Yesterday was a beautiful, warm, early fall day in NJ. We knew we definitely wanted to get outside. Looking for inspiration, I tweeted:
After some contemplation, checking out the online festivals, we decided to take a trip down the shore!
I hadn’t been to see Lucy the Elephant since I was a kid myself… so off we went!
Lucy was built in 1881(!) She still stands, through numerous hurricanes, and demolition threats, 6 stories and 65 ft high in Margate, New Jersey. She’s pretty amazing – and, charmingly kitschy, too – and reminds me of my childhood summers spent on the Jersey Shore. The nice one, the beautiful one, the family one – NOT the one represented by television shows (ugh, sometimes the continual negative representation of New Jersey in the media really gets to me). She’s impressive to behold, and more than just a bit unusual sandwiched between condominiums and the Atlantic Ocean. The kids LOVED her; so did I. For $3 per child & $6 per adult, we received a tour of the giant elephant. Our tour guide walked us up through her legs into her belly (which, since my childhood has been entirely renovated & looked nearly completely different than I remembered.) where we watched a short video about her history. Around her belly were “windows into the past” where you could look through & see her original white painted wood structure (which is how I remember her as a child), a classic bathroom from when she was a residence for a short while (how COOL is that that someone lived in an ELEPHANT?), and various other memorabilia related to her history. From the top, which is still open to the air, you can clearly see Atlantic City to the North and Ocean City to the south. There is also a cute little gift shop with elephant-themed items. In all, it was a fantastic, inexpensive destination for kids. Plus, she’s right off the ocean - perfect for a day at the beach.
Driving up Atlantic Ave
Lucy through the scrub pines
Climbing Lucy’s Toes
Walking up Lucy’s leg
Peering into Lucy’s bathroom
Lucy’s birthday postcard (is this not cool??)
View from the top
After exploring Lucy, we decided to head south a few miles to Ocean City, for a walk on the boardwalk, and delicious pizza! Ocean City really clears out after Labor Day, yet, the ocean remains warm – September is the perfect month to visit! We walked up on 14th street, and the kids immediately took off for the beach. The surf, while a bit rough, was an amazing temp – had to have been in the 80s! Even with the sea breeze, the kids were soaked to the bone (they went swimming in their clothes!), but not cold.
Running to the water – not wet... yet!
No trip to Ocean City is complete without a trip to Mack & Manco’s Pizza because, really, it is the best pizza. Anywhere. Just make sure you bring cash – and nothing else. They don’t allow any outside food or drink, serve only pizza, and don’t take credit cards. And there’s always a line to get in, no matter what. But you won’t care once you taste their pizza. :)
The best pizza
My daughter agrees.
Walking back to the car
To close out our trip, we had the best ice cream in Ocean City – Hobby Horse Ice Cream parlor on 8th & Ocean.
Stained glass window on the ice cream parlor
Riding the carousel horse out front
We had a fabulous day trip to the Jersey Shore (plus, the kids fell sound asleep on the drive home - yes!) - and all on the spur of the moment... that's what I love about living here. We're so close to everything! This tweet I received in response to my inquiry, sums it up: