Jumbie Bay, St. John Haunted? More Like Haunted By Beauty.

Jumbie Bay Beach, St. John USVI

Honestly, I hate to even write this post. This is by far my favorite no hiking that far beach to go to.

It is extremely private. It is because there is very limited parking.

I also like the location. It is adjacent to Trunk Bay. You see the beauty of the bay and the entire span of Trunk Bay without the admission price. Bada Bing, baby….. That is what Yummygal is talking about.

The reasoning on possibly the name of Jumbie Beach. Is that there are a few Jumbie trees (silk cotton trees) in the small little hike to get to the stunning beach.


The sign to the infamous Jumbie beach

Now, legend has it spirits are in these trees and extreme bad luck will occur if you chop it down.

Also, many pirates would bury their treasure around the trees back in the day because they knew people would be scared to go near a Jumbie Tree.

The myths also state, that a beautiful woman will be found amongst these trees… you will bed her… then the next day die. A wonderful way to go, MATEY.


Small hiking path to Jumbie Beach

The Virgin Island folks have used the leaves of the Jumbie tree for medicinal purposes over the last few centuries. Primarily they use it for a tea to help with fatigue. It’s a very treasured tree.

However, what I treasure most is the beach and there is nothing spooky about it.


Your first look at Jumbie

You’ll come out of that small path and a little bridge and this will be the first thing you see.

Notice Trunk Cay in the picture above. Which is famous for the underwater snorkel trail.


Another shot my friends


And another

It is so very private. Laid back and serene… My type of beach. A great snorkel spot over at the rocks here.


Rocks on the right of the beach

The beach is pretty large, not big like Trunk Bay, but you can see it across from you.

Also, you have full permission to point and laugh at the folks you see across the way at Trunk Bay.

They paid for admission and you didn’t have to.


Hello there Trunk Bay beach! You paid an admission.. I didn’t!

This is just perfect in paradise, isn’t it?


Hi turquoise water, it was nice to meet you


Yummygal at Jumbie Beach, St. John

Definitely stop here on your trip to St. John.


Yummygal’s and “Jane’s” Private Beach

You won’t regret it. Trust me. Some people say it’s haunted. Honestly, it’s haunted by beauty. Hahaha


No caption necessary

Grab your drinks, a picnic lunch, throw them all in a cooler and head out here for the day.


She’s a keeper

Enjoy this beach. You can thank me later.


Remember, to tease these guys from across the way, they paid for this view. You didn’t

Medford NJ Wildlife Refuge ~ A Refuge You Could Never Refuse.

Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge

4 Saw Mill Road
Medford, NJ
Admission $5
Donations are welcome and all money goes to their care.

Yummygal’s Top things to do in the Philadelphia Area before you die.

The Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge or better known as the Medford Wildlife Refuge, sits quietly in the Braddock Mill section of Medford.


Braddock’s Mill Sign right outside the wildlife location

I’m going to give you a brief synopsis for all of you non South Jersey native folks. The name Braddock is synonymous with the town of Medford.

In the mid-1800s, William Braddock set up a sawmill in the area. They would cut down the forested oak trees in the vicinity and use a method called “charcoaling.” It consisted of burning these oak trees down for their carbon. The finished product of embers were bagged and shipped out to homes to provide fuel for the furnace. There is also a Braddock’s Tavern still in existence and was built in 1844 on the Main Street in Medford.
This tavern was purchased by another Braddock family member, Charles Braddock.

As you can see, the Braddock family ran most of the town of Medford.


Picture of the Woodford’s fireplace. Presently, the main building for the refuge. Notice the family pictures and pictures of the refuge’s animals.

Fast forward to 1951, a young couple looking for a summer retreat, purchased a home in Medford’s Pine Barrens. This couple would be Elizabeth or “Betty”, as she was referred to and her husband James Woodford. The land was wild and encompassed over 185 acres. They built a nice lodge home on the property in 1957.


The back of the home

After spending some time in their retreat that was recently constructed, the Woodford’s decided they would live in the town of Medford permanently. They became enamoured with the land and beauty.


Notice the stuffed squirrel with a birthday hat on. I love my quirky Jersey folks!

I also fell in love with the land immediately upon entering their driveway.


The forest surrounding the property

The Woodfords dedicated over 40 years of their life to Pineland preservation and aiding injured or sick wildlife. Their hobby turned into a full-scale operation. The refuge is now ran by their daughter Jeanne. The refuge is a top-notch immaculate animal hospital and education center. They take in between 4,000-6,000 injured animals a year and rehabilitate them. Only to hope they will be healed and released in the wild.


Cedar Run Lake on these magnificent grounds

When I first arrived here. I was blown away.

The staff is INCREDIBLY friendly and helpful with any questions you may have.


