Long Beach Island Vacation Magazine

Summer 2022

Long Beach Island Vacation Magazine

Issue link: https://www.ifoldsflip.com/i/1468442

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Page 96 of 99

97 buy daily beach passes. Most well-known is Jenkinson's beach and boardwalk. Here they revel in sun, surf, sand, and amusements. On the boardwalk, both children and adults enjoy Jenkinson's Aquarium, which houses sharks and dozens of species of fish found in the Atlantic. Seals and penguins, fed by their keepers on posted schedules, are as much fun to watch as the people on the boardwalk. Recently, my two youngest grandkids smiled and laughed while looking at the penguins and seals being fed little fish by their keepers, and the touch tank provided them with lasting memories. A twenty-minute drive further south brings me to Lavallette, where daily badges can be purchased to use at both the ocean and bay beaches. My fondest memories of Lavallette are meeting friends for happy hour and dinner at the landmark Crab's Claw Inn. At lunch we enjoyed listening to Frankie Fingers playing piano classics. Sadly, Frankie passed away last year. Another of my friends, David, "Kamikaze on Fire," entertained there on Wednesday nights. I was often invited up to sing Karaoke. One of the few songs I could sing pretty well after a few drinks was "The House of the Rising Sun." Another entertainer I remember is Joe Finn singing Irish classics here and in Asbury Park. He surprised me one night with one of his CDs, because he knew I had written about him and liked to sing along to his Irish music. My friend Joan reminded me that he once told her he was impressed that an Italian guy knew all the words to so many Irish songs! Another ten-minutes south brings me to Seaside Heights and Seaside Park. Since Superstorm Sandy, these beaches and boardwalks have become more family friendly. On the boardwalk, there's fun for all ages—games of chance, arcades, amuse- ment rides, and varieties of food. I especially relish slurping down a dozen icy clams with squeezes of lemon while quaffing a frosty beer. I also love biting into a famous Jersey Shore pork roll, egg, and cheese sandwich made with Taylor Ham. At the end of the boardwalk, I'll often stop at the Sawmill for one of their giant slices of pizza. Just south is the entrance to Island Beach State Park. Carloads of families arrive before ten o'clock—when the park often fills to capacity. The park ends at Barnegat Inlet and a view of Old Barney, the iconic lighthouse. Across this inlet lies Long Beach Island. Every summer, I make my annual trip to L.B.I. to visit friends and Old Barney. The 163-year-old lighthouse, with its eye-catching red and white colors, is 172 feet tall and has 217 steps to the top. In the past, I was able to pay $1.00 to climb to the top and have a gull's eye view of the ocean, bay, and sur- rounding area, accompanied by a brisk wind. This year, the lighthouse is closed to visitors for renovations and is scheduled to reopen in October 2022. In September, I'm back at Island Beach State Park. I appreciate being there every year on the Sunday after Labor Day at the Beach Plum Festival where I sign and sell my books. The highlight of my days there have always been meeting and greeting new and old friends, and former students, now grown with children of their own. It gives me great joy when they ask me to take a selfie with them—a reminder of fun days at the Jersey Shore. u Frank Finale is the author of the coffee table books "To The Shore Once More, Volumes I - III" and children's books "A Gull's Story, Parts 1 - 3." He is also coeditor of the anthologies "Under A Gull's Wing" and "The Poets of New Jersey." Please refer to pages 4 - 6 as well as www.jerseyshorebooks.com for more information about his books and appearances. Stephen Pawlawski "Old Barney." Home Port continued from page 98

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