I always knew how beautiful Princeton was from my college years, but beyond that, when I thought of New Jersey, I pictured industry, smoke stacks and just plain urban industrial blight. So years ago it was with great reluctance that I gave up my career to follow my husband to New Jersey.
Well, that was forty years ago, and you will have to drag me kicking and screaming away from this Garden State. We have beautiful beaches, extensive rich farm land, horse farms, mountains for skiing and thousands of acres of trails for hiking and horseback riding. In other words, it is a hidden paradise just a few miles away from the Big Apple and all of the culture that it affords.
We live in a town that overlooks where the Atlantic Ocean and Raritan Bay meet at Sandy Hook and its hills mark the highest point on the eastern seaboard of the U.S. south of Maine.
For thousands of years, the original inhabitants were the Lenape, who lived in and along the cliffs and creeks of Atlantic Highlands. Henry Hudson and his crew drank from our springs and the Lenape traded with the Europeans and sold a group of English settlers an area that covered the entire peninsula, making them the first European residents of our present day borough. From that our borough grew into a 1.2 square mile paradise of church tent camps and eventually picturesque Victorian homes nestled among the rolling bucolic hills.
Today, from its hills and bayside, the Manhattan skyline can been seen. Out from its harbor, which is the largest on the East Coast, sail pleasure, fishing and commuter boats.
So, let those Jersey Shore kids who are not from New Jersey at all, try to give us a black eye in the land of reality television. We who live here in paradise know better.