This Summer Will Be The Best Yet

This Summer Will Be The Best Yet

I am going to live every moment
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My favorite summer was the one fresh out of high school. It was the longest break from school I had to date and I refused to let it get away from me. I made plans with all of my friends. We went to beaches, lakes, rivers, and pools. We saw all the good movies and even went to a community theater show or two. I learned how to make killer cheesecake and helped throw a birthday party for my best friend. That summer I looked like a wild child: my skin was bronzed, freckles came out to play across my arms and face, and my curly hair lightened from exposure to the sun.

A few things have changed since then. During that summer I knew exactly what the future had in store, or at least I thought I did. If asked, I would tell you that my life was all planned out. I had a long-term boyfriend, a scholarship to my #1 school, and no worries about the next four years. Now four years later, here I am typing this article on the gold, floral couch of my Granny’s house. The relationship I had with that long-term boyfriend didn’t work out and I started dating my best friend; I kept all of my scholarships while at school; and I grew more as a person over the past four years than I had ever grown before.

My only plans are to unpack, find a job, and help my best friend have the most wonderful wedding possible. Everything else is up in the air. Even with all the unknowns, I am at peace.

I am going to live every moment. Laugh and cry at weddings, hike new trails and familiar ones, bike in the sunshine, dance my heart out, and sing along to live concerts of my favorite artists. The tan, freckles, and sun-bleached hair will fade away, but the memories of these days will not. This summer will be the best summer yet. Life has just begun and there are so many possibilities. It is as if I am floating down a river of question marks that will someday lead to an ocean of life and I am here for the ride.

Cover Image Credit: Brooklyn Morgan

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20 Things You Know And Experience When You Vacation in Wildwood, NJ

Everyone has a shore point that they know and love, they probably all have different features that make them unique too.

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Everyone has their go-to vacation place, and for the majority of North East Philadelphia, and many other people, that place is Wildwood, New Jersey.

Wildwood is home to its own local residents, but their population immensely grows after Memorial Day Weekend, which kicks off the season. Wildwood has many different features that people who stay here know and come to love or hate, and here are some of those features that most Wildwood vacationers should recognize.

1. The ongoing pizza debate between Sam’s versus Mack’s.

Madyson Thompson

Of course, there are more than just these two pizza spots in Wildwood, but these two are the constant talk of those who vacation here, and are clearly the superior spots, which one is the best? This is still an argument among many.

2. The seemingly never ending sound of “watch the tram car please!”

Amy Ford

Whenever you're on the boardwalk, or even in a short distance from it you, hear the annoying tape over and over again.

3. Having to constantly hide your food on the boards or the beach from the annoying seagulls.

Cait Garlick

How annoying is it that you can never just walk down the boards with food because of the seagulls that are vultures when it comes to stealing food. So, instead of being able to walk around freely, you need to stop and sit at the tables with umbrellas to keep your food hidden and safe.

4. Relaxing on the beach can quickly be interrupted by the calling of “Fudgy Wudgy”, sometimes you want to go meet the man, but other times you think, really he’s here? AGAIN?!

Amy Ford

I mean sometimes a nice cold ice cream cone is perfect for the beach, but then other times, hearing the guy calling for ice cream 10 times throughout your beach day can be a bit much.

5. Curley’s fries are the BEST fries in Wildwood. (I said what I said, and you’re not going to change my mind)

Jessica Jones-Thompson

You can try to argue this, but there really isn't an argument. Sure Chickie and Petes recently joined the island, but you can get them year-round, and they're not the perfect pair with a slice of Sam's like Curley's is.

6. Polish water ice screams your name upon arrival, and it is extremely satisfying after settling for Rita’s in the off-season.

Mariah Sullivan

It is a great change up of water ice that you can't have in the off-season, so in season is super rewarding when you get that first refreshing cup.

7. The island is always busy. There is never not something going on, so you’re rarely ever bored.

Jessica Jones-Thompson

Wildwood always offers something to do, whether it be the multiple different beach blasts for different sports, different fitness obstacles, or even polar plunge in the off season, there is always something going on.

8. The food festivals are something to look forward to every year (especially BBQ weekend).

https://www.facebook.com/wildwoodsnewjersey/photos/a.151447131554911/2021940961172176/?type=3&theater

While Wildwood has many options for food, the festivals give those extra options, and they are amazing.

