Why I Love Port Jefferson, NY

Why I Love Port Jefferson, NY

Come visit Port Jefferson -- you'll love it!
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I have spent all of my life in Port Jefferson, a village in New York.

I grew up in Port Jefferson Station which just means "south of the railroad tracks" I've lived in other towns nearby: Centereach, Rocky Point, Coram and Sound Beach.

They were all nice towns, but none of them could hold a candle to Downtown Port Jefferson.

Port Jefferson was first settled in the 17th century. It remained a rural community until its development as an active shipbuilding center in the mid-19th century. There is a lot of history in Port Jefferson which makes it very quaint. There are 300 year old Victorians everywhere you look when you go downtown. There are cute little cafes like Tiger Lily, and Toast that serve delicious wraps. There are waterfront seafood restaurants like Schafer's,and the Fifth Season, with outside decks upstairs and Danford's,with the Wave restaurant outside on the deck by the docks, where you can dine with a great water view.

Port Jefferson is a destination for tourists, especially with the convenience of Port Jefferson-Bridgeport ferry. On summer weekends, the town is jam packed and you better make a reservation to eat, otherwise you will wait for hours. There is Pie, a gourmet pizza joint, C'est Cheese, a wine and cheese restaurant and GBB,(as locals call it) the Gourmet Burger Bistro. For beer, there's Billy's,which is like a college bar, Darin's Port, which is a dive bar and behind Starbucks there is Portside Bar and Grill. and for classy cocktails there is Arden, which is above Starbucks.

In the winter, they have the Charles Dickens Festival where people form the local churches volunteer to dress up in Victorian period clothing. They have horse drawn carriages and people selling hot cider on the street. It literally feels like you are stepping back in time.

Port Jefferson has become a destination. Sometimes growing up so close to it, I lose my appreciation for it until I bring visitor's from another state there and they are so in awe of the quaintness of it and love it so much they want to come back as soon as possible! That's my kind of town!

Cover Image Credit: Kim Gromer

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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8 Reasons Maryland Deserves a Visit, Hon

Maryland is a small state, but it has a big personality.

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Maryland has so much to do, from the beaches on the East coast to the mountains on the western border. These are just 8 of many reasons our state is worth a visit!

1. It is the best place to eat Maryland Crabs.

I hope you like Old Bay!

2. Ocean City, MD has so much to do!

You can lay on the beach, go swimming, play a game of mini golf, walk on the boardwalk, play carnival games, ride carnival rides, go to clubs (if you are of age), and have the best french fries of your life ('sup Thrashers) all in one place!

3. You can visit Assateague Island off of the coast of Maryland and Virginia.

There are wild horses on an island off of the coast of Maryland and Virginia, 'nough said!

4. Baltimore's Inner Harbor is full of good eats and fun activities.

You can simply walk around the Inner Harbor, ride the paddle boats, tour a submarine, go to the aquarium, or ride the Spirit of Baltimore all in the same general vicinity.

5. You can visit the National Harbor in Prince George's County.

There is so many things to do here. You can ride the huge ferris wheel with enclosed cars, ride a mechanical bull at the Cadillac Ranch, visit the MGM Grand Casino and the big Gaylord Hotel.

6. Sugar Loaf Mountain is a great place to go hiking.

7. Great Falls is also a great location to visit!

You can visit Great Falls on either the Maryland or Virginia side. It's like a mini Niagara Falls.

8. You can root for the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.

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