 8, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 90: For a last minute trip, start dialing

It happens every year, like a prelude to Back to School shopping mad dash: "Where can I book a cheap vacation down the shore right now?"

Yes, you see the date of this post correctly. In the last two weeks, I've been flooded with requests of where to go for cheap in these last few weeks of August.

My best advice? Pick up the phone and start dialing.

Your best chance on getting a good deal late is to find a place with a cancellation. Assuming said cancellation happened recently, the hotel, motel, or B&B already got at least part of the payment for the room. They'll want to put someone in there vs. no one.

Is it labor intensive? Of course. But it's your best bet.

Another tip: be flexible. Saying you must have oceanfront in Cape May might cramp your options (not that it isn't lovely. It is).

Of COURSE, feel free to keep asking me for suggestions. I can give you tips on who to call. Just realize I'm not a miracle worker ;-)

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Friday, August 5, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 89: Humpback Whales spotted of Cape May

The Cape May Whale Watcher has been posting photos of what they're seeing on their daily trips, and we have some guests who are a bit early for vacation: humpback whales.

The best time to see whales at the Jersey Shore is typically in the fall, but they've been saying hello to visitors now. Check out their Facebook page if you want to see pictures.

If you're into Groupon, there's a deal today on dolphin and whale watching from the Starlight Fleet in Wildwood Crest.

I love dolphin/whale watching. It's a great non-beach way to enjoy a perfect summer day. I have gotten seasick on a whale watching trip though. If that happens to you, just know it's fairly common. They won't make fun of you a bit.

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Over on

Salon asked me to write something timed to the premiere season of that BS MTV show. I hesitated at first. What did I have to say that I hadn't already said.

But here it is.

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New Owners for the Steel Pier

Great news. Great news: the Steel Pier has a new owner, and it does not involve Donald Trump.

On Wednesday, Trump Entertainment sold the Steel Pier to, as the Press of AC calls them, "the Catanoso Family and Partners."

If you've followed this blog from the beginning, you know that I spent my summers in Avalon Campground, right off Route 9. It was owned then and is owned now by the same family: the Catanosos. The Steel Pier Catanoso owners are their cousins.

Anthony Catanoso, who is leading the group of new owners, used to head the company that leased the Steel Pier space from Trump. Now, they own it, which also prevents the pier from going up for auction.

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Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 88: New Beer Festival Coming to Atlantic City

The Golden Nugget (a.k.a. what was Trump Marina) is hosting a Craft Beer Festival on September 17 and 18.

September 17 is being billed the "All American Craft Beer Tasting," while September 18 will be Oktoberfest. The Saturday event is indoors; Sunday event is outside.

Sounds cool. The brewery lineup is pretty good, too: Flying Fish, Left Hand Brewing, Yards, Long Tail, Allagash, Hofbrau and Leinenkugel are just a few. Tickets are $49 a person.

I'd go if I were in the area - September 17 kicks off a week plus long vacation that is not in New Jersey. I love the shore, but I can't help but work when I'm there. So this will get around that, and I'll be visiting parts of the country I've never seen before. Should be a fun time.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 87: Miss America was in Atlantic City

So maybe it's not the greatest Fact of the Day, but I really just wanted to post that picture.

On July 28, current Miss America Teresa Scanlan toured the Trop's new Cielo Suites - the same one I stayed in for my birthday. I did not, however, have a pool table.

I'm writing an article about high roller suites and will get to tour a few more next week. I'm fascinated by this stuff - who gets to stay there? What's the value of them? And, as you know, I'm also oddly interested in the whole Miss America concept.

Hence why you get a picture of Miss America in a high roller suite on the blog. Voila.

I apologize for the lateness of this post today, too. I have a big piece coming out tomorrow on a major new outlet that I had 24 hours to write (they asked me). I'm wrapping it up this morning. It'll be a doozy.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Let's Talk about Races

I'm in my third week of marathon training. I don't know WHICH marathon at this point (I'm signed up for Philly but am being tempted away by the Bucks County Marathon, a first year race limited to 500 people), but it means I'm running. A lot.

And there are some shore races to compliment my training. Here's what's on my radar:

Captain Bill Gallagher 10 Mile Island Run. 41st running! I did this race in 2009 in misery (first race after shoulder surgery, wasn't trained, etc). I'll be down the shore this weekend and went back and forth about this one, especially considering the 5:45pm start time. Final decision is that I'm not going to run it. Instead, I'll be doing the No Shower Happy Hour at the OD. Because I'm an adult that way. I will, however, be running on the beach that morning.

The Wild Half, first year half marathon in Wildwood on August 28. Looks like a great course with lots of nice items thrown in (free weekend admission to the Moreys parks being a big one), but let's talk about the timing. August 28? With a 7:30am start time? Late August is a stretch for someone like me who hates summer running, but I've been getting out there on Saturday mornings. The thing is, I START my run by 6:30am. By 7:30am, I'd be cooking. I want to make the call about this depending on the weather, but they don't do day of sign ups. This is a maybe. Thing I DO like about this race: participants and their families can camp for free on the beach on August 26 and 27. That's a major cost reduction for anyone traveling to the race.

Ocean City Half Marathon on October 2. I'm signed up for this one. Boom.

LBI 18 Mile Run on October 9. I was JUST about to sign up for this one then decided to go to Vancouver for Travel Classics conference instead. Bummer. But hey - Vancouver!

Asbury Park Relay Marathon on October 16. I was signed up for this one, and had a great team of runners with the wonderful name of "Tramps Like Us." Then we got a wedding invitation. For a Sunday wedding. No "save the date" warning. Sigh. Tramps Like Us will still be running so cheer for them!

Atlantic City Marathon (and associated races) on the same day. I hear this event is getting better every year.

What shore races are on your radar?

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Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 86: Mack & Mancos Delivers to Philadelphia

Yes, really. It won't be cheap, but they have done it before. What would be a better surprise for your employees while working on a long, drawn out, and/or tense project than some #saucehose pizzas?

I've never done it, but when I worked with M&M to get pizzas on the NBC 10! show back in 2008, they told me they do this all the time.

You can also get a half backed pie to bring home and finish in your oven. I've done that too. Works like a charm.

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Monday, August 1, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 85: Right now, the ocean is very warm

When I was on my shore vacation two weeks ago, the ocean temperatures hovered in the 60s. One day, it was 60 - even though the heat index topped 100.

My my my how things have turned. According to Ocean City Patch, the ocean temperature has hit 80 degrees.

"That's the warmest of the year and a mark that Ocean City often goes years without seeing," wrote Douglas Bergen.

That's amazing. I can't remember an 80 degree ocean day. Is it too warm? I have spent a lot of time on the gulf coast in Florida and hated that bathwater temperature water, which it tended to be on our day trips out from college (University of Tampa to Clearwater trips were fairly common).

If you're down there, what are your thoughts? I'm headed down to Ocean City on Saturday and will let you know how it is, if that temperature holds. But knowing how up and down this summer's been, I wouldn't count on it.

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