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Jersey Shore, United States
In case any of my friends or family members actually read this Blog, please consider all Names, Characters, Places and Incidents to be the product of the author's imagination and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales are entirely COINCIDENTAL...Muaaah!! Now, really, about me: I bring the crazy wherever I go, so I've been told...I make fun of myself more than anyone else ever could. I hate: the awkward silence in elevators, watches with no numbers, picky eaters, Cancer and legalism. I love: coffee, stalking Hugh Jackman, my Spanx, COMMENTS, sarcasm and writing: Middle Grade, NA, YA Paranormal and Urban Fantasy.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A-Z Challenge and "A"way We Go!!

Today I will be highlighting Allentown, New Jersey 
Today is the very first day of the 2015 A-Z Challenge and I'm so excited to get started on my theme: a journey around my home state of New Jersey. I chose this as my theme because I have had one too many people complain to me over the years about how could I make my home in such an industrial, ugly and smelly** state. Unfortunately for most people the only exposure they have ever had to my beautiful state was either (1) having had a layover/flight canceled in Newark and they got stuck in the airport there or (2) they viewed some unsavory footage of New Jersey on an awful reality TV show. Friends, I'd like to show you why I love New Jersey and change your opinion about why I choose to live here. So, away we go!!


Take a peak at: The Ashford Estate.
Just one of many historic homes typical of Allentown.
I heard rumors that the AE is open to the public and can be used as a wedding venue now.
Did you know New Jersey has just about everything? Our little state has beautiful white sand beaches, lighthouses, gorgeous mountains, ski slopes, rivers, lakes, forests, boardwalks, vibrant cities, quaint little towns, mad history, aquariums, casinos, shopping galore, vineyards and farm land. Yep, New Jersey has all that and more. There is always something to do or somewhere cool to visit in the "Garden State"!  I'd like to visit some of those places with you and prove why I am not nuts to love  New Jersey. First up on our list to visit: Allentown. It's in Monmouth County, which is located roughly in the middle of the state.

This is a picture of  the Old Mill, as you first come onto Main Street
 Allentown is a small, quaint little town I love to go. It was founded in 1706, by Nathan Allen, where he built three mills on York Street. A colonial, country village developed around those three mills. One of those mills still stands to this day! This adorable, historic town draws me and my family to visit multiple times a year because of it's...rich history, great restaurants, unique shops, antiques and great walking trails. Although, I have to say my favorite thing to do there is to stroll down main street and/or attend one of the many festivals Allentown hosts throughout the year, like their Fall Fest.


If you like to walk or mountain bike,
Allentown has tons of spots to go with many nature trails surrounding Mill Creek. 

My favorite  restaurant in Allentown used to be this little German place called The Black Forest. It was literally inside the old mill. Sadly, it's closed down :(    Never fear, I have another great restaurant to recommend. The place to eat in Allentown now would have to be La Piazza. It's a casual Italian restaurant with everything from a full sit down menu to awesome take out brick oven pizza. The food is always fresh and good and the prices are fair and reasonable. My favorite thing to eat: as soon as you are seated they bring over this amazing dipping oil and nice, hot, thick slices of Italian bread to your table. I could make a meal of just that. (Warning: do not be like Jaybird and ruin many outfits by making a pig out of yourself and dripping that oil down the front of every darn shirt you have!)

There are a few shops you can still visit, right inside the mill.

I hope you enjoyed your first stop. If anyone has any questions or has actually visited any of the places on my tour of New Jersey- or better yet has any suggestions of any places you'd like to see highlighted, I'd absolutely LOVE to hear from you!!!! 

** FYI- as much as it pains me to admit this, it's true that Newark does smell. Especially around the airport. There are a lot of industrial buildings and smoke that makes for unpleasant breathing conditions. So I do understand why people tell me NJ is ugly and smells if their only exposure to it is the area surrounding the airport. Please don't let that stop you from visiting our beautiful state. There is so much more here than what initially meets the eye (and nose...)

30 comments:

  1. I grew up next store to you in NYC and still didn't know how beautiful NJ was till I lived in Morristown for a few months before I left the East Coast for the West Coast. Lovely post.

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    1. Morristown is beautiful place to live! Funny, I was born on the East Coast, went out to the West Coast as a young adult and ended up coming right back where I started here in the East. Although there are some things I do still miss about living in California- I have made the East Coast my permanent home. I couldn't imagine ever leaving here now. Thanks for commenting!!

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  2. Now I'm hungry for bread!
    Dig the Old Mill.

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    1. Oh man Alex that bread is so good I seriously start drooling just thinking about it. When the kids were little, they used to say- "Can we go to that oily place?" Funny how that's what sticks in the mind!!

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  3. I've never been to New Jersey but if I do go, Allentown will be on the top of my list of places to visit while I'm there.

