Ka-Boom went Ker-Splat in 2012


Well it’s a shame that this happened and I am sure there are people who are still lingering in disappointment since hearing that KaBoom Fireworks will not be displayed along the Navesink River in Red Bank this year.

It broke my heart when I saw it come across the wire.  For 50 continuous years, a fun family time of food, entertainment, catching up with friends, and most importantly fireworks was celebrated in the 2.2 square miles of Central New Jersey called Red Bank.  It was the party of all parties, a display of lights flashing across the night sky bedazzling spectators while synchronized to music played on Q104.3, but this year the night sky will be only illuminated from the light of the stars swirling around our universe.

I will need to rethink my plans for this year.  After all, there is still Long Branch.  They have Oceanfest along the boardwalk and promenade on Ocean Avenue.  Oceanfest lasts all day long and will tire out even the most energetic child.

Farewell KaBoom, maybe next year or possibly the year after, but I truly hope to see you again.  

Jersey Shore Events June 13-20, 2011


**I was at a loss for what “picture theme” to search for in Google Images so for the heck of it I searched for “fun”  and this picture came up. What big cow noses have to do with fun I don’t know, but it’s cute and fun(ny) nonetheless, so be it. Credit.

Despite this past weekends relatively crappy weather (compared to memorial Day weekend at least) I hope everyone got out to do something enjoyable. It’s not even officially summer at the shore yet so there’s plenty more time for sun n’ fun. There is no lack of things to this week either. Enjoy a beach concert or comedy show, run a race, go to the car show…the choice is yours. Here’s what’s up this week:

Asbury Park concerts on the beach start for the summer on June 13th and happen every Monday evening. Concerts on the beach in Asbury Park every Monday from June through September, weather permitting of course on the Beachfront in Asbury Park. I realize this post will go up after this has happened but since it’s weekly, I figured I’d post it anyway.

Sandy Hook 2011 Free Beach Concert Series on Wednesday, June 15th  and each Wednesday during the summer enjoy live entertainment at Sandy Hook’s beach. This week’s performer is Rip Tide. Concerts are held at Beach Area E Gateway National Recreation Area Sandy Hook Unit.

Also on Wednesday, June 15th Peter Frampton will be performing at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank. Evening with Peter Frampton – Frampton Comes Alive 35 Tour starts at 8:00pm.One of rock music’s most celebrated artists and guitarists celebrates the 35th anniversary of his breakthrough release, Frampton Comes Alive!, with a performance of the whole album at opening night of the FCA 35 Tour. For tickets and more information visit Count Basie Theatre website.

Atlantic Highlands Farmers Market Farmer’s Market every Friday from May 6 – October 7, 2011. In Veterans Park across from Borough Hall at 100 First Ave in Atlantic Highlands. Market offers fresh produce, plants, Polish foods, fresh breads, pickled items, gourmet nuts and dried fruits, baked goods, gluten-free baked goods, chowder, fresh mozzarella and fresh-cut Jersey flowers.

Comedian Bobby Collins takes the stage at Count Basie Theatre Friday evening. Bobby Collins blends the physical comedy of Jerry Lewis with the heart of George Burns and the good looks of Dean Martin. Even though he’s more eye candy than Quasimodo (according to Bobby), he is still a born storyteller whose humor engages audiences with universal characterizations and observations. The show starts at 8:00pm; for more information and tickets visit Count Basie Theatre’s website.

Spring Lake Irish Festival is on Saturday, June 18th with a rain date of Sunday, June 19th in Spring Lake, NJ from 12:00pm to 4:00pm.  Most events occur at Morris and Third Avenues.

The George Sheehan 5 Mile Classic is on Saturday, June 18th in Red Bank New Jersey.  Not only is there a 5 mile foot race but there’s also an event for kids and a two-mile family friendly Health and Fitness Walk.  Run with New Jersey’s best on a fast, USATF certified five-mile course. Clocks and water stops at each mile, medals to every finisher and computerized results. Overall and age group awards will be presented. For more information and registration visit the George Sheehan Classic Website.

