I took advantage of down time, casually reflecting on a flight to LAX.
Traveling is hard and stressful, no doubt about it. Security can take way too long but…. here I am!
It’s amazing how relaxing flights can be; once you’re in the air you don’t have much room to stress about what is going on down on land. It’s like I’m in my own corner of the world, just watching TV.
…but I’m flying through the stratosphere. Weirdly, it makes the emotions and anxiety worth it, to have time like this.
Every flight is different: some are relieving but some are hell; the emotions range from time of day, to who you’re sitting around. Right now the key is hydration (no mater how in the mood I am for a coffee). I’ve had the most water I ever have on a flight (wooo!!!) and I have a carry on hand cream and all that jazz. If i can knock out some of the dehydration to come that’d be great, because to have anything on top of jet lag is not ideal.
Finally it’s starting to hit me where I’m going (see here). Look at me being so optimistic!!!!!! (when next, I have a 7 hour layover and three more flights)! Emotions are weird let me tell you!!!
In the lines of coming to terms with my departure (where am I going?? check this out), I felt the need to stop by some of my favorite places while at home.
They range from cats to coffee (my two loves), enjoy!
1.Catsbury Park – Asbury Park, NJ.“Catsbury Park” is a word play on the town it resides in, Asbury Park. It is a cat cafe that opened up in Sept. 2017.
My impression from the beginning: the employees’ main concern was making the building clean and comfortable for the resident cats, while also showcasing them to help them find a permanent home. All the cats living there are adoptable, and are from local animal shelters around Monmouth County. Most of the cats get adopted within 2-3 weeks (which is insane).
The cafe is split into two parts: the cafe and the cat room. The cafe offers tea, coffee, snacks and soups, with some vegan and gluten free options. The cat room does have an admissions fee (current fees can be found here) but was totally worth it. Around the cafe, were signs mentioning exactly what the fee and anything purchased at the cafe is used for (an example is a 25$ t-shirt they sell, can feed and provide care for a cat for a whole week). They do recommend booking ahead as there is limited space in the cat room. All bookings can be made on their website.
Although, if you chose not to go into the cat room, the cafe is free to enter and you can easily view the cats while grabbing a hot drink to-go. The staff was very welcoming and really informative about each of the 17 cats’ personalities. Different areas of the room had a “Catsbury Park” take on well known Asbury landmarks (with some hidden spots for the cats too)! I found it really fun and relaxing to spend time surrounded by little bundles of energy (with occasional cuddles).
2.Crust & Crumble – Asbury Park, NJNext up is a pizza place and bakery located just down the street from Catsbury Park. An awesome fact is they have an entire vegan menu with loads of options.They do have a massive regular menu as well, serving pizza, sandwiches, pasta, etc. I found the atmosphere to be warm with a retro feel (very Asbury Park-like).aaaaaaaand the pizza is to-die for, just saying.
3.Rook Coffee – Multiple locations throughout the Jersey Shore. Once you are hooked on Rook, well… you’re hooked for life. Rook focuses on quality, simplicity and experience. The menu is very straightforward, and I now understand why people are so obsessed. Their stores do not have seating areas, as they revolve around a more upbeat, on the go environment. Personally, I prefer a less sweet, stronger coffee-taste and they never disappoint; they always give a flavorful cup of coffee.
4.Broad Street Dough Co. – Oakhurst, NJ Come here if you want fresh, cake-y donuts, with options that will blow your mind. A majority of the menu is vegan, or does have vegan substitutions. Each time I visit, there are new specials displayed behind the counter. They also create custom doughnut concoctions for special occasions (their website can be viewed here).Let me remind you.
They are made fresh to order.
Although I created this blog to document my time abroad, I felt my at-home preparation is important to fill in the gaps of my personal story.
I am looking forward to documenting my journey. All of the support so far has been amazing, so thank you.