Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving from the Azores

IMG_20171120_203948_765Hello from the Azores. :) Been meaning to write a quick post since we got here and now it's IMG_20171121_221856_664 already Wednesday evening. How did we get here? :) 

Well anyway, we left Boston Sunday night and got here early Monday morning. Our flight landed at 6am. We ended up having to wait till about 7.45 to pick up our rental car so we grabbed a tea/coffee. The ride to the hotel from the airport was relatively short (approx. 15 min) As it was raining and dark and we got lucky and got a room when we got to the hotel we decided to take a nap. We got up again a bit after 11am and by that time the weather had cleared up a bit which was nice. Headed into Porta Delgada and explored the city a bit. Walked around and ended up having lunch. Then walked around some more before heading back to the hotel. It started pouring again just as we left the parking garage so all in all we lucked out with the weather. 

Yesterday was a nice day weather-wise and we made the most of it. We headed to Sete Cidades, one of the main attractions. Super pretty and stunning views. Lots of windy, slightly scary mountain roads but the views were great. Checked out various view points around the area to get different views of the lakes. After that we headed to Ponta da Ferraria where they have hot springs right next to the ocean. Pretty neat. And then went to Mosteiros to have lunch. Found a yummy restaurant where I decided to be brave and tried octopus in a red wine sauce. It looked like I was eating an alien but was pretty tasty. 

Today the weather was supposed to be pretty decent in the morning so we headed to the east side of the island all the way to the end to Nordeste. Pretty views of the coast, a neat lighthouse, cute town, beautiful gardens and some super cute stray cats. Just as we were done there the weather started to deteriorate and it began pouring. Made our way over to Furnas where we had lunch at Tony's. The area is known for the hot springs so it was pretty neat to walk around and see all the boiling water/springs and sulphur smell. The weather was still misty after lunch so we decided to skip the overlook of the lakes/springs/town and headed back. Using the time to update my blog and will write my cards. 

Looks like weather is clearing up some now with some sun peeking out but not sure what it will bring for tomorrow. We will decide what to do tomorrow later I suppose. Weird to think it's Thanksgiving tomorrow. They are doing a Thanksgiving dinner here at the hotel although honestly it's not even that traditional. Don't think we will attend but who knows.

 Letter/Mail Update: All caught up with my mail at the moment. 

Posted by Hanna at 12:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Off to the Azores

IMG_20171119_193811_648Hello from Boston Logan Airport Terminal E. Currently hanging out at Vino Volo (my favorite wine bar airport chain) before boarding our flight to the Azores in about an hour. 

Our drive up to Boston was relatively uneventful. It's a little under 3 hours for us to get here. We parked, took a shuttle to the terminal and then had to wait for about an hour and a half for the check in counter to open as we were pretty early. So we had a couple of drinks, checked in, made our way through security and then headed for Vino Volo.

Going to board in a bit, the flight is only 4 1/2 hrs long and we get there at 6am. So really not much sleeping going to happen tonight.  We are renting a car so we will head to the hotel and at least drop our bags off. Our room most likely won't be ready yet. Will go and explore some after that.  It's supposed to rain so we will see how that goes. 

Either way I am looking forward to being away for a week. Will be nice to be somewhere else for a week. No work, surrounded by the Atlantic ocean on an island. No complaints from me. 

I will try and update some more while we are there but just in case I don't get to it going to wish all my American friends a happy Thanksgiving!! 

Letter/Mail Update: All caught up with my mail at the moment. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Appointments & Christmas Cards & Bailey

Pixlr (8)Alright a little behind schedule. I usually try to write my posts on Sunday or latest Monday morning but now it's already Tuesday morning. Just never got to it over the weekend and then yesterday was a crazy day too so yeah here we are on Tuesday. Let's see what did the last week bring? Mmmm .. I guess nothing too eventful for the most part. Work's steady. It's definitely less busy than it was during the summer but not dead by all means. I still have plenty to do. Also getting a lot more international shipments lately which means I need to remember all of the things that I learned during my training months and months ago. At least it's keeping me on my toes right? 

Tuesday last week I had my yearly physical/dr appointment so that's done for another year at least. This week on Thursday I have my follow up with the orthodontist to talk about my braces. Ugh. Not really looking forward to that. But I guess what needs to be done needs to be done. 

