Oh… the Jersey Shore, it sometimes gets a bad rap thanks to one of our favorite shows of the same name. Tom and I both grew up going there in summer and it was so exciting when his sister invited to come stay at the condo she rented.
We planned on taking 3 days off from work so we would get 2 full days of sun, sand, and family.
We drove after work on a Tuesday night and arrived shortly after 9pm to Ortley, NJ. We took a quick walk to the beach with Tom’s mom and then headed off to bed excited to hit the beach in the morning. I couldn’t wait to feel the hot sand on my feet!
In the morning, we began our day true New Jersey style with pork roll and cheese on a bagel. What’s pork roll you ask? It’s a delicious breakfast meat that you can oddly, only get in New Jersey.
On the beach, it was a day of relaxation. We sat and read, took walks, and played with Tom’s niece and nephew (soon to be my niece and nephew too, I love saying that).
We went back to the condo for lunch and then returned to the beach for more sunshine.
That evening we walked around the corner to Rockafellas by The Sea for dinner. This Italian eatery serves up pastas and seafood. Two things we absolutely love!
It’s also BYOB so we picked up this bottle of Dave Matthew’s Dreaming Tree Cabernet Sauvignon to share with Tom’s sister. It’s pretty good and very affordable.
Tom had a creamy pasta with pancetta and peas. I ordered shrimp and scallops diavlo. Both dishes were incredibly tasty.
To finish off our night, we headed to the Seaside Boardwalk made famous again by our pals over at MTV, but this place was a staple in our childhoods long before Snooki.
One boardwalk treat I cannot go home without is Kohrs Brothers frozen custard with rainbow sprinkles! I usually go with the soft-serve vanilla or mint. If I’m lucky, they are serving them together in a twist. If you’re looking for something refreshing definitely order an Oranageade.
Tom and I got up very early the next day to fulfill one of my family shore traditions. Growing up down the shore my dad and uncle would get us (9 people) a dozen and 1/2 donuts every morning for breakfast. This tradition started way before my time back when my great grandparents had a house in Seaside Park. They would get their donuts at Park Bakery and that’s where we went to share this sweet tradition with Tom’s family.
We picked out a dozen of these fried doughy treats! My personal favorite is a sandy donut or sugar donut. They are so simple and delicious. You can’t beat the satisfaction of a good donut.
After our extremely healthy breakfast we went for a morning game of mini golf! I don’t like to brag, but mini golf is my game! I seriously crush it at this activity until I get hungry then I don’t care anymore…
We played a round of 18 holes before calling it quits. The kids really had fun though until they got bored of the game like me. After the game, Tom and decided to stop into the Ortely Fish Market for lunch.
When you’re down the shore you have to get a platter at least once! I ordered fried clam strips with fries and slaw. Tom opted for a fish and chips like platter. The seafood was so fresh and fry so greasy and tasty! It’s the perfect combination.
After lunch, we went to the beach again with Tom’s family to relax. We spent sometime with the kids building a sand castle that fell apart before going back to get cleaned up.
That night we planned on staying in and BBQing. Before dinner Tom, his mom, and me went into Bayhead for a little shopping. It is the cutest little town down the shore. It has one of my favorite surf shops too, The Beach House! Definitely check it out if you’re ever there.
Tom and I went back to the boardwalk after dinner for a small date night. We stopped into the Sawmill for some craft beer and to enjoy the view of the beach. It’s also fun to people watch! Pro Shore Tip: They have awesome giant slices of pizza at the Sawmill.
We then decided to ride the chairlift over to the other side of the boardwalk where we stopped into the Shore Store. This is where the cast of the Jersey Shore worked and I not so quietly geeked out when we saw their boss Danny.
We slowly walked back to the car sad that the next day our little trip would be over.
The next day we drove back with Tom’s mom. We really had a great time and I’m super excited that I now get to call these people family.