We wrap up the weekly events post with the 17th Annual Cruise to the Jersey Shore Car Show.  Takes place at Ocean Avenue on the oceanfront in Long Branch, NJ from 9:00am to 4:00pm with street rods,customs,classics,race cars,trophies,dash plaques, food, DJ plus a free rock and roll concert featuring ”RB EXPRESS’. The Auto entry fee is $10.00 spectators free, proceeds benefit the local Ronald Mc Donald House. Rain date is set for June 26th. For an entry form and more information visit cruisetothejerseyshore.com.

Know of anything else going on in the area we missed? Let me know and I’ll gladly post it. Have fun no matter what you do even if it is just Google-ing.

Things To Do This Week January 17-23


It’s been awhile since I wrote an events post.  Must have gotten all wrapped up in the holidays and the snowstorms or something. There’s some fun stuff going on this week. Two shows at the Basie, one with an Elvis Costume Contest (!),  Sandy Hook exploration and some birding. Read on!

Skinny Girl Night Out – A Conversation with Bethenny Frankel of the Real Housewives of New York City takes place at 8:00pm on January 20th at Count Basie Theatre.

Grab the girls and throw on your best pumps for a hilarious and unpredictable evening with Bethenny Frankel of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New York City”. This “Skinny Girl” television personality, best-selling author, and “Health Foodie” is always sassy and fabulous. Listen to Bethenny dish about her life, her work, and her passion for living healthy and living well.  – Count Basie Theatre Website

Elvis Birthday Bash returns on January 21st at Count Basie Theatre and starts at 8:00pm. Show stars Scot Bruce and Mike Albert. The annual Elvis Costume Contest will be before the show. (How unbelievably awesome is that?!) Details on the contest are available at the Box Office. I might be sent into uncontrollable fits of laughter if I dressed up as Elvis. I emailed Izzy Sackowitz, the Director of Operations to see if he has the 411. I’ll update this post when I find out. *Update* Word from Izzy is that the contest is ridiculously funny.  There will be someone to greet the contestants when they arrive for the show.

Back for the 7th consecutive year, The Elvis Birthday Bash is a night of big fun! Actor and musician Scot Bruce starts the evening with his 50’s era Elvis show. Scot has a recurring role on “Days of Our Lives,” has appeared on the E! Channel’s “True Hollywood Story,” and in three stage productions of “Idols of the King,” and in music videos by Sheryl Crow, Faith Hill and Tasmin Archer. Mike Albert, “The World’s Finest Elvis Impressionist,” plays the second half of the evening. 1st Prize Winner in the 1991 Elvis Impersonator Contest in Hawaii, and the 1996 Images of Elvis Contest in Elvis’ own hometown, Memphis, Mike presents a sincere, respectful portrayal of “The King” that has earned endorsements by Elvis Presley’s own musicians and back-up singers. He regularly performs with the Jordanaires, Elvis’ own backing vocalists, and has appeared on “A Current Affair.”

On Saturday, January 22 there will be two events at Sandy Hook. Starting at 2:00pm a Holly Forest Walk.  Take a winter walk through the 64-acre evergreen holly forest with a park ranger. Meet at Sandy Hook Visitor Center. Tour will conclude around 3:30pm. Then at 4:00pm a Winter Twilight Exploration meet at Sandy Hook Visitor Center and bring your own flashlight to explore one of the Hook’s trails or beaches from dusk to dark. Ends around 5:50pm.

January 23, 2011 the Sandy Hook Birding Program will meet at 8:45am at Big Brook Preserve with Monmouth County Parks’ own Andrew Spears. Bring lunch, weather-appropriate gear, binoculars, and scopes. Pre-registration is always recommended. Event takes place at Bayonet Farm 41 Middletown Rd, Holmdel.

*Photo Credit http://www.villaerba.it/CalendarioEventi_en.html

Middletown, NJ Named a Top 100 Best Place to Live in Money Magazine


I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least give this a mention on the little hotel blog. Middletown, NJ was chosen as one of the Top 100 Best Places to Live by Money Magazine.  We were ranked #89 for our sense of community and volunteerism, those who brave the one hour commute into Manhattan for work and our proximity to the fabulous beaches of Monmouth County.  We’re not just a great place to visit, you would want to live here.