Saturday we went to the movies to see "Murder on the Orient Express". Really enjoyed it. They changed a few things from the book but nothing too drastic. I liked this version of Hercule Poirot better in some ways as well. And the cinematography was really stunning. Lots of great landscape shots as the train makes it way through the mountains etc. After the movies we had lunch and then in the evening I decided to tackle my international Christmas cards. I figured I should get a headstart on them as we will be gone for a week (off to the Azores) and when we come back it will be close to December already. Anyone who has moved since last year or anyone who didn't get a card from me last year who wants one, do let me know. :) 

Sunday we slept in for a bit and then moved a few more things around. All the old furniture from the bedroom is now mostly moved to other parts of the apartment or has been discarded. We have a few more things to do but we're getting there. It's nice to have things falling into place. Always enjoy being organized. :) 

Yesterday, Monday, I called the vet early in the morning to see if I could get an appointment for Bailey and they were able to get me in for that afternoon. She has been coughing so I wanted to get that checked out before we leave for the Azores. Unfortunately the news wasn't all that great. They had to do an x-ray and the x-ray came back inconclusive. They said it could be asthma but it's also possible that her cancer (she had that mammory tumor when we first got her) has come back is spreading. It's also possible it's an infection but something was showing on the x-ray that left open some questions. So she got an antibiotic and steroid shot and we have a follow up appointment in three weeks on Dec. 2nd for another x-ray. We will see what that shows. Fingers crossed. Please send good vibes and thoughts for my little cat. We have only had her for a year and before that she lived on the street in NYC and in shelters. So she really deserves a good life.  

Letter/Mail Update: All caught up with my mail at the moment. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:39 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 06, 2017

Halloween, Bedroom Set and Daylight Savings

Pixlr (7)And somehow it's already November 6. I really don't know where the time goes sometimes. Thanksgiving is in just a little over 2 weeks. Not really too worried over Thanksgiving itself this year as we won't be out of the country. When we are here we tend to go for a nice dinner at the Hopkins Inn. But this year we will be in the Azores. No complaints there. :) In past years we have gone up to Canada for a long weekend and one year we flew to Austria via Turkey (stop over in Istanbul for the day) Only 2 more full weeks at work before we get a full week off. I am looking forward to that. :) Definitely something to hold on to when it's Monday morning right now. The weather is dreary and rainy outside. Definitely not making me feel like going anywhere. Oh well. 

Last week was Halloween and we really didn't do too much for that either. We stopped by our local hangout Two Steps to visit our bartender friend Tyler. He loves Halloween and was dressed up while bartending (he was dressed up as a mix of Deadpool and Wonder Woman - pretty entertaining) I used to be more into Halloween when I first moved to the US. I think because then it was new and fun and something we didn't have in Austria. I was excited about carving pumpkins and handing out candy to trick and treaters. But 16ish years later I am really not that into it anymore. It gets to be too commercial as well. But that's really the case with most of the holidays. 

November 1st everyone decided to switch into holiday mode. All of a sudden there is a Christmas and holiday stuff everywhere. People are out shopping, traffic is crazy. It's only early November, so bizzare. We still have Thanksgiving before we even get into December. Well oh well. I know I am sounding like a scrooge right now. I do enjoy the holiday season, I just wish it wasn't so crazy and not thrown into our faces for two full straight months. Bah Humbug. 

In more fun news we received our new bedroom set on Friday. I worked from home that day so I was able to greet the delivery crew. They were super efficient and fast and had everything brought inside, assembled and set up in less than an hour. Pretty impressive. Very happy with how everything looks and the mattress has been really nice to sleep on. We got a Bob-o-pedic (which is basically their version of a tempurpedic. It's a Queen size bed, we only had a full before, so it's a little bigger which is nice too. Very happy. 

Saturday we slept in for a bit, had lunch and later I moved some things around and organized to get things back to where they need to be. We continued that on Sunday morning, taking apart a shelf we don't need anymore, and also moving an old dresser into the hallway. It actually looks pretty good there so that's a plus. We still have a second dresser to move which I think we will put into the kitchen. Not a 100% sure how it will look there yet but hopefully it will work ok. I want to keep the old dressers to have some more storage space as we are always struggling with staying organized.  

