Hope Wissel

The Start of Summer at the Shore

Growing up on the Jersey Shore, Memorial Day weekend was filled with mixed emotions.  It was the start of the summer season which meant that the “bennies” (or shoobies as we called them in South Jersey) would be invading for the next few months. 

In high school, I worked at Kohr’s at Third Avenue so this was the first BIG weekend that we got to work.  Typically, we started working on weekends when it was nice around Easter.  This was the weekend that we were able to reconnect with old friends who came home from college or those who traveled to work for the summer.  We enjoyed days on the beach and long nights on the boardwalk – working and hanging out with friends.  The summer traffic was never really thought about nor did we really think about the people that invaded our shores.  

As I got older, moved to South Jersey (just outside of Ocean City), I came to dread this weekend.  No longer did if hold the joy of traveling to the beach and long nights of hanging on the boardwalk.  Now it was filled with shoobies/ bennies who congested the roads and littered our beaches.  It made parking impossible.  The joy of the summer was replaced with dread.    Honestly, we spent more time at the beach from Easter to around the middle of June then we did the entire summer.  These were the days that were filled with sunshine, quiet moments on the beach and only a little bit of traffic mostly caused by locals.

Yes, I know it is great for the economy and is a definite plus for all of the small businesses in the area. For many businesses, the summer season is what carries them through the long cold winter.  This year holds even more challenges at the shore as many businesses are still recovering from the devastation of Sandy.  

As for me, I will wait until the mid-week between now and mid June to enjoy the warmth of the beach and strolls on the boardwalk.  Then I will wait, patiently, for the crowds to go home before I head back to the beach.  The pool at the complex will be my haven during the day and on an occasional mid-week night, we may travel down to take a stroll on the boardwalk.  

What are your plans for this weekend at the Jersey Shore?  Do you have any tips for avoiding the crowds and still enjoying our wonderful beaches?  I would love to hear them.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!