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)

Friday, September 22, 2017

Hello from Austria as my European journey continues :)

PixlrOf course this trip is flying by like crazy and I only have 3 days left. Well really more like 2 1/2. My flight leaves at 10.45am on Monday out of Vienna.  

We left Croatia on Wednesday morning and made our way to Austria via Slovenia. The weather cooperated and we only had some slight showers along the way, nothing too crazy. Stopped in Carinthia for a really delicious late lunch and eventually made it back to my parents house in Lower Austria. 

Yesterday, Thursday, I had my hair appt first thing at 8am. I wasn't a 100% sure yet what color scheme I wanted to go with but ended up with something I really like. I knew I wanted some kind of red with something else but wasn't quite sure what yet. The end result is very enjoyable :)

Didn't do too much the rest of the day. Today I went to the local grocery store and bought waaaayyy too much stuff. I wasn't even going to buy that much but somehow it's very tempting when you know that you can't get a lot of the items in the US. To be fair a lot of what I bought was also gifts for people back in the US. 

Later I will go see my great uncle and my aunt is stopping by as well. And in the evening I am going to be meeting up with my friend Anneliese and we will head into St. Poelten for dinner and some drinks. 

Tomorrow I am off to Vienna to meet friends and then on Sunday I will need to figure out my packing so I am ready for my flight on Monday. Going to take the train from St. Poelten to Vienna airport which seems like the smart choice on a Monday morning with rush hour traffic.  

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 07:36 AM in Austria , Food and Drink, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Croatia ... already time to leave again tomorrow

IMG_20170915_141631_711 (1)

And somehow it is already time to say goodbye to Croatia tomorrow. Why does the time fly IMG_20170918_152201_269extra fast when you are away from home? The weather has cooperated sort of while here. Not really all that great but there were some sunny and dry spells in the midst of all the rain and thunderstorms so I was able to make the best of it. Today has been the only complete wash-out kind of day. Too bad really for it being our last day here but oh well. Had some nicer days and was able to walk along the seaside path into the old town and back a few times. Also found some nice cafes and bars along the way.

One day we took a trip to Vrbnik and actually had very nice weather that day which worked out for some great views. Had a really delicious lunch there before returning back. So really can't complain. Have managed to enjoy the yummy local food and wine as well as get the most time near the sea. I will miss my walks down by the sea. My parents are already talking about maybe coming back here next year in May or June so maybe I'll come here again as well. We will see how it goes and what I can figure out with my vacation time.

Tomorrow our check out time is 10am and then we're on our way to Austria. We will probably stop for lunch somewhere along the way. The ride without any stops is a little over 6 hours so not too, too terrible. Hopefully the weather cooperates. We will see how it goes. Just have to hope for the best.

On Thursday morning I have my hair appointment. Looking forward to that. Not sure what color combination I will go with this time but some sort of red will be in the mix, pretty sure about that. And on Saturday I am heading into Vienna to meet up with friends. Friday my aunt is going to stop by so that should be nice. And also want to see a few other relatives and friends while I am there.

No doubt my days in Austria will fly by like crazy as well. My return flight to New York leaves on Monday next week so less than a week to go now. Well, going to focus on making the best of it and seeing as many as people as possible and enjoying myself along the way. Then it will be time to return back to work and every day normal life after that.

Letter/Mail Update: Letters have been written to: Lotte/Denmark, Laura/Spain, Celia/MA and Eloine/NY. The European ones were mailed yesterday, not sure yet when I will mail the US ones. Only finished those today.

Posted by Hanna at 10:08 AM in Food and Drink, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Hello from Croatia :)



IMG_20170914_182129_841Hello from Croatia :) This is already day 3 here now, where does the time even go? I left New York on Wednesday, got here Thursday and now it's Saturday already. I was lucky enough to catch my connecting flight as my flight from New York to Hamburg was delayed by 2 hours. I had a 3 hour connection in Hamburg for  IMG_20170914_181225_444my flight to Croatia and wasn't sure I would make it but luckily both I and my luggage made it ok. 

When I got to Croatia on Thursday it was a bit after noon, approx. 1pm. All went well, picked up my luggage and then we went for a delicious lunch in the old town. 

The weather has been shifty the whole time I have been here. Lots of rain and thunderstorms but I have managed to make the most of it so far. 

The hotel where we are staying is not far from the sea so I have managed to walk my share alongside the water. Yesterday I spent the afternoon walking the path alsongside the sea to the old town and back. Was able to sit outside at a cafe/bar and enjoy some wine and spagethi carbonara. 