For more information, here is a link to the Press Release.

5 Fun Things To Do at the Jersey Shore July 8-11


It’s another busy summer week here at the Jersey Shore and there’s a lot to do and see. I hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July holiday weekend. We’re in the midst of a heat wave, there really is no better reason to get yourself on down the shore.   Spontaneous vacations based on the weather are good for the soul. I promise you won’t be bored and you’ll thank me later for it.  Stop thinking about it, just do it. Here are 5 unique events at the shore later this week and re-cap of the usual cast. In the interest of not taking 3 hours to write a blog post, I’ll highlight the top 5 that are closest to the Comfort Inn Middletown-Red Bank. (This probably took me more than 3 hours to write, I had a bit of the “internets wanders” today.)

Craig Ferguson will be at Count Basie Theatre Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 8:00pm. The very funny host of CBS’ Late Late show since January 3, 2005 will be entertaining the Red Bank audience. I’m guessing his show that evening will be a re-run.  Make an event out of your evening, have dinner or drink at one of Red Bank’s many fine restaurants and taverns. Check out Danny’s Steakhouse and you can see their blog post on catching dinner & a show here.

BlueClaws become the BruceClawsOn Saturday, July 10th, the Lakewood BlueClaws become the BRUCEClaws for Bruce Springsteen appreciation night. The team will be wearing special jerseys that will be auctioned off, plus there will be a pre-game (6:00pm – 7:00 pm) Springsteen set in the WRAT Trap from E-Street Shuffle and drink specials. Show your New Jersey and Bruce pride and enjoy America’s favorite pastime.

The Belmar Five Johnny Cobb Memorial Run will be on Saturday morning, July 10th at 8:30am and is presented by Goodwill Hose Fire Company along with the Jersey Shore Running Club.  The event will be held rain or shine and starts at Ocean Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Avenues.  Thursday is race packet pickup and the Pre-Race Party at Goodwill Hose Fire Company from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.  Friday night is the Fitness Walk and Kids races starting at 6:30pm.  Stick around afterward and there is a movie in the park and fireworks on the beach. On Saturday, post race team awards, free music and a beach party at Bar Anticipation.  Bring your Belmar 5 mug for drink discounts all day after the race.

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day in July at Monmouth ParkMonmouth Park St. Patrick’s Day in July on Sunday, July 11, 2010. Need a little extra luck? Today’s your day with the Luck ‘O Irish riding on your shoulder. Wear green for FREE Grandstand admission and half-price Clubhouse admission. The Bobby Byrne Band will be playing On the Green from 12 – 4 pm with Family Fun Day activities including FREE pony rides, face painters, clowns, live music and more. Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh Pipe & Drum Band will greet you at the gates and serenade you throughout the day.   The traditional $100,000 John McSorley Stakes highlights the card along with the $100,000 Spruce Fir.

Join the Lakewood BlueClaws and Independent Superstars of Professional Wrestling (ISPW) on Sunday, July 11th at 1:00pm for the first Brawl at the ‘Claws, a charity wrestling event held at FirstEnergy Park, home of the Lakewood BlueClaws.   All fans that attend the wrestling event will receive a ticket to that day’s BlueClaws game at 5:05. Proceeds from the Brawl at the ‘Claws will benefit BlueClaws Charities.  The ISPW Tri-State Championship will be defended at Brawl at ‘the Claws when current champion “The Platinum Poppa” Rob Eckos puts the title on the line against former ISPW World Heavyweight Champion Judas Young.   Young, a punk rocker, threw out a first pitch at a BlueClaws game last summer.   “The King of The World” Danny Inferno, former ISPW World Heavyweight Champion and former WWE developmental wrestler, will step in the ring one-on-one one against the fan favorite Baby Hughie at Brawl at ‘the Claws. Inferno also appeared in the movie The Wrestler along with Judas Young that starred Mickey Rourke.   In what might be the most anticipated match on July 11th, BlueClaws own mascot Buster will be in action that afternoon when he battles ISPW Owner “Mr. Personality” Nicholas Nice.  Josh Daniels rounds out this fun-filled afternoon of  body slammin ‘ action for a good cause when he takes on “Juicy” Justin Corino.   Admission is $20. For further information or to sign up, call Chuck Keller at 732-901-7000 ext 163.

