Woot Woot Here Comes Summer

I bet you’re curious…  Yes, this summer at the Jersey Shore is shaping up to be fantastic!  Schools are letting out in the upcoming days and it is time to think Summer Thoughts, namely Firework Displays.

Kaboom is still on the kabash for this year in Red Bank due to organizational and financial issues, but there are still plenty of nearby towns planning on providing spectacular visual entertainment for you and your family.

The longest running event during the Independence Day holiday at the Jersey Shore is the Atlantic Highlands Fireman Fair.  This unique town offers tremendous water views, great restaurants, a marina and fishing boats available to charter throughout the year.  The fair will be going on from July 2-July 6 at Municipal Harbor on Simon Lake Drive.  Circle your calendar for Fireworks on Friday, July 5th with a rain date of Saturday July 7th.

Hazlet is always a winner with fireworks.  Start your holiday weekend early by watching the Wednesday July 3rd display.  Get to Veterans Park, grab a prime spot and wait patiently for the sun to set. (Rain date Friday, July 5th)

Spend the day in Keansburg at the amusement and water parks.  Spend your night ooooing and aaahhhing at the colors exploding across the black canvas of the night sky.   They offer a double feature – Wednesday and Thursday July 3rd and July 4th at dusk – Fishing Pier and Boardwalk

Long Branch proudly presents Oceanfest on Thursday July 4th – all day free family fun can be found.  This annual festival is a crowd pleaser “for shore” with activities happening all day long starting at 10am.  What can be better than good old fashioned family fun at the Promenade in Long Branch!?!  Don’t forget to stop at Strollo’s Lighthouse and cool off or celebrate with an authentic Italian ice or delicious homemade soft serve ice cream.

Union Beach, one of the most devastated Monmouth County communities from Sandy’s wrath, did not have any plans to conduct their annual fireworks display.  Those residents have spent the last 210 days rebuilding their town and their spirits.  One resident entered a contest for a free community fireworks display and Won!  They have not yet posted a date for this wonderful gift that has been bestowed upon them.   Be sure to come and celebrate their victory in determination.  You will never meet a more deserving bunch of people.

So pack up the car and the kiddos – shoot, we’re pet friendly at the Comfort Inn Middletown, so bring the family pet too – and head on down the shore to Exit 117.  There is something to do every day here and we look forward to creating Summer 2013 memories with you!


Middletown, NJ: Sometimes YouTube Makes a Blog Post Just A Copy/Paste Away

Not to sound like the laziest blogger alive or anything but I kind of didn’t feel like writing a blog post today. I did want to post something though.  Usually when I feel like this You Tube comes in super handy!  A simple search for Middletown, NJ surfaced this tour of Middletown put together by Weichert Realtors. Watch and see all Middletown, #89 on CNN Money.com’s 100 Best Places To Live, has to offer. Interesting fact: our all volunteer fire department is the largest in the world.  Who knew? I know I didn’t.  Attractions like Sandy Hook and the Twin Lights Lighthouses and restaurants like On The Deck, Talercio’s and Midtown are highlighted too. The Evil Clown of Middletown even makes a cameo appearance. When you come and visit, be sure stay with us at Comfort Inn Middletown, your home away from home.

What’s your “Go To” source for blogging tidbits?

Photo Credits From Left to Right: 1, 2, 3

5 Nominated Travel Blogs Up For The 2011 Bloggies

Love to travel or just read about great places to go and daydream?  While casting my votes for Mommy Wants Vodka for the Most Humorous and Best Writing in The 2011  Bloggies I came across the five nominated Travel Blogs, none of which I had ever heard of. I’m ashamed to be so out of touch. In my attempt to get a grip on the travel blogosphere, I thought I’d bring you along for the ride, that is, if you care to keep reading.  **Note I started this post last week and my own travel plans have stopped me from expounding more on these sites which, by the way are awesome and worth a look.  I’ll update this post when I get back on the 21st because I think it’ll be worth sharing. Maybe by then the Bloggies will have been awarded and we can talk about that too!

Everything Everywhere

Camels & Chocolate

The Vacation Gals

Hole In The Donut

My Itchy Travel Feet

Make sure you head over the Eleventh Annual Weblog Awards: The 2011 Bloggies and cast your votes for your  favorite blogs.   What blogs do you enjoy reading everyday? Leave them in the comments and share the “bloggie” love!

