I spent the last week in denial about school starting but considering my first class of junior year is only hours away, I've checked back into reality. I just wanted to catch up with you guys since it's been a while since I posted. I spent a week out of work for a little stay-cation and found a few hidden gems around NJ. I'm always the first person complaining about Jersey being boring but I found there are things to do you just have to look and be willing to drive. I'm a believer of "Saturdays are for adventure. Sundays are for brunch." It just works. I checked hiking off my summmer to-do list and visited the South Mountain Reservation. I got lost getting there and getting out but it was a great experience. The incline was a good workout and I found the perfect sunset spot. If you're not afraid of a little nature, I definitely recommend a visit throughout the fall. Just make sure you make your way out before dark.
Brunch is one of my favorite things. I haven't even started having mimosas yet and I still get excited. My favorite brunch of my stayca was in New York. My brother found this amazing spot called Jacob's Pickles which I am counting down the days until we go back. It's located in the Upper West Side right on Amsterdam Ave. They specialize in comfort food, chicken and pancakes being their specialty but everything on the menu sounds and looks amazing! The serving size is huge, I took my pancakes and chicken home and managed to have some for every other meal. On a Sunday morning, the place was packed but they have a really convenient seating method...you give a number and they text you when your table is ready and you reply if you still want the table. I haven't seen many places use such an advanced method so claps for them.
If brunch isn't your thing, I also went back to one of Jersey's most famous delis- Hoagie Haven in Princeton. If you dont have plans to hit the gym in the near future, I would not suggest dining here. I got a Sanchez- a white roll with mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, french fries, and Sanchez sauce which I assumed to be a combo of kethcup and mayo. I felt a litte guilty but it was soooo good! The area is really cute so go for a walk and check out the shops. I found a hidden thrift shop in the back of some buildings, Nearly New Shop. If you like deals, stop by! They change out clothes every season so you'll definitely find something you love.
My next little adventure day took me out to North Jersey. I had no idea there was such thing as a sunflower maze but I found three! The first one was in Sparta @ Andersen Farms. The idea is simple- enter a maze full of sunflowers and find your way out! I'm a punk so when I heard that, I was scared I would get stuck and never find my way out but it wasnt hard at all. They give you a list of things to find and theres a hidden message in there but I gave up on that part. I was supposed to hit Liberty Farms but rain ruined that so we ended up driving a mile up the road and found The Layton Country Store Cafe. This is one of the most adorable restaurants I've been to. It has the feel of being in your grandparents' house and the staff is really sweet!