    -Chrys Fey
    Tremp’s Troops - A to Z Co-co-host
    Write with Fey

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    1. Hey Chrys!! Thanks for stopping in. Allentown is a great place to visit. Hope you do get a chance to come to NJ one day.

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  4. I'm all strapped in and already enjoying my trip around your state! Mmm... dipping oil.

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    1. YAY!! Thanks for coming along for the ride Nick. That dipping oil is dangerous. Once you have one bite, you're hooked. There is no turning back after you've tasted it!! So delicious.

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    1. Hi Susan!! Yes, I am a huge history geek. I love places like Allentown that are so old school and retains that amazing sense of community from long ago. Truly a great place to visit.

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  6. New Jersey is one state I have never visited except for flying into and changing flights. But I guess that doesn;t really count. One day though we'll visit and stop to smell the flowers of the Garden State.

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    1. YES!! Please do. That's what most people's experience is, a change in flight. There is so much more here than meets the eye. It's a great place to visit and live.

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  7. I've only been to New Jersey once, driving through to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. My good friend is from Trenton. My Blog Challenge theme is Wyoming, so it looks like we're both giving shout outs to our states! Happy blogging!

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    1. Hi Luana!! Thanks so much for stopping by. I am excited to see what you have to post about Wyoming- that is one state I literally know nothing about. I can't wait to stop in and check out your A-Z!!

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  8. I hope New Jersey appreciates the ambassadorial work you're doing for your home state. I, too, have only been through New Jersey, but remember thinking it was much nicer than popular culture had led me to believe. Good luck with the A to Z challenge! (From Tremp's Troops and Balancing Act: http://samanthabryant.com)

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    1. Hi Samantha!! I should get a commercial spot for tourism right? LOL I am happy to promote my state for something other than the awful advertising that reality tv has done for us, like The Jersey Shore and The Real Housewives. It's embarrassing. I want people to know we aren't all like that here!!

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  9. I love history! I'd love to come wander your state and see it all.

    (On the bright side, you could be from WV where people assume we're all about the incest and clan rallies. We just thank God we have Mississippi and Alabama, so they can be brunt if some of the jokes.)

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    1. Elizabeth if you ever came here I would love to take you out on the town!! I think we would have a ball :)

      I have been to West Virginia on several occasions. The mountains and landscape I saw there was absolutely breath-taking. However- I have to admit I met a few natives that creeped me out. For instance, my first impression/meeting of these two guys was this- they were wearing overalls (with no shirt underneath and a ton of belly hanging out the sides) they had taken a living room sofa and drug it out to sit on their front porch, and even though it was only 8:15 in the morning, they were well into their first 12-pack. Needless to say, they left quite an impression on me. :)

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  10. Great start to A-to-Z! I've never been to NJ before, but based off just this post, it looks beautiful...

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    1. Heather!! How are you? Thanks for stopping in for my tour of NJ. I hope you get a good sense of why I love it here.

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  11. I would love to see some of the houses in person! The pictures are great, but I'm sure more wonderful in person!

    betty

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    1. Hey Betty!! One of my favorite things to do at Christmastime is take house tours. The houses are all decked out and it's so amazing to check out all of the old architecture/history that goes along with those homes.

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  12. Hi there!
    I’m stopping by during the A to Z Challenge. I enjoyed stopping by and hope you get the chance to check out my blog sometime during this month. I’m a children’s book author and I’m reviewing different books. Good luck with the challenge!
    Take care,
    Donna L Martin
    www.donnalmartin.com
    author THE STORY CATCHER
    coauthor CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL: ANGELS AMONG

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    1. Hi Donna. Thanks for taking the time to come and check out my first A-Z post. I really appreciate it. I will be making my way around and will stop in and check out your A-Z posts as well!! Best of luck with the book reviews.

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  13. Oh, darn, you're talking about Allentown, New Jersey. I spent a good 15 years in Allentown, Pennsylvania. I didn't even know, until I read your blog, that there even was an Allentown, New Jersey! However, it looks just fascinating! Thank you for showcasing it for us all. :-) I hope to learn more about your home state as the month goes on.

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  14. Aw, Tammy so sorry to trick you. That's one of the reasons I highlighted this Allentown- because Billy Joel never sung about this one! :)

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  15. I love the look of Allentown. The Ashford Estate is beautiful!

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  16. Just discovered your A to Z theme. I know a little about NJ as all of my daughters left CA to live in your state and now it looks like they're pretty well settled in for good. Now I visit NJ at least once a year and we take in a few sites every time I'm there. Got another visit coming up this summer!

    I'll have to check out all of your A to Z posts. This first one is a good one. Don't recall visiting Allentown yet so maybe I'll have to put this one on my to do list.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Join us on May 4 with your post of Reflections about this year's A to Z.
    Tossing It Out

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