On Tuesday Rich and I went down the shore. First we went to Belmar for pizza at Three Brothers (I’m sure he’ll appreciate this photo with his mouth full of pizza!). We love their pizza and often make a trip there just to get a couple slices.
Then, back on the road, and to avoid traffic on Route 35, we detoured and ended up in Mantoloking. Sadly, there’s still a lot of damage in that area from Hurricane Sandy, which in another six weeks will be at its one year anniversary. My sister-in-law’s mom owns a house there, but she was very fortunate in that her home is okay.
From there we went to Seaside. Ahh … Seaside. The place where Rich and I spent many summers prior to being married a zillion years ago, many summers in our early marriage, and later we’d visit in the off seasons to avoid the crowds. We generally start in Seaside Park, at the Funtown Pier, and walk the boardwalk into Seaside Heights. To us, it’s always been just Seaside.
While there are still areas that need a lot of work, there’s been a herculean effort of work done to rebuild vast areas of the boardwalk and open businesses in time for the summer season.
The Sawmill has always been a favorite place for us, and they reopened in the spring. After going up and down the boardwalk a few times, we returned to relax there and have a burger (yes, that was after pizza in Belmar!).
But look at all the progress made!
The new boardwalk looks great, and we like the new fence rather than the chain linked fence. For $500 you can get your name inscribed on a boardwalk bench, and for another fee on the boardwalk itself. We discussed it and pondered whether we wanted our name on the bench looking at the ocean or looking at the boardwalk.
We had an excellent day, and we both left feeling hopeful, that, yes, things were looking up for Seaside!
How shocking that today, while going through pictures to add in my journal, the news broke of a fire on the boardwalk in Seaside. I watched and was shell-shocked. When Rich walked through the front door after coming home from work he said, “Did you hear about Seaside?” We then sat in front of the TV and watched the news in sadness and disbelief. Some 400 firefighters from around NJ battled the blaze. By late night the news reported that The Sawmill is gone. Some 32 businesses are gone. The remains of Funtown Pier are gone. After all the work of so many to rebuild, some 80% of the boardwalk apparently is gone. It’s all so very sad.