I love my passport. I love the stamps from far away locations gracing each page (although it irks me when customs randomly selects a page to stamp – seriously, why can’t they just stamp in order!) and the tiny stickers placed on the back of the book. But most often, these trips, while great fun, involve sightseeing, jet lag and sore feet. So as much as I love my passport, I also love Route 539 which is my passport and passageway to the Jersey Shore.
Over the years, much of the route and its fixtures remain the same. But from time to time, there is a subtle change or a Super Wawa that graces the route along the way. Even the children have come to recognize the landmarks along the way. When we reach the American Flag Rock, the kids know that we are half way to our final destination – that is unless we are vacationing in LBI which then means we are minutes away from vacation time.
There is something comforting and reassuring about this county road that stretches the four counties we pass through to reach the beaches of Cape May. And each year we travel this road, new memories are made and old memories are cherished through conversation and laughter. Once upon a time, it was just Hubby and I racing our way down the single lane road with a small bag flung in the back seat with the tunes cranking and the windows rolled down. Now seated behind us are two passengers who vie for their music selections as we sit in a temperature controlled SUV amidst sand toys, suitcases, games and toys.
Yes, times have changed but so have we. Despite the ordeal that is associated with packing up for the beach with two children, their delight and absolute glee about vacationing on the beach is far better than days gone by (although I do miss reading peacefully on the beach with my one towel, water bottle….the pleasant dinners eating bayside…..the late mornings sleeping in….but I digress.
Route 539 captures every essence of the best part of summer vacation – getting there!