Today my parents and I went for lunch into the old town and managed to avoid the rain for the most part as well. It's thundering and raining again now but at least it mostly stopped while we were out. We will see what the rest of the stay brings. So far I have mostly been able to avoid the weather ok. 

We are here until Wednesday. Leaving Wednesday and then in Austria until the following Monday when I fly back to New York. Time is flying by like crazy of course but oh well. What else is new? :) 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Lotte/Denmark, Laura/Spain, Celia/MA and Eloine/NY.

Posted by Hanna at 10:57 AM in Food and Drink, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

And off I go ... Europe here I come ..



Pixlr_resized_1Ok so I have been so busy and wrapped up in myself and everything that I didn't even realize I didn't make my weekly post. I usually always make it a point to post on Sundays or if not latest on Monday but now it's Wednesday and it didn't even dawn on me I didn't make my post until I arrived at the airport today and now it's 30 min prior to boarding and here I am making my post. 

It's just been so crazy with work and trying to get everything all squared away. I know I have control issues and this job is bringing them out in full force. OCD, control, compulsive checking and knowing what is happening and all that. Yup, that's me. And it works in my favor for my current job more or less. But when I am going away for 10+ days and have to relinquish control to my coverage it wrecks havoc. It's not that I don't trust my co-workers. But I am just very particular and I am always worried that I missed something somewhere in a file and they won't know what to do. I know we have all been there and we figure it out. I have covered for numerous people and it's just a game of figuring it out and we always do. But I just want to have all of my ducks in a row and everything nice and neat so I tried my hardest. Let's see how it pans out. :) 

I am at the airport now enjoying some food and rose wine. Super expensive and inflated prices but hey it's the airport. And I want to have some nice stuff before I have to fly for a while. Flying to Hamburg with a layover and then on to Croatia from there. Meeting my parents in Croatia. Looking forward to that of course. 

So I will be sure to make another post from "the other side" once I get to Europe and get over my initial jetlag maybe. This past week didn't include too much else eventful besides trying to get ready for my vacation, both personal and work wise. :) 

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

Posted by Hanna at 05:01 PM in Food and Drink, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 04, 2017

Labor Day, Green Day, September, ...



Pixlr (4)Happy Labor Day to all my US friends. :) Had a very nice three day weekend which is winding down now. Was nice to have the day off and still always a bit weird to me since I never had these days off during my last job. We were always open on Labor Day and Memorial Day and almost always on the 4th of July. So it's weird having three day weekends since I often worked on the Saturday before the holiday as well as the actual holiday. But no complaints of course. :)

This past Tuesday we went to see Green Day in Hartford and it was a really amazing show. They are so great live. We saw them once before on their American Idiot tour and they were just as great, if not even better, on this tour. Of course it was super late (1.30am) by the time we got home but it was worth it.

The weekend has been pretty relaxing. Saturday we had a vet appointment with Bailey and she luckily passed with flying colors. We now don't have to go back until April so that's good. After the vet appointment we set up our new DVR (we are replacing our old TiVo) and our new vacuum cleaner. Happy with the new vacuum. The one we had before we have had for about 3+ years and it really just wasn't performing properly anymore. So far the new one seems to be pretty good so fingers crossed it lasts.

Sunday the weather was cool and rainy all day so we decided to sleep in late. Then had lunch at 121 in Oxford. Stopped at the store for a bunch of errands and eventually caught up on some recorded TV. We are finally more or less caught up from last season's shows so that's good. Just in time for the new seasons to start up. 

And today we slept in and then decided to do something outdoors since the weather was a lot nicer. We had decided on a trail in Danbury but there was a lot of flooding from the rain the day before. So we decided to try a trail in Brewster instead. It wasn't anything too exciting or too long but at least we walked for a little over 2 miles and got some exercise in. So not a bad thing.

