By Maddy Vitale
Downtown Ocean City and the Boardwalk were bustling with activity on Saturday afternoon, as tourists and residents alike, found some bargains during Presidents Day weekend and enjoyed family time.
Donna Barnett, of Ocean City, took her grandsons Nathan Schwinn, 6, and his brother Owen Schwinn, 9, of Philadelphia, to the downtown and the Boardwalk.
“My daughter comes down from Philly for President’s Day weekend every year. It is a holiday tradition,” Barnett said, while walking across Seventh Street to do some shopping.
The family left the Boardwalk moments earlier, after enjoying the sights and more importantly, the goodies.
Barnett had something in her hands that the grandkids couldn’t wait to open.
“We always get pizza when the boys come to visit,” Barnett said, holding a box filled with slices from the famous Manco & Manco Pizza.
They also enjoyed some window shopping along Asbury Avenue, until something caught Owen’s eye.
“I think that is a flounder,” he said of a wood carving in the window at Stainton’s.
“Flounders swim sideways,” Nathan said.
The brothers began to laugh.
A busier-than-usual streetscape in the downtown, with activity on the boards as well, made for an unusual sight on a brisk February day
Tourists and residents popped into shops in search of bargains on the holiday weekend. Some shoppers chose to focus on the downtown, others couldn’t resist the Boardwalk, and others, like Barnett and her grandkids, did both.
Amanda and Paul Donovan, of Ocean City, strolled the downtown with daughters Nina, 2, and Cecilia, nine weeks.
“We were looking at sneakers and just walking around,” Amanda Donovan said. “We are thinking about getting some coffee.”
But before their coffee run, the family of four had one more stop to make.
Nina pointed to a storefront window. She saw a doll in a pink dress that she had to have.
The Donovans headed into the shop. Nina was all smiles.
Erin Wister, of Medford, and her aunt Ann Ross, of Delran, didn’t specifically hit the boards for sales. They took a drive down to Ocean City for another reason.
Wister’s 23-month-old son Carter wanted to see the water.
“I told him if he slept on the way down, the water would be there when he wakes up,” Ross said.
Wister pushed Carter’s stroller. He had someone else along for the ride – his three-month-old sister Cameron who snuggled up in her blankets.
When the family rolled up to the Boardwalk, Carter peered out of his stroller, put his hand up to block the sun from his eyes, squinted and shouted, “Water!”
After a few minutes Carter was satisfied and they were on their way somewhere else.
“We haven’t been here in a long time,” Ross said. “We are heading to Manco and Manco for some pizza.”
For Beth and Kirk Moon, of Ocean City, Saturday afternoon was like any other.
“Just a typical weekend riding our bikes,” Kirk Moon said. “This is a good weekend for business though. The second you ride down Ninth Street you see how busy it is.”
Beth Moon remarked, “It is a great town to live in and it is always fun to be on our bikes.”
Michael Grietzer and his daughter Natalie Grietzer, of West Berlin, headed to the Jersey Shore on the holiday weekend to spend a father, daughter day and they love Ocean City.
“We just wanted to walk around and see what is open,” Michael Grietzer said. “The sun feels good, but the wind is a little cold.”
The Greitzers warmed their hands on their steamy hot coffee cups ready for a stop in one of their favorite Boardwalk stores – Shriver’s for some delectable confections.
For Stacy Ichinaga and her daughter Hana, 11, the trip to Ocean City doesn’t take them as long as the Greitzer’s trip. They live in Egg Harbor Township. But they love Ocean City so much they spend time on the Boardwalk whenever they can, and a holiday weekend is as good a time as any.
“It is busy today. The stores are open, and the sun is out,” Ichinaga said. “Hana rode her bike and I ran. We love the beach.”
After the mom, daughter workouts, the two decided to look in some shops.
The Ichinagas were happy with one of their interesting finds.
“We got a mitten rack on sale,” Ichinaga said. “We are having a good time.”
Considering it was a bit too cold for Hana’s favorite activity at the Jersey Shore – swimming, the duo settled for the next best thing.
Hana said smiling, “We are going to get some fudge.”