Other area events this weekend include: July 8th Keyport Farmer’s Market in Waterfront Mini Park, West Front Street Keyport from 12:00pm to 6:00pm. “Thursday’s by the Sea” featuring local musicians will be at Festival Plaza in Long Branch starting at 7pm. This week the movie on the beach in Asbury Park will be “Where the Wild Things Are” showing starts at 8:30pm at Boardwalk and 2nd Ave weather permitting. On July 9th enjoy the Atlantic Highlands Farmers Market from 12:00pm to 6:00pm in Veterans Park and Belmar has fireworks on the beach at 5th and Ocean Avenue 8:30pm.  On July 10th the Highlands Farmers Market is in Huddy Park starting at 9:00am. Street Life returns to Red Bank’s downtown district this and every summer Saturday from 6:00pm to 9:00pm.  The Galleria Red Bank Farmers Market ties the weekend up in a bow from 9:00am to 2:00pm in the Galleria Red Bank Parking Lot on the corner of Bridge Avenue and West Front Street.  Seriously, wow,  there are a lot of Farmer’s Markets around here to get your Jersey Fresh on.

What are your favorite things to do when the temperatures soar? How do you stay cool?  Have any “local” advice for our visitors? Please leave me your comments below and stay cool my friend.

Fun Events This Weekend at The Jersey Shore: May 21-23, 2010


Beach at the Jersey ShoreLooking for something fun to do at The Jersey Shore this weekend? It’s hump day and we’re already thinking about relaxing and attending some fun local events.  Bring the family, there are lots of fun events May 21-23, 2010 at the shore.  It’s the LAST weekend before summer season.  Beat the crowds and come visit us.  We’ve got some rooms left at the Comfort Inn Middletown-Red Bank but call soon our double-bedded rooms book up quickly.

If you like Sports, you’re in luck! The Jersey Shore is a hotbed of sports activity this weekend. It all starts Friday night, May 21st when the Lakewood Blue Claws play at home vs. West Virginia Power at First Energy Field 7:05pm. For an added bonus, there will also be a post game fireworks display.  Saturday, May 22 is Opening Day at Monmouth Park Race Track with FREE Grandstand Admission and half-price Clubhouse Admission to welcome race fans back to the park. Be sure to check out the Great Destinations Celebration Travel Show sponsored by the Star-Ledger. The Show features all the best that New Jersey has to offer.  Are you a Mets or Yankees fan? The SeaStreak Ferry is located 3 miles from the hotel and they are running their Saturday and Sunday package to the Subway Series at Citi Field on May 22 and 23.  Advance purchase on tickets is required.  Avoid the traffic and relax on board. Bar and food services available.

Not much of a sports fan but love the Arts? There’s plenty for you as well. May 21 is the monthly “Night of the Arts” in Asbury Park. Night of the Arts is a monthly arts event held on the third Friday of every month that presents a sampling of the best arts in Downtown Asbury Park.  Count Basie Theatre is featuring the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Saturday, May 22 at 8:00pm.  The Sounds of the Highlands Concert will take place at the Central Baptist Church, 3rd and E. Highland Ave., in Atlantic Highlands 7:30pm.  Featuring The Corialis Chamber Trio, a classical trio and the Dan Wilensky Quartet, jazz musicians. The 16th Annual Two Rivers Garden Tour features a tour of seven gardens in Rumson and The Grove West Organic Community Garden and will take place on Saturday, May 22, 2010.