Now we are at RIzzuto's winding down and enjoying the last bits of our holiday weekend. Tomorrow it's back to work and real life. But at least's it's only a 4 day work week. And then the week after that I leave for Europe. So there is lots to take care of before then, 

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

Posted by Hanna at 05:13 PM in Food and Drink, Music, Television, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 28, 2017

MoMa, NYC, movies and more



IMG_20170826_163145_549Hello Monday ... again. Time really does fly by. I know, I know. I literally start every post this same way. Maybe I need to start writing posts on a IMG_20170826_162942_905different day. Because writing them on Sunday afternoons/evenings or Monday mornings always gives me that feeling of "ugh another full week ahead, the weekend gone AGAIN". Well we will see what the week brings. The weather has been really nice these past few days and I think is supposed to continue like this for at least a few more days. We've had highs of around 75-80F (23-26C) with no humidity and a slight breeze. At night the temps go down into the 50ies (10-15C) which makes for nice sleeping weather. Really can't complain. I would take this weather all year round if I could. :)

Saturday we spent the day in NYC which is always fun. Went to MoMa (Museum of Modern Art) to see the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit which was pretty neat. We have a membership at MoMa even though we don't go all that much. But as long as we go twice a year the money for the membership is made back plus it's money spent for a good cause. After we saw the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit we also quickly looked at the other floors with their permanent collection. We've seen those quite a bit but it's always fun to see some Monets or Van Gogh's "Starry Night". 

After MoMa we made our way back to midtown and had a late lunch/early dinner in the theater district at Osteria al Doge. We've been going there for ages. It's actually where we officially got together in February of 2000 when I visited Mike in the US. So we've been going there for 17+ years and nothing much ever changes. Delicious food, good wine. They have the absolutely best lasagna ever. Mike gets a spinach ravioli in a butter sage sauce that's also pretty yum. Before and after the theater it can get pretty crowded and without reservations on the weekend you don't have much of a chance. But since we went during a more off time it was not crowded at all and actually really nice. We may need to try that again another time. We usually tend to go before or after a show and I guess so does everyone else so that's when it's really, really busy.

After we were done at Osteria al Doge we stopped at Madison&Vine for some wine before eventually taking the train back to Connecticut. Definitely a fun Saturday even though it's always tiring and a long day but still a lot of fun of course.

Sunday we slept in and and then went to the movies to see "Ingrid Goes West". Really makes you think about today's world and social media. The perfect commentary on all of those things in a way. Would definitely recommend catching it if you have the chance. After the movie we had a late lunch at 121 in Oxford and later caught up on some TiVo before watching the MTV VMA's. We recorded those too so we fast forwarded through the commercials and boring parts. Nothing too spectacular I suppose.  

Well let's see what this week brings. Tomorrow, Tuesday, we have tickets to see Green Day in Hartford so that should be good. The last time we saw them I think was on their American Idiot tour, so quite some time ago. Going to shows mid week always makes me feel old because I am always dragging like crazy the next day but oh well, such is life I suppose. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Celia/MA.

Posted by Hanna at 07:22 AM in Food and Drink, NYC | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 21, 2017

Summer Walks



IMG_20170820_135824_795Hello Monday. Why do weekends pass by so quickly? I feel that I write the same thing every week more or less but it really does feel the same every week. Oh well. I guess I'll manage to make it through another week. We are slowly making our way towards the end of the summer which is sort of bitter sweet I suppose. I am looking forward to the end of the summer in one way since it will get less busy at work again. Well, in theory anyway. :) But at the same time, as much as I love fall (I think it may be one of my favorite seasons) it is always followed by never ending winter and I am definitely not looking forward to that. I guess one day at a time, no sense in getting ahead of myself. 

For now there is another summer week ahead of me right now. Few more days of vacation coverage as well. We also have a new person starting today and another new one next week. So once they are all trained and up and running that should hopefully help. Guess we will see how it all turns out. Today there is also the solar eclipse here in the US. Where we are it's not a total one, I think it will only be about 60% where we are. Our company has provided us with glasses so I will need to see if I can track a pair down and go outside in the afternoon to take a look. Good excuse to take a quick break from work. :)

Other than that not too much else new. On Saturday we went to the movies and saw "Brigsby Bear". What a weird idea/concept for a movie but oddly it worked pretty well. Surprised that the movie showed up at our local AMC though. After the movies we went to the Hurricane Grill in Newburgh. And yesterday, Sunday, we decided to go for a walk. The weather was still a bit muggy/humid but not as bad as it had been. Felt nice to be out and about and get some exercise. Had lunch at 121 and later ended up catching up on a few shows. The new fall seasons of a lot of the shows will be starting up again pretty soon so we are trying to get caught up. 

Well that's all for now. Let's see what this week brings. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Celia/MA.