An Interesting Take on Location Based App Check-Ins…

I took a break yesterday morning, poured through my Twitter stream and stumbled on a tweet with a different take on checking in using location-based apps.  I figured it looked interesting enough and clicked over. Ah the beauty that is Twitter strikes again!  This could not have come at a better time for me. The entire post is over on Hi, I’m Shane Mac and titled Life Is About Reflection & Why The Reason I “Check-In” Isn’t What You Think. Sounds interesting right?! What do I think that I’m wrong about? Marketing, learning more about customer habits, etc?  I had no idea but went on to read his post to find out, you should too.

Brief Synopsis: Shane spent four days at a music event in Memphis, TN and decided to check in everywhere he went. His motivation for doing this was for “reflection” not earning points or bragging or any of the other many reasons people enjoy checking in.  Reflecting on his trip struck a chord with me as I am heading out west to ski for a week in Colorado on Saturday. My last vacation was two years ago in Jackson Hole, WY. I realized if you asked me the name of anywhere or anything we visited there, I wouldn’t know. I can’t even remember the name of the hotel we stayed at. The only thing I remember is that we snowmobiled in the Gros Ventre wilderness and the only reason I remember it is because my pal Steve kept calling it the “Gross Ventray”.

Foursquare is my location app of choice. I don’t often remember or choose to check-in at a lot of the places I go. Who cares that I’m at the gas station, liquor store or grocery store? Pretty much no one. When I go to someplace I think is different, exciting or cool then I’ll try my best to check-in.   What Shane says in his post is absolutely correct – that check-ins create an on-line diary of your experiences in life.  They can be made even richer by adding pictures and text as you can see in the screen shot below (which in looking at it now is a pretty boring check-in).  The posts can be pushed to your Facebook friend and Twitter followers.

If I’m diligent on checking in and taking pictures and writing some good notes I’ll have a permanent log of where I went and saw on my ski adventure. I LOVE this idea and I’m totally looking forward to creating it.  If I am successful then I’m going to check out weeplaces.com where the check-ins are visualized on a map as another way of seeing them. **Update: Be sure to check out the comment left by Pete on plotting your Foursquare check-ins on Google Maps. How cool is that?!!

While I’m away, I’ve actually scheduled a post on Foursquare and our offer with your first check-in at Comfort Inn Middletown-Red Bank.  Be sure to stop back in next week to find out what it is.

Are you using a location-based smart phone app like Foursquare, Gowalla or Facebook Places?  Would you use it to chronicle a trip or event or use something else?  Leave me your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love hear from you.

Kick Cancer Overboard! Oktoberfest and Networking Event

On May 21, 2011 join us to “Kick Cancer Overboard” and cruise to Bermuda aboard Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas. The brain child of Ted Friedli of Excel Travel, the purpose and goal of Kick Cancer Overboard is to fill a cruise ship with cancer fighters, survivors and their friends, family and supporters to celebrate life! The cruise leaves from Cape Liberty, NJ and packages start as low as $525 per person for 5 nights (plus taxes and port charges) includes all meals, activities, entertainment and special events.

There will be a fundraiser on Tuesday, October 19th at Branches Catering in West Long Branch.  The goal in raising money is to be able to send cancer affected families on the cruise for FREE that may not otherwise be able to go.  There are still a few sponsorship opportunities available for the event.  The previous party was so well attended by all sorts of networking groups including the local Chambers, MODC, Rotary, LeTip, BNI, it’s a great opportunity for you and your business to gain exposure.  If you would like take advantage of this chance to connect with local business people and support a great cause, sponsorships start at $275 please contact Ted at 800.392.3588 or email.

I went to the last fundraiser and it was amazing. There was an expo of the sponsoring businesses where you could walk around and talk to people, network with other business people in a more casual atmosphere, eat great food, have drinks and fun.  Branches Catering always does a fabulous job.  You can view the video from the last event here on You Tube.

You can look forward Oktoberfest Fun including a German Oompah Band, Cash Bar with German Beer and Wine tasting, premiere of the new Kick Cancer Overboard Video, business expo, giveaways and  free t-shirts for everyone signed up for the cruise.  Brookdale Radio New 12 and Mrs. New Jersey 2009  will be present.

We are expecting a full house, so please RSVP ASAP by email or by calling 800.392.3588.  The cost is $25 per person and is payable by cash or check.  I hope to see you there.   If you have any questions about Kick Cancer Overboard, feel free to leave them in the comments and I will answer or find an answer for you.

