Last Saturday I returned home from a wonderful trip to Long Branch and Asbury Park, NJ with a stop in New York City. I would like to tell you about my trip and share some photos with you. However, I will share them in a few posts.
I woke up at 5:30 AM to catch the 6:15 AM train to Philadelphia – I swore the bus from Philadelphia to Asbury Park left at 8:10 AM – and when I arrived at Jefferson Station at 7 AM, I decided to charge my phone for a half an hour. It turns out that I memorized Saturday’s bus schedule (since I had a pressing need to be somewhere early on Saturday, I didn’t really have a pressing need to be in Asbury Park early on Wednesday, though I wanted to be there early); when I arrived at 7:30 AM to the bus station, the Asbury Park bus had just left at 7:25. The next one would leave at 9:15. Let me tell you, that left me feeling salty, but I went to Starbucks and hung out for an hour and a half.
I went back to the station at 9 AM, as not to miss the 9:15 bus, and I was greeted by pigeons. Pigeons are one of my favourite birds and I enjoyed watching them until it was time to board the NJ Transit bus. While I was feeling salty earlier, the bus driver I had for the 9:15 AM trip was very kind. He helped me with his luggage and when made one stop along the way, he made sure I was doing okay. It was a 3 hour, 50-minute bus ride with one bathroom break an hour away from Asbury Park. His kindness changed my saltiness to gratitude.
I arrived at Asbury Park on Wednesday, 25 July at around 1:15, right as my WRTI At Your Request’s request finished playing my request (yay! Water Music!). As soon as I exited the bus, the driver said to me, “we made it baby girl! Welcome!” He helped me with my luggage and he agreed to a selfie with me (I am going to add this to a travel album). I thanked him for everything and I was on my way.
The sun was out and I was happy that I could get to the beach eventually. I was hungry and saw that there was a café across the street from the transit center. The transit center even had gluten-free options and I ordered a gluten-free bagel with radish spread and avocados. As I was eating, a young woman sat down next to me and after I finished my bagel, we started to chat. She was from California, but living in New York City for a few months and handed me her card to keep in touch. I then started talking to someone else about the best way to get to Long Branch from Asbury Park. The young man suggested the New Jersey Transit app because I could buy tickets and check schedules. I followed his suggestion and I’m glad I did, but since I had luggage I ended up taking Lyft to the air bnb. I wanted to drop my luggage off before going to the beach in Long Branch (I decided that the Asbury Park beach was too far with luggage).
When I dropped off my luggage, I realized I wasn’t right next to the beach, I would have to walk. I texted Jared about if he knew the area and he gave me some directions. By that point, it was drizzling a bit, but I still wanted to check out the beach. The walk was only ten minutes and by the time I arrived at the beach, the rain had stopped. The water was rough from the storms and I could only go up to my waist. I still enjoyed the water for forty-five minutes and had fun playing with my GoPro. I took a few pictures, but I was cautious because I didn’t want my GoPro to be swept up by rough waves. The waves made me tired and that is why I decided to leave. I was also hungry. By the time I left the beach, it was raining.
After I situated myself back at my Air bnb, I looked up gluten-free dinner options and decided that I would take an impromptu trip to New York City for a delicious dinner and walk around, I wanted to see the city at night. I was only a two-minute walk from the train station and since I could order tickets on the NJ Transit app, I booked the 6:33 train to New York City. I loved riding through New Jersey, I even passed South Amboy, where Jared lives. I texted him a picture of the station, but he wasn’t home at the time (he wish he was), but he was glad I was exploring New York City. I loved looking at Northern Jersey through the train window.
I was in New York City by 7:45 and at Friedman’s at 8. I decided to eat at Friedman’s since it was close to Penn Station and they had gluten-free Reubens. I was dying for a Reuben since I hadn’t been able to eat them since going gluten-free. Let me tell you, it was delicious! The dining experience at Friedman’s was amazing, the waitstaff was attentive and helpful, and the restaurant wasn’t expensive for NYC ($30 for the Reuben with French fries, a lemonade, and a gluten-free brownie to go). I loved my waiter and he agreed to a picture that I could put into my Happiness Box.
New York City is gorgeous at night. I decided to walk around Madison Square Garden and the experience at night was awesome. New York is truly a city that never sleeps. I saw a statute of lego humans and murals around Madison Square Garden. I asked a young man in a Wu Tan Clan shirt to take my photo in front of the Madison Square Garden sign, then he agreed to a selfie for the Happiness Box. I visited some shops and took photos of some of the interesting statues in the area. I am glad I could visit the shops and see the sights before it started to pour. When I was walking to Penn Station to head back to Long Branch, it started pouring. I arrived in Long Branch at midnight, I fell asleep with the sound of pouring rain hitting against the window.