Monday, November 14, 2011

Shore to Please

It's Monday!
Of course, you know what that means?
Listicles with the lovely Stasha at the Good Life. This week's list is a good one, inspired by Hopes at Staying Afloat , 10 Things that Make a Perfect Vacation.
Now, inspiration has taken me away, swept me away to the Shore.
The Jersey Shore.
when I write of the shore, my definition includes Seaside and towns south of Long Beach Island.
While there are towns above this point, I have limited knowledge and therefore have not chosen to include them in this piece.

Five Reasons why the Jersey Shore is NOT what you see on MTV

1. Families 
If you head to the beach on any given Saturday or Sunday between Memorial Day and Labor Day, families populate the beaches. Extended families: grandparents bopping their grand babies on their knees while toddlers dig in the sand.  Kids collecting sand fleas and hermit crabs, while the adults sit in their respective chairs drinking and talking.
My family
2. Not Everyone is Italian
nor do they want to be
Cultural pride rings strong at the Shore. However, it's not resevered to singularly to those of Italian descent.   Never have more Irish descendants or those who are Irish for the day,  been in one place, then Irish Weekend  in North Wildwood.  
While no specific days are dedicated to these ethnicities, German, Polish, Slovak, and Greek pride are evident through t-shirts and flags too.

When Irish Eyes are Smiling

3. Dress
There are some who dress like they are heading to the clubs. Usually that demographic is categorized to towns such as Wildwood, Seaside, and the like. Visit a few other towns, and you have entered the land of Lilly & Tory,
 Polo & Jcrew.
Don't know these designers?
If you're heading to Cape May,  Ocean City, Sea Isle, Avalon, or Stone Harbor,
then you better learn!
Think Preppy!
Polos! Pearls! Khaki! Pink & Green!
A lot different then the hair puff & porn star heels.

Bry in his Polo

Me in my Lilly polo
4. Boardwalk
Okay, I will admit the Wildwood boardwalk is very similar to that of Seaside, home to Jersey Shore cast.
BUT, head a few miles up the Parkway and Ocean City awaits.
Those boards are clean and family centric.
There are nights dedicated to families for heaven's sake and the town itself is dry!
No liquor stores or licenses in the entire place.

Clean boardwalk

Family friendly rides
5. Cape May
This town alone serves as the reason why the Jersey Shore is NOT solely confined to the scenes on tv.
Historical the oldest seashore in the country, Cape May takes pride in its history. Weeks dedicated to its Victorian hertiage fill the calendar as its shores are dotted with families and couples. A popular destination for beach weddings and commitment ceremonies, it's venues offer close proximity to the beach. Cape May is filled with small hotels, bed & breakfasts, and large Victorian homes. Bike riders fill the streets as the small, independent shops sell various home wears and apparel.

Hotel Alcott

The newlyweds circa 2005
Cape May
However, I am realist. It isn't all made up. There is truth in what you see on that screen,
and so I offer:

Five Reasons Why the Jersey Shore IS what you see on MTV

1. Tan
Skin cancer is a real threat.
Doctors and other professionals have warned of the ill effects of a suntan. But this does not apply on Jersey shore beaches. Many cannot get tan enough.
Comments such as "You look so much healthier with color."
and "Are you sick, maybe you need some sun." are often regular expressions heard in social circles, including my family. It is bad, yes, but why do I feel so much more attractive with that bit of color?

See that browned leg, that's my mother in law's natural state.
She'd kill me if I put her whole pic on here, but she'd also tell you she's pale.

2. Beach Wear
If you ever feel bad about your body, head to the Jersey shore?
Because it appears that with the sun, the shore brings out a lot of self confidence.
A lot of Skin
Is shown on those beaches, often by those who should keep more to the imagination.
I won't lie. My self esteem does go up after comparing my own flawed body to the others wearing string bikinis and tiny bottoms.

I know, but compared to the people around, I feel fine!

