I’ve written before about the Wildwoods, New Jersey. But it’s summer time, and you can never get enough of that Jersey shore town once the bug has bitten you.

The bride and I drove on down last week and stayed overnight at one of our favorite Wildwood Crest beachfront motels, the Olympic Island Beach Resort, and it was a fantastic little getaway as always.

Spent the first afternoon down on the beach for hours, and I can report that the water is really starting to warm up. For me, the ocean water temperature has to be around 70 degrees at a minimum to really enjoy it, and we were actually surprised that it was that warm already.

Often up in the northeast section of the country, the air temps can be hot and muggy, but the water temps remain a bit cool well into July. Not anymore, so be ready for wading into the waves if you head down now.

We soaked up a very sunny and warm afternoon just hanging on the beach, taking advantage of the umbrella rental joint. The young guy who popped in our umbrella was down for the season, staying with a bunch of friends from his Delaware County neighborhood. Ah, to be young and have nothing to do but work and hang down the shore all summer!

After the sun finally burnt us out, we headed back up to the Olympic for a short stint in their nice, warm swimming pool. They have a deep end with a diving board, and it was a chance to get that little kid feeling of diving off a board which doesn’t come along often anymore.

After a little rest and cleanup, we headed out to dinner at Neil’s, the best steakhouse in the Wildwoods. Neil’s is located on Schellenger Avenue, between Atlantic & Pacific, and is well worth the stop. Deb had a delicious prime rib, and I had something called the BBQ Special, and man was it special. A loaded plate of ribs, chicken, and pulled pork with a baked potato and corn on the cob.

We were so full that we cancelled a boardwalk stroll and headed back to the room for some R&R following a long day that took a lot out of us. We both had a tough time falling asleep on a full moon night, so we spent some time just watching out over the beach before finally going in and zonking out.

In the morning, we woke up to yet another sunny, hot one, and so we spent a couple of hours in the pool before we dried off and packed up our car. Before leaving the shore, we headed down to the Olympic’s quaint little breakfast-joint restaurant and fueled up.

But that wasn’t our last food stop. There was the obligatory stop down at 26th & the Boardwalk to pickup a large Sam’s Pizza to take home with us, which later became our dinner that night back in Philly.

Oh, and before we left, we made reservations for later this summer to go back for a few days with our granddaughter, Elysia.

In Wildwood, the four main amusement piers on the boardwalk have more rides than Disney World, and the beach is free here. How can you beat that? It will be yet another chance to enjoy the beach, the boardwalk, the rides, the restaurants.

You just cannot beat the Wildwoods, New Jersey, for a relatively close little vacation stop. And if you’re from far away, make the long trip. It’s well worth it. If you haven’t gone, make plans. You’ll find out why we sing “Love those Wildwood days. Every day’s a holiday, and every night is a Saturday night!”