Springtime in the Garden State :: The Castellanos

For those who know me best, it's no secret that I'm a Jersey girl, born and raised. And for all the dicey things people have to say about the Garden State, there's an entire portion that most people never know about the place I call home sweet home! 

I love going back and driving aimlessly across the back roads and farm lands of Hunterdon and Warren Counties. Windows down, sun roof open, playlist blaring... the memories of growing up in this little secret pocket of the U.S. flood back to me and make me smile. 

My husband, of course, does not share this view of New Jersey. The fact that you cannot pump your own gas and can very seldom make left-hand turns is enough to overshadow the rolling hills, open farmland, and shaded back roads lined with 200-year old cottages and homes alongside bubbling brooks.

Eh - to each their own, I suppose! 

I returned for a brief visit to New Jersey this past weekend to catch up with my wonderful mother (whom I lovingly call Babs) since I wouldn't be able to see her on Mother's Day. Visits home usually incorporate impromptu photo shoots, and this visit was no different. 

A dear friend who has been  a huge part of my family's life for... well, as long as I can remember (and probably more than she'd care to admit) now has a little family all her own and I jumped at the opportunity to photograph her two gorgeous little ones, Julian and Adeline. 

Kristin was a childhood playmate - getting in trouble with us nearly as often as she got us in trouble. We were the rebel rousers as kids - the ones that everyone in the neighborhood didn't want their kids to play with. Kristin's mom was a brave one and let her enjoy journeys into the woods for turtle hunting, slightly off-road bike rides, and backyard slumber parties on our giant trampoline. So to see her now wrangling her own set of delightful adventurers was such an incredible pleasure for me, and kind of brought things full circle. 

Growing up in New Jersey is certainly an adventure all its own, but one thing is certain: it turns out some pretty awesome individuals (if I do say so myself). 

Thanks Kristin for allowing me the privilege to capture these moments in your children's lives. I hope it's a tradition that can continue long into the future! 

Photos were captured at the Raritan Inn on Route 513 in Califon, with permission from the Inn Keepers; and Voorhees State Park on Route 513 in High Bridge. 

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