Friday, June 28, 2013

Jenkinson's Boardwalk - Pt. Pleasant, NJ - Part 2

As promised, I am back with part two of my Jenkinson's Boardwalk in Pt. Pleasant, NJ trip report!  When I last left off, we were discussing the crazy amounts of fun you can have in the Fun House, especially when you're a bit inebriated and want to act like a child.  Let's face it, that's what this site celebrates.  For as much as it's about the different seasons and holidays that accompany them, it's also about embracing your childhood and enjoying the little things.  There's plenty of time for stress and responsibility throughout this life, so when you find the time to let loose and be whoever you want to be, take the opportunity and treasure it.

Now, let's get into part two!

As we exited the Fun House, the clouds were still rolling in and the sky was becoming darker.  The scent of rain and salt water was growing strong and we knew we were minutes away from a downpour.  So, we looked around and decided to take cover in one of the arcades.  We were going to wind up there anyway, especially because I wanted to hunt down Slimer, so we entered the first one we saw and beat the crowd before it got nasty.

How many times will you see me shooting baskets on Pop-A-Shot, this Summer?  Every single time I see one, somewhere.  So far, I've found one at Monster Mini Golf, Seaside, and Pt. Pleasant.  It's a guarantee that I'll spend money on these games whenever they catch my eye.  Unfortunately, this machine was a bit busted and the balls had too much air.  Every time we hit the rim, the ball bounced right back at us in a fit or rage.  We'd have one ball coming at our head, another bouncing toward the glass, and the last falling to the ground.  It became a disaster and, really, there was no way I was breaking any high scores in Pt. Pleasant.  I tried, but I failed.  We'll see what the next machine holds for me.  We have another adventure planned for today (one that is similar to a previous trip) and I know they have Pop-A-Shot, so I'll be sure to take some shots.  You, of course, will surely get tired of seeing us in the same exact pose.

Have you ever tried playing Skee Ball while taking pictures at the same time?  Up until Monday, neither have I.  But I gave I attempted to do so in order to get a cool photo of the ball going into the "100" slot.  Not only did I not get it in hole, I barely got any good pictures at all.  Then, after I got the high score and tried to pose like an idiot, the score flashed away and I wound up pointing at nothing.  So, needless to say, Skee Ball was not much of a success.  As my girlfriend said, "It's a fail."  Yep.

 The next competition was Cliff vs Eileen in a game of Air Hockey.  This is always fun and I started off strong.  I went up 5-0 early and was looking to shut her out completely.  But, little by little, she worked her way back into the game and my undefeated streak was in jeopardy.  Luckily, I was able to hold her off and end the game, but she's getting better!  I blame her comeback on the fact that I was, once again, taking pictures as we played, but I'll give her credit.  I'm looking forward to a rematch because she may just take the Championship.  But then again, she has me, so she's already the winner ;)

We looked everywhere for the stuffed Slimer that we found in Seaside, but he was nowhere to be found.  I'm sure I could Google it and order it online, but that's not the same.  There's something special about walking into an arcade, finding one of your favorite characters trapped inside a glass prison, and doing your best to wrap a crane around his body to assist in their escape!  That's what I was hoping to do for Slimer, but he's gone missing.  All I could find were these giant donuts and Monsters University characters.  I didn't have any interest in saving them, but those donuts did look cool.  Besides the fact that they look like they're from The Simpsons, I thought about trying to win one for our dog, Rocky, but I knew he'd just rip the stuffing out and there'd be a mess.  Better off without it.

Ahhh! Slimer!!  It's not the stuffed version, but there he is!  I got so pumped when I saw him, but knew he was unattainable.  This particular Slimer wasn't a crane game prize, but rather a ticket-based prize.  You know the idea; win and tally as many tickets as possible, turn them in to redeem points, and collect your prize once you have enough to do so.  The problem is, these prizes require wayyy too many points and you'd be better off just spending your money to purchase them in stores.  Try telling that to a little kid, though.  When they're spending hours inside an arcade, all they want is what they see, not what you claim you'll buy for them later.

I remember, when I was a kid, my family was spending the week down in Pt. Pleasant.  It was my Mother, Father, Aunt, two cousins, and I sharing the house.  At the time, Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers was at the peak of its popularity and I was one of the crazy fanatics that never missed an episode.  I used to draw the Power Rangers, collect the toys, play the video games, and pretend I was one.  I even dressed up as the Red Ranger for Halloween after my parents looked everywhere for the crappy costume.  My favorite, in this year, was the Green Ranger and my eye was drawn to a prize up on the top shelf.  It was the Green Ranger's "Dragon Dagger!."

I wanted this damn toy so bad!  I knew it was available in stores, I knew it wasn't THAT hard to find, but I didn't care; I had to have it.  Looking back, I was just being a spoiled brat, but my entire family played every game they could just to win enough tickets to pull this box down from the top shelf.  In the end, I couldn't tell you if they were just using it as an excuse to play more great games, or if my Dad just paid them more than it's worth to speed up the process, but I DID get my Green Ranger "Dragon Dagger."  

But, of course, the thrill of the chase was more fun than actually attaining my goal.  From what I remember, the dagger didn't play the actual sounds from the show and, after a few hours, I was tired of pretending like I had any real ninja talent or weaponry skill.  I should have just kept the box sealed because, today, this goes for $300-$400!  That's probably what my family wound up paying, anyway, but it's a story that just goes to show what type of affect these arcades can have on you.  You get caught up in the excitement and play for things you don't even really want.  Regardless, I'll never forget it and I appreciate my family for doing it.  It was worth the memory.