Uh oh, bear on the loose in the Woodford house.

As you exit the house and take in the nice indoor area and mural, make your way outside. They will provide you with a well-detailed map of the property. Including lots of gorgeous trails, where the animals are located and the Cedar Run Lake.


Beautiful mural. This is heaven, the wildlife refuge property. It actually puts a tear in my eye.

If you come here, you have to see the entire property. No if’s And’s or But’s. Take the white trail towards the left of the property. Trust me.

Have I ever steered you wrong?


Follow me my friends

Moms with a stroller, don’t worry it’s an easy trail. I took my son along and toured the entire property with him in his personal means of transportation.


The white trail Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge

Along the path, you will encounter pretty little bridges such as this and some wildlife. We actually saw some squirrels that were playing and they ran straight towards us. We screamed. These squirrels were not use to human interaction.




Sigh again

You will eventually come out to see this most magnificent place on earth.

The refuge.

Sassafras will greet you first.


Sassafras the friendly white-tailed deer

Each animal has a name and a story. The exhibits/pens of these animals are EXTREMELY clean and large for them to spread themselves out.


The story of my swan friend


He runs free on the property

The animals are beautiful. They don’t seem stressed. They actually seem quite happy. The volunteers we met were all wonderful and truly care about the animals.


Ducks and Geese loving eachother

One animal I felt sad for is Little Joe.


Little Joe

Little Joe a red-tailed hawk. He just lost his mate of 25 years in May of this year, Big Momma.


RIP Big Momma

They are in the process of finding little Joe a compatible mate at this time.

The Woodford Refuge is a beautiful place.The kids will absolutely love it and be educated. The parents may have to take out a tissue after reading all of the animals’ stories.

I saw every single creature on display. Hiked every trail. Even the blue trail which is a bit more rustic.


Bald Eagles

After you are done seeing the animals, check out the rest of the trails and then make your way to the gorgeous bridge.


Cedar Mill Bridge

This bridge was dedicated to The Woodland Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge in honor of Jeanne Woodford. Current president (and daughter of James and Elizabeth Woodford) of this magical place.


Honorary plaque

The gorgeous bridge offers pure beauty and serenity.


Cedar Run Lake

My swan friend coming to pay me a visit.


Hey Babycakes!


another shot

You need to run here. Run here as fast as you can. We need to sponsor these local places that actually do good here in our backyard. The Woodland Refuge is more beautiful than the Philadelphia and the Cape May Zoos combined.

This place is entirely run on public donation. Please support this facility. They offer educational and summer camp workshops for the kids, as well as scout programs. Also, birthday parties are welcome to be held here.


Bring a picnic lunch

My only suggestion to the refuge management is to do what the Cape May Zoo does.
Place donation boxes throughout the property.

I think people would be more giving especially after seeing these exquisite creatures.


Pedestrian Bridge

This is a first-class place.


My son and I enjoying our day at the refuge

You will walk away educated and with an immediate desire to return.

Like I said, run here. As FAST as you can.

The grounds are immaculate and it’s a great place to educate and bring the kids.

Sea Isle City, NJ~ Top things to see in the Philadelphia Area before you die.

Sea Isle City

Ludlum Island, NJ

Top things to see in the Philadelphia Area before you die.

If you haven’t been to Sea Isle City aka. SIC as we say around here. You’re missing out.

Founded by a gentleman named Charles Landis.

Charles Landis

Here he is! Charles Landis founder of Sea Isle City. Courtesy of Days Gone By of Sea Isle City, NJ. Pamphlet Publication

In which if you have ever been to SIC, Landis is the main road in town.
He was also the founder of the city of Vineland which meant he was a very rich man.

Sea Isle had cattle on the island up until the late 1890s. The cattle swam across the bay to get here originally.


The family and I in Sea Isle

It beats the crowd of Atlantic City, Wildwood, and Ocean City any day. Still maintaining that shore charm. Instead of the usual Jersey boardwalk, they have an asphalt promenade. Which makes them stand out a bit amongst the New Jersey shore towns.

It compares to Atlantic City in it’s unique history.

There was once a Bath House that was housed on the boardwalk. The Schwartz Bath House, as it was called, offered folks hot sea water baths. They used a pipeline to pump sea water through a line under one of the piers to the bath houses. The line was known to get caught with seaweed from time to time and the proprietor would have to climb down the pier with a life preserver and unclog the line. This was a very popular attraction in Sea Isle at the time.

sea isle

The Schwartz Bath House Picture. Courtesy of Memories of Days Gone By in Sea Isle City, NJ


Old Picture of Braca's Cafe

Old Picture of Braca’s Cafe

Sea Isle has always been esteemed for it’s clean beaches. Horse-driven carriages were known to crowd up the beach. After, they no longer needed carriages because of the good old invention of the automobile. Horseback riding became a popular pastime.

