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Why I Love (Hate) the Jersey Shore

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If seasonal affective disorder truly does strike more people in the winter than it does in the summer, then I’m a glaring exception—but only when it comes to the Jersey Shore. Depending on my mood, I either want to proclaim my love for the place from the top of Lucy the Elephant or run screaming for the Margate Bridge. Every year at this time, my bipolar inner dialogue goes something like this: 

Summers down the Shore are chock- full of traditions and memories. 

But I’d rather hop a plane to someplace with white-sand beaches, clear, warm water, and perfect weather.

Then again, Saint Martin isn’t exactly an impromptu getaway. Whereas in two hours, I can be sitting by the bay with an IPA while my kids work the crab traps. 

If I leave on a Friday at 10 a.m. Otherwise, it’s a slow swim in a sea of SUVs.

What better way to start the day than pancakes at Uncle Bill’s? 

How about eggs Benedict and mimosas at The Reach in Key West, Fla.?

All kids love the Shore.

But they’d definitely prefer Disney World, even in June.

Riding a surrey on the boardwalk with the family is the ultimate summertime rite of passage. 

Watch the tramcar, please.

I won’t be complaining when I’m on the beach in July. 

But I will be complaining on the trip back to the house after they ask me for my beach tag.

There’s nothing like a long stroll on the boardwalk on a warm summer evening.

So long as you don’t mind fielding questions like, “Daddy, what’s that funny leaf?” and, “When can I be Twerk Team Captain?”

The Shore is so wonderfully familiar.

Isn’t that one of the PTA moms I know berating the ice cream man for not offering gluten-free options? 

Ah, minigolf with the family. 

… Is a far cry from those wild summer nights at the Princeton.

Since we purchased our Shore house a few years ago, we’ve seen more of our family than ever. 

And we spend most of our time cleaning up their messes.

After the winter we had, the beach is bliss—no matter where it is.

Finally, we agree on something.

A 10-year-old Katie Bambi-Kohler once got lost for several hours on the Ocean City boardwalk. Thankfully, she was carrying a tub of Johnson’s Popcorn. Visit Kohler’s blog at www.cheesesteakprincess.blogspot.com and follow @chzstkprincess on Twitter.