Off to Ringwood we go.

We took a trip to New Jersey, a seemingly curious choice for a vacation, a trip to Ringwood, NJ, to be precise. To a turn of the century castle that caught our attention and became our destination. A fifty-four room grand, granite Tudor Revival mansion that would be at this time of the year virtually empty. And the frosting on the cake was that the castle is set in the state's one thousand acre Botanical Gardens. I'm smiling as I write this. And there is nothing like taking a trip to the Old World without a passport and without having to get on a plane.

Click through for images of the Castle and gardens:

I will admit the castle would not be everyone's cup of tea. Updates in bathrooms were sorely needed and if they were to have served airplane food for breakfast it would have been a vast improvement to what was actually served. But, the romantic side of us was fully absorbed in the grand, old world architecture, the vast formal gardens and the beauty in the dusting of snow that blanketed us on our first night. To be tucked away far from the maddening crowd was a pleasure in this ancient and nearly empty castle, and to be inspired visually with camera in hand was a huge bonus. 

We also took an excursion from Ringwood to Hope, PA and to Lambertville, NJ, driving along the Delaware Water Gap taking the back roads and scenic drives. We usually set our GPS to "no highway" when we travel, always willing to trade off speed for beauty and discovery. I don't think any adventures can be had on a highway, and it often is the road less travelled that is the most rewarding no matter where you go.

Click through for images of New Hope, PA and Lambertville, NJ: