Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Oregon Coast .. goodbye West Coast :(

IMG_20160821_210119And it's already our last day here IMG_20160822_195707 on the West Coast. Where did the last 8 days go? Time always flies by so fast when you are having fun. 

We left Portland on Sunday morning and headed to the coast. When we made it to the ocean it was still a bit cloudy but the weather improved quickly and the clouds gave way to sun. Such pretty scenery. 

We did some wine tasting and after headed to Yaquina Head Lighthouse where we checked out a couple of trails and took loads of pictures. Such a pretty area. 

Later we had lunch at the brewpub at Rogue Brewery before checking in at our hotel (just a Days Inn..  had gotten used to the Air B&Bs we had in Seattle and Portland which were much nicer of course) Walked down to the main street to check out the various shops and restaurants. What a funky town. 

Monday we left Newport and continued up to Cannon Beach. On the way we checked out the Three Cape Scenic Route which was very pretty. Cape Kiwanda, Cape Lookout and Cape Meares. Saw the Lighthouse at Cape Meares and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. Also stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory (yummy samples!!)

Once we got to Cannon Beach we had lunch at the Pelican Brewery. And walked up and down the main street to look at all the shops. Very cute and quaint town. Did some more wine tasting and eventually had a nice relaxed dinner. 

This morning we walked along the beach for a bit, out to Haystack Rock. Cool and breezy but really pretty. Now at lunch at the Wayfarer Inn. Had the most delicious double cheese (asiago on the outside, cheddar on the inside] melt with avocado, tomato and bacon & garlic fries. So yum. Now just sitting, sipping on my glass of Pinot Gris, looking out at the ocean.

I so do not want to leave. Of course we will have to make our way back to Seattle airport regardless after lunch. Well Oh well ..  until next time West Coast :)

 Letter/Mail Update: Received letters/owe replies to Jessica/DE and Carmen/Malta.  

Posted by Hanna at 04:55 PM in Beach, Food and Drink, Outdoors, Travel, Wine | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Portland, Oregon

IMG_20160820_114224Hello from Portland.

Thursday we went to the Museum of Flight in the morning. Neat museum with lots of exhibits. Afterwards we headed back into the city to take the ferry over to Bainbridge Island.

Managed to get the 12.20 ferry (35 min ride) so we were on the island by 1. Found a place on the water to have lunch  (Doc's Marina Grill) and later did some wine tasting, checking out the different tasting rooms along the main street. What a neat island. Had some tasty gelato and eventually  walked back to the ferry. 

Friday we left Seattle and made our way to Portland. Got here a bit after noon and took the Max Light Rail into downtown. Had a late lunch at a brewpub (Deschutes) followed by a visit to Powell's book store. What a neat store. 

Today we checked out the Japanese and Rose Gardens in Washington Park. Both very pretty. Then made our way to the waterfront where we had lunch outside. In the shade by the water the heat was tolerable. It's been a 100F (38C) but at least there is no humidity so much more tolerable than the heat on the East Coast. 

Tomorrow we are off to the Oregon coast for 2 more nights. This trip is definitely flying by way too fast. 

 Letter/Mail Update: Received letters/owe replies to Jessica/DE and Carmen/Malta.  

Posted by Hanna at 09:30 PM in Food and Drink, Outdoors, Travel, Wine | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Hello from Seattle

IMG_20160817_200013Already Thursday again. Time's flying by. Our alarm went off at 2.45 am on Tuesday so we could catch our morning flight to Seattle from Newark. The flight seemed to be never ending but we eventually made it to Seattle. Picked up our rental car and drove to the area where we were staying. We couldn't check in yet so we just parked the car and took the Light Rail to downtown to explore. 

Spent some time walking around Pike Place Market and had lunch at a really neat brewpub (Old Stove). After lunch we made our way over to Seattle Center via the monorail. Took some pictures of the Space Needle and went to the Experience Music Project museum. Such a cool place. Afterwards we headed back to Pike Place Market and hung out for a bit before meeting up with my friend Nina for dinner at Pike Place Brewing Company. Was great to meet up with Nina after writing letters for 10 years. Always neat to get to meet people in person. 

Yesterday, Wednesday, we drove north to the Boeing Factory for a tour. They bring you through the factory so you can see the planes being assembled and whatnot. It's really pretty neat. Such a huge complex too. They employ 40,000 people in that location alone. Pretty fascinating when you think about it. It's like a small city with their own fire department, police, coffee shops, cafes, daycares etc. 

After we were done at Boeing we headed back south again to Woodinville for lunch and some wine tasting. Had lunch at the Red Hook Brewpub and then went for wine tasting at Columbia Winery and Chateau Ste Michelle. Was happy to get to visit Chateau Ste Michelle as it is definitely one of my favorite wines. Neat to go to their tasting room after all these years. 

