365 Days On The Road End At The Jersey Shore! (NJ) “DAY 365” – 6/4/11

July 6, 2011 - 11:00 am - (NJ) “DAY 365” - Week 52 - State 48

Well... here we are... “DAY 365”!  Holy shit!  Now, if I wanted to I could write a 20 page post (or more) talking about all things I have done, seen, and accomplished, but since I’m gonna write another post after this one is finished (a summation post), I’ll just try and keep today’s entry to my final day. 🙂

It’s 4th of July!
I can honestly say that when I left New Jersey last July 5th with the goal of traveling the entire continental USA with just $2007 of my own money, I didn’t think I’d get this far.  That’s the truth!  So, to be sitting here back in NJ 364 days later while still writing and exploring is just amazing to me!

Now, being this is last my day of writing, taking pictures, and posting daily, I figured I’d have to go out with a bang and do whatever I thought would be the most fun.

So, with that as my preface, I decided to hit the Jersey Shore to end my year long journey. (There’s bars, the beach, fireworks, hot girls, and hopefully not the cast of the “Jersey Shore”.) 😉  Not to mention, I had to hit the shore at least for one day this year.

Watching Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest
Even though I was hoping to leave for the beach early this morning (10 am-ish), I wasn’t going by myself, so I had to see what time Buck and Pat would be ready to go.  So, I called Buck and he said he was gonna workout first and he’d be ready by 1 pm.

That’s fine by me because I can get some writing done as well watch our nation’s greatest pastime... competitive hot dog eating! 😉  This year’s contest featured American Hero 😉 and current hot dog eating champion Joey Chestnuts.  He’s eaten over 68 hot dogs in 10 or 12 minutes when he beat Kobayashi a few years back.

Anyway, I watched the Nathan’s contest on TV and as expected the world’s greatest athlete Joey Chestnuts took home the Yellow Mustard Belt.  America... F&*K Ya! (That’s from the movie “Team America” in case you didn’t know. It was a funny flick.)

Picking Up Buck & Pat
It was a little after 1 pm when I finally got Buck and Pat from Buck’s place.  Let the games begin! 🙂  I already mentioned this but the plan for the day was to hit the Jersey Shore, go bar hopping, and then if possible head back towards NY so we could see the nations biggest 4th of July fireworks display.  Oh Yeah! 🙂

Driving To The Beach
From where I grew up to where we were going on the Jersey Shore (Belmar first) was about 45 minutes with no traffic. (If you’re not from NJ, the Jersey Shore has many many beaches that start around 117 on the parkway and go all the way south to Cape May. Each exit is a mile.)

Explaining The “Jersey Shore”
For all the people from around the country who have seen the “Jersey Shore” on MTV, the beach town you see every week is Seaside Heights.  Now, that beach for the most part is where North Jersey people spend their high school prom and act like young fools.

So, basically it’s amateur hour all the time when you are there.  Needless-to-say, this is not a beach that most Jersey people who have been to the beach before like to go.  I can’t speak for people in Central or Southern NJ but up here in Northern NJ, that’s how we think of it.

Arriving In Belmar
On he flip side, the beaches that I feel are still way cool are Belmar, Point Pleasant, Manasquan, and then a few beaches that are way south like Long Beach Island (LBI) and Wildwood.  So, since Belmar is the closest one, that’s where we started our day.

Bar A
One of the things that makes Belmar a real cool beach town are the two popular bars they have there.  One is "Bar A" which is where we are starting our day and the other is "D.J.’s" which is right on the beach. (That’s where we are headed next.) 🙂

Now that I have explained a little to you about the Jersey Shore, let me tell about my day there.  Here we go.  We arrived at Bar A around 2 pm and the place wasn’t that busy which was a surprise.  Yes, it was the daytime and the last day of long weekend, but it still the 4th of July.  Where is everybody?!

The Drinking Begins
Since there wasn’t that many people there we did the only thing you could do in a bar... we got to drinking! (Well, me and Buck did. Pat was our designated driver.) 🙂  So, after meeting our friendly bartender Jessica (pic right), we started to put’em down.

