Category Archives: New Jersey

Winter travel inspiration

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Right now I am home preparing for the holidays with my family. We like to spend them here. With New York City as our playground, we enjoy all the lights and scenes.

However, once all the festivities are over, we start feeling the urge to get out there for some winter fun, and boy have we had some over the years.

Here is a collection of some of my favorite winter escapes to help inspire your next trip:

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Day trip to High Point State Park, New Jersey

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The longer I live in New Jersey, the more I fall in love with all it has to offer. That’s a big change from 6 years ago when living in New York and not thinking much of my neighboring state. It’s been s much fun venturing out in search of new hiking trails and learning more about the area and all the beauty around us.

Our latest venture took us about an hour away to the rolling hills and farmlands of Sussex County. High Point, as the name indicates, is the highest point of New Jersey with a monument standing at the 1,803 feet above sea level marker.

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Nature finds for weekend fun in New Jersey

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This is one of the first years we have been home all summer. We have loved it though at first it was hard.

For my kids the start was bumpy because they suddenly found themselves with not much to do (I also didn’t sign them up for all-summer camp!) and most of their friends had gone away somewhere. The start was a bit bumpy for me too, home all day with two restless boys and tons of work to do. 2 months in we are learning to balance it all and find ways to make the most of summer here in our New Jersey home, which I still feel we take for granted far too often.

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A Walk through Dreams: The Ellis Island Hard Hat Tour

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From 1892 to 1954, Ellis Island processed about 12 million immigrants before it could be decided that they would be allowed to begin their lives in this country. The Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital, the United States’ first public health hospital, opened its doors in 1902. It is here where immigrants who were deemed too unhealthy to enter the country would stay. The treatment for various ailments, some far too gruesome for today’s standards, would either result in success, at which point immigrants would be released to enter the country, or failure, at which point they would be sent back.

It is difficult to imagine the fear and stress many of these newcomers experienced through the overall immigration process, especially for many who did not speak the language or had ever even seen a doctor before. Imagine the intimidation of being poked at, examined, or even questioned by men in lab coats, separated from your family, from your parents, being spoken to in ways you could not understand, all the while knowing that your dreams where just one more boat ride away.

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Five things I love about New Jersey

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I’ve lived in New Jersey now for about 4 years now. Like most hardcore New Yorkers, it’s been a slow process to get me to let go of this idea that I have to venture into the city for good food, entertainment, or activities.

I still get teased by friends for becoming “Bridge and Tunnel”, and I get it. There was a time I wouldn’t even date a boy if there was a bridge or tunnel between us. But what did I know?

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Family, Turkey, and Christmas Tree Hunting

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I’ve been busy these past few days with family from out-of-town visiting and Thanksgiving. We rarely have family over for the holidays. It is almost always just the 5 of us, which is fine, but there’s something so much more special when you have others present to share the joy and memories with.

With my nephews from Texas growing so quickly, we’ve all found it so important to find ways for them to be together more.

At the same time, the people over at Lexus asked if I would be willing to take part in their #DecemberToRemember campaign and test out the Lexus GX460 during my annual Christmas tree hunt.

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Bunking Down at Morey’s Pier and Camping with The Family

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This past weekend, my family and I hauled some rented camping gear (which we later purchased) to take part in the very first Morey’s Piers Boardwalk Bunk Down.

We weren’t sure how the weekend was going to turn out, it had rained through the night and even while we drove the 2 hours to Wildwood, NJ.

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Our Fun Staycation Weekend

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My family and I are huge fans of staycations. They encourage us to still go out and discover something new together closer to home.

Toyota contacted me recently and asked me to check out their 2014 Highlander for a few days. Of course, testing out cars means weekend fun for us, so we were not only excited to see what this vehicle had to offer, but what where it would inspire us to go.

Here is a recap of our adventures:

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Big City Flavors with Small Town Charm (Restaurant Review)

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One of the things I am most enjoying about my life in New Jersey is experiencing what happens when wonderful talents leave the bigger cities across the country and set shop in the smaller towns transforming communities into celebrated food destinations.

Cranford, NJ is a small town about 40 minutes west of Manhattan and named one of the best places to live in 2010, though I don’t know too much else about it. Andrea Carbine, a chef originally from Seattle, and her husband Jim, found this charming town to be a perfect place to pursue their restaurant business ventures and where they could cultivate their belief of making the most out of the ingredients nature provides you.

They have seen much success in their first restaurant, A Toute Heure, a bistro known for its ever-changing menu due to its seasonal focus. It is a local favorite having won multiple awards celebrating both its kitchen garden and executive chef Kara Decker. Entering its 7th year, it remains a must-have dining experience in the area.

Adding to their list of success, the Carbines have now also opened 100 Steps Supper Club and Raw Bar to meet the demands for such a dining experience in the community they serve, which until now meant having to travel to NYC or the coast for.

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Doo Wop, Rides, and Curley Fries: A Weekend at Morey’s Piers, NJ

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The water slide was five stories tall and just looking up at it, I felt a loss of breath. But my little ones only felt excitement and before I could grasp their hands and say no, they were gone, up the stairs, eager to take it on. I resisted the urge to stop them and watched as they climbed the stairs to the top. I sat on one of the lounge chairs, pretending to not be worried, anxiously waiting as they came down. Swoosh! Down came the 6-year-old. Swoosh!, down came his 7-year-old brother shortly after. I watched as they effortlessly swam out of the pool, paused, looked at each other, and then simultaneously laughed out loud. “That was the coolest ever! Let’s go again!” And just like that, I was hit with the realization that my children had grown bigger and more adventurous, since the last time I had the opportunity to stop and absorb it all.

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