4th of July at the Shore.

It's become something of a tradition for me, and/or my sister Tasha (and family), and/or my brother Brian (and family), and sometimes even Rolly and Nick, to spend the 4th of July in Ocean City NJ.  This year it was Tasha, Dan, and Samantha, plus Dan's 2 sisters and their 2 sons, and me.  We stay at a campground that's about 10 minutes from the beach.  (Chris was there too, but he stayed Tuesday - Friday morning, and we didn't even find his site till Friday morning.)

We arrived Thursday around 4 PM, and the mosquitoes almost killed us as soon as we got out of our cars.  That was weird for me, because I rarely get bit by them; even when everyone around me is getting attacked, I never have any trouble at all.  So I just set up my tent quickly, and hid inside there until Tasha and Dan arrived (just a little after me) with anti-bug type stuff.

Thursday night we just made a campfire and had hot dogs and marshmallows, and it was a nice cool night for good tent sleeping.  So Friday was the first day we went to the beach.  It was boiling hot outside.  And I'm not too much of a beach person.  Whereas my sister likes to sit in the blazing sun for 8 hours straight, only going into the water after about 6 hours when she gets "hot enough," I feel like I'm going to burst into flames after 15 minutes in that kind of heat and sun.  So I left the beach after about 4 hours and drove down to Cape May.

Cape May is one of my favorite places on the whole planet.  It's such a pretty historic old town, and it's got a beach, and the ocean, and "shoppes."  Practically unstoppable.  So I drove down route 9 to the cape, but came right back to go to dinner with everyone.  Except that while I was gone, they decided on the worst restaurant of all time for dinner.  So they went there, even though there are about a million DECENT seafood places at the shore, and I went to Wawa.  Hmph.

I had planned to get up early on Saturday and drive down to Cape May again, to get some photos of the town and beach before it got too crowded.  But I didn't get up till about 7.  So I got some good photos, but none on/from the beach itself, because I figured people would frown upon my taking photos of the beach that they were on, while they were on it.  I am definitely going back sometime to get some dawn/dusk photos and nighttime photos of the town, though.

Oh, one other interesting thing about this trip... we had a trick campfire.  The wood was completely dry on the outside, but it must have been wet inside or something, because it wouldn't burn.  It sort of smouldered, and then went right to being coals, without ever having any fire at all.  Then, at night, about an hour after we all went to bed, it started blazing up with flames, by itself!  Dan had to get up and pour water on it to put it out.  It was easily the most uncooperative fire I've ever seen in my life.

Aside from being a little lonely and feeling sort of like the odd man out, it was a fun trip.  And I got lots of photos.

This is a sinister-looking plant of some sort, near the intersection of route 9 and the Garden State Parkway.

Cooling tower. Could be nuclear. Keep this one under surveilance.

Tuckahoe Inn. No further commentary necessary.

Yeah, I don't think that's going to be a problem.

These are some strange red-headed geese or ducks or something similar, in a little park between OCNJ and Cape May.

A noble-sounding cause, but would it ever catch on?

You know it's bad when they put up a permanent sign saying something like that.


Look at that gleaming stud muffin! Go Golfy!

That's some Cape May shoreline at the end of route 9. Boy I'd love to own one of those houses.

There's just a tiny bit of non-grassy shoreline on the other side of this greenery. It's not much of a beach at this point.

Keep right, but for what?

I'm intrigued. Sometime I'm going to have to find out.

I never noticed that these tires have such a strange and asymmetrical tread.

My trusty REI Camp Hut 2 tent.

There were some really strange road names in New Jersey...

I guess that was a person's name. I do love "Hope" as a first name.

This is the view of a bay from the GSP bridge that crosses into Cape May.

There was no sidewalk on that side, and it's a 4-lane bridge with fast traffic, so I couldn't go over there and get a good view of that side. Sorry.

This is the first of a bunch of shots I took along Lafayette Street, which is very historic and pretty.

I love this sign. "You! On the ground, now!"

There it is again!

That cracks me up. And what can you really do about it anyway? Drive in the middle of the street?

I'm dying to know just what "Satellite Parking" is.

Golfy, represent.

This is Sunset Beach, the southernmost point on the coast in New Jersey. It's the end of a peninsula, and it's really awesome to watch the sunset from here. But I didn't get to do that on this trip.

Panning left to right, 2 of 6.

3 of 6.

4 of 6.

5 of 6.

6 of 6.

I have no idea what this thing is, or what it's supposed to be.

The next bunch of shots are along Beach Ave in Cape May, which is the road that runs up the coast for about 2 miles, right next to the beach. (And this is a Honda Element parked on it.)

There are lots of these amazing, gigantic, historic buildings facing the ocean on Beach Avenue.

Hometown, represent. (Well, almost hometown.)

The beach is on the left. I guess it's not such a great photo if I have to point that out...

The beach was really packed. But it's still way easier to find parking in Cape May than in Ocean City.

From underneath a tree.

Underneath that same tree.

What a fabulous sign. The best is the little one at the top, trying to fly.

Lafayette Street.

This is the view from ~underneath the bridge I was on earlier.

...are a bad idea.

Sturdy Savings Bank! That is the best bank name of all time.

See what I mean with the street names? "Hand Ave" ??

...are also a bad idea.