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New Jersey. As a New Yorker, I always said the best thing about New Jersey is the view of New York City. Hey, it is the light at the end of the tunnel, right? But after years visiting my college friends who call it home and spending summers at the Jersey Shore (not quite MTV style) I did start to change my mind.  Then I met Melissa through twitter.

Her writings and picture perfect Sunday’s started to further enlighten me about the other side of the Hudson River. She eloquently describes and displays the beauty of her home state on her blogs. And hey, it is the Garden State after all.

So I recently asked Melissa to share a view of New Jersey on my weekly Sunset Sunday: Thankfully, she agreed. Enjoy.

Since I’m from New Jersey (and proud of it), you know that I’ve pretty much heard all of the NJ jokes there are. I’ve also learned to smile and laugh politely when non-NJ folks ask me if I’ve ever pumped my own gas (of course I have) or what my exit is (Turnpike 9, Parkway 130).  It’s actually even kind of comical when people try to get me to say “water” or “coffee” to see I’ll speak with the so-called “Jersey” accent.

Yes, our jug handles make the roads a little confusing to navigate.  Yes, the 80s “mall hair” and scrunched socks trends lasted well beyond the 80s for many people living in NJ.   And yes, NJ has a ubiquitous presence on TV and the Internet these days, with the stars of MTV’s Jersey Shore (somehow) having become our primary representatives. So yes, I fully expect that the jokes will keep on coming.

the Parkway exit for Sandy Hook is 117

 

However, after catching the travel bug a few years ago, and learning to see the world through the eyes of a traveler, I’ve realized how much the state of NJ really has to offer.  NJ has a rich Native American history, and many significant Revolutionary War battles took place here – helping to secure the freedom and independence we know in this country today.  We have a diverse landscape including mountains, beaches, farms, and cities, and we have tremendous amounts of cultural opportunities.  NJ really is a true traveler’s destination and the perfect place to bring your wanderlust.

I took this sunset photo during my NJ travels, visiting the oldest operating lighthouse in our country, in Sandy Hook, NJ.  The grounds around the lighthouse, the Gateway National Recreation Area, is home to numerous endangered bird species and is a favorite location for beach goers, bird watchers, and photographers alike.  If you look closely, you can even see a bird, who calls Sandy Hook their home, in this photo.

-Melissa

Melissa Morris is the writer and editor behind the Jersey Girl and her own Melissa Morris blog. She can also be found on twitter t: @morriswrite. Her writings can make anyone (including me) start to appreciate one of the original 13 states – New Jersey.

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For Lisa and her family the world is calling. I can relate, it calls me too. And one thing I learned as I travel all over the world, the customs, culture, and cuisine may be different but shared experiences exist and unite.  One such experience is the sunset.

Lisa describes such a moment for us from the shores of Flathead Lake, Montana.

 

lakeside the family enjoys the magic of the moment...

 

I was born in Kalispell, just a stone’s throw from this gigantic lake—the biggest fresh water body west of the Mississippi—and have spent every summer of my life in the valley. We became waterlogged as kids, shivering with near-hypothermia (mountain lakes in these parts), convincing our cousins to jump in—com’on in, the water’s fine!—wincing as we walked barefoot, over rocks in colors of amber and indigo and eggplant. We hauled out logs and did our best to stand on top of the slippery, rolling, splintery masses. We crafted Tom Sawyer-like rafts and rode the waves until they sank.

Later, we learned to waterski and kneeboard. We put an old lounge chair on a pair of old skis and rode around on it. We tied together a string of inner tubes and hauled the parade forward, nearly drowning those in back under a wave of water. We dived and dunked and skinny dipped. Shivering, we’d huddle close to a bonfire as our swimming suits dried out. And we’d think about doing it all over again the next day.

This picture is one of my children and my cousins’ children, doing the same as we did. The torch has been passed, but the memories remain, as vivid as a brilliant, golden sunset.

-by Lisa Bergren

Lisa Bergren is the writer and editor behind The World is Calling, a travel blog for families. She can also be found on twitter t: @TheWorldCalls. The Bergrens live in Colorado, but travel to Montana every summer.

Happy Sunset Sunday.

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When I met Mark, he told me his photography carefree ‘salad days’ were behind him. Just as I was getting serious about my own travel pictures and images, he was telling me how difficult it can be to earn a living as a professional photographer.

But, now since he shifted some of his focus and placed more of his effort on his passion, I see a spark. Now that he has a new brand in “Where is Mr. Peabody?” I tend to think more of the joy similar to the excitement of his ‘salad days’ might again be in his future.

And as a fan of his work, I asked him to send in a sunset photo that also included his new passion – Horses. He describes the moment here.

cooling down the horses after a chase, the day slows...

My friend and farrier, Jimbo, invited me and my horse, Mr. Peabody, to come to Sandy Hill Quarter Horses to chase cows. Living in Upstate New York, this is as close as we can come to being cowboys living in the old west.

The object is to corner a cow and let him run alongside a wall then get in front of the cow and turn it back the other direction.  And all this on horseback. We enjoy the challenge and the horses love the game.

After 2 hours of cow chasing we are tired and sweaty and ready to head back on down the road. The horses are also tired and wet and need to be walked and cooled down before leaving. Before putting him into the trailer to leave, Jimbo took his fine horse Gator into an adjoining field, to walk and relax him.
This beautiful sunset replaced the summer thunderstorms that were in the area when we arrived. Jimbo and Gator enjoyed the end to a very nice day.
by – Mark Samu

Mark Samu is a fine art photographer. You can follow his tweets at @mr pea01, read his blog and view his photography on Where is Mr. Peabody.

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Originally, I started following Wendy on Twitter when I discovered a shared appreciation for Mexico. But when I started Sunset Sunday, she consistently posted photos of sunsets on Twitter. All of Lake Huron in Ontario, Canada. I wondered what made the lake and location so special?

Well, I asked her share a photo and some memories. She agreed. Enjoy Wendy’s words and sunset moment.

Wendy enjoys the familiar view on Lake Huron...

Here I am again, sitting upon the rocks at the end of the pier, on the eastern shore of Lake Huron. This is the very spot I sat last night, the night before and it is where I will most likely be this time tomorrow night. I have sat upon these same grey rocks as a child, as a teenager, as a wife and now as a single mother with a daughter of my own. I have come here time and time again at the end of the day, for the beauty of the sunset.

Although my life has evolved and changed over time, I take a certain comfort in knowing I will see the same sun set each night. I feel like it somehow knows me, has seen me through my ups and downs, and always has this way of calming me from the inside out and reminding me of how great my life really is. Tonight’s sunset is no exception. Happy Sunset Sunday!

by – Wendy Greene

Wendy P Greene, a creative communication professional who blogs at Creatively Speaking and tweets at @WendyPGreene. Online, you can read about her professional adventures along with how she spends her time when she is not watching the sunset.

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