‘Oh those Wildwood days’

By Sophia Gerner
April 29, 2021

For me, happiness is when you smell that salty air on a clear day or when it’s pouring rain but you’re still walking on the boardwalk. It’s when you are dragging your legs through the deeply flooded streets breaking your flip flops with every step you take. Happiness to me is when you open up your door and you’re at the beach.

The sunset on the beach. Photo via Wildwood365 instagram.

Living at the beach is such a peaceful life with endless things to do.

I have had a shore house in Wildwood, New Jersey, my entire life and have more recently just started to stay and work there full time.

Moving to the beach is an experience I would recommend to anyone. Everyone knows about sitting on the beach, taking your morning bike ride through town or going down the water slides on the piers throughout the warm summer days. But why would you want to live at the beach in the cold winter when a lot of these things aren’t open yet?

When you’re down at the beach year-round, there is an aspect of the “living at the shore” life that not many people get to see.

Everyone walks everywhere. Whether it may be your morning stroll down the Wildwood Sea Wall, up the boardwalk or even to the nearest Wawa. Once my car is parked, it doesn’t get moved until my next shift at work.

My dog, Milo, on our morning walks. Photo taken by Sophia Gerner.

My family and I love to get up early, grab a coffee and then walk on the beach with our dogs for a couple of miles, all while watching the dolphins jump in and out of the water.

Wildwood isn’t just a life, it’s a lifestyle. It is a place with a “small-town” mentality. Everyone knows everyone. When you’re walking through town, clocking in at work, or looking around at the store, you constantly recognize those around you.

No matter the season, we always have something to do. Even though living on the island can be great, you can always take a day trip to one of the surrounding shore towns and spend some time there as well.

My family and I always take a day trip to Cape May to grab some lunch and walk through the stores. Sometimes we’ll even stop at Diamond Beach to find some shiny diamonds as the waves come in.

I’ve been a beach girl. I could sit on the beach all day until I’m as red as a lobster. (And trust me, there have been plenty of those days.) I could walk the town until I can’t feel my feet or kayak in the ocean until my arms are ready to fall off. My brother and I are always walking to the ice cream shop to grab a cone because when you’re walking and eating ice cream, the calories cancel out, right?

It all started for me when my dad was young. Before he had me, he bought a tiny bungalow and named it the “Loveshack.”

My parents at the Loveshack. Photo provided by Jon Gerner.

“It is the coolest place in Wildwood,” as my dad likes to say. The Loveshack is covered from

Our fishing net of memories on the ceiling. Photo taken by Sophia Gerner.

floor to ceiling with memories. It has a fishing net that lines the ceiling with everything we have collected over the years.

I took my first steps in this house and from there learned how to live a happy and simple life.

My family recently bought another house in Wildwood, so we could move there and officially become “locals.” However, we could never get rid of our tiny bungalow, and will keep it as long as it survives the floods and storms.

Even working at the shore can be a blast and creates a different atmosphere than any other job. During the summer, I work at a pancake house in the morning and a bar at night. While in school, I am just working at the bar. It’s the type of job that makes you want to go in for a shift- that’s how much I enjoy it.

Working at a shore town like Wildwood, especially at a job like mine, makes you friends that will last a lifetime and leaves you with a ton of stories to tell. Wildwood is a place of fun, happiness and peace. When I look back on my days in this town, I will surly remember, just as the song says,”Everyday’s a holiday, every night’s a Saturday night. Oh those Wildwood Days.”



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Sophia Gerner

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