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A Gorgeous Week Cruising Coastal Maine - "The Way Life Should Be"
Written by Jennifer Palermo   
Sep 19, 2014 at 03:53 PM

Jennifer's Travel Journal

A Gorgeous Week Cruising Coastal Maine - "The Way Life Should Be"

We were off to the rocky coast of Maine cruising along the coast on American Cruise Lines, a 100 passenger cruise ship, starting in Portland Maine. The week's adventure included Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park, quaint coastal towns, a lobster bake and much more. We enjoyed great lectures & tours, friendly people, delicious food and a nightly cocktail hour!

The weather was quite warm, near 80, for early Sept upon our arrival in Portland Maine. We flew in a day early so we had the day to explore Portland. The Holiday Inn offered a complementary shuttle from the airport to their hotel Portland by the Bay. We were able to store our bags and headed off to explore the historic wharf area...about a 15 min walk. We were just in time for the 11:30 am Portland City Tour Trolley

which included the famous Portland Head Light...On the tour we learned a lot about the history of Portland- home of Longfellow and Edna St Vincent Mallay's  summer home on Ragged Island.

We had front row seats and got great pics of Portland- A Large harbor & petroleum port.

Welcome breezes at Portland Head Light.

Portland Observatory circa 1807.

We had a late lunch at DiMillo's ship floating restaurant

Lobster Roll & cole slaw.

Dinner at the hotel and a shuttle to the docks to board the Independence.


Settled into our room with balcony and 2 chairs.

First day out the seas were rough but we adjusted quite well since we grew up on the water...some passengers stayed in their rooms that night...not sure if they were sea sick or just a little frightened? They missed a great lobster dinner!

Off to Bar Harbor. The Captain decided to head inland up the coast to Bucksport which saved us an additional 4 hrs of rough seas. We would have to take a 45 min shuttle ride to Bar Harbor the next morning.

Last Updated ( Sep 22, 2014 at 05:58 PM )
What to do at the Jersey Shore on a Rainy Day
Written by Jennifer Palermo   
Jul 20, 2014 at 08:11 AM

What to do at the Jersey Shore on a Rainy Day

     On most summer days you'll find vacationers going to the beach at the Jersey Shore, but there's a lot to do on a rainy or cloudy day as well. The region is full of great spots to keep kids of all ages entertained and many are free or charge a nominal fee. Here are some suggestions for our welcomed guests who might not know the Cape May, Atlantic and southern Ocean County area.


The Jersey Shore has many interesting lighthouses and tours are available. Check out the website for directions and info. In Cape May County you will see the Cape May Lighthouse and the Hereford Inlet Lighthouse in North Wildwood. In Atlantic City you can visit the Absecon Lighthouse and in Ocean County, the Barnegat Lighthouse.


    Leaming's Run Gardens on Rt. 9 in Swainton is an oasis of beautiful gardens to walk through and sit and watch hummingbirds and butterflies. Wear good walking shoes and a hat and spend a few minutes sitting in the gazebo. 

     For those interested in touring a home from 1775 and seeing exhibits including furnishings, costumes, tools and decorative objects the Cape May County Museum is a great place to explore. On Rt. 9- Exit 11 off the Parkway in North Cape May Court House.

     Cape May Trolley tours and horse-drawn carriages are a great way to learn about this charming Victorian town by the sea. At night it's a romantic way to see the town and do a little "parlor peeking." You can also tour the Physick Estate,


I also ‘love' to get take-out seafood and eat on the docks at the Lobster House, the freshest seafood in the world and you can watch the fishing boats unload their catch-of-the day. Every year we enjoy the Southern Buffet on Sunday Nights at the Chalfonte Hotel. The food is fabulous and Lucille's rolls are ‘to die for'! Tell her I told you! She told me her secret ingredient last year, but I'll never tell!


     Cold Spring Village is a charming re-enactment village near Cape May, including 25 restored buildings with costumed interpreters. Check out the site for weekend festivities including Railroad Days, an Antique Show and War Re-enactments. I love this place!

The Cape May County Zoo, off exit 11 of the Parkway, is a great way to spend an afternoon and maybe even pack a lunch. The zoo is free, although donations are accepted. You will be delighted to see the new baby bears, giraffes, lions and zebras. It is well kept and there is a gift shop and food vendors on the premises. For more info

     Another great trip is to visit the Wetland's Institute, "a great place to learn about conservation and preservation of coastal ecosystems by providing a fun and educational experience for families and vacationers of all ages!" It's on the causeway going into Stone Harbor in Cape May County- Parkway Exit 10B. Admission. 

     The Ocean City Museum is a great way to learn about the history of this seaside resort voted the #1 Family Beach Resort in the Nation.' The museum is located at 18th and Simpson Ave. Come and learn about the history of Ocean City formerly called Peck's Beach and visit their gift shop. Learn about the Sindia shipwreck. Free!


Then moving up the coast to Atlantic County, Lucy the Elephant is a must see for children and the folks at home will love to see pictures of this 65-foot high wooden elephant that once was a hotel in Margate, NJ.  Book lovers must purchase the book "Lucy the Elephant & Sami the Mouse" and their new book too, "Sami & Lucy 2: The Birthday Party."

     While on Absecon Island, check out the Atlantic City Historical Museum, on the boardwalk near Showboat. Call (609) 347-5839. Open 10 am to 4 pm. It is free to the public. 

     Further north in Atlantic City is Gardner's Basin and the Ocean Life Center,, "a fun and educational look into more than 100 varieties of fish and marine animals.". Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, 348-2880. While there go for a boat ride or enjoy at meal at the Flying Cloud. The whole area is enjoying revitalization.    

     Storybook Land is a great kiddie park located on Rt. 322/40 between the Hamilton Mall and the Shore Mall, 10 miles west of Atlantic City, in Cardiff, EHT. storybook attractions and unlimited rides. 

     A short drive from Atlantic City north on Rt. 9 is Historic Smithville. It's a fun place for dining, shopping with 60 shops and there is a little village to walk through. Be sure to cross the bridge and try the paddle boats.

Save time for the Tuckerton Seaport, a maritime village celebrating the early settler's who were baymen.  See decoy carvers and clamming exhibits and climb to the top of the replica of the Tucker's Island Lighthouse. (609) 296-8868. Rt 9 Tuckerton. Enjoy lunch at Skeeter's Seafood Café. Open 10 - 5 pm.

     Most of all have a good time and spend quality, educational time with your children. Why not go off the beaten path and learn something while you're at it. I can't believe the summer is almost over! September is one of our greatest months! Make sure to stop and smell the roses.

For more information e-mail me at   

All photos taken by Jennifer.

Last Updated ( Jun 01, 2018 at 07:50 AM )
Ocean City's Bounce House is Open!
Written by Jennifer Palermo   
Jul 01, 2014 at 09:38 AM

Ocean City's Bounce House is Open!

The Boardwalk Bounce is a great new family entertainment spot on Ocean City Boardwalk at 9th Street.

The kid friendly facility Includes bounce houses, a rock climbing wall, a Pirate Ship, huge slides, Candy Playland house, indoor movie area,  refreshments, popcorn, drinks and a movie theater up front. Bring the whole family. Free wifi too. Safe, fun, chaperoned environment.

Great location for your next Birthday Party! 10 am - 9 pm 900 Ocean City, NJ Boardwalk inside the Strand Theater 609 385-0855

Check out their website

This week's movies "Chef" and "Edge of Tomorrow"

Last Updated ( Jul 01, 2014 at 09:46 AM )
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