The Candy Stands are our favorite to play because you can win something that you'll actually use.  Sure, we don't necessarily need a box of Blow Pops, but who says now when you can potentially win it for 50 cents?  There are a few other stands where you can win electronics, but the chances are slim and, if I'm going to start wasting dollars, I'd rather drive to Atlantic City and gamble it away at the Big Money Wheel.  

When Eileen and I first started dating 9 years ago, I was 16-years-old and she was 15.  Years prior, I had been addicted to a candy called "Crazy Hair."  It was like a push-pop that forced nothing but pure sugar through tiny pores to symbolize colored hair.  I remember telling her about it, but thought it was discontinued.  Then, we were dropped off in Seaside by her Aunt, and we found it at one of the candy stands!  I couldn't believe it!  We probably spent a good $20 trying to win that box and it wasn't until we said "okay, last try" that we finally won it.  I probably broke out for weeks, but it was worth it!  Just another throwback that represents the memories and emotions connected with the Jersey Shore and what the boardwalk means to me.  Even a candy stand can mean more than what they make in a Summer.

 We walked down to check out the rides, but the lightning was striking so often that they shut everything down.  It made for a few fancy photos, but it's unfortunate that we didn't get to ride the Himalaya or Tilt-A-Whirl.  Those are my favorites.  But it's nice to see that the rides weren't affected by Hurricane Sandy.  Unlike Seaside, the rides at Pt. Pleasant aren't on the pier and are placed far off the beach.  Still, I'm surprised there wasn't more damage done by the heavy winds and rain.  The storm was bad, and much more than flooding, so I'm very glad to know that the rides are up and running!

Soon, the Sun had reappeared, but the rain had done its damage.  The beaches, for the most part, began to clear and evening was upon us.  We weren't looking to stay too much later or into the night, so we had time for just a few more activities before heading for the exits.

 Always end your trip to Pt. Pleasant with Ice Cream!  If you're a traditionalist, you've gotta go to Kohr's and try one of their famous twists or, if you're thirsty, go with the Orangeade.  Oh man, that's so good!  I wish I had one, right now!

Eileen decided to stick with Kohr's and go classic with the vanilla ice cream with rainbow sprinkles.  Besides Mint Chocolate Chip, that's definitely her favorite.  I like it, but I'm more fond of the harder ice cream so I chose a different path and went with Dippin' Dots.  It's always a Jersey Shore stop for me and I always have a hard time deciding which flavor to choose.  My favorites used to be "Root Beer Float" and "Snickers," but they haven't had those in years.  "Banana Split" is also classic, but easy to find.  So I had to pick something new!

"Twix Dippin' Dots" for the win!  This was great!!  I'll admit, it's not my new favorite, but it's very good and I'll definitely be purchasing it again.  It's chocolate Dippin' Dots with little chunks of Twix' candy.  It's an obvious creation, but this is the first time I've seen it.

It still can't compete with "Root Beer Float."  That was the best!  It was vanilla dots mixed with root beer dots.  I guess they took root beer soda and froze them into dots because, as they melted, they returned to their liquid state.  Now you had vanilla Dippin' Dots mixed into actual soda.  It was amazing!  Bring it back, Double D!

So, after 3 alcoholic beverages, cheese fries, 2 zeppoles each, a walk through the Fun House, competitions in the Arcade, traveling the boardwalk, ice cream, and walking back through the parking lot, our trip to Jenkinson's in Pt. Pleasant, NJ came to an end.

This was one of the better times we've had at Pt. Pleasant and, in reality, we didn't do half of what is offered.  Jenkinson's has an aquarium, a variety of shore shops, and rides that are fun for the whole family and people of any age.  There's plenty of fun to be had in Pt. Pleasant, including a fireworks show after the sun sets.  Not to mention the concerts and events they have planned throughout the Summer.  There's always something going on, but they can't compare to the day we shared together.

To finish our night, we stopped at Walgreens on the way home and saw these beauties in the refreshment aisle.  We were looking to grab something quick, maybe a bottle of Pepsi or cans of coke, but how do you turn down vintage bottles of Coca-Cola?  I couldn't!  Even though they're more expensive and harder to open, the classic look and feel of both the box and bottles are worth every extra bit of hassle.  Just look at how much the picture pops because of the colors and style!

I had to Google why it says "Hecho En Mexico."  I knew that it translated to "Made In Mexico," but I didn't understand the significance on the label.  Apparently, these bottles of Coke were truly imported from Mexico and have a different flavor than those made in America.  I thought there was a difference in taste, but I blamed it on my own mind games due to the awesome bottle.  But it's true!  Coke imported from Mexico is made with Cane Sugar rather than High Fructose Corn Syrup.  I'm telling you that like I know what I'm talking about and capitalizing everything to emphasize my knowledge.  The truth is, I have no idea what makes them different, but I love the packaging and that's all that matters.

The funny part is that the employees at Walgreens, including the manager, had no idea these bottles were even in stock.  They asked me where I found them and agreed that they were cool.  I believe the word "classic" was used just as many times by them as it was in this entry.  The manager even agreed that "they taste much better."  He must be up to date on the whole cane sugar corn syrup confusion.  Good for him.  Now he just needs to know what items he has in stock!

To conclude this two-part trip report, here's a giant Budweiser from me to you!

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