The first boardwalk was created in 1907. However, through the last century the boardwalk has had to be rebuilt over and over again due to severe storms.


Entering one of the beaches

In the 60s, a nor’easter came into town called the Great Atlantic Storm. It was one of the largest storms to have ever hit the east coast. It flooded the main road and people couldn’t evacuate. It rained so bad most homes and beaches were destroyed. The people were literally rescued by helicopter to get out of the city. This storm also wiped out the boardwalk.

The Storm of 1962 that wiped out Sea Isle. Courtesy of Booklet Days Gone By of Sea Isle City, NJ.

The Storm of 1962 that wiped out Sea Isle. Courtesy of Booklet Days Gone By of Sea Isle City, NJ.

After the Great Atlantic Storm, the townsfolk came back to rebuild. They moved the beach back further from the ocean and put in dunes for protection. Thus, the building of the 1 and 1/2 mile asphalt promenade that they have today.


View of one of the beaches from the Promenade

There’s been a lot of redevelopment over the last decade in Sea Isle. A new state-of-the-art library was just constructed. A Gillian’s Fun Pier has been created for the kids (and us adventurous seeking adults) to enjoy amusement rides. The downtown area of JFK boulevard has been totally transformed.

However, there still is architectural integrity of days of old.

The Colonnade Inn is one of the last surviving Inns of 1880s. Built around 1883 for city folks to beat the heat. The house is a gorgeous Victorian that has stood the test of time and many storms. It serves as a beautiful bed and breakfast today. Still preserving that “old-feel” charm.


Shot of the Atlantic Ocean and the clean beach of Sea Isle City, NJ

The city is also becoming green. JFK boulevard is lined with LED street lights powered by wind and solar energy.

A must-to-do here: Get homemade fudge at James’ Candies. Eat brunch at Braca’s Cafe and shop at the boutiques around JFK Boulevard.


A shot outside one of the many boutiques around JFK Boulevard

The beaches are always clean and the people are always friendly.

If you like to go to a town with a lot of history without the hustle and bustle, than this is the place.

Old Sea Isle City Post Card. Courtesy of Days Gone By in Sea Isle Publication

Old Sea Isle City Post Card. Courtesy of Days Gone By in Sea Isle Publication

Smile! You’re in Sea Isle City. (As per their water tower).

Thompson Beach, Heislerville NJ. Top things to see in the Philadelphia Area before you Die

Thompson Beach

Thompson Beach Road
Heislerville, NJ

Top Things to See in the Philadelphia Area before you die.

Okay, this place is gorgeous yet eerie at the same time.

It sits on the beautiful Delaware Bay in a very desolate and unpopulated area.

On your way here, you will most likely see turtles crossing the street and a few unlucky ones at that.


nature lookout area on Thompson Beach Road

This place was a town at one point. However, the township was tired of maintaining the road to get here. It was constantly being flooded out by the Delaware Bay. They decided in the late 1990s to buy the residents out of their properties on the beach. The government used their eminent domain power and demolished the homes. Then they permanently blocked off the road.

What remains are a few ruins of fireplaces, a small beach, and a blocked off street that you can hike to. If walking to the beach there will be some mud if you are daring. The mud is on top of the asphalt road and won’t be like you are knee deep in it. Take precautions if you decide to explore and go at low tide. You want to be safe just in case part of the bay is covering the road by the time you come back to your car.

Thompson’s beach is sort of creepy. A ghost town. Odd. It’s like nature just fought back and wanted their land back.


The beautiful wetlands off of Thompson Rd.

Well, nature won. This land is now owned by PSE&G. An electric and gas company here in South Jersey. I do find a bit odd that they own this place. They are probably receiving a generous tax break for preserving this land.

The Thompson’s Beach lookout is a great location to look at nature, enjoy the scenery and to see the migrating birds every spring.

If you are a bird enthusiast, this is a great estuary spot. It is a pretty location with wetlands all around you. You probably won’t be bothered by people.

You can also squawk like a duck if you want to. I’m sure no one will hear ya. I do it all the time.


My bird friend


See she’s posing for me

If you have a little boat, there’s a tiny launch ramp that you can use. Thompson’s Beach is a great fishing and crabbing location. Only use the ramp at high tide as per the NJ Wildlife site suggests.

Watch out for the greenheads they will attack you viscously. In which, they ravaged yummygal’s momma completely.

Bring the bug spray. I will repeat again, bring the bug spray.

The Heislerville area is definitely a unique place to explore.


boat ramp at Thompson beach lookout

Check out the East Point Lighthouse which is right down the street from this beauty and make a day out of it. Enjoy New Jersey, my friends!


another shot of the surroundings