Friday, June 27, 2014

Things to Do: Wildwood Boardwalk, North Wildwood, New Jersey


Wildwood Boardwalk  This long, long boardwalk stretches for two miles and hold three amusement parks and two water parks.  For an overview, take a ride on the “tram car" trackless train that runs along the boardwalk.
tram car ride at Wildwood Boardwalk in North Wildwood, New Jersey

Restaurants, arcades, and other amusements will fill your day with fun, and at dusk the bright lights and neon signs come out.  It is a surprising fact that the Wildwood Amusement Piers have more rides than Disneyland.  Kiddie rides include airplanes, trucks, dune buggies, boats, and trains, plus carousels and bumper cars.
Wildwood Amusement Piers at Wildwood Boardwalk in North Wildwood, New Jersey

Thrill rides include an inverted looping roller coaster, The Beast of the East (the largest family raft ride on the East Coast), and a 140-foot-high Ferris wheel.  Perhaps its most famous attraction is the Great White--the East Coast's tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster.  The ride is built right over the beach, reaches a speed of more than 50 miles per hour, and begins with a 25-foot drop into a dark tunnel (it later adds a 105-foot drop).

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  images ©2014 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sights to See: Hereford Inlet Lighthouse, North Wildwood, New Jersey


Hereford Inlet Lighthouse in North Wildwood, New Jersey
Hereford Inlet Lighthouse  111 Central Ave., (609) 522-4520.  Tour:  $5, under 12 $2; gardens free.  This 1874 Victorian Carpenter Gothic Stick-style structure is still a working lighthouse.  The light was hand-cranked by a resident keeper until automation closed it down in 1964.  Guided tours are of the former living quarters, and you can stroll through the award-winning gardens on your own. 
Note that it is same style as the East Brother light in Richmond, California, which is now a B&B. 



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image and video ©2014 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Monday, June 23, 2014

Sights to See: annual events, Roar to the Shore and Mummers Parade, North Wildwood, New Jersey

Roar to the Shore  September.  This is the largest motorcycle meet-up on the East Coast.



Mummers Parade  September.  It costs you zero to join the crowd lining the street here to view the famous Mummer string bands march and dance.  A string band is heavy on the banjos and has no guitars or amplification.  (Did you know that the banjo is the only instrument native to America?)  The bands are composed of mostly husky guys in glittering costumes.  One local described them thusly:  “They march into town looking like they could flatten a village.”  Enthusiastic viewers are invited to dance along with them down the street.  Note that the original Mummers Parade occurs on New Year’s Day in Philadelphia.


More Mummers.
Even more Mummers. 

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videos ©2014 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


Friday, June 20, 2014

Good Eats: Dolce Italia, North Wildwood, New Jersey



rigatoni at Dolce Italia in North Wildwood, New Jersey
Dolce Italia  210 New Jersey Ave., (609) 522-6228.  L-D daily; $-$$.  This family-style Italian restaurant serves pizza as well as some delicious old-fashioned pastas.  And you know it’s going to be good because the mayor eats here.  My fave is the full-flavored, very satisfying rigatoni with ricotta and meat sauce followed by a lip-smacking tasty lemoncello cheesecake.  Burgers, hoagies, and wraps are also on the extensive menu.

Dolce Italia on Urbanspoon
 

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image ©2014 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Great Sleeps & Good Eats: Congress Hall Hotel & The Blue Pig Tavern, Cape May, New Jersey

exterior of Congress Hall Hotel in Cape May, New Jersey
Congress Hall Hotel  200 Congress Pl.  Pool; fitness room; full-service spa.  America’s oldest seaside resort, this Tuscan-yellow luxe hotel has been providing hospitality since 1816.  It features plenty of potted palms and white colonnades, and it isn’t a complete surprise to discover that it was once the Summer White House for President Benjamin Harrison and was also the venue for performances by John Philip Sousa.  In addition to exposing yourself to this bit of history, you’ll enjoy relaxing in glossy black wicker chairs and maybe even find time for the pool, spa, or, if you are a kid and it is summer, Camp Congress Hall. 

