Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pounding Sand at the Joisey Showa – Day One

Today’s objective is to get on the road by 5am and get the hell out of New England and thru New York. The initial mileage beginning log was 33,227. Of course this is vacation and mother nature tried to mess with us by making the weather not ideal, but MeAsWe and my enthusiasm could not be dampened. We are going to be on the road for 17 days and we should expect rain during some of this trip, so it might as well be right from the git go.

Needing gas and a bathroom break around Greenwich, I just couldn’t resist picking up an OSJ Treasure Hunt item, one of the 4 corner bonus locations.

Initial roads were slabs from Uxbridge to our first scheduled stop, the Horn Antenna in Holmdel, NJ, a National Landmark. This supposedly is located right off the GSP; however we never did find it. Next was the Thomas Fortune house (another LM) located in Red Bank. We drove up and down the street and finally came stopped to review the info in the GPS. Where we were stopped was suppose to be Tom’s house, all that was here was a run down house, boarded up and looked like an ideal place for a crack house. We are batting 0 for 2 in our quest for Landmarks. Off to the next one, keeping our fingers crossed that we can at least make a hit on this one.

All Saints Memorial Church in Navesink, NJ was a hit.
With 1 out of 3 we were off to Shadow Lawn in West Long Branch. This was built for the president of Woolworth’s who ended up selling it for $100 because of the Great Depression (sounds familiar doesn’t it) and now is part of Monmouth College

We are on a roll here, but have fallen behind in my carefully created schedule, but this is vacation; not work, so the heck with schedules. Right around the corner is the Navesink Light Station (yes a Landmark), where we grabbed some pics of the Twin Lights.

Next stop is Sandy Hook a National Park for our first INK of the trip and the first INK of the IBA National Park Tour. We stopped at the entrance for the must have pic and then off to the visitor center for the INK. I had been to Sandy Hook last year, so I was familiar with the place, but MeAsWe had never been here so we drove to the Sandy Hook Light House (a LM) and then around Fort Hancock .

We are waaaaaaaaaaayyy behind schedule and we were supposed to stop at 2 more NP stamping locations. I really wanted to make one of these, since I did not have the INK for the locations from last year’s tour. We arrived at Warren E Fox just before closing time and grabbed INK for Great Egg Harbor and Maurice Scenic River. With the other VC (visitor center) closed, all time constraints we off and we could leisurely ride to our next stop.

What would a trip to South Joisey be without a stop in Atlantic City? We didn’t go here for the gambling. We were here for the old convention center, where all of the Miss America Pageants were held until 2004. Yup it's a Landmark

Lucy the Margate Elephant (LM) is a 6 story architecture folly built by James Lafferty in 1882 to sell real estate and attract tourism to the area. Lucy is a gift shop or trinket store now, but it was closed when we got there.

Next stop is in the town of Wildwood, NJ where we will be staying for the night, but before we hit our motel I just had to stop at the Lollipop Motel that was in the book Road Trip USA ( a great reference book for trips like this).

Having traveled somewhere just over 400 miles for the day, we arrived at our final destination the Caribbean Motel. This place is on the National Register of Historic Places. Many of the motels in Wildwood were built during the Doo Wop Era of the 50 and 60’s and they have been restored to the original glamour of the era. The Caribbean is an example of this and they have done a very good job at their own restoration. The town is full of neon, Googie architecture and has one of the infamous Joisey Showa boardwalks, complete with rides for all ages.
Remember that boarded up crack house. In the motel that evening I logged onto the internet and found out that place was Tom’s house after all. I didn’t take pictures of the place because how could one of our National Landmarks be in such shambles. Many of the NL’s are privately owned, and it is not the particular building that makes it a landmark but the person or event that lived or occurred there that makes it special. One day the local or state historical society will grab hold of the property and restore it, one would hope.

This is the general route we took on Day 1

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