Many people know that I am from New Jersey and pretty proud of it. I am from the South Jersey area, close to Philadelphia. New Jersey gets a bad rep from so many different avenues but I love it, even though I would never live there because it costs a literal arm and a leg. New Jersey is where my family lives, its where I get to eat at some of the best diners and enjoy the ultimate soft pretzels and it is so close to major cities (Philadelphia, NY and even Boston is not too far). I was in need of quite the vacation because like I have shared before, when life gets messy, I want to be near my family.
Dan and I left on Wednesday to go to NJ and praise God there was no traffic and we made amazing timing (woohoo). Wednesday we just took it easy when we got there. We picked up some piping hot soft pretzels (duh), went to a diner for dinner and then stopped at the store for some snacks. Definitely picked up some Tastykakes #vacation.
What I love about my Aunt Rose is that she always "wings it" and likes to be spontaneous. Pretty much the opposite of how I like to do things but I secretly would love to! We decided on Thursday to travel up to the Hudson Valley (area above NYC). We had no idea where we were going to stay that night and I was the one that looked up hotels and landed on the Thayer Hotel at West Point. It was like going to a castle. It was SO beautiful. It was right near (I mean literally next store) to the United States Military Academy, the big time military school.
Upon arrival, we saw that they had a rooftop bar overlooking the Hudson river so we quickly hurried to get up their. It was so nice with a ton of comfy couches. We had a couple of drinks and relaxed. Then we went and walked along the campus of the academy. We came back after, went into the little tavern they had their and ordered a ton a small plates to share. I am all about small plates and I am an even bigger fan of sharing.
The next day we ate some pastries in the morning and then headed out. We stopped at Wegmans for lunch...if you have never heard of Wegmans, it is the BEST grocery store in the world and we should be getting one close to where I live soon. I already planned on taking off from work that day if the opening is during the week. I am completely committed. We relaxed and watched TV and then Dan and I went on a little stroll around the neighborhood. For dinner we ordered pizza and chicken fingers. One of my favorite combos and it hit the spot!
The next day I was able to spend time with my beautiful little sister and her boyfriend, Jimmy, who I love so much. They both came back from college and I could not have been happier to see them. We spent the afternoon at the cutest farmers market where we got some insane apple cider donuts. We walked around, looked at the shops and saw some adorable goats.
In the evening, we got invited to a really fun party by one of my aunt's friends. It was at a YMCA camp deep in the woods. It was catered, had drinks, live music and a DJ. It was seriously so much fun. We danced, sang and laughed so much.
When I visit NJ, I do like to keep it lower key and relaxing. It does not take much to please me and anytime I get to see my family, no matter what we are doing, it is so special to me. Making time to see family should be a priorty in our lives because it does so much good for our hearts.