Time to return to Seaside Heights — Back to the good old days?
Whatever you're doing this summer, you've got to include a trip to Seaside Heights. So many of us grew up there with so many different memories that now we can turn go back and make new ones to proudly pass along.
The boardwalk is brand new from the boards (no gum yet) to the family friendly image. There are new rides like The Hydrus, which replaced the Jet Star lost in Superstorm Sandy. New landmarks like the giant ice cream cone that sits outside Hershey's. And friendly workers without the attitude we've come to expect. You can even get a Sky High cone!
My family and I were invited down to the grand opening Friday where we met Gov. Chris Christie and even ran into Michah Fowler who plays J.J. on the ABC hit comedy "Speechless."
The old standards like Luck Leo's are still there, as well as 3 Brother's and Marucca's pizza. If you like Mexican, you've got to try Santeria, opened by Nick Dionisio whose family has been in Seaside Heights for over 60 years! The food is excellent.
Seaside Heights is very near and dear to my heart. My mother met my father in the Chatterbox bar, which is no longer there. Growing up in Union City, every summer we'd rent a house there and hit the beach and boardwalk. I remember my mother taking rolls of quarters to Lucky Leo's and Sonny and Ricky's wheels and coming home with prizes that would later become Christmas presents. But don't tell anybody ;)
When I graduated high school, Glenn Stuart, myself and four other guys rented our own beach house like so many other kids. We hit bars like Baby O's, The Aztec, Joey Harrison's Surf Club in nearby Ortley Beach. We lived "Jersey Shore" long before the "reality" show hit.
As we rode the new rides like Hydrus and played the games, my son Lennon won a football toss! I thought back for a moment to when I was my sons' age of 10 walking with my mother armed with a roll of quarters ready to hit the wheels playing 0, 1, and 2. She would hit all the time, whereas I never moved off the bottom shelf! These stories and the Seaside Heights tradition is now something we can pass onto them.