The Blue Pig Tavern  (609) 884-8422.  Located inside the hall, this casual restaurant offers an eclectic menu and a spare, colonial-style decor.  Drinks include Yuengling traditional lager from America’s oldest brewery, and a well-priced steamed lobster special is available some evenings. 

Blue Pig Tavern on Urbanspoon

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images ©2014 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Monday, June 16, 2014

Good Eats: Jackson Diner, NYC--Queens--Jackson Heights


Jackson Diner exterior in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York
Jackson Diner  37-47 74th St., Jackson Heights, (718) 672-1232.  The Indian buffet lunch is refreshed regularly and is well-priced if you are hungry.  Additionally, the menu offers interesting vegetarian items--including kofta balls and vindaloo potatoes--and a variety of tandoori breads and barbecue.  The open dining room is spacious, attractive, and comfortable.

Jackson Diner on Urbanspoon

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image ©2014 Carole Terwilliger Meyer

Friday, June 13, 2014

Great Sleeps: Leeson Bridge House B&B, Dublin, Ireland


Leeson Bridge House B&B  1 Upper Leeson St., in Fitzwilliam Quay, +353 1 668 2255, Dublin 4.  30 rooms.  E59+/2; booking.com E98.  Breakfast.  Free parking.  Located on a street of Georgian Houses adjacent to Dublin’s Grand Canal, this guest house is itself within a Georgian House and the special architectural features have been preserved.
exterior of Leeson Bridge House B&B in Dublin, Ireland

Room 117 has high ceilings and free WiFi that works.
room 117 at Leeson Bridge House B&B in Dublin, Ireland
wet room bathroom in room 117 at Leeson Bridge House B&B in Dubllin, Ireland
However, it also has a very small “wet room” bathroom, in which the shower had no floor tray so the
water went throughout the bathroom floor and down a center drain, but still required using all available towels to sop it up.  Actually, I got used to it, and for the price I was able to tolerate it.  As an aside, the first time I saw this type of bathroom was about 30 years ago in Switzerland and, indeed, it seems to be a Swiss innovation that was brought here by an advocate.  The idea is that the natural heat will dry out the space in a short time, but that turns out not to be the reality. 

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images ©2014 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Sights to See: National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland




exterior of National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin
National Gallery of Ireland  Clare St., Merrion Square West, Dublin 2; +353 1 661 5133.  M-Sat 9:30am-5:30 pm, Thur 9:30am-8:30pm, Sun noon-5:30pm.  Free.  This collection of more than 15,000 Irish and European works from the 13th through mid-20th centuries includes paintings by Rembrandt, Goya, and Monet.  The exceptional Jack B. Yeats Collection features works and items related to the Irish painter, who was the brother of poet and playwright W. B. Yeats.  Adult drawing packs and children’s activity packs are available to borrow at no charge.  I bought the museum’s desk calendar as a souvenir and it is a great reminder of my visit to Ireland. 

A Convent Garden, Brittany, at National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin
My favorite painting here is "A Convent Garden, Brittany," c.1913-William John Leech, Irish, 1881-1968, depicted at left.
 
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images ©2014 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Monday, June 9, 2014

Travel Articles: Travel Insurance Info

Golden Gate Bridge from an airplane
It's that time of year . . .

If you have questions about trip insurance, here are some good resources that I have personally collected.  If you read them, you’ll probably learn something.  I find the subject very confusing and so always have my eyes open for good reports on the topic.  Before a trip, remember to check with your . . . Read more.

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.  

image ©2014 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Friday, June 6, 2014

Things to Do: Trolley Tours, Cape May, New Jersey

Inn of Cape May in Cape May, New Jersey
Trolley Tours  Washington Street Mall Information Booth, on Ocean St., (609) 884-5404.  Even if you have a car with you, a ride on one of this town’s cheery red-and-green trolleys gives you a rest and a cooling breeze while a knowledgeable guide tells you about the town’s Victorian heritage and maritime history.  You’ll see many of the town’s best magnificent Victorians.  Several specialty tours are available, including one that includes a tour of the Emlen Physick Estate.

private residence on Beach Drive in Cape May, New Jersey
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images ©2014 Carole Terwilliger Meyers