Remembering the Shores of Jersey

It has been over a week since Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Northeast, leaving unimaginable destruction in its path. There is gas shortage, no power in most affected areas, and as I write this, another storm threatens the already damaged and vulnerable areas of the Northeast coast and its surrounding cities.

My heart still breaks, my eyes well up in tears every time I see photos and videos of Sandy’s aftermath–especially of the Jersey shores. I can’t even imagine what the people there feel, having to live through it…actually being there…seeing the mega-storm’s destruction in person.

We’ve called New Jersey our home for over 15 years, and spent many memorable moments “down the shore.” It is also home to the hardest working people I know–people who sometimes sacrifice self, home life, and family to make a more-than-comfortable living.

But as much as Jerseyans worked hard, we also played harder.

The beaches of Atlantic City, Point Pleasant, Seaside Heights, Sandy Hook, Belmar, Cape May (and many others) have provided a constant place of respite for many Jerseyans, including us. The Jersey shore–as any of the beaches are more known as–was always there for a good quick break at the end of a hectic work week (or work DAY for those lucky enough to live close by)…an ever-present escape, whether it be for a spontaneous trip or a planned mini-getaway.

Whether it’s a two-hour stop or a two-day long affair, we have spent many a good time and always left with many beautiful memories from visiting the Jersey shore. Every toe dipped in the sand, every flip-flop step on the boardwalk, every bite of funnel cake and deep-fried Oreo…each one was worth coming back to, no matter how many times we’ve gone before.

We knew the Jersey shore would always be there.

Yet now the beaches are gone. The boardwalks are now destroyed, sands have washed up to nearby beach towns. Even the amusement park rides are no more, either taken by the sea or displaced by the storm’s angry surge. The destruction is just unthinkable.

We were lucky enough to have one last quick visit to Point Pleasant Beach last May. It was cold, and we could not enjoy the water. But the atmosphere, the boardwalk, the amusement park…they were all there to welcome us–Arizona transplants deprived of beaches and authentic shore funnel cakes. Miguel had a blast at Jenkinson’s Boardwalk. Little does he know we did too! It’s a playground for all ages…with sand and sea as its backdrop, and beachy breezes providing a constant reminder that nothing but FUN is to be had at the Jersey shore.

I can’t imagine my friends’ kids growing up not having these beaches to go to. I can’t fathom the thought of no more boardwalks and beach-side fun, no more crazy drives and wild rides, no more funnel cakes and deep-fried Oreos eaten while basking in the Northeast sun.

New Jersey simply has to rebuild its beaches.

And I know Jerseyans will work HARD to do just that.

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Our last trip to the Jersey shore (Point Pleasant Beach, May 2012). Miggz and Daddy enjoyed Jenkinson’s Boardwalk.

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