After we were done we fought our way back south through rush hour traffic. Had dinner at the Columbia City Ale House near where we are staying and later some wine, sitting outside. Nice end to the day.

Today we are going to the Museum of Flight and later are going to head back into the city to take the ferry over to Bainbridge Island. Should be a good day. :)  

 Letter/Mail Update: Received letters/owe replies to Jessica/DE and Carmen/Malta.  

Posted by Hanna at 12:05 PM in Food and Drink, Travel, Wine | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 14, 2016

NYC with Nicki, Damien, Jackson & Lana

IMG_20160812_182128Busy, busy week. :)  


Tuesday we had tickets to see Best Coast in Hamden. So we went there and had a yummy dinner at a place we had been meaning to check out for a while (Eli's on Whitney) Super yummy and HUGE nachos. After we ate we headed over to the venue (Outer Space) which really was just a divy type of club. The show/performance was really good though and it was nice that it was a small venue. Bethany's voice is really great live, so much better than recorded. Pretty amazing how that can happen, the difference between live and recorded music.

Wednesday I took the train down to NYC and met up with my Australian friends. They are staying at a hotel right in Times Square so we met up at a Starbucks across from their hotel. Had lunch at TGI Friday's. Was really nice to catch up with them and to meet their daughter Lana who hadn't been born yet the last time I saw them. Lana's 7 months now and Jackson 4 years. You can really see time pass when you look at kids. It's crazy.

After lunch it was down-pouring so we headed over to Starbucks for a bit. Eventually made our way to Rockefeller Center where I left them to walk back to Grand Central and catch the train back to CT.

Thursday I stayed home and finished decluttering a few more things around the apartment. Then Friday I went back down to the city again. Oh my god it's been SO HOT and SO HUMID. We're in the middle of another epic heatwave and god it's been crazy. Anyway, Friday we took the subway down to South Ferry to catch the Staten Island Ferry. Really one of the best free things to do in the city, great views of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. Had lunch by the ferry terminal on Staten Island (River Dock Cafe) Yummy caesar salad and nice views. Then afterwards we headed back to Manhattan and walked up to the 9/11 World Trade Center Memorial before continuing on to Tribeca. Stopped at a Starbucks for a drink to re-hydrate and then took the subway back uptown. 

Yesterday, Saturday, Mike and I both went down to the city so Mike could have a chance to see our friends as well. Damien took Jackson to the Natural History Museum so he could see the dinosaurs while Nicki, the baby, Mike and I had lunch at Chevy's (much better inside with AC ... really not much you can do outside in that heat and not much you can do inside with a baby) But lunch was great and was nice to spend some more time with Nicki. Had some more Starbucks after and watched some of the Olympics in their hotel room before heading back to CT. 

Was fun to spend some days with them. Kind of sad that I won't get to see them for a while. Nicki is planning to come back to CA in February. If we can swing it maybe we can meet up with her there. But it's a big IF because by then we will have jobs again and taking time off might be tricky. We will see how it goes I suppose. 

In the meantime we have our West Coast trip coming up this Tuesday. Flying to Seattle, staying there for 3 nights, before heading to Portland for 2 nights and then 2 more nights on the coast before returning to Seattle to fly back home. Should be a fun trip. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received letters/owe replies to Jessica/DE and Carmen/Malta.  

Posted by Hanna at 10:24 AM in Food and Drink, NYC | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 08, 2016

Hopkins Inn

IMG_20160807_193341And somehow it's already Monday again. Really, where has this past month gone?

This past week I had my unemployment hearing and all went well. They released my funds so at least there is a little bit of money coming in now which is helpful. I also received a return phone call from the logistics job I applied to. Was really excited for a minute but unfortunately that excitement didn't last all that long. Pretty soon into it they told me that it was an entry level position and what it would be paying (quite a bit less than what I had made at my old job) so I had to decline. I am figuring that I shouldn't sell myself short just yet. If I am still without a job in a few months then I will be willing to accept offers that aren't quite what I really want. But I figure for now I should be reaching high and look for the best opportunities rather than pick the first thing that comes my way.  So I will keep searching, looking and applying and see what the future holds. 

The weather was pretty decent most of the week. Saturday it was a little off with high humidity and storms during the later part of the day. So we decided to stay indoors and went to see Star Trek which was really good. 