3. Alcohol
The signs displayed at the beach access points warn that alcohol is prohibited, however this is rarely enforced. Frankly, I've never seen anyone told NOT to bring their drink to the beach.  Most coolers (of those families I mentioned in part 1) are filled with wine coolers and beer. Secured in their cozies, alcohol is consumed in mass quantities during a Shore vacation.
Be it at the beach, or on the deck or at dinner or the bar, alcohol is a must have!

4. Attire
While many of the beaches seem to have a dress code of khaki, pink, and green, there are places where the porn star look is embraced. The Wildwood boardwalk is one of those. Skirts covering the bare minimum paired with deep. plunging tanks parade the boards while the guys dress in t-shirts and jeans.
There's also the large selection of "classy" t-shirts available in many of the shops.
Shirts that say stuff like "Slippery When Wet" or "DTF".  
Definitely not my cup of tea, but it's there, for all to enjoy,
And for those of us with children, to explain.

5. People
There are a multitude of families that inhabit the shore.
However, the single scene is still in effect.
Time to bring out the straigtening iron, mascara, and the heels, because it's always ladies night somewhere!
Bars, Clubs, & the Boardwalk offer just the place to stroll, check out the scene and find that special someone for the night, or for a few hours.
One can never go too tight or too short or too tan,
okay, maybe too tight and too short, but defintely not too tan!


The Jersey Shore, the place where families and singles can play, drink in excess, and tan.
 I can think of no more perfect place to spend those hot summer days!
Only 6 months, and 14 days until Memorial Day 2012, the offical start of summer at the Shore!



  1. Holy cats, I forgot that fashion is a biggie over there in Europe. Gulp!

    Phew! I am not going in the near future. And what a cutie pie is that little one.

  2. Oh I got such a kick out of your list Jackie. (-: Do you know - I hate the Jersey Shore folks and altho I haven't been to NJ beaches we came very close last summer to going to Cape May area, and I knew somehow that they can't possibly ALL be like the JS people!
    I LOVE that teacup photo of your two cuties. That is a good shot. (-:
    After reading your list I'm going to have to go to Cape May...!

  3. This post is a great PSA to us all who have felt FEAR about the Jersey Shore since the TV show started! I'm going to recommend this post to @MamasMonologues too.

  4. Haha! Love how you did this, Jackie! I've always wondered about the MTV Jersey Shore.
    I'd love to be on a beach with a cooler full of cocktails right about now ;)

  5. Love the family beach atmosphere. (And I'm proud to admit I know nothing of the Jersey Shore presented on tv. Never seen it, never will.)

  6. I love your photos...especially the newlyweds on the beach! I refuse to watch Jersey Shore, but I'm glad you pointed out that there's more to the shore than what is portrayed on tv. I'd hate for your kids to run into Snooki!

  7. I have never seen The show but your photos make The shore look like a great place! I must go to Cape May.You are so photogenic. And I am a polo wearing preppy chick too.

  8. A Jersey Shore vacation sounds like my dream vacation. Days at the beach and the biggest decision you make is what to eat and drink next.

  9. I love beach towns, and beach people, they seem to be a breed all their own, like island people, not like pacific islanders, but people that live on little islands like Nantucket.

  10. I have never seen Jersey Shore on MTV, yeah, I'm living under a rock; but it sure sounds like a great place to vacay!

  11. I love beach holidays but have never seen the Jersey Shore so this was such an interesting read. Nice pics too!

  12. I've actually never seen an episode of this show!

  13. You know, I've never watched Jersey Shore!!! But your pics make it look like such a lovely place!!!

  14. Oh, good! I'm always looking for places I can wear a bikini and not look like the biggest whale in the ocean. Hooray! Plus, tanning makes cellulite less noticable, right?

  15. You mean to tell me that there is more to the JS than just a bunch of gorilla juice heads and meatballs whoring around?? ;^)

    Great list, Jackie.

  16. I love the shore, too. I miss it. I so prefer Ocean City, Maryland. But a beach is a beach and there is not a place I'd rather be than the boardwalk sunburned.

  17. I love this! AND I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Jersey Shore. WE have been to Longport many summers and traveled the rest of shore while there! Great post!


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