Letter/Mail Update: Letters are going out today to: Lotte/Denmark, Celia/MA, Eloine/NY, Carmen/Malta and Eunice/Malta. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:41 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Martha's Vineyard Birthday Weekend

IMG_20171027_182205_240Hello from Martha's Vineyard. :) Definitely got very lucky again with the off-season fall weather. No complaints whatsoever. Left home on Friday to catch the ferry from Falmouth over to Martha's Vineyard (about a 3 1/2 hr car ride + 45 min on the ferry) IMG_20171027_181808_040

The weather has been absolutely beautiful so really no complaints whatsoever. Yesterday we had lunch at the Black Dog Tavern after arriving on Martha's Vineyard on the 11.30am ferry. Lovely lunch looking out at the harbor. Delicious clam chowder. Then we walked around Vineyard Haven for a bit, bought a few souvenirs before making our way over to Oak Bluffs. Walked around there for a while, looking at all the pretty houses and browsing some shops.

And last but not least made our way to Edgartown. By that time it was past 3pm so we were able to check into our room. Staying at the "Sydney" which is in a neat old historic building and shares the space with a fancy restaurant/bar. 

Walked around Edgartown for a bit before having dinner at the Newes, also situated in a very old historic building. It's a lot of fun going to places like this off-season as you encounter more locals and less tourists and it is way less crowded. I don't think I would have much interest coming here during the busy summer months. Just way too crazy and crowded. After dinner we had a couple of glasses of wine at the bar downstairs before heading back up to the room. 

Today we explored the rest of the island. Started at Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary and checked out a few trails there. I always enjoy the marshy areas, so pretty. Afterwards we headed to West Tisbury, Menemsha and Aquinnah. Looked at the lighthouse in Aquinnah as well as the pretty cliffs. Eventually made our way back and had lunch in Oaks Buffs at the Offshore Ale House. Delicious grilled brie and lobster roll. Yum. Then on the way back we stopped at the Edgartown Lighthouse. 

Going to head back out in a minute and will stop at a liquor store before having a light dinner. Not ready to head back home tomorrow. It's been a lot of fun. 

Oh and forgot to mention my birthday on Tuesday was fun even though I had to work. Went out after work with some friends from work as well as other friends. Had a nice dinner at Ibiza (tapas bar) and some more drinks at Rosys afterwards. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Celia/MA, Eloine/NY, Carmen/Malta and Eunice/Malta. 

Posted by Hanna at 05:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 23, 2017

Pretty October Weekend

IMG_20171022_134554_985Ugh and it's Monday again. I am dead tired too. We went to bed around 11 so not crazy late. But around 4.30 the smoke detector in the other bedroom went off. I still have no idea what caused it. There was no smoke or reason that we could see. But yeah, not a fun way to be startled awake and then of course couldn't fall back asleep again either. Now it's time for work and I am a little groggy. Fun. 

The weekend was nice though. Friday I worked from home because I had my x-ray appointment at the orthodontist. Relatively simple appointment. Next up is the actual consult for the braces which won't happen until November 16. So definitely not a fast process but that's ok. I have drawn this out for this long, a few more weeks/months isn't going to make that much of a difference. I really don't want braces but ultimately it's the right thing to do. If I get an implant now (for the broken/missing tooth) then there is no guarantee that it will last due to my bite and the way my teeth are. Just wish all that stuff wasn't so expensive. Ugh. 

Saturday we had a vet appointment with Sadie. Just her yearly check-up for shots etc. She absolutely hated going of course. It's amazing how loud she can get since she's usually a pretty quiet cat and just peeps and quietly meows. But once you put her in that carrier she starts to act like a Tasmanian devil and develops a volume that's just crazy. Well, we managed to get to the vet and back without too much issue. Then when we got back she decided to be weird and wouldn't eat but she has snapped out of it again thankfully. 

Saturday after the vet we went to Bob's to look for a new bedroom set. We ended up settling on this one - a different one than what I had originally picked out from the website. But seeing it in person we decided that we liked that one better. It also has deeper drawers and more storage which is a big plus of course. We also bought a new mattress since this new bed is a queen size and the one we have now is a full. Looking forward to the new mattress. We went with a Bob-o-Pedic which is basically their own version of a Tempur-Pedic. We tested out a few different ones and liked the one we tried the best. It's also pretty reasonably priced so that's a plus. We will get everything delivered on Nov. 2nd. We could have had it sooner but that will give us some time to declutter the bedroom and get rid of some current items, as well as move the older dressers upstairs into the attic for extra storage. It will be nice to have some extra storage for a change. 

