Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Home is always where your heart is

Photo of Long Valley, NJ

I was reading some articles online and it got me thinking. So many of us have moved far from where we have grown up. I have lived in New Jersey all my life and to be honest, I wouldn't trade it for the world. New Jersey is far from a perfect place, but it is such a crucial part to my life, that I think I would miss it if I was to move away forever.
When I went college in Massachusetts, I loved it, but I always loved going home. Anyone who knows me, knows that I would pack it all in tomorrow if I could live in London, but I would be certain to keep a home here in NJ. If we win the HGTV dream home? We're keeping the NJ house too.

My favorite thing about my state is the hidden treasures. Our close approximation to NYC is all most people see, but there is much more. The mountains, beach or New York City/Philadelphia is within our reach in less then 2 hours. Lucky for us, the mountains are more like fifteen minutes away due to our location. We also have a ton of state parks and are close to the Delaware Water Gap. Can't wait to Kayak there this summer! We have great restaurants, farms, farmer's markets, theaters, college towns and most fortunate, we have open spaces in our area. Take that developers! Sure being close to NYC and Philly is fabulous, but Princeton is close as well as Morristown, Chester, Flemington, Lambertville, New Hope PA and Hackettstown which are all vibrant and fun and have some pretty great restaurants. As you all know, for me, it is all about food and God Bless, NJ delivers that in spades. Actually, there are a bunch of great restaurants close by, but that means I would have to name every town within twenty minutes from where I am and that could take awhile.

The most important thing for any of us is to appreciate what our home state has to offer. Most of us make fun of areas of the United States (Midwest, South, etc) and some specific states (NJ, Indiana, Texas, etc) but unless you have traveled in America, you really can't make an honest assessment. Think how vast the United States really is. I have always, always, always wanted to drive cross country and really see it all. To drive through the Badlands and Glacier National Park. I want to see the Mormon Temple in Utah and the Ozarks. Tybee Island and Block Island call out to me as well. I have been fortunate that I have been to many places in the US and one day I may list them on here, but I still have much more to go.
No matter what, I will always come home. New Jersey is my calm, she is my heart. I come back to her arms to feel safe. For all that is wrong with NJ, unemployment and taxes, there is a lot more right and that is what I have learned to appreciate and love.

New Jersey Tourism


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