There’s even something for you History buffs. Friday, May 21 at Sandy Hook there will be a World War II Defense Lantern Tour. This very special night tour takes a look at how Fort Hancock’s big guns protected New York City during the Second World War. Please bring a flashlight. Fort Hancock Museum at Gateway National Recreation Area, Sandy Hook Unit.  Then on May 23 the Hook will have Coastal Defenses Day from 12:00pm to 4:00m at the Fort Hancock parade Grounds. Fort Hancock return to life circa 1943 on this special day. Soldiers will be dressed in period garb and you can see how they lived at the time. Participate in loading guns, be a gun pointer and learn how to track ships, then visit the plotting room and learned how guns were aimed.

Events that don’t really fit into any mold? The Galleria Red Bank Farmers Market happens every Sunday until November 14 and offers fresh, locally grown produce from some of New Jerseys finest farmers as well as showcasing unique crafts and wonderful eateries. Located in The Galleria Red Bank Parking Lot Corner of Bridge Ave and West Front St, Red Bank.  Out on Sandy Hook participate in Ocean Fun Days at the New Jersey Marine Science Consortium, Building 22 at Fort Hancock from 11am to 3pm on Sunday, May 23.  It is their annual open house with exhibits, tours, touch tanks, crab races, kid activities and more.

The summer fun is starting already at the Jersey Shore and there much to do right near the Comfort Inn Middletown-Red Bank. Spend your weekend at the shore, on top of all of these great weekend events, there are great restaurants, pubs and attractions to experience.

Henry Hudson Trail is Another Local Gem


Today is Monday and it was absolutely a Monday. A very busy day at the office interfered with my plans to check out the Henry Hudson Trail that runs right through Middletown, NJ and blog about it first hand.  At least that leaves me with the opportunity to make a follow-up post.

The Henry Hudson Trail runs Northern Section: Aberdeen to Atlantic Highlands, NJ  (Activity Center – 945 State Hwy. 36, Leonardo/Atlantic Highlands) and the Southern Extension: Freehold to Marlboro and Aberdeen.  It was selected as the 2010 Best Biking Trail in New Jersey by the readers of New Jersey Monthly Magazine. The trails are asphalt and span 19 miles throughout Monmouth County. The trail is a converted out of use railroad bed.  Many activities that are perfect for the Henry Hudson Trail are to Walk, Bicycle, Cross Country Ski, Inline Skates, Wheelchair. Seasonally appropriate of course.  Henry Hudson Trail Brochure & Map

From the Monmouth County Park Systems  Website:

This paved, 10-foot wide, 22-mile long trail is a former railroad right-of-way. It is relatively flat, traveling through both man-made and natural environments. Much of the trail is tree-lined, though some parts have views of surrounding wetlands, streams and fields.

The northern trail section runs 10 miles (just north of and parallel to Rt. 36) from the Aberdeen/Keyport border at the intersection of Lloyd Rd. and Clark St. to the Leonardo section of Middletown/Atlantic Highlands border at Avenue D.

Work is underway to extend the Henry Hudson Trail another 12 miles to Freehold Borough. Currently, the trail runs 4 miles from Rt. 537 in Freehold to Stevenson Drive in Marlboro. The trail then resumes at Station Road in Marlboro and continues for 5 miles to Church Street in Matawan. Future plans for the Trail include linking these two sections of trail and providing a connection to the original, northern section of the Henry Hudson Trail. The park totals 100 acres.

From the Rails to Trails Website:

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) is proud to announce its partnership with Google™ as an official content provider for Google Map’s brand-new biking directions functionality. The release of this long-awaited feature allows Google Maps users to type in their destination and receive directions for the best bicycling route. Previously, Google was able to provide walking, driving or transit directions. Now, RTC is providing its extensive trail-map data to Google Maps for the seamless integration of safe, accessible and fun bicycling routes into daily travel.

To read the Google Blogs post on the addition of bike routes to Google Maps Click Here.

If the kids are climbing the walls, you need a weekend away.  Pack up the car with your bikes and gear and come stay with us at the Comfort Inn Middletown, we’re a short drive from the Henry Hudson Trail. You can use Google Maps with the Rails to Trails Conservancy and map your route and be on your way.  I’m looking into whether or not there are any local bike  shops where you can simply rent bikes.  I’ll update this post with any new info I find.  Be sure to come back and look for my first hand experience post.