Day 8 – Round About Beach Haven, NJ

It’s 10:00 am and we’re doing something different today. We chose to skip the trip to Atlantic City in favor of sticking around closer to our room in case we have a nap attack. The big motivator for me was when the bus driver said the reason the trip was so cheap ($10 per person) is that participants are required to stay at least 6 hours in Atlantic City. As the driver, he’s also the enforcer. I guess the reason for that is because someone did some complex calculations that revealed old folks are likely to part with their money if they stayed in the vicinity of casinos for a certain amount of time. Since neither of us gamble, that left the casino buffets which is pretty much the same as tossing money out the window because they promote a reason to eat far more than normal, and eat stuff you’d never try when sober. Even though we paid $20 for the trip, blowing it off is way cheaper than going on the trip. So, we stayed and the bus left.

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This is Tom, our driver.

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This is George, Ken’s left-hand man for all work done to organize this reunion. They both put in a lot of work to make it happen.

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Our home until Thursday.

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This is Ken’s car, the one he drove all the way from Ohio. I think the 808 on the side is there all the time, not just when we have reunions. The 808 is significant, of course, because that’s the hull number of the good ship Buckley. The fact that the car is gray is significant for the same reason. I think he special ordered it from Toyota in Haze Gray.

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This is the parking lot for the Engleside Inn. It’s crushed oyster shells, I think. If were on the other ocean, that’s what it would be but I don’t know if they allow oysters to grow in the Atlantic.img_9295

I’m sitting on our little deck watching the waves roll in, listening to the soothing roar they make when they curl over and foam up. It’s peaceful. A couple of hundred feet off shore I can see the dorsal fins of the porpoises breaking the surface of the water as many dozens of them make their way south along the shore.

I had to stop and think for a minute there, a rarity if you ask Diane, because I’m used to having left being south and right being north when looking directly at the sea. That’s on the Pacific side. But, here we are on the Atlantic.

A big difference between the two coasts that we’ve noted from previous visits, is that Atlantic beaches tend to drop off into the water at a pretty steep angle compared to the gentle slope of Pacific beaches. On the Pacific side it’s not uncommon for us to walk for hundreds of feet before there’s danger of getting our feet wet, but on the Atlantic side when you get to the sand, and were to fall down, you’d be in the water before you quite rolling. That’s almost true.

For some reason there are many residents with dogs staying at the hotel with us. I’m not sure if there’s convention going on or if that’s just what folks do over here. One lady just walked her dog up a path to the beach that has a really nice pole fence defining the walkway and her dog, something I’ve never seen before, stopped and peed on every other post. Both directions.

After we decided navigating stairs from the third floor (no elevator) wouldn’t be all that difficult, we donned our shoes, Diane got the car keys, and we headed for the stairs. Oh, in addition to the shoes, we put on good outside clothes, too. It was the right thing to do. Then we just drove the length of New Jersey’s Long Beach Island. The road, Long Beach Blvd, is 35 miles long and drove the length. Since the summer season is over most of the folks are gone. We were told the year round residency of the island is about 40K but it swells a couple of K during the summer months. The room we’re in lists its maximum rate at $599.99 which is ludicrous and nowhere near what we paid. Vacations in New Jersey are serious business.

Here’re some photos we took during our tour.

The Who Hoo place caught our attention because it’s one of Jennifer’s favorite things to say when something pleases her. We didn’t eat there. Just stopped to take the photo.

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Most of the homes on the south end of the island, where we are in Beach Haven, are huge very elegant, and appear to be built for multiple families. Also, they all look new with no signs of aging or degradation. Pretty amazing. We came across some very pretty beach rentals that are apparently part of a club. These are the only ones we found that appeared to be made from cookie cutter plans. The other homes all appear to be custom units with nothing in common except for their huge size and multiple garages.

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We stopped for lunch at Kubel’s Too, an iconic restaurant located in Brighton Beach which is just a little north of Beach Haven on the island. We both had fish and chips and believe it was about the best we’ve ever had. The coleslaw was the best, too. A very satisfying lunch.

After all that food we felt the need to take a nap but as we drove the short distance back to our room we kinda rejuvenated and decided to spend some time sitting on a handy bench near the beach. Although it was overcast, it was pretty comfortable sitting there for a long time. Then it started to get chilly, driving us indoors. The following photos depict our view from left to right.img_9327

Apparently this is the end of Amber Street.

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As you can see, if you’re from the West Coast, the beaches over here a little different both in color and in texture.

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Tomorrow is our last day here and it’s been fun. Short but fun seeing all these old guys we’ve come to know over the years. We only see them every two years, but they have become fast friends.

Now, Dancing With The Stars is on so I must quit.

Good wishes to you all.

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