Well, we have been going non-stop for the past few days. We hit the second water park of the trip yesterday — Raging Waters in Wildwood — for three and a half hours of slipping, sliding, splashing and sunburning, at least for me. We usually vacation much later in the season, so I typically have a lot of time to work up to a mild tan. For me, a tan requires slow cooking over low heat, like the human equivalent of a Texas brisket. This sudden exposure to summer sun, even with 50+ sun screen, is just too much too soon. I spend a lot of time in my cowboy hat and black, long-sleeved cover-up, which makes me look dark and brooding for the breezy beach scene. I kind of like it that way, truth be told.
Yesterday, after the water park, we also made our now-annual pilgrimage to Maui’s Dog House, which is the best hot dog place ever, even for vegetarians. It’s a bit like ordering from the Soup Nazi, so be prepared if you go, and you absolutely should go if you are anywhere near Wildwood, N.J. They have a gazillion kinds of hot dogs — vegetarian as well as their typical beef-veal-pork blend. I went for the vegetarian Chicago dog. Unbelievable. I actually had to check to make sure it was really a vegetarian hot dog, which are known to be pretty darn disgusting. We also had a couple of orders of “salty balls,” which, if you can get past the name, are incredibly good small potatoes cooked in brine and served with drawn butter. Delicious. Everything you order comes served in a dog dish, with a side of sarcasm and annoyance. I think it’s part of the schtick, which can be a bit intimidating, but it’s definitely worth it.
Today we hit the beach again for the usual sand-digging and boogie-boarding and a picnic lunch, made possible by our L.L. Bean “Sunbuster” shelter, which is really the only thing that prevented the sea gulls from carrying off our sandwiches. We hunkered down for a relaxing meal, while the others on the beach were fending off the hungry birds. Dennis calls our tent the Astrodome of beach accessories, so that will give you some idea of the size. (If the neighbors had a stronger signal, I’d post a photo of the shelter.)
Tonight we head to the boardwalk for rides and more fattening but delicious food. Have you ever tried a fried Oreo? Sounds disgusting, you say? It’s not. It is so amazingly good you will wonder how you’ve lived this long without experiencing one. Curley’s fries, waffles and ice cream, corn dogs (for the carnivores in the crowd) and funnel cakes. I think I’ll be running on the sea wall again tomorrow morning. We’re off for more adventures. Wish you were here…