Monday, November 21, 2011

Coffee Shop Craze!

The holidays are approaching and most of us are busy thinking of the many, many things we have to do – groceries for the big meals coming up, shopping for presents, preparing for parties, decorating the house, the list goes on and on. And this is all on top of the normal routine and responsibilities.

There are all kinds of ways to make the holidays easier, but one thing I try to do is get a little time away from it all to relax, breathe, treat myself, and indulge in some uninterrupted writing.

My favorite place to do that? A coffee shop.

Starbucks in the first place that comes to mind for most people, but I must admit it isn’t my go-to place. The music is too loud. I can’t think in there, whether I’m trying to write or simply figure out the next item on my shopping list. And there’s just something about the atmosphere (Yep, I’m one of those touchy-feely kind of people!). The high noise level and kind of hectic pace creates a pressure inside me, instead of letting me relax.

What I really love is any place that feels casual (and I’m not above one of those girly café places either). Music is fine, but at a background rather than screaming level, friendly employees, and I must admit, I’m a sucker for a delicious-looking (and tasting) bakery section. Panera (the pictures below were taken there), Barnes and Nobles (which oddly enough is a Starbucks but without the Starbucks atmosphere), and a few local eateries that don’t mind people hanging out. If I can’t get to one of those, I’ll settle for Atlanta Bread Company or Books-A-Million (our local one can’t seem to regulate the temp in their building).

This time away is about pampering myself, and that usually means a hot drink (cocoa is preferable, but occasionally flavored coffees) and a sugary indulgence. I love to sip, nibble, breathe, and think. Soak it all in, regain some sense of equilibrium, and prepare myself to jump back in the race once more – no matter what time of the year it is!

So, if you had an hour to just relax at a coffee shop, what would you order?


PS. SP is blogging on the Desire blog again. Join her to share your favorite Thanksgiving recipes.


Smarty Pants said...

You know, I never do this. Not really since PC and I used to do yoga, then go to Starbucks. I've plotted there, but never really tried to write outside of home or the office, excluding the occasional writing retreat. Maybe I should...

I guess part of the reason is that I don't drink coffee and the last thing I need is a display of pastry tempting me. But if I could have anything, it would be Starbucks's caramel apple cider and a chocolate croissant. Yum.

Playground Monitor said...

I get hot tea and a scone.

Starbucks is trying to drive away lingerers. In NYC they've even closed their bathrooms. I've gone to Books a Million and also to Panera and Atlanta Bread Company to write. But the lure of the pastry is so strong. The library is perfect -- silent and no pastry smells. But they don't serve tea. :-(

Instigator said...

I usually end up at our Starbucks, although ours is so small that no matter where I go I'm in the middle of traffic. I just pop in my headphones, duck behind my computer screen and block everyone else out.


Playground Monitor said...

Oh yeah. iPod and earbuds. They are a must wherever I go to write. I use instrumental new age music to block out the world.

Angel said...

Ugh! I really needed a trip to the coffee shop today. Got lots done, but none of it writing, and I'm facing a week with lots of family time. I know that sounds great to other people, but I've got NaNo to finish!!!! I'm at almost 32,000 words people -- do you know what that means? ;)