Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Weekend Events

Busy weekend!

First up: On Saturday, I will be speaking at the Collingswood Book Festival at 10am. This event is awesome. I've gone every year for the last five years, and even better? The weather is supposed to be fall spectacular. Yes, I will also be signing books. Bored with me? It's OK. I understand. Then at least catch the end of my talk and hang around for Jerry Blavat aka the Geeter with the Heater, the Boss with the Hot Sauce. He speaks immediately after me at 11am.

And then on Sunday I'll be running the Ocean City Half Marathon. Excited. Will, of course, eat pizza after.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Drowning panic

I didn't spend a lot of time in the ocean while in OBX. The surf was very rough and choppy. Plus, our rental house was in front of a sand bar, so waves were crashing twice in the space where I'd go into the water.

On Thursday, though, I gave it a go. We ran four sweaty, gross miles in the morning and figured we could take the ocean as a cool down.

My boyfriend immediately swam out to the sand bar. He's a soccer keeper and exceptionally strong. I soon followed, but didn't fare as well. I was fatigued from the run, and my upper body strength isn't what it used to be. I kept getting pushed back by the surf, and pulled sideways by the current. I could feel my body was tired, my muscles sapped, but I kept trying because I could see him standing there waiting for me.

Then I panicked. Why couldn't I touch the bottom? Why couldn't I get to him? I swam harder, tried harder, and got nowhere. Panic grew.

I see now why people drown in the ocean. Even though I was not in dire need, being stuck in the water with no quick way out is terrifying. I stopped struggling when a lesson about rip tides finally blared in my brain - that struggling against them is not the right idea. Instead, I relaxed and let the waves carry me back into shore. But I can see how the scales could tip another way, and I'd have been in a lot of trouble.

Which brings me to the young man who drowned in Ocean City over the weekend. Please be careful if you're heading out into the ocean now, especially on unguarded beaches, which most are. This is a tragedy that I hope is never repeated.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

News from Around the South Jersey Shore

Hey I'm back! I'm sorting through a TON of emails, so let's put up some news in the process.

Check out these Shore made duck decoys.

The Ocean City bike path is riding ahead.

This is bad. And so, of course, is this.

The Beach Theatre was demolished today. BAD MOVE CAPE MAY.

The West Cape May Lima Bean Festival is on October 8. I'm NEVER in New Jersey for it. Bah.

North Wildwood plans on removing the seawall.

A sit in in Sea Isle.

Boardwalk Empire's second season premiered last night. Here's more about AC from the 1920s.

The Ocean City Half Marathon is on Sunday - and yes I'll be there, probably wearing purple.

I will NOT be at the Asbury Park Relay Marathon this year, but if you are, please note that the start time has been moved from 10am to 7am. Early birds will like that one. If I could run the race, I would.

This is awful - and I will have much more to say about this at another time this week.

My trip was fun. I was underwhelmed by OBX, but that's not a big shocker, is it?

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Friday, September 16, 2011


I'm off for vacation until next Tuesday. Yes, not this Tuesday, NEXT Tuesday. So I'll catch up with you when I get back!

Yes AAA still makes TripTiks. And they're awesome.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

News from around the South Jersey Shore

The Wetlands Institute Wings & Water festival is this weekend! Have I ever mentioned that my dream job in high school was to work there or in Australia researching the Great Barrier Reef?

This weekend also marks the start of the Cape May Food & Wine festival.

And the Nuns' Beach Surf Contest.

Once again, the ACES train shuts down in the off season.

Wow. Just wow.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Good Land

As someone who uses "Garth Algar" as her go-to Halloween costume, how could I not start a post about Milwaukee with that Wayne's World clip?

HELLO WISCONSIN! The dude and I took a long weekend out to The Good Land to see the Phillies play the Brewers. I've been to Minneapolis, but not Milwaukee or anywhere in Wisconsin. So cross another state off my list.

We stayed at the Pfister Hotel, which is a short walk from downtown Milwaukee. Not bad. I like historic places, and this was one historical hotel. It was also along the bus route to the baseball staidum, which is how we got home from both games we attended. I don't have too much to report from Friday since I had to work that morning. Though we did get to Miller Park Friday night. Yes, THAT Miller Park. We saw a lot of Phillies fans, including this guy:

I don't know who is he, but he was in line for beer, and when I tweeted this picture, I think "Rick" might have pooped his pants.


Yes, we were that close. And yes, we saw Pete Orr run into the race as it was happening.

Also (again): many of the bars and hotels run free shuttles to and from the stadium. We opted for Moe's Irish Pub. To the guys who were there from Chicago on a bachelor party, I hope you had fun.

On Saturday, we ran 15 miles by Lake Michigan, which was lovely. However - HOLY CRAP WISCONSIN. You were supposed to be cooler and not as sunny. I got my first REAL sunburn of the summer in the fall. In Wisconsin!

Anyway. Then, after, running, there was this.

If you've read this blog for a while, you know I am a big fan of having a bloody mary after running. THIS bloody mary, which was purchased at the Wicked Hop, came with an olive, mini pickle, mushroom, beef stick, beer chaser and OMG CHEESE. Yes, those curly things coming out of the top of the drink are pieces of cheese.

But a woman cannot subsist on bloody marys and cheese alone, so we headed to Mader's, which is a classic German restaurant that about a dozen people had recommended to me. It satisfied my need for brats while in town. Their pretzel appetizer was out of this world, too.

Then we headed to the Miller Brewery to meet my doppelganger:

Her name is Lucy a.k.a. the Girl in the Moon a.k.a. the Miller High Life girl. I am in the process of pitching a story about her history, tied to the fact that I am staring at myself when I ever look at a case of Miller High Life. The Brewery Tour was cool. It was free, and included two free samples of beer if you were over 21.

