My family and I were very honored to have been invited, as special guests of Morey's Piers, to spend the weekend in Wildwood, NJ and meet the famous Morey brothers, in person.
Okay, so I was THRILLED!!!
I got to revisit some of my favorite childhood memories of summertime(s) past: when my twin brother and I would spend our days playing on the beach, as my parents sunned themselves while listening to my dad's favorite doo-wop radio station (WCBS FM 101.1), and then follow the parade of flip flops, begging our parents for "Please, just one more quarter?!?" to play any one of the dozens of carnival games (it was a long time ago, shuddup!) along the 2 miles of boardwalk, at night.
Okay, great, but what really made this family getaway even MORE fabulous:
- It was Father's Day weekend
- I was able to convince my husband, Garth (not his real name) to take time off from work
- It was his first full weekend off in 5 weeks
- See first bullet
My oldest daughter, on the other hand, could NOT get the time off from work and, well, as you can well imagine, she wasn't very happy about it...either...which brings up a pretty important traveling tip, when road-tripping with teens.
Planning a family vacation isn't always easy: contrary to popular opinion, most especially with older kids. My best suggestion? Don't try and make any concrete plans and leave plenty of breathing room in your schedule; it's just easier that way.
Long story, short (you're welcome!) after someone accidentally knocked her in the head with their locker door (yep, she's my kid a'ight!) and then being treated for a migraine at the hospital (migraines ARE the devil!) my middle girl was more than ready to help us...ever so gently...kick our mini-beach vay-cay into high gear.
Wildwood is approximately a 3 hour car (or bus) ride from NYC: and, depending on traffic, it is about 2 hours south from us. Leaving later than we had originally anticipated actually worked out in our favor; we missed the usual Friday night shore traffic....SCORE!!!!
We arrived a little before 11:00 p.m. and were immediately made to feel right at home by our hosts: there was an awesome tote waiting for us in our room, it was filled with beach-inspired treats and a very special early birthday present for our youngest daughter, who was also celebrating her 12th birthday. She slept in late with her big brother, who then wondered why his neck was soooooo sore, the next morning.
Our classic Jersey shore experience included a stay at an iconic retro-inspired beachfront hotel: we were treated to two nights at the StarLux Boutique, built in the space-age (i.e. the Jetsons) architectural style popular during the 1950's and 60's on the Jersey shore and one of a collection of hotels owned by Morey's Resorts here in Wildwood, NJ
The last time we drove through Wildwood was a few years ago, while visiting with friends in neighboring Cape May, NJ, and I was sad to see many of the motels we stayed at as kids had been torn down to make room for towering condos: this trip, however, I was very happy to learn the classic Americana vibe is indeed very much alive and remains authentic to the Wildwoods.
So, what's the deal with Morey's Piers: a family owned and operated amusement park since 1969, focusing on a friendly boardwalk experience and keeping authentic to the Jersey shore is an important mission for our very kind hosts...the Morey Brothers....and one that I am more than happy to help amplify...YO!!!
The Wildwood boardwalk is 2 miles long, with Morey's consisting of 3 piers stretching out in between, so be prepared to walk: or you can hop a ride on the tram car which runs up and down the boardwalk, including Mariner's Landing Pier, Surfside Pier, and Adventure Pier, but be sure to have cash on hand; it'll cost you $3.00 per person, one way. Either way, I do NOT recommend hitting up the ENTIRE boardwalk...in flip flops...just sayin'.
Carnival games are fun, boardwalk rides are way better: you cannot avoid playing at least a couple of carnival games when at the boardwalk with kids, but "one more try" can quickly add up, right?!? We usually put aside $20 per kid for carnival games and, at $3.00 to $5.00 a pop, even that will not last very long. So, be prepared to say "NO!!!" or "How about a ride on the pretty carousel, instead?!?" or just have your kids start saving their birthday/holiday money, right now :)
Ride & Waterpark Combination Pass - Your Best Value: my family is not big on waterparks (accident-prone as we are, can you really blame us?!?), however, I'm digging the ALL DAY ride wristband and ALL DAY waterpark wristband deal! You can visit both waterparks (Raging Waters in behind the Mariner's Landing Pier and Ocean Oasis is on the beach behind Surfside Pier) on the same day, and you can use the ride or waterpark portion on a different day...suh-weet!!!
Boardwalk food, it's a lesson in Jersey cuhl-chuh: salt water taffy, funnel cake, Kohr's frozen custard, corn dogs, cotton candy, caramel popcorn (or car-mull, if you're NOT from Jersey) fried Oreos and deep-fried...ummmm...pretty much EVERYTHING else...are the staples of boardwalk food, here on the Jersey shore.
Then there are the hidden gems of family-style restaurants now easily found on Morey's Piers: like Joe's Fish Co. and Soggy Dollar Beach Bar, whose menu emphasizes Jersey fresh local seafood and produce and, well, I just LOVE that!!!
What's new this summer at Morey's Piers: [artBOX] is a 10,000 square foot interactive artists village crafted from re-purposed shipping containers, which debuted its grand opening during our stay!
[artBOX] also includes the Exit Zero Museum Shop: showcasing quirky amusement artifacts, nostalgic memorabilia and an eclectic array of retail merchandise, so yeah...I felt right at home...just so you know.
We had a GREAT time on our weekend getaway and I hope you enjoyed my behind the scenes look at all the AWESOME you'll find when visiting with my new friends at Morey's Piers in Wildwood, NJ.
In the meantime, I trust you'll consider this as an open invitation: g'head and c'mon down, the Jersey Shore is open :)
© 2003 - 2013 This Full House
With a fan page on Facebook and everything!
Disclosure: no payment was received for this blog post; Morey’s Piers provided my family with a hotel room, food tickets, and complimentary ride tickets. Although I was not asked to write this blog post, I am more than happy and willing to help share some #jerseylove! All the opinions expressed here on this post, however, are mine and you can't have them.