21 August 2012

Breakfast On The Boardwalk

by David Dean

Morey's Pier Wildwood, NJ
 Last Monday (July 30), Robin and I started our week by having breakfast on a Ferris wheel.  This simple feat may sound difficult, but the magic of the Jersey Shore and it's signature boardwalks are more than a match for such challenges.  It was not, as you might imagine, the scarfing down of an egg and scrapple wrap (What... You don't know what scrapple is?) while trying to balance a cup of coffee on your knee...oh no.  We had a table with a white linen cloth and a breakfast that had been prepared to order, with actual plates, silverware, and the juice of our choice.  The operators even had the Ferris wheel rotate slowly for our dining pleasure; allowing us to stop near the top and enjoy the view of the great Atlantic on one side, and the bustling boardwalk and streets of Wildwood on the other.  Nature cooperated, as well, and we had a sunny morning with a cool breeze coming off the ocean.  Not a bad way to start your day, I can tell you.  It's moments such as these that make everything seem worthwhile.

There's something about shore towns that are engaging and evocative.  And they run the gamut here in New Jersey, we have everything from the hustle and bustle of such blue-collar destinations as Wildwood and Asbury Park, to the glitz and glamor (of a sort) of Atlantic City and its casinos by the sea, and just about everything else in between.  Looking down from my white linen breakfast, I was impressed with the sheer number of people hitting the boards and the beaches by nine o'clock in the AM.  I worked so many nights as a cop that I had almost forgotten that there is a morning out there.  It sure looked nice this day.
Haunted Freighter
To our north rose a great roller coaster, beneath which squatted a rusting hulk of a haunted freighter, while east of us lay a vast network of pools and slides comprising a water park.  Kids were screaming, splashing, sliding, and having the times of their lives.  If it had been up to them, the park would have opened at dawn and they would have been there since.  It made me nostalgic for my own family's youth and the raising of our children.  It also reminded me of how much all this ebb and flow of humanity at the seaside had influenced my life.  Besides my policing a shore town, my son had been a lifeguard for ten years, and Robin still teaches at an island school.  My first stories were set in a mythical Jersey Shore town, and many still are.  Yet, I grew up in Georgia, two hundred miles from the nearest salt water.  Life has a way of taking you places you never planned on.  It all began with a Jersey girl named Robin...but that's another story altogether.

Today is my birthday, and as you read this I have run away to the sea.  In fact, I am aboard a 43 foot sailing catamaran heading south through the Bahamas to Great Exuma Island.  I bet you didn't see that coming!  The captain has warned me that the Internet is often out-of-reach in these turquoise waters, so I may not be able to respond to comments in any kind of a timely manner, or at all.  I'm sharing the boat with my Jersey girl, Robin, my brother, Danny, and his wife, Wanda.  We are the merry crew of the "StrayCat."  Like I said earlier, life has a way of taking you places...


  1. Happy Birthday, David.

    Unfortunately, I've twice tried scrapple and I hope never to taste it again. Lest you think I simply don't have the taste buds for that Pennsylvania delicacy (you may be right), I don't like grits and cracklins either. Come to think of it, those two dishes and scrapple have similar origins.

    Happy sailing on your birthday!

  2. Happy birthday and enjoy the sail.

  3. Happy Birthday and enjoy the Bahamas!

  4. Happy birthday, and safe journeys. But if you are eating meat near the Jersey shore...PORK ROLL! My sister brags about getting some every time she visits the Garden State and makes me terribly jealous.

  5. Happy birthday, David! Hope you have a great time. Be safe.

  6. David, Happy Birthday. Wish we were there.

  7. Thanks everyone for your birthday wishes! We've just returned from the Bahamas and had a grand time. Lots of sailing, snorkling and swimming. I even got a tan, and if you know me, that's an exceptional event. We out-ran Tropical Storm Issac, but got a little beat up as we headed north back to Nassau. But since all ended well, I'll call it an adventure.

    Thanks again, everyone.


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