You have to begin somewhere…

It’s always interesting to me to learn what people think about my home state when I tell them I’m from New Jersey.  People from the eastern region of the U.S.  tend to think of us in terms of our dreary Turnpike (which, of course, we only use to get to get out of our dreadful state and go to New York) and will jokingly ask me, “What’s your exit?”  Or, I get comments like, “Isn’t that SUPPOSED to be the Garden State?  What happened to all the gardens?”  People who are not from the U. S., say Italy for example (I choose Italy as an example because that is actually where I am as I type this entry), know New Jersey (if at all) only because it is near New York and Philadelphia.  But as a state we are so much more than a Turnpike…with a stench…near two major cities.

We have character, and charm, a lot of history, and we actually do still have farmland in the Garden State.  We have a lot to offer anyone who would be lucky enough to come visit.  But, as a native Jersey Girl, I am sad to say I couldn’t begin to tell you the half of it.  I grew up in central New Jersey, have spent a lot of time down the shore, and worked in northern New Jersey for a while, but I know I’ve missed a lot of the unique sites and restaurants and other cultural aspects in the state because, like so many people, I live within my comfort zone and take a lot of what we have to offer for granted.

I have decided to explore my home state with new eyes and hopefully in the process, be able to defend its honor!  I am determined to uncover the rich culture and creativity within the state.  I’m hoping that I will discover treasures to share with all of you and eventually help my home state develop a more accurate reputation than the one it seems to have now.

Along my journey, if you have any suggestions for me as far as sites to see or restaurants to try, please email me or post them to this blog.

I’m looking forward to the challenge!

Melissa
The Jersey Girl 🙂

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