We didn’t get blasted here, but we did start the day off right and after having a few drinks, we left for our next stop which was D.J’s.  I already mentioned this, but since D.J’s is right across the street from the beach, we were hoping there would be more people there and by people I mean... hot girls looking to make bad decisions! 😉

Hey, if there are pretty girls there we can at least do some bird-dogging and enjoy the view. (Bird-dogging is a term that Buck uses when he is scoping out chicks from a far.  I don’t know if we are the bird or the dog in this scenario but either way, I think it’s a funny  phrase.)

F.Y.I. - I just called Buck and evidently we (the men) are the dog in this scenario.  I guess the analogy is that we are always looking for a bird and a wounded bird is the best one to find. (Wounded means drunk.)  Thus... bird-dogging. 😉

D.J.’s On The Beach
When we arrived at D.J.’s (3 pm-ish), I was expecting this place to be packed. (Maybe not nighttime packed, but I thought there would be a good mix of people.)  Well... I was a little right but mostly wrong because although there were people there, it wasn’t the scene we were expecting.

So, with not much else to do, we went back to old faithful and started putting them away.  This time our bartender’s name was Sandra and I won’t tell you her age, but she looks much younger than she is.  You go Sandra! 🙂

Sandra was super cool too so we stayed at D.J.’s for a drink or two more than we would have, but by the time 4 pm rolled around... we were out the door and headed to our next stop for the day.

Walking Back To The Car
Normally, I wouldn’t write about my walk back to the car but since we were walking along the beach I figured I’d give a mention of it so I can show you a picture of the beach here in Belmar. (Ya see none Jersey people, there aren’t needles everywhere or dead bodies floating up on the shore. At least not today.) 😉

Driving To Point Pleasant
Once we were all piled in the Rooster mobile, we drove a few miles away to another beach town called Point Pleasant.  This ride shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes but with traffic... who knows?

Well, it wasn’t that bad as about 20 minutes later we arrived in Point Pleasant.  The problem now... finding a parking spot.  As we instantly found out, Point Pleasant was way more packed than Belmar today which was good.  But the bad part is... this mean finding a parking spot is gonna real difficult.  Ahhh!!!!

F.Y.I. - Point Pleasant usually has more people at it during the day because there is a pretty good sized boardwalk there complete with games, rides, and many different food options.  Today that was definitely the case.

The Tiki Bar
One of the other big draws to Point Pleasant is the “Tiki Bar.”  The Tiki Bar is right on the beach as opposed to D.J.’s which right across the street from the beach.  This obviously makes a big difference as the Tiki Bar was packed wall to wall (although there are no walls) with tons of people.  Perfect!

The Drinking Continues
The other thing I found out when we got there was that it didn’t matter if the bar empty or crowded... we were still gonna drinking a lot today.  Game on! 🙂  The problem now... getting a drink!  This bar was so packed it was hard to get a bartender’s attention.  I guess I’m like the 3 bears... I need to find the porridge that’s just right. 😉

Even with the problem of finding a drink, this bar was a lot of fun as girls were everywhere and the energy was what we were looking for.  Nice!  (We don’t really fist pump in NJ, that’s just that gay guy from the “Jersey Shore” who’s from Staten Island by the way, but if we did... this is when it would’ve been happening.) 😉

Point Pleasant Beach
Another one of the cool things about this bar is that it really is right on the beach.  So, from the area where we were able to find some bar space, we were also able to bird-dog a bunch of chicks who were tanning on the beach.  Just to clarify, bird-dogging is not a creepy stalker thing, it’s just checking out what’s available in your area. 😉

Going To A House Party
I’m not exactly sure but sometime around 6 pm we left the Tiki Bar and walked to house party which was just a few blocks away. (Buck knows a girl (Ashley) who lives down here for the summer and she told him to stop by.  She lives with 8 other girls, so neither Pat or I complained.) 😉

When we got to the house, it was exactly what we expected as there were a bunch of people drinking it up and having a good time. (Buck got involved in the drinking game “flip cup” while I did shots of whatever they had in the freezer.)

Hanging With Ashley
Also, during this part of the evening I got to talking with Ashley who has been following my journey for a good part of the year. (I didn’t know her before hand.)  Anyway, it was really cool for me to meet somebody I had never met at all and only knew me from my website.  Plus, she happened to be a real cool chick as well.

