Happy Birthday, Jersey Girl!

One year ago today (in Florence, Italy – of all places!) The Jersey Girl site was launched!

Though there have been some obstacles along this journey, I have really enjoyed working on the site and consider the first year to be a success.  (And what are obstacles anyway, if they aren’t reminders of just how badly you want to get where you’re going?)

As I hoped, I’ve learned new things about my home state, met new people, tried new foods, saw new sites, and have been able to share these things here.  Hundreds of people (from NJ, the US, and the world) now follow The Jersey Girl through email subscriptions, facebook, and twitter.

I came across this hat while shopping at a flea market in the mountains of Italy last summer...right after I decided to launch the blog.

To take a look back at some of this year’s adventures, visit the Jersey Girl List.

I’m looking forward to more exciting New Jersey travels and sharing another year with you!

Stay tuned for upcoming stories about the Sandy Hook Lighthouse, Langosta Lounge, and Don Guerrazzi.

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl

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A spring makeover for The Jersey Girl

The Jersey Girl site has a new look for spring courtesy of brilliant web developer, John Conde!

Conde, a Jackson, NJ resident who has been a web developer for 12 years, understood that I wanted to maintain the original simplicity of the site, but also incorporate a little Jersey Girl personality.  He worked his magic, and I am so thrilled with our new color scheme.

If you have questions about web development, John Conde is the person to go to.  His tutorials on Authorize.Net (a payment gateway provider) are a beneficial resource for many web developers.  You can find out more about him and follow his blog, containing both personal and technical content, via his website, http://www.johnconde.net/.

~Melissa 🙂
The Jersey Girl

Life is what happens…

If you have read any of the early posts to this blog, you will see that the last few months have not exactly gone as I had imagined that they would.  I am inclined to apologize for not keeping up with my adventures and posting about them here on this blog, but it really is no one’s fault; there is no blame to be had.

What has happened instead, is that I have become very familiar with the amazing doctors and other medical  professionals of St. Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ.  Both of my parents have needed treatment and required major surgery, and my focus these last few months has been with them.

Soon, when everyone is well once again, the adventures of The Jersey Girl will continue.  I promise.  Please stay tuned.

Good things come to those who wait.
🙂

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 🙂