Sunday the weather was much nicer so we decided to go for a walk outside, along a river. And afterwards had a small bite and some drinks at the Alpenhaus Steinbock Tavern in New Milford followed by a delicious dinner at the Hopkins Inn overlooking Lake Waramaug. I am always happy when we get to go there (we usually try to go once during the summer). We also usually try to time it so it's a nice weather day so we get to sit outside. They have a huge patio and porch area overlooking the lake - very pretty. And of course super delicious food. Had escargot as an appetizer, cordon bleu for my entree and toblerone sundae for dessert. Soo good!! After we got back home we relaxed for a bit and watched "Moonrise Kingdom", a Wes Anderson film we hadn't seen yet.

Tomorrow we have tickets to see Best Coast in Hamden and on Wednesday I am going to meet up with our Australian friends. They are currently in L.A. but will be making their way to NY tonight on a red-eye flight. Will be great to see them again. :)  

Letter/Mail Update: All caught up. No outstanding mail at the moment.  

Posted by Hanna at 12:41 PM in Film, Food and Drink, Outdoors | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Summer Hikes

IMG_20160730_133244Finally the weather has cooled down a bit after a whole week of 90+ degree F (33C) temps. It's dreary outside today, cloudy with the occasional rain shower passing through. But I am totally fine with that. It's a nice break from the crazy heat and sun. Nothing against nice summer weather but when it's so hot and sometimes humid on top of it ... yeah no, that's not my kind of weather. Honestly I would be happy with year round mid 70ies F (23C), a nice breeze, no humidity, that's my perfect weather. :) 

Well enough complaining. Yesterday, while humid, was still a pretty nice day especially the first part of the day. So we took advantage of it and went to Ossining, NY (about 35 min drive from us) to check out a place called Teatown Lake Reservation. A bunch of neat trails. We only did the Lakeside Trail which as the name suggests circles a lake. About 1.5 miles so not super long but it was really nice with lots of pretty views. There are plenty of other trails we will need to check out when it's less hot and humid. I bet it would be super pretty there in the fall as well. Always excited to find new places. 

After our hike/walk we went for lunch at a restaurant nearby called "The Boathouse". It was right near the Hudson and we were able to sit outside in the shade overlooking the river/boats. Had a delicious avocado and crabmeat salad. Yum. Glad to have found a new restaurant that's close to some nice hiking trails. Perfect combo. :) 

Today we are going to stay indoors and head to the movies to see the new Bourne film. Looking forward to that. Afterwards we will probably go to lunch somewhere. Should be a relaxed day all in all. 

Tomorrow I have my unemployment hearing over the phone at 10.15 am. It's mostly a formality since I was laid off (they have some questions in regards to the vacation pay that was paid out to me etc) So I will need to deal with that tomorrow. Other than that nothing planned for the rest of the week as of yet. Will try and get some more reading in. Applied for a neat sounding job close to home and hoping that I might hear back from them as well. Fingers crossed.  

Letter/Mail Update: A letter went out to Celia/MA on Thursday. 

Posted by Hanna at 10:54 AM in Film, Food and Drink, Nature, Outdoors | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Broadway NYC Weekend

IMG_20160723_162703Ugh it is still hot. A little less humid today than yesterday but still in the 90ies F (35C). I know it's summer but ugh.

Had a nice weekend nonetheless. Yesterday, Saturday, we had tickets to see "An Act of God" on Broadway. Took the train into NYC and walked from Grand Central to Times Square. Had a drink at a pub before heading to the theater. The show was really good and a lot of fun. Sean Hayes did really well. 

After the show we went to dinner at Osteria al Dodge. We've been going there for 16 years and it's always great to be back. Super yummy food and just a great place considering it's right in midtown and tourist central. Had lasagna which is my go to dish there (honestly BEST lasagna EVER!!!) and Mike got the spinach ravioli with a butter sage sauce, his favorite there. Yum. 

After dinner we walked back to Grand Central and took the train back and met up with a few friends locally at Two Steps in Danbury. 

Today we went to the movies to see "The Secret Life of Pets" which was pretty funny and adorable. They did well with the personalities of the various animals. 

Letter/Mail Update: No outstanding mail at the moment :)

Posted by Hanna at 03:19 PM in Food and Drink, NYC, Performances | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 22, 2016

Sadie & ugh this heat

IMG_20160719_185156Been meaning to make a quick update but the days are just getting away from me. Not even sure why exactly. :) 

Tuesday we had a vet appointment with our cat Sadie. She was doing fine for the most part, eating, playing, acting as she normally does but she was having this weird cough on and off. I wasn't sure what was causing it so after about a week and a half of her doing that I decided that we should take her to the vet to get things checked out.

Sadie is a sweetheart but to say that she's neurotic on a good day is an understatement so you can only imagine that the trip to the vet was not any fun. I lucked out getting her into the carrier as she was sleepy so I was able to grab her relatively easy. Once she realized that she was trapped she was NOT happy though. She normally doesn't talk/meow very much or very loudly but oh my god the volume she developed was ear piercing. She was bouncing around in the carrier like a tasmanian devil trying to get out. I felt really bad. 

