This summer we were going to venture out on a 25-city, four-week tour of Europe, but we just felt like the whole spending-money-like-a-rap-star thing was really played out.
OK, so the 2012 summer budget really only allowed for sitting in front of the A/C eating a pint of ice cream.
Turns out we are in the minority, because AAA travel club reports that the number of Americans traveling has been on a slow and steady increase for the last two years. AAA's travel data from July 4 of this year showed a 4.9 increase from last year for people trekking more than 50 miles from home to celebrate.
"Americans are still in love with their vacations and they are finding ways to finance those vacations despite the slow-growing economy," said Cythina Brough, director of public relations for AAA's national office. Brough said that travelers these days are looking for value and economy, however they personally define it.
Many residents of Verona and Cedar Grove traveled to different points along the Jersey Shore, but what people may not know is that there are plenty of great places to enjoy your summer within the townships.
Of course, the community pools offer a great place to take a nice refreshing dip or just enjoy the atmosphere, read a book and get a tan.
If its nature you are looking for, then make sure you check out different parks and reservations in town. Verona Park offers a nice place to walk your dog, take a stroll or take your kids to the playground.
Reservations, such as Hilltop and Mills reservation, make a great spot for a bit more of a woodsy hike. Hilltop Reservation is the most recent addition to the Essex County Park System, covering 284 acres and stretching between Cedar Grove, Verona, Caldwell and North Caldwell. The reservation features hiking trails and wildlife.
Mills Reservation covers 157 acres in Cedar Grove, with preserved open spaces, walking trails and a scenic views looking out over Newark and parts of New York City on a clear day.
Now we know you probably can't top our pint of ice cream experience, but on the off chance you actually traveled outside your kitchen this summer, we'd love to see the photos and live vicariously through them.
Maybe you went to the beach, or the mountains, or our personal fave, a cross-country tour of our finest frozen dessert factories.
No matter where you went, inside or outside your Patch, share your photos here so we can get inspired for next year.