Posted by Hanna at 07:33 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 14, 2017

Broadway Weekend



IMG_20170812_181138_104Good Morning Monday. Ugh, I hate Monday mornings. I guess it's just the fact of the weekend being over and having to start a new work week. Fingers crossed it turns out to be a decent week. It's still busy at work but I guess that's a given with it still being summer. I am partially covering for someone else on vacation at the moment but I am only covering some of her files/accounts so it's not so so bad. Hanging in there and doing my best. I guess summer will be over soon enough. Kind of sad to be wishing summer away but I guess it's an occupational hazard in my job now.

This summer has been kind of weird weather wise anyway. We have had some crazy hot days but mainly it hasn't been so bad. Especially the last few weeks it has always cooler down to a nice temperature (60ies, sometimes even mid 50ies = 12-15 Celsius) at night which has made sleeping pretty nice. Kind of unheard of in August usually but I am ok with it. We will see what the rest of the month brings. Don't get me wrong, we have had some hot and also plenty of humid weather but it definitely hasn't been the unbearable weather we had last summer. 

On Saturday we took the train down to NYC to see "The Great Comet" again on Broadway. Decided to see it again since it now has Ingrid Michaelson in it. Well it did. Sunday was her last show but she was in it for about 8 weeks I believe. Enjoyed the show a lot and really wish it wasn't closing on Sept. 3. I have seen it three times now and I would be happy to go see it again. Little crazy I know. Oh well. I do have the soundtrack/cast recording so I can always listen to that if all else fails. :)

After the show we had dinner at Madison & Vine, eventually took the train back and stopped at Two Steps for a couple more drinks and to hang out. Then on Sunday we went to see "The Glasshouse". Enjoyed the movie but it's so crazy to think that most of it was actually based on a true story. What a strange way to grow up. Anyway, I would definitely recommend seeing the movie. After the movies we had lunch in Oxford at 121 and eventually stopped at the store for groceries and then caught up on some TiVo. We are finally sort of getting caught up. Kind of funny since a lot of the fall shows will be starting up again in the not too distant future. 

Letter/Mail Update: All caught up on my mail at the moment - yay :)

Posted by Hanna at 07:23 AM in NYC | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 06, 2017

And it's August ...



Pixlr (4)Time really does fly it seems as it's already August. Work continues to be busy so that definitely makes the work days go by fast. I really often wish there were more hours in the day to getting everything done. :) But so far I am hanging in there and hopefully August will pass with too much of an issue. I have a vacation coming in September so there's something to look forward to with that. Going to be visiting with my parents in Europe for 10 days. Going to be flying to Croatia to meet up with them there and then head to Austria afterwards My dad has been struggling with his health a bit so I hope he continues his upward cycle and is in better shape by the time I get over there. It's definitely not easy being that far away at times. I do look forward to seeing them and to spend some time and of course to eat a lot of delicious food. Also looking forward to getting my hair done when I am in Austria. Will need to decide what color(s) I want to go with this time. 

To stay with the travel theme for a minute - I can't wait for my trip with Mike to the Azores in November. I think I wrote about this on here when we booked it but now I can't quite remember if I did or not. We found a great deal for a package that included the flight and hotel and afterwards we also found a good deal on a rental car so we are all set now. It's over Thanksgiving week so still some time away but I am definitely looking forward to going. 

Mike's on his way back from L.A. tonight. He was originally supposed to come back yesterday but American ended up changing his flight. They did give him a night in a hotel and also a $400 travel voucher. So maybe we'll be able to use that to go somewhere fun during the winter, maybe in January or February when it's cold out. Would be nice to go somewhere warm then. We will have to ponder. Ideas right now are Santa Fe, New Mexico or Mexico City. We'll see what we decide.

The week has been ok otherwise. I managed to catch up on my mail so that's good. Was getting pretty behind and managed to get 7 letters done during this week and weekend. Also been reading and watching a few movies (watched 'Basketball Diaries" and "Cafe Society") Been a relatively relaxing week and weekend. Today Kristina (my sis-in-law) and I went to Panera Bread. Haven't been there in ages so it was nice to go, sit outside and take advantage of the cooler/non-humid weather. During the week we got Thai food delivered. Oh and also yummy breakfast food from a local diner. Definitely ready for Mike to be back though now. It gets lonely sleeping in the bed by myself. Well, the cats kept me company of course but that's still not quite the same. :)

Letter/Mail Update: Letters have been written and already went out or are going out on Monday to: Lotte/Denmark, Laura/Spain, Eloine/NY, Michele/CA, Carmen/Malta, Kimber/Canada and Nina/WA.

Posted by Hanna at 06:41 PM in Austria , Food and Drink, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)