9. Wawa’s Hoagiefest is a life saver to your bank account if you spend the entire summer there.

https://www.facebook.com/wawa/photos/a.10531388848...

Sure you want different hoagies and sandwiches, but that's why Wawa is great, their hoagiefest isn't just hoagies! It's all of their classic sized sandwiches, which is a ton of options for a great price.

10. Walking is different here. 20 blocks on the boardwalk, does not feel like you actually just walked 20 blocks.

Amy Ford

For some reason walking is much easier here, and doesn't seem as far as it does when you walk anywhere else.

11. There are so many different food options to choose from.

Madyson Thompson

Of course Philadelphia has many different food options too, but Wildwood has its own unique food venues that are all amazing in every way! Some of these places, like the Wharf, have great food and entertainment as well!

12. Everything is better here, because you’re down the shore.

Jessica Jones-Thompson

There isn't much else to say here, the shore makes everyone happier and just creates a much better environment for everything.

13. Keenan’s is the best bar, offering different specials and events for all ages! (This one might be slightly biased, but I am sure a ton of other people agree with me)

Dominic Carey

There are so many bars on the island, but the best one, in my opinion, is Keenan's. They have different events constantly, and they often even have fun for the whole family!

14. You can park your car, and leave it parked for the majority of your stay.

Valerie Werner

Most things are walking distance and so cars aren't really a necessity for you once you're already on the island. You can just walk around and enjoy the views. (like the sea wall)

15. There are still activities on the piers that you will never get to old for. Like the Log Floom, the Nor'Easter, the Ferris Wheel, or really anything in the water park.

Jessica Jones-Thompson

These activities will always be fun! No matter what age you are, you still need a few moments of thrill, and these things provide just that!

16. This is one of the only places people actually follow the speed limit.

https://www.facebook.com/wildwoodpolice/photos/a.665429566912310/1757928727662383/?type=3&theater

There's obviously speed limits everywhere, but everyone who vacations in wildwood knows the speed limit here is nothing to mess with because the cops here will give you a ticket immediately, with no leeway.

17. You do NOT have to pay to sit on the beach.

Madyson Thompson

Some beaches charge for entrance to the beach, but not Wildwood! This is one of the many great features that Wildwood has to offer.

18. You look forward to seeing the “Entering North Wildwood” sign.

Cait Garlick

This is a staple to your trip to Wildwood, there's two entrance points, but this one with the North Wildwood sign is definitely the favorite of many as they race to get the perfectly timed photograph of the sign.

19. At night, if you can, avoid Sam’s pizza. If not, you’re walking into crowds of teenagers who are “too cool” for rides, and this is the cool place to be.

Madyson Thompson

This crowd is unavoidable as this is literally the place to be when your young and don't have any other plans for the night, you sit and stand around the front of Sam's pizza in different groups talking with friends.

20. And for those of you from the North East, you know that this is your home away from home, where you get all of the perks of being down the shore, with all of the home perks of still seeing your neighbors and friends.

Jessica Jones-Thompson

This is literally a second home, everyone knows someone, and you run into home friends constantly.

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Easter Is More Than Just A Day

He is risen, and LIVES today... Not just on Easter.

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Every Easter there is always a flood of posts on social media, and every post has a similar caption: "He is risen!" And indeed He is.

Not that there is anything wrong with these posts. It's nice to see everyone in their "Sunday best." However, my question is why do we make Easter a one-day ordeal? We should be celebrating the resurrection and life of our Savior every day, not just one day a year.

Jesus's death on the cross is worth so much more than one day. He is deserving of far greater.

So often, we let ourselves be consumed by life and all our problems that we get distracted. We let ourselves forget the work that Jesus did on the cross.

Yet, this should not be our reality because Jesus won.

Jesus won. He defeated the grave. Let that sink in, because all too frequently I feel like this falls deaf to our ears and hearts.

Understanding that Jesus conquered death and has already won the battle for the world (John 16:33) should give us peace.

Having this knowledge should help us to say, "I see these things that I can't fix. But Jesus has conquered death, and everything else is taken care of."

Celebrate who Jesus is and what He has done every day, not just on Easter.

Lord, thank you that I can celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ every single day. Thank you that Easter is so much bigger and far better than just a holiday. You have defeated death, so now I can rest in that truth--knowing that you will take care of even the most minuscule details of my life. You hold today, tomorrow, and forever. Thank you that I can celebrate who you are and what you've done from now until eternity.

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