As you probably have realized, I live in Philadelphia. Well, to be clear, I live in a suburb of Philadelphia, which is about 10 minutes from the City of Brotherly Love. However, to those who are outside the tri-state area, when asked where I’m from, the answer is simple: Philly.
A big part of the Philly experience is a vacation at the Jersey shore. No, no, no…not that Jersey Shore. That’s almost New York, for crying out loud. I’m talking Southern New Jersey and, more specifically, Wildwood. Ah, Wildwood.
What’s so great about Wildwood? Hmmm…everything? The mile-wide, free beaches? The two-mile boardwalk? The ridiculously tall ferris wheel, which is part of its wide range of amusement rides (which are pretty impressive, since Wildwood was ranked by Trip Advisor as the third best amusement park in the country…above #4 Disney!) The nostalgia of doo-wop? The prices? Oh, yeah, it’s got a whole lot going for it.
And, you might not know this, but it consistently earns a spot on all kinds of lists about vacation destinations/beaches/amusement parks, etc. Even Time Magazine included Wildwood on its 2009 list of 50 Most Authentic American Experiences.
Wildwood has always been the destination for me during the summer. I absolutely love everything about Wildwood.
Wildwood is actually, in my opinion, a quirky little shore town…it’s segregated into three sections; North Wildwood, Wildwood, and Wildwood Crest (there’s also this little island of West Wildwood, which I’ll discuss at a later date). Now, while you refer to any portion of Wildwood simply as “Wildwood,” everyone has their preference as to where they spend their vacation.
My preference is “the Crest,” because it’s quiet, it’s peaceful, it’s laid-back, and there’s no BS. There aren’t loud parties or gaggles of teenagers walking down the street or what-have-you. It’s a town where people sit on their porch. They take walks. They ride bikes. It’s also considered “dry,” as there aren’t liquor stores and bars/clubs all over the place.
The reason I’m telling you all this is because…*drum roll*…for the first time ever, I will be summering (I’ve always wanted to “summer” somewhere) in Wildwood for longer than one or two weeks. After running around like a nut last night and this morning, I packed (hopefully) everything I need for my vacation in my cozy home away from home for…five weeks! Giddy up!!
This is the sign you see as you drive into Wildwood, on Rio Grande Avenue (you can see the bay behind the sign). For Wildwood folk, it’s a glorious moment. This is the point when you really feel as though you’re on vacation.
Interestingly, I’m going to be alone for the majority of my time in Wildwood. I’m OK with that. I’m a block and a half from the beach, and I’m going to really enjoy myself. Now, for me, that means reading, writing, and watching the Phillies. I’m really looking forward to it, and will be keeping a “journal,” if you will, of the “Summer of Kristin,” that will be full of fun stuff about Wildwood, with pictures, places, and all kinds of fabulousness. It’s gonna be GREAT!!