You give Jersey a bad name.

We are {reluctantly} back from New Jersey.

While I was there, I was struck with the notion that so many people still think New Jersey is just one giant, ugly turnpike flanked by industrial buildings and factories with guidos and guidettes walking the streets.  I'm not sayin' that doesn't exist in Jersey, or that the show Jersey Shore isn't authentic.  Admittedly, I rocked my share of Aqua Net back in the day.  But New Jersey is so much more.  To me, it's...

  • Revolutionary war towns
  • Boisterous Italian family
  • Quaint farmer's markets
  • Deep forests with moss and streams and hills
  • The best delis and diners
  • Walking into town
  • A place where summer is enjoyed outside

Every morning, we shuffled outside to enjoy my parents' back yard first thing, drinking coffee and tea while Luci Belle played with all of my mom's yard critters and watched cardinals and orioles and bluebirds gleefully feeding in the morning light.

We felt rain on our skin and took two walks after the rain, just to celebrate it, because we've missed it so much.

I even had purple lips after swimming one evening and left the Madison Pool wrapped in a wet towel with goose bumps on my arms and legs.  We went home and ordered Rocco's pizza for dinner and ate it in our bathingsuits.

That is summer.

So in case you don't believe me, I'm going to show you.  Through a series of short posts, I'm going to share some of the beautiful moments we captured in my home state. 

Until then, I leave you with this photo of our little Jersey girl...