The Jersey Shore is one of my favorite places to visit; I love to spend the day on the beach people watching and tanning, eating on the boardwalk and losing money playing a few of the boardwalk games. My husband Mike and I have gone to the Shore since we were in high school. One of our favorite towns-with-a-boardwalk to go is Seaside. Yup, we loved Seaside and its cocky attitude waaay before those out-of-staters and their shenanigans made it (even more)
infamous. I’m talking about Snookie & Co., of Jersey Shore, the dearly departed TV show.
Mike and I visited our old stomping grounds recently. Superstorm Sandy punched Seaside — Hard — but because Jersey people work just as hard as they play, the town and its attractions are coming back strong. We spent the day on a beautiful soft sandy beach, and we walked the mostly rebuilt boardwalk; many, many businesses are operational, many we remember from our teenage years! It was really, really good to see. Jersey people are tough, but even I was worried that Superstorm Sandy may have knocked the stuffing out of us.
Mike and I walked up and down the boardwalk. We stopped at The Beachcomber and had cheese balls. What? You don’t know cheese balls? They are balls of cheddar cheese, deep fried to a golden brown and served straight up. No sauce, nothing. If you love fried food cheese balls are for you. Trust me.
And we walked on. We spun a few wheels to see if we could win a gen-u-ine Coach bag for our daughter. We lost every time. I ate a massive slice of sausage pizza, while Mike chewed his way through one of Seaside’s best: a sweet Italian sausage sandwich. We stopped at the Aztec for a beer. Did you know that it’s also a motel?
Kinda weird, right?
And then we saw it:
We walked closer and Mike saw two young women who were conducting tours of the place. So we paid our $10 per person (cash only, thank you) and walked into what was arguable one of the most famous rooms on TV, at least for a while. And I posed with one of the most famous telephones ever. I was so excited that I immediately put the phone to my ear, completely forgetting to douse it with hand sanitizer first.
Mike and I saw “the girls’ room,” “the boys room,” the bathroom with the (no longer) clogged toilet. We walked through the kitchen where the Sitch, Vinnie and Paulie cooked endless meals. We walked up and down the stairs that many in the cast fell up (or down) during their seasons on the show. We viewed the deck where so much drama occurred. We also saw inside this room:
Would you like to know a big secret? You know how some of the Jersey Shore cast members could never seem to get to work at the T shirt shop on time? Do you remember seeing them trudging down the boardwalk, walking the long walk to work? Well…it was all a fake! Yup. You see, the T shirt shop actually has direct access to the house. There’s a door: walk through it and you’re in the T shirt shop. That’s where our tour ended, right in the T shirt shop.