The last leg of my US 2015 trip took me from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan to the rather quiet town of Toms River, New Jersey, where I was hosted by my cousin, Róisín, and her family. Once again several young people were kind enough to bunk in together in one room so that I could have a room to myself.
Toms River (no apostrophe) is on the Atlantic coast, about half way between New York City and Atlantic City, and suffered severe damage from Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The town seems to have recovered well but the nearby beach resort of Seaside Heights is still under repair. The boardwalk was apparently once lined with restaurants and amusement arcades; very few are visible today.
One thing that surprised me at Seaside Heights is that they charge a fee to use the beach: $10 per person up to 5pm. It's free after that, so we timed our visit accordingly! Although I had paddled in the sea at Coney Island in Brooklyn to officially complete the coast-to-coast journey, I had a proper dip at Toms River in waves that were strong enough to knock me over. Great fun!
|Superman: Ultimate Flight |
at Six Flags Great Adventure
(photo © Six Flags)
That evening, the entertainment continued at the Six Flags Great Adventure amusement park. I got on several roller coasters – for the first time in about 30 years – including the pretty scary Superman: Ultimate Flight. This contraption takes you – face down and head first – through a ten-storey climb and almost vertical drop, then throws you into a double inversion called the "pretzel loop". Some of the young guys and gals who accompanied me claim I screamed – they certainly did! – but I consider my utterances as more of a manly roar of excitement.
Back at home, my cousin and I chatted tête-à-tête until quite late into the night about the good old days and the not-so-good old days. We had a lot of catching up to do!