And the it was back to Miller Park, where we found a concession stand that served only this:

SERIOUSLY Milwaukee! I had no idea that this culture of the bloody mary existed - even so far as to go into the baseball stadium of record. Wow. Just wow.

Sunday was a quiet day. We slept in, had brunch at the Pfister (which included a bloody mary bar in the cost of brunch), and then flew home. Yes, we flew on 9/11. No, it was not fun. And that's all I'll say about that.

When I got home, I unpacked and then repacked for Cape May. On Friday, I leave for North Carolina on a trip that I thought started NEXT Friday. So if anything in this post is garbled, that's probably why!

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All the Way from Cape May

I took this photo last night at Congress Hall's full moon party. Lovely night, lovely sight.

Almost as soon as I returned from Wisconsin, I turned around and headed down the shore for an assignment. I'll be posting about both trips soon. Hint: boy do mid westerners love their Bloddy Marys....

Oh, and I saw this in Cape May as well, specifically in the parking lot for Higbee Beach. Make sure you read the license plate.

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Last Chance for the 9th Street Bridge

The 9th Street Bridge in Ocean City, which has carried many of you from the mainland to the shore, is closing on Monday. Then it will be demolished.

So if you want to make one more trip, this is going to be your last chance. Get on it!

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

News from Around the South Jersey Shore

NEWS! And lots of it.

If you're in New York, this could be your subway train:

On Saturday, Boardwalk Empire/1920s themed trains hit the tracks in New York City as a promotion for the start of the new season. Cool, right?

Bizarre note from over the weekend: Game On and Trinity at the Pier Shops at Caesars closed. Given that the complex is going to be auctioned, I wasn't surprised that some restaurants might close. But I'd at least expect them to tell their employees on Sunday they were about to lose their jobs on Monday.

And stepping into this mess is John Palmieri, the new head of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. Palmieri held a similar post in Boston.

Hey, how we doing on Revel? They have a website up and running, with a countdown.

I wish I had met this woman.

This is just a press release, but it has good numbers in it: more people traveled to Atlantic City this Labor Day weekend early than Labor Day weekend last year, though overall toll trips were slightly down.

Alright, enough of Atlantic City. Cape May's going to start offering free parking for the handicapped.

I don't think this has anything to do with our Wildwood, but worth a link. Weird.

Flyers GM was in a bike accident in Avalon. Be careful, folks.

Anybody want to live in Sea Isle this winter? Seems a reasonable price. If anyone knows of something similar in Asbury Park, let me know. Might be doing a project up there this winter.

This one caught my eye but got pushed aside because of Irene: Wildwood is trying to shut down "rowdy" houses. I've long said that Wildwood will not completely revitalize its image until homes stop renting to high school kids for senior weeks and prom weeks. This is a step in the right direction.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Travelin' Man

Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate with my plans to take Emily down the shore today. So as it pours outside, I say...


On Thursday, I'm headed to Milwaukee for a long weekend to see the Phillies play the Brewers at (haha) Miller Park. Expect a silly picture of THAT one. I'm also of course going to scout it for possible travel articles which, yes, I do write about places other than the Jersey Shore.

Things were so crazy the last week that I've done no more planning than to look out information about tours of the Miller Brewery (again - silly pictures to come). So if you've been and have any suggestions, especially of the beer/cheese/brat variety, leave them in the comments below! I'm also looking for running route recommendations since we'll need to get in a 15 miler while we're in town.

This is the first of three trips I have in the next 30 days. It's going to be a fun fall time.

This does NOT mean I'm ignoring the shore this fall. How COULD I when it's my favorite season there. The day after I get back from Milwaukee, I head to Cape May for a few days. That trip, unlike the Wisconsin one, is for an assignment, though if you're going to have to work anywhere...

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Start of the Beginning

A lot of people said that yesterday was the end of summer. September 1 has a way of doing that to people - especially when it falls right before Labor Day weekend.

Today is the beginning of the end of the traditional summer shore season. Already, temperatures have dipped a bit, bringing more pleasant days and cooler nights. It's getting darker later in the morning and earlier at night. And my grandmother would tell me not to wear white shoes next week.

But it's not really the end of the shore season. This is the golden time, when you can sit on the beach for hours in the warm sun and not want to dunk yourself to stay cool. The bars are open but not elbow to elbow, and you don't pay astronomical fees to stay at the hotels and motels by the water.

This summer's been a rough one, and the events of last drilled a feather into that cap. So make sure you take a fall trip to the shore. The businesses that lost a weekend will love you for it, and I guarantee that you'll love it too.

As for me, today is my last day at the full time job I took about a year ago. I'm going back to writing full time. I'm very excited, but I have a lot of work to do so I won't be headed down the shore this weekend. But I will be there on Tuesday, with my dog by my side.




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Thursday, September 1, 2011

BYOB a no go in OCNJ - and a closing

The move to make Ocean City a BYOB town is dead. And the reason for it? The movement's own supporters have pulled the plug.

Seems a bit anticlimactic, yes?

Also sad to learn via Ocean City Patch that some Atlantic Bookstores down the shore are closing. Despite being a smallish chain, they were big supporters of my books, and an easy way to grab some summer reading on your way to the beach. Ocean City folks, you can hit up Sun Rose Words and Music on Asbury Ave for that purpose - but it's always sad when a bookstore closes.

How about some good news, then? I heard from the fine folks who make the Jersey Shore Bracelet - they're going to be donating a portion of their proceeds to the Hurricane Relief Fund in NJ. Go to their site for the details.

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