Paper Adventures: The Pizza Pilgrimage

Editor goes on quest to Wildwood for pizza and fun…

By Colleen Burns

Opinions Co-Editor

There are two types of pizza people: the first will drive two to three hours for a slice of pizza by the ocean, and the other type will eat the leftovers that the first type brings home. I’m both!

Last Saturday, I woke up to a normal summer day, though it really didn’t feel like summer yet. Whether it was the gloomy weather or the fact that I didn’t start work until the following week, I was in desperate need of something fun to kickoff summer. Luckily, my dad had mentioned the night before that he thought we needed a slice this weekend. To some people (the second type) a “slice” means calling your nearest Domino’s. To my dad and me it means driving to Wildwood, NJ for a slice of Mack’s pizza.

It was 3pm on Saturday when my dad asked if we should go then or wait until Sunday. Sunday would be colder but less likely to rain. If we went Sunday, we could go earlier and stay longer. It seemed like Sunday was the day to go, but Sunday was too planned. It felt like we NEEDED pizza NOW, and the spontaneity of leaving right then and there was what made us go Saturday late afternoon. You may think this little trip sounds lame, spending a Saturday night with my dad, that pizza doesn’t seem worth the drive, that it doesn’t sound adventurous. I’m here to tell you otherwise.

First off, the traffic was beautiful. It took us literally two and a half hours to drive down because everyone going to the beach for Memorial Day weekend was already there! Even so, car rides have always been great quality time for my dad and me. I played the new Harry Styles and Ed Sheeran albums for him—he preferred Ed. Then we unquestionably had to listen to Bruce Springsteen’s The Rising because it’s a tradition for every car ride into Wildwood.

That said, our pizza adventure was 1000000000% worth the drive because it really didn’t take us that long, and, also, it’s not JUST pizza!! Mack’s pizza is the best pizza on the boardwalk, and I will fight anyone who says differently—but that’s a different article.

I’ve been taking trips to Wildwood every summer with my family since I was little. Eating Mack’s pizza is an essential staple, custom, tradition, and principle of any trip. Call it what you want, but Mack’s pizza is more than just pizza to my family. Every trip to Wildwood brings back countless memories of lying on the beach, freaking out about potential sharks in the ocean, playing with my cousins, riding the boardwalk rides, and eating a pre-accepted boardwalk snack of either Mack’s pizza or Kohr Brother’s frozen custard.

By now you should understand this trip was about more than just pizza. Yes, we ate pizza…admittedly more than probably recommended. We touched our toes to the 60-degree water in the 70-degree rainy weather. We bought just enough tickets to ride the newly renovated Great Nor’easter Rollercoaster, which was a proud accomplishment for my dad. We wasted way too much money trying to win a “medium- sized” stuffed animal that was smaller than my hand and could not have been worth more than a dollar. I ate some necessary Kohr Brother’s frozen custard and sent several unnecessary Snapchats of the trip to my sister and cousins who weren’t there. Needless to say, they were jealous.

So was the trip filled with adventure? Enough adventure for me because as we drove home listening to the greatest hits of Cher, all I could think was how freaking fun the last couple of hours were and how it finally felt like summer.

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