Sunday we went for a hike at Weir Farm again. Tried out a different trail this time which was definitely a much less traveled trail but was nice to be out and about and the weather was pretty perfect. Fingers crossed that we end up with decent weather next weekend when we go to Martha's Vineyard. Well, off to work. Let's see what the week brings. I am off on Friday so that's something at least. :) 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Celia/MA, Eloine/NY and Eunice/Malta. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:47 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 16, 2017

Fall Weather - warm & cold - up & down

Instaweather_20171015_131735Happy Monday. The weather has been so strange for October. This past weekend it was pretty warm and also weirdly humid. We went for a short walk/hike yesterday and the humidity was really high. So strange for mid October. But then tomorrow morning we are supposed to have a frost warning and only a couple degrees above freezing. But then I think it's supposed to warm up again. So weird. 

Had a nice and relaxed weekend all in all. On Saturday we slept in late and then went for lunch at 121 in Oxford. Later met up with our friend John and hung out for a bit longer. And yesterday, Sunday, we went for the walk/hike at Weird Farm (it's a National Historic Site, part of the National Park network) We have been talking about going there for ages and finally did. Looks like they have a few more trails to check out. Might be nice when the humidity is not crazy but hopefully not too cold either. We will see what the rest of the season brings. 

In the late afternoon/evening we caught up on some more recorded TV until close to midnight and yeah, now it's Monday again. Nothing much planned for this week besides work. Oh Friday I have an appointment for x-rays for my braces. I am finally going to get started on getting those. We will see how that turns out. I will know more after Friday I suppose. Other than that nothing much else planned for the week. 

Well, we will see how it pans out. Have to get through Monday first. :) Been contemplating buying a new bedroom set so that's something on the horizon for the future for the next few weeks. That's the one I have been mainly looking at but there are a few others that are nice too. We will have to measure and figure out how it all would fit. We would probably have to move one of our old dressers upstairs into the attic. The old bedroom furniture is truly old (from Mike's parents) so it's definitely time to upgrade. But it's always nice to have some extra storage space so if we can keep one of the older dressers in the bedroom in addition to the new set I'd prefer to that. I know it won't match but I am always looking for storage space so I'd value that over everything matching. Anyway, just something to ponder. Haven't quite decided what we are doing yet. 

 Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Eloine/NY and Eunice/Malta.  

Posted by Hanna at 07:39 AM in Nature, Outdoors, Weather | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 09, 2017

Happy rainy Monday

BrunchHappy Monday. :) I just got a text from my manager saying there is a slight leak over my desk (it's been raining on and off all weekend pretty much) Pixlr (6) and I'll need to move desks until it is fixed. Fun start to the week. Haha. Oh well. Let's hope that's not how the rest of the day/week is going to go. 

Weekends always fly by way too fast. Saturday we went to the movies and saw "Victoria & Abdul" which was good. I always enjoy movies based on true stories, especially if they are different and unique stories. Would definitely recommend it if you get a chance. Then Saturday night I put out my fall deco (finally) and puttered around doing a few other things and eventually spent some time reading. Sunday we slept in (I got up a little earlier and watched the new "Outlander" episode) and then went to brunch/lunch at the Barn Door. It's a new restaurant in the Branchville section of Ridgefield, just opened a few months ago maybe. Really enjoyed it. They also have bottomless mimomas and bellinis which is a big plus. :) Had really delicious smoked salmon eggs benedict as well. I'll definitely need to go on a diet again sooner rather than later. lol. The rest of Sunday we spent catching up on recorded shows which was fun and relaxing. And well, now it's Monday again. 

Last week Wednesday we went into NYC after work to see Paramore and Best Coast at Radio City. Always love that venue, such a cool place. And the show was great of course. The ride into Manhattan at rush hour (even though we left my work just a bit after 3.15) was just horrid though. Traffic was murder and especially once we got into midtown it was really just gridlock. We eventually got to park close to 6pm. Best Coast went on at 7.30 so we at least had enough time to grab a drink and a snack before the show. 