For even more information be sure to visit the website for Kick Cancer Overboard, take a look at the Facebook page for Kick Cancer Overboard and follow Kick Cancer Overboard on Twitter.

Update: 10:00pm October 11, 2010

I just got an email from Ted Friedli with an update on sponsorships and event details:

We picked the first four recipients of the FREE cruise, and might pick two more. Wait until you hear their stories…Truly inspiring! Yes, we do have about 7 sponsorships left at this time. The $275 donation includes two tickets and a listing on the cards at the event. Much to our surprise we don’t yet have a realtor, financial planner, insurance broker, chiropractor, mortgage broker or HOTEL…and at this stage can promise exclusivity!

New Jersey’s Dedication to Clean Water and Beaches

Seagulls at the Jersey ShoreNew Jersey’s Cooperative Coastal Monitoring Program is considered one of the best in the country and is a testament to the Garden State’s dedication to clean water and beaches. It is funded by the “Shore to Please” license plate program.

Our beaches were open 99.8% of the time in 2009, a pretty darn good track record and is one of the best on the East Coast.  The DEP is working toward the technology to do on-site testing with nearly immediate accurate results. In the meantime, the many folks that take the time to gather samples, run the tests, monitor the beaches and pick up debris and trash often go unrecognized but go a long way to keep the shore in top shape for the $40 billion dollars tourism brings to the state.

For the full article read here.

Despite New Jersey’s reputation, there are great efforts and steps in place to ensure the Jersey Shore beaches are a destination for all to enjoy.

8 Funny Travel Tips & Some Practical Advice

Travel AdviceI saw a blog post yesterday on Top 15 Travel Do’s and Dont’s and I was going to use it as inspiration for my post today.  I emailed the content to my Gmail account so I could read and extrapolate today.  Instead of being informative, it kind of made me laugh.  I’m guessing it was not originally written in English and perhaps it didn’t translate well. Many of the tips applied to life (common sense) and not just travel.  While humorous it was kind of sad that the  tips were things that people are (should be) expected to already know and act as such.  Here are a handful:

  • Don’t buy your travel ticket or book your hotel with an unauthorized dealer or person
  • Don’t engage yourself in a quarrel
  • Don’t drink excessively
  • Don’t take bet or challenge
  • Don’t take food or drink offerings from a stranger
  • Don’t approach wild animals, poisonous plants and dangerous places
  • Take necessary clothing accordingly
  • Try to keep your money and valuables secured in a hand bag or your carry-on luggage

Traveling to a foreign place can be both exciting and dangerous. It is best to familiarize yourself with the area you area traveling to prior  to your arrival.  Do a little on-line research in regards to your hotel selection. Trip Advisor is a wonderful tool to find out where and more importantly where not to stay.  Travelocity and Expedia and the other popular travel sites are great to use as a shopping tool.  Don’t assume you are getting the best deal from them. This is true for both the hotel and airline industries. If you find a hotel you are interested in, check the brand website. Nine times in ten you will find a better deal there. Hotels and airlines offer their inventory at a discount to these travel sites in return for their national recognition and marketing.  They are selling inventory at the regular (non-discounted) rate offered by the hotel or airline.  Many times the hotel reservations will not be able to be cancelled and you will have to pay up front. You are likely to get the best price and terms by booking directly. To better understand the difference in using a credit vs. debit card for your hotel stay click here.

As for packing there a few pieces of advice I can give. Know the weather, bring something for a little warmer and a little cooler, just in case. Comfortable shoes are a must, believe me I’ve been a fashion victim and it’s just not worth it. When you are packing your clothes, it’s best to roll them.  They take up less space in the bag and it helps to keep them from wrinkling. Plan to wear the heaviest shoes en route so you don’t have to pack or carry them. I try to travel in a back pack when possible. If you are going on a longer trip or have too much to bring, a suitcase with wheels is well worth it’s weight in gold.  A week before you leave, make a list of everything you want to remember to bring.  That way you can add to it as the week progresses and you can double check it before departure.

As the weather gets warmer travel will increase nationwide.  We are looking forward welcoming the many guests that will cross through our lobby this summer. If you have any questions in advance about location, what to do and see, or anything else for that matter leave a comment here or send me an e-mail. Check back often to the blog as we are posting events as they come up. We hope that you will consider staying with the Comfort Inn Middletown when your travels bring you to the Jersey Shore. Check out our post on free and low-cost things to do at the Jersey Shore.