seagulls at Seaside Heights

When someone mentions the Jersey Shore, I’m sure the first word that comes out of his or her mouth is either “trashy” or “cheap.” I can assure you that this stereotype, most likely accredited by the hit TV show that was centered in Seaside Heights, is untrue.

My trips to the Jersey Shore

From a young age, my mother would bring me and my siblings to Seaside Heights, New Jersey every summer. I can still remember how agonizing we thought the three-hour car ride was, and how seeing the unending sea and breaking sky as we drove over bridges were definitely worth the wait.

Although family dynamics change with time, our vacation at the shore never did, and so it became a family event that I looked forward to every year. There really is something special about waking up bright and early, lathering up with sunscreen until you are pasty-white, and heading down to the water to find the perfect spot for your rainbow umbrella. It’s crazy to think that feeding seagulls gives me so much nostalgia, but it does.

Among my sister, brother, and I, I’m sure we can all agree that the highlight of our trips was the nightly trek down the boardwalk to Lucky Leo’s Amusement Arcade, where we would spend hours trying to win stuffed animals and candy. Afterwards, we would treat ourselves to Polish Water Ice or homemade fudge before walking back to our hotel room, unable to sleep because of our excitement for the following day, where we would repeat our routine: beach, dinner, boardwalk.

Now that I am a young adult, my mother often apologizes for the lack of “fun” she provided us with during our childhood. I always have to argue with that. The days we spent at Seaside created some of my favorite family memories. I’m still look forward to any chance to go back.