The only bad thing was... she tried to throw her own birthday cake on me. LOL   No she didn’t.  Here’s what really happened.  She did try and show me her birthday cake (a few days old), but it fell out of her hands all over the floor right in front of me. (I was real close to being covered in cake.)  Whew!

Seriously though, the only thing I was worried about... was the cake completely wasted. LOL JK  I’ve let go of the Freegan part of my life and now won’t eat anymore food out of the garbage, even if it’s on the rim. (Yes, Costanza.. that means you!  Seinfeld reference.) 🙂

Nighttime Arrives
After hanging inside the house with Ashley for awhile (and many others too), I went back outside to where the main party was going on and enjoyed the day.  Then, day turned into night and all I cared about was seeing some fireworks. (I love fireworks! Always have.) 🙂

Fireworks On The Beach
Now, when the day started I was hoping to make it back to Hoboken so I could see the NYC fireworks display over the Hudson River (the biggest in the country they say), but after drinking all day at the beach and having fun, we decided to just stay here and watch the fireworks over the beach in Point Pleasant.

So, a little after 9 pm Pat and I walked down to the beach so we could get some food and then find a good spot to the see the fireworks. (Buck stayed back at the party and watched it with everybody from there or somewhere, I’m not sure.)

America Kicks Ass!
As I stood there watching the fireworks explode over the beach, all I could think about was how awesome America is.  I don’t know if it was the James Brown followed by Neil Diamond montage they were playing as the bombs went off in the air, but it gave proof through the night... that my journey was well worth it in so many ways. 🙂

Bottom line,  America Kicks Ass! 🙂

Traffic Is Crazy...
After the fireworks ended, Pat and I went back to the party to get Buck.  We hung out for a little while longer but by 11 pm, we were ready to leave.  Then, as we walking back toward the car we realized that traffic was crazy and it was better to stay a little longer than sit in the car for an hour doing nothing.  It was the right call.

Back To The Tiki Bar
The walk to the Tike Bar wasn’t far at all as the house Ashley and her friend’s rented for the summer was right off the boardwalk. (It was a prime location.)  So, a few minutes later we were back at the Tiki Bar.

I’m not sure how long we stayed there because I had a couple of drinks today, but I’m pretty sure we walked around for a bit and then hit the boardwalk for some late night food.  I did get a cheesesteak but didn’t eat it right then because I thought I might have hurled if I did. (I ate it when I got home and never hurled.)

F.Y.I. - Everything I did today was paid for by either Buck or Pat.  So, to both of you... Thank you very much for making last day one of my best days! 🙂

My Year Long Journey Has Ended!
As we were driving north on the Garden State Parkway I realized that the clock was past midnight officially ending one year of traveling the country while writing about it everyday.  I’m still in disbelief that I made it the whole year, but it’s happy disbelief. 🙂

I’m gonna write more about what I’m gonna say right now (in a post sometime this week summing up my year long adventure), but for now I just want to say THANK YOU to each and every person I have met throughout the entire year.

To all my long time friends who helped me out while I was in your area, it was great to see each and every one of you!  And I still can’t believe the support you each gave me financially as well as mentally (believing in me) as I passed through your state.  All of you will never be forgotten and I will appreciate what you did for me for the rest of my life! 🙂

The last thing I will say before I close out my final daily post of the year is... it didn’t matter if I knew you before hand or we somehow met along the way, it was all the great people in this country that made my trip all that it was and for that... I am eternally grateful and obviously... a real lucky man!  Well... a real lucky Rooster!  🙂 🙂 🙂

Thanks for reading!

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  1. Dad says:

    CONGRATS ON A YEAR TO REMEMBER FOREVER.
    WELCOME HOME SON, LOVE DAD

  2. Big Brother Adam says:

    Congratulations David…Every day/week/month that went by I looked forward to seeing what you were experiencing and it gave all of us a chance to see the country through your eyes (which is more than most of us would ever see on our own). All the pics you took, all the detailed stories you told, and all the stuff you did made for an entertaining year of reading so I can only imagine what it was like to live it.

    Welcome Home…glad to have you back!
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  3. Congrats on the end of your journey Dave. I don’t know what I’m going to do now that I can’t read about your crazy exploits on a nearly daily basis, haha.

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