Finding It Right In Your Own Backyard



Hello sweet friends!  If you follow me on Instagram (which is my most favorite social media ever, and I am always over there!), you know that this summer we took a big old trip to Europe.  It was amazing.  We traveled to several countries and saw amazing things and had an amazing time together.  But this is not about that (coming soon though – so many pictures to sort through!).

You see, these pictures were not taken in Tuscany, which was my dream.  To frolic through a field of sunflowers in Tuscany. And of course, I arrived there on a bike with the cutest dress on.  However, when we were in Tuscany, all of the sunflowers were dead.

So sad.

These pictures were taken about 30 minutes from our home in the good ol’ “Garden State” of New Jersey.

I interrupt this story about sunflowers to remind you that we are still running a sale in our shop until Monday at 11pm, EST!  I just wanted to make sure you didn’t miss out in case you need maple syrup, lovelies for your home or gifts!




Okay, back to sunflowers!




As amazing and beautiful as our trip was, I came back with a renewed sense of love for the good ‘ol US of A.   Seeing so many beautiful places in Europe made me want to see all the amazing places in the US I have never seen.  We live in a beautiful country and I am so very thankful for that.

So, imagine my delight that two days after we returned, I was driving to a family event and I found an endless field full of sunflowers.

And although I was not riding a bike, my dress was pretty cute!




Traveling the world is an amazing thing to do and I hope we never stop doing it. I think we planted a seed with our older daughter, she will be back.  She loved London.  She was smitten in Paris.    She will want to see the world.

I still want to see so many places all around our globe.

But I am going to start right here in the beautiful state of New York.  And the whole Northeast is on my target.  And to all my beautiful friends in the south, what do I need to see there?  I have never seen any of the Midwest and I only saw the West Coast in a blip of trip when I was 12.

So. Much. To. See.





Our trip to Europe was a dream come true.  We saved for years for it.  We used every single travel point possible that Dana earned while traveling all of those years.   The chances of a trip like that happening on that scale again are small.

But, for now, I am okay with that.  I will always dream of the Almafi coast and I will continue to watch Under the Tuscan Sun over and over again (best movie ever!).  I will dream of seeing the countryside of French like a local and riding a bike through the cobble stone streets.

Le Sigh.

It gets me even right now.  So much beauty.




In the meantime, I am going to learn more about where I live and see more of what is right in my own backyard.  I want to start googling my area like a tourist and seeing what they see.  Right over the border in Pennsylvania, there are the most beautiful waterfalls you can imagine.  I have been once in the fifteen years since we have lived here.

This is the start of changing that.




There is this once road in our area, that when you hit the peak of the hill, you see our whole valley in all of its glory.  I will capture that picture someday, but in the meantime, I will always drive that way to make sure to take it all in.  I will sigh at all of the beauty right where we live.

I live an hour from NYC and hardly go there.  People travel from all of the world.   We are going to change that.

What about you?  What are you missing right in your own backyard?




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10 thoughts on “Finding It Right In Your Own Backyard”


  1. Ive just moved to Pa. From Orange County ny and plan to see all the sites! Such a beautiful area! And then we will expand from there…I stop at rest stops for tourist info everywhere I travel and have a big basket full of future trips all along the east coast!

  2. Hi Laura, Glad to hear you had an amazing summer! Come to Boston, or better yet to the North Shore. Salem, Ma during October, Rockport during the summer and early fall, you will not be disappointed 🙂
    Wishing you happy travels where ever you go.

  3. We live in Connecticut and it is a beautiful but very, very, very expensive state. We have been looking to move south to a warmer climate. When we drove down south and saw the Blue Ridge Mountains, we had to pull over because they truly took our breath away. It is absolutely beautiful! I would love to drive to California one day so I can see more of America.

  4. Amen to enjoy the USA! I have lived in Ca. all my life and STILL haven’t seen everything! There is just so much to do. My family tries to travel to at least one new place every summer or if we go somewhere we have been before, see something new in that place. There is so much beauty here to enjoy! If you ever come to CA., let me know!

  5. I totally agree on touring your own state. I’ve lived in Wisconsin my entire life…and I know there are places I’ve yet to see. Wisconsin is beautiful in the fall…hint, hint! 😉

  6. The next time you make it down to the south, you need to go to the gulf coast. The beaches there are so beautiful! Sugar, white sand that just begs for a long walk.

  7. Very well said. I felt that way for a very long time. My dad traveled but as he got older he would say Michigan has so many different areas that are so beautiful that he didn’t need to leave the state. I’m surprised when we travel that sometimes we say if you didn’t know where you were you might think you were in Michigan. Except for the big mountains otherwise we have it all including water you can’t see the opposite shore. We are coming to NJ in a couple weeks for a wedding. Hope the leaves have started to change.

  8. So funny! I think I know where that field is! My really good friend is a photographer and she goes there every fall to take photos of people! We live right on the other side of the Delaware. I’m originally from Queens and we moved out to PA to have our kids be in a better, safer, school district. We do go back into the city at least once a year to see the tree and do all the fun Christmas things. Small world.

  9. What a great idea! I feel the same way about Michigan. It is an amazingly beautiful state. (Maybe we have that to nourish our souls because of the depressed economy here?) As I drive north through the center of our state, about an hour south of the Straits of Mackinac and that amazing 5 mile bridge that spans the Great Lakes to join our upper and lower peninsulas, there are hills that provide glorious views of valleys too. One view in particular takes my breath away every time I crest it to view the acres and acres of trees as far as can be seen. So yes, I do believe in finding and appreciating the treasures of your own state. Happy adventuring!

  10. Sounds like your trip was fabulous! If you ever get to Michigan, since you like riding bikes, I recommend Mackinaw Island. No cars allowed! You ferry over and the rest is up to you. You can just walk around and see all of the beautiful homes or you can rent bikes (or bring your own) and there are even horse and buggy’s which is so fun to see and ride and of course the Grand Hotel. I’m sure you’ve heard of the movie Somewhere In Time, which was filmed on the island at The Grand Hotel! A must see I think!