No concerts of theater tickets on our horizon at the moment which is almost weird since we have had so much stuff booked over the last year. Well I am sure something will pop up sooner or later. Still want to see "Hamilton". Just wish it wasn't so expense still. We'll see what happens. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Eloine/NY. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:27 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Back to the daily grind

Pixlr (5)Ok I am a little behind on my posting but I guess that's just what happens with traveling, getting over the jetlag and back into the normal every day routine. Well oh well. Today I've already been back for a week and a day. Time does really fly sometimes. The flight back was relatively uneventful when you don't count the fact that I was delayed for 2 hours. Kind of annoying as I got up at 4.30am to get ready and catch the 6am train into Vienna so I'd be at the airport nice and early. Could have slept for an additional 2 hours. Oh well. I made the best of it and had some good food at the airport. Also had schnitzel on the plane. Austrian Airlines lets you pre-order and pay for special meals and one of them is a schnitzel dish with potato salad and a yummy chocolate mousse. Worth every penny. (it's 15 EUR so really not horrible)

Anyway, fighting jetlag was a pain but pretty much standard. I never like it but it's nothing new. Just have to fight through it and eventually your body adjusts back. Work has been busy but not too terrible all things considered. All my coverage people did a really great job and all my files were in pretty good shape when I got back. It still takes time getting caught up on everything though, since you're missing a certain time span and need to get caught up on what happened in those files. Oh well, mostly there now. Just dealing with the normal craziness which is luckily starting to wind down a little bit as we are heading into the less busy season now. 

Tomorrow we're heading into the city to see Paramore and Best Coast at Radio City Music Hall so that should definitely be fun. Looking forward to that. This past weekend we didn't do too much. Went to the movies both days. Saturday we saw "Kingsman The Golden Circle" and Sunday "Battle of the Sexes". Two wildly different movies. Enjoyed both but of course very different. Then Sunday we took advantage of the nice weather and sat outside for a late lunch at J. Lawrence (a new place that opened up not that long ago) Definitely will need to go back and try a few more things on their menu. Was nice to enjoy the fall day, being able to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine. Who knows how many more nice days will be in our future before the real cold hits. Not looking forward to that at all. 

Well that's all the news here from me for now I suppose. Better get ready for work and get motivated to face another day. Will have some more tea to help me with that I think. :)

Letter/Mail Update: All caught up with my mail at the moment :)

Posted by Hanna at 07:17 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 24, 2017

And almost time to say goodbye to Europe again

IMG_20170923_142340_730 IMG_20170923_150547_743Can't believe that I am already leaving again tomorrow. This trip has been such a whirlwind, don't even know where the last ten days have gone. It honestly does not feel like I have been here for this long. But I guess that's what happens when there is a lot going on.

The stay in Croatia was great despite the weather not being all that amazing. But managed to make the best of it and spent a decent amount of time near the sea and beach which is always nice. There is nothing more relaxing or calming to me than spending time near the ocean. Even just sitting, sipping a glass of wine while looking out at the waves - pure bliss.

The four days in Austria truly went by super fast but I suppose that was also to be expected. I managed to meet up with a few friends, some family, got my hair done and more.

Yesterday I went into Vienna for the day and had fun catching up with my friend Claudia. We met in Santa Barbara during our year there in 1998-1999. Crazy how long ago that is now as well. Claudia pointed out that next year it will be 20 years since we were there and it will be longer than we were even old at the time when we were there. So crazy. 

Hada good time in Vienna, had breakfast with Claudia and also a nice afternoon before heading back to St. Poelten later in the day. This afternoon I will need to figure out how to pack all my stuff. Always a fun adventure. I guess I will figure it out. I always do. I am catching the train from St. Poelten straight to the airport tomorrow morning.  The train leaves at 6.30am which should give me plenty of time for check in and paying for my extra luggage. 

It will be weird leaving here again tomorrow. My dad's health is still not all that great but hopefully he will manage to improve. My mom is stable but everything is just a bit too much in limbo for my taste at the moment. Guess we will see what happens. I can only encourage and hope for the best in the end. At least my aunt is here and also some family friends who are helping out so that's good. 

Letter/Mail Update: Letters have been written to: Lotte/Denmark, Laura/Spain, Celia/MA, Eloine/NY. The European ones were mailed from Croatia. Will mail the others when I am back in the States Mon. 

Posted by Hanna at 05:46 AM in Austria , Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)