Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Beach Week: The Wildwoods

If you want to talk prejudice bring "best beach" into the conversation. I was never a fan of Wildwood but I must admit during a revisit, I saw the value and charm and it is VERY popular!

No doubt, it's busy. With exception of  Seaside Heights, I ain't never seen a more complete boardwalk, although it possibly has Seaside Heights beat with variety but I don't want Snookie all up in my face about it.

Seaside Heights

Arriving late in the afternoon from a long drive, the first thing you think about after using the facilities, is food. After careful observation, I decided PIZZA is the business to get into in Wildwood.  It seemed every five stores were pizza joints, so either it had to be good or in a good spot.  As we all know location at the beach has primo value and reputation counts too.  Maybe I would walk a mile for a name brand IF I wasn't exhausted or famished. Mack's was the name I have always heard about, so I felt I was living the dream sharing a slice or two.  Apparently the regulars go to Sam's.  I woke up with garlic breath the next day but I wasn't dating so it was good for me. I love garlic. Hmm perhaps it could have been offensive to some.

Of course everyone knows Wildwood ain't about the food! Years ago I pooh-poohed Wildwood for the crowded boardwalk.  I was afraid to go there with small children, fearing they would be swooped up in the frenzy of people. Forget the miles you had to drag all you stuff across the arid desert and the blisters on your feet from the scorching hot sand, always hoping you have not sustained third degree burns. What? You can get a taxi?

Let me rephrase that, of course the beach and the boardwalk is about some foods, there are staples you must partake of.  You don't have to buy a whole box....there are samples. There she is the most popular girl on the boardwalk in the Douglass Fudge doorway. I only dropped by once, further up the boards was the most popular boy on the boardwalk at James.  I don't like to play favorites.  As a friend of mine would say and I quote, it's all good. Did you know that James Taffy is the 2nd oldest continuous business on the AC Boardwalk? What is the oldest?  Look it up it is bound to show up on Quizzo some time.

 The beach is still BIG but many improvements have come to town since I was last in Wildwood about 25 years ago. First of all, they have a wooden walkway that takes you halfway across the desert and it appears they are using all that wide open space to an advantage.  I do not know what the bleachers are for but they must put on shows here, maybe concerts. It is so big Martians can land on it! Oh that is a lifeguard box. Those crazy bubble balls were popular too.  You should have seen the people rolling around in them.

Let's talk about the crowds.  Look out, here they come. The walkers came in droves once the sun was staring to set.

and there they go................

 There is popularity and then there is this. Do not touch me? Seriously?  I would not go near this gentleman, he gives me the creeps.

People can be a problem not matter where you go but "Watch out for the car, please"! You also will have your nonchalant people who can not hear or see the car and then there are THOSE who rebel and LOUDLY announce, "Watch out for the people" but I think they add please. This is part of the wild of Wildwood!.

The beaches are open at 6 a.m.but when is it SAFE to go on the boardwalk? I tested the theory. At 6 p.m. people are just coming back to life from their day at the beach.  Some are still home showering, other like us are getting hungry.  Perhaps they cook at home or are craving the best of on the boardwalk. By 8 p.m., it is no longer safe to go on the boardwalk unless you are a member of the night people. Mostly reserved for the young daredevils.

The rides...where do I begin?  Looking up I got dizzy, so there was no way I would get on any of them and look down.  I could only imagine and I didn't want to do that. Many wild daredevils come to Wildwood or perhaps those who have a death wish. I dunno.  That is not nice to say but YIKES!! All you have to do is read the signs to know why I won't do that or that.

Yikes No.1

and this is what it looks like underneath with a net. Yikes No.2

Maybe this one, IF I had not just eaten.  IF I had, Yikes No. 3

I can't even begin to explain this one except they do things to people with it.  Things I have never seen before. See the early riser on the bike to the right taking a picture? He is just as fascinated as me. It is called the High Flyer and it costs $7.70 to fly. You couldn't pay me a million dollars to do that. Yikes No.4.

It comes with many a warning but still people do it. Crazy people in my opinion but to each his own.  Just read the warning signs. Yikes No. 6.

I think this one is called Superman because you can have the sensation that you are up in the sky, you're a bird, you're a plane, it's super scary. Yikes No. 7.

I believe this to be the Zipper or some form of it.  All I know is people go up and hopefully come down and in between they scream and it is a little more than Yikes No. 8.

They were flocking to this one at 9 o'clock in the morning.  I am convinced they could not read.  It says Atmos FEAR people!!! Yikes No. 9 to the people.

This is IT.  I don't know what IT does. I don't know who would like IT.  I just know it concludes my list of 10 things I would not be doing if I went for an adventure in Wildwood but you can if you like. Yikes No. 10.

Wildwood is indeed a unique place.  I saw many things I have never seen before. How about you?

Have you ever seen a four maybe five year old traveling along the boardwalk with dad, as dad jogs. Sure maybe we all have but LOOK again.  That bike has no pedals.  That little boy's pedals were his feet just like on the Flintstone's.  I was amazed, I should have taken video for you to get the full impact of the experience. This young man out did every sight and sound I saw in the short 42 hours I spent in Wildwood. He is my hero, incredible to watch, just wild. He was booking down the boardwalk.

Have you seen the Vietnam Memorial? It is across from the Convention Center. I tried to get the sunrise reflecting off of it, I thought that would be a cool picture but it didn't happen. Some one try that, I bet it would look really cool.

I did manage to get the sunrise through the roller coaster. Similar to every other beach town, the place is peaceful with the sunrise.

It has all the signs.....

that you are Welcome to Wildwood. Don't forget to get a postcard picture as a souvenir.

How could I forget the bikes?  If you want to be a billionaire in Wildwood open a bike shop.  Get off the boardwalk by 8 a.m., bikes are everywhere and you risk serious danger. Nobody uses helmets and nobody uses hand signals.  I think I heard one bell. If you decide to bond with the bikers and you are on foot, follow the rules. Swimming upstream to the right, oceanside.  On your return trip stick to the right, street side. Yes there is a bike path but nobody uses it the way they should

 I will admit, I won't go on some of the scarier rides BUT I have a little cray left in me.  I did have a lot of fun trying to cross the boardwalk.  Does anyone remember the old video game Frogger?  Same thing but in live action. In the game you have to cross the street without getting hit.  Thank goodness I mastered that game in my youth or I would have been stuck on that boardwalk all day. It was a challenge but a fun one.

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