Well to make a long story short, we got her to the vet, they checked her out, took x-rays and determined that she had a bit of a respiratory infection so they gave her a shot of antibiotics. She also has mild asthma so they gave her a steroid shot that's long-lasting so she should be ok for some time. If she starts coughing again then we will take her back to the vet and she will get another shot but hopefully that won't be needed for at least a few months.  

In other news ... ugh it's so freaking hot. The weather was pretty decent and actually really nice on Tuesday and Wednesday. But yesterday it started getting really hot again. Today it's hot and humid and tomorrow is supposed to be even worse. 

We have tickets to see "An Act of God" on Broadway tomorrow. Looking forward to it but not looking forward to being in the city when it's that hot and disgusting out. At least we won't be outside very much, just walking in between Grand Central, the theater and the restaurant for dinner afterwards. So all in all it should be fun of course. :) 

Letter/Mail Update: No outstanding mail at the moment :)

Posted by Hanna at 02:42 PM in Cats, NYC, Performances, Weather | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Hot weather, new TV & trip planning

And herePixlr we are, week one of being at home is done and over with. Spent a good amount of time playing around with my resume, looking at various job openings and reading up on things on different job search websites. There are so many websites out there geared towards job search. Mainly trying to figure out exactly what sort of job I am looking for versus what is out there in openings. 

Besides that I did some things around the apartment, cleaned and vacuumed and straightened out a few things. It doesn't help that it's so freaking hot. Ugh. Went for a walk most mornings except Friday when it was just too hot. Didn't go today either because it was already in the 80ies at 9am. It's supposed to be better tomorrow so I will make sure to go for my walk tomorrow. 

Also been catching up on my reading. Finished "Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafón and now am already halfway through "The Ashford Affair" by Lauren Willig. Have another Agatha Christie book to read when I am done. Yay for free library books. And the library is also within walking distance of where we live so that's convenient.

In other fun news we took advantage of the Amazon Prime Day deals last week and bought a new TV. The one we had was small and we had talked about replacing it for a while but just never did. Glad we waited because we ended up getting an awesome deal. Only $299 for a 43-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV. So cool. We used to have a big screen TV but it was a projection TV and really heavy so when we moved from the house to the apartment a year and a half ago we decided to leave it behind and ended up using the smaller TV we had in the bedroom as our main TV. Nice to have a big TV again. :) 

And in more fun news, we booked a one-week vacation to the Northwest for early August. We decided it would be nice to go on a trip because who knows when we will be able to take a real vacation again once we find and start new jobs. So it will be nice to get away for a week. Flying to Seattle and spending 3 nights there, then 2 nights in Portland/Oregon and another 2 nights along the Oregon coast. Really looking forward to it!

Had a nice weekend despite the heat and enjoyed some time on the patio at Rosy Tomorrow's and The Foundry. Delicious seafood fest at Rosy's and yummy deviled eggs at the Foundry as a snack, with some nice Gruener Veltliner wine. Relaxing Sunday. 

Letter/Mail Update: Mailed a letter on Thursday to: Emilia/Finland. 

Posted by Hanna at 11:10 AM in Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Work News and other stuff

PixlrIt's Sunday, another week gone by and things have changed quite a bit. But let's start from the beginning.  

Monday was the 4th of July and we were at work but got out around noon. Afterwards we checked out a winery not far from the office in Newburgh (Glorie Wines) for some wine tasting and then had lunch near the water at the River Station Restaurant. Had a nice afternoon. 

Tuesday we went into the office as normal but things went sideways from there. I haven't really written much about what's been going on at work. I think I did write that our company was recently (early May) taken over by another bigger company. Everything was fine at first but let's just say it started to become clear relatively quickly that our future there might not be so bright. 

Well to cut a long story short. The office/branch where Mike and I work is being closed down and we were laid off. I finished out the week working for my old boss to tie up some loose ends. And Mike is doing the same until the end of the month. 

It's obviously not ideal but it's ok. One door closes and another one opens. We will land on our feet and find something else. Going to spend next week reworking my resume and looking at various job sites. 

On a more fun note, today Mike and I went for a quick walk at a park in Southport followed by lunch at Flipside in Fairfield. Going to be hanging out with my friend Jana later at night.  Already have a date set up to meet up with my friend Falguni on Tuesday as well. Going to try and see my friends while I have some extra time on my hands. Might as well enjoy some of this.  :)

Mail Update. I received a letter/owe a reply to: Emilia/Finland. 

Posted by Hanna at 02:49 PM in Food and Drink, Holidays, Wine, Work Stories | Permalink | Comments (0)