Deirdre Giumetti, a.k.a. Yummygal, is behind the wheel of her Buick Enclave, heading east from her home in Woodstown.
"I love this," she says, as Route 40 unfurls across the rolling Salem County landscape under a gauzy winter sky. "It's a different world down here."
We're on our way to Daretown Lake in Upper Pittsgrove, a favorite among "Yummygal's South Jersey Adventures."
That's the title of Giumetti's Facebook page, where thousands of visitors click and comment on her eclectic, entertaining, and enlightening posts about the Garden State's better half.
"They're people who realize the same thing I've realized: that it's actually beautiful," says Giumetti, 33, who grew up in Brooklawn and Mount Laurel. "South Jersey isn't what [outsiders] think it is."
As an outsider who's now an insider - I've lived in South Jersey more than half my life - I couldn't agree more. The unpretentiousness, amenities, underappreciated scenery, and sheer variety of everything in this, my adopted homeland, are a pleasure.
And for a columnist, South Jersey is a gift that keeps on giving.
"South Jersey has a personality," Giumetti says. "It has a flavor."
Yummygal's nickname arose from her devotion to fine dining. Her South Jersey sojourns began not long after her son, Rocco, now 3, was born.
Weary of being home all day with the baby, Giumetti started taking him, along with her friends, to unusual local places such as Atlantic County's "lost town," Amatol.
She also began to chronicle these outings on a blog (southjerseyexplorer.com) and then on Facebook.
More recently, Giumetti researched, took photographs, wrote, and self-published A Guidebook to Beautiful Salem County, NJ, and Vincentown - a Picture Book.
"I never thought this little hobby I like to do would get as big as this," says Giumetti, whose laugh is as hearty as her online persona. Yummygal is a proud Jersey girl, hometown cheerleader, history buff, and "huge" nerd.
"I have a lot of goodies planned for you this year," she tells readers in a Jan. 9 post.
"I do not claim to be Mrs. Grammar when it comes to this blog," Giumetti continues. "I write for fun, so I do apologize if things aren't all that 'proper.' This blog is about having a great time and showing folks what is out there in South Jersey."
The blog is a showcase for Giumetti's longer, historical pieces, including posts about the West Deptford amusement park called Soupy Island and Riverview Beach Park in Pennsville.
Her latest: a lively overview of the history of Gloucester City. "Billy's old train trestle can be found off River Drive in Westville at low tide," she writes in a typical caption about the city's legendary unelected politician boss and businessman, "Billy the Duke."
"I'm not a historian. I don't get too technical," Giumetti says.
The occasional complaint aside, "I get a lot of nice e-mails and messages from people," she adds. "That's kind of what keeps me going."
On Facebook, Giumetti mixes the history posts with vintage and contemporary photos, videos, "fun facts about South Jersey," quick hits about bizarre roadside landmarks, and other recurring features that reflect her unabashed enthusiasm for this part of the world.
"There's such a variety of landscapes in such a small area," says Giumetti, who also has a 9-month-old daughter, Gabrielle. Her husband, Michael, is a physical-therapy assistant.
"You can always find something new," she continues. "Honestly, I'll just look at a map and pick out neat streets I want to check out. I end up finding really, really cool stuff."
Giumetti says being the mother of two little ones makes it tough to post as much and as often as she would like.
Nevertheless, her goal is to set up a local tour business so paying customers can come along on some of her adventures.
"South Jersey is a little kooky," Giumetti says. "That's what makes us fun."