Monday, May 21, 2018

Crazy Weather Week

IMG_20180515_133435_478What a crazy week weather-wise. Lots of ups and down in temperatures, a crazy storm and more. Tuesday I had the day off for my orthodontist appointment (was getting the bottom part of my braces put on) and most of the day was actually really nice weather wise. I was done with my appointment around 11.30 and walked to the library to get a few books. Then continued my walk around downtown and decided to have lunch at Pour Me. They have a small patio outside and it was the perfect day for it. Temps were in the 80ies (27C) and it was a great day to sit outside in the shade. Had a delicious salad and some nice strawberry iced tea. After that I walked back and treated myself to an iced caramel macchiato at Barrister's (the coffee shop that opened early in the year) So a really nice afternoon all in all. When I went home I started on some letters. Then around 4.30 is when things went sideways. There were warnings popping up about severe thunderstorms. I didn't think too much of it at the time. Well close to 5 it got really dark and then the sky just opened up. It poured so hard I couldn't see the street, hail, wind, ... All of our windows were rattling and the neighbor's tree next door was bending in all sorts of directions (especially towards our bedroom window) Oh and let's not forget just a few minutes earlier a tornado warning came through on my phone as an emergency alert. It all passed relatively quickly (about 10-15 min.) but holy crap. 

But honestly we were pretty lucky in our area. There was one tree down at the end of our street but all in all nothing bad. Large parts of the city and surrounding towns lost power. So many trees down and such destruction. When I looked at the pictures people were posting the next day. Crazy. Certain neighborhoods looked like war zones. The cleanup is going to take quite a while. They were saying that the destruction was maybe even higher than Hurricane Sandy which did quite a bit of damage in our area some years ago. Anyway, definitely a few crazy days. 

The weather has been very up and down since then. Over the weekend for example on Saturday it was only in the 50ies (10C) with steady rain. Brrr. But Sunday it was humid and in the mid 70ies (24C) Today it is also supposed to be in the 70ies but tomorrow back down to only 60ies (15C) and rain again. Really just very unstable weather. We will see what next weekend brings. It is still a bit too early to tell. We have a holiday weekend next weekend with Memorial Day so 3 days off. Would be nice to have some decent weather on at least one of the days. Originally we had planned to go to some minor league baseball games on that weekend but we will need to see how it pans out with the weather I think. 

This weekend we didn't get to really do anything outside as Saturday was just cold and rainy and miserable. We went to the movies instead and saw "Deadpool". Sunday the weather was nicer but it was very unstable. Sudden downpours, then sunny again, then another downpour a few hours later. Just not very good weather to be planning a longer walk/hike because you never know when it's going to start raining again. We went to Naugatuck to check out a place for brunch (66 Church) which turned out to be pretty decent. We will need to go back again some other time. 

Letter/Mail Update: Letters went out this week to: Celia/MA, Eunice/Malta and Lotte/Denmark. Received letters from/owe replies to: Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:18 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 14, 2018

Eurovision + Mother's Day

IMG_20180512_202043_200And it's already Monday again, a whole week since my flight back to the US from Vienna to JFK last Monday. Where does the time go? The flight back IMG_20180513_140936_193was relatively uneventful. Some turbulence but nothing too crazy. Immigration took forever but all my luggage arrived safely (nothing broke, spilled, leaked etc -- so that is always a success) Work has been busy since I got back. Pretty much a combination of trying to catch up from being away as well as just the busier summer months looming just around the corner. You can definitely feel the "summer craziness" as we head towards Memorial Day (end of this month) - the unofficial start of summer in the US. 

This past weekend on Saturday we went to the movies in the morning to see the new Avengers Infinity War movie. I wasn't so sure at first if I liked it (to be fair I am not usually a big super hero fan to begin with) but having let some days pass and looking back at it I did kind of like it. I guess I am curious to see where it all leads in the next installment. After the movies I headed home to watch the Eurovision Song Contest. Not something that is really popular here in the US but something I grew up with in Europe so it is sort of a nostalgic thing. It started at 3pm here (9pm in Europe) so I spent the afternoon watching it. Austria took third place which was very surprising but in a good way of course. Israel won, Cyprus took 2nd and Germany was 4th (also surprising as Germany hasn't done very well in recent years) After Eurovision I puttered around for a bit, straightened out some stuff and then read some more of my latest Teashop Mystery book (finished it Sunday morning)

Sunday we slept in (the weather really was not very nice) and then headed to lunch at Rosy's. It was pretty busy there due to Mother's Day (happy belated Mother's Day to all the moms out there and most of all mine of course) After lunch we headed back home and caught up on some recorded shows. Got a bit behind since I haven't been around for two weekends so we had a lot to catch up on. A lot of the season finales are coming up now so at least we will be able to catch up with some stuff over the coming weeks/months before the new seasons start in the fall. 

Letter/Mail Update: Letters went out last Tuesday to: Nina/WA and Kimber/Canada. Received letters from/owe replies to: Celia/MA, Eunice/Malta, Lotte/Denmark and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:26 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Goodbye Europe ... until we meet again

ViennaAnd here we are. It's my last night in Europe. My flight leaves tomorrow at 10.40 from StpoeltenVienna. Catching the train from St. Poelten at 6.32 so I need to get up at 5. Not particular fun but hey it is what it is, right?  HairFriday I had my hair appointment and spent a good amount of that day at the hairdresser. But hey I am not complaining. It gave me a chance to read some more chapters of my book (reading the latest Laura Childs Tea Shop Mystery book) and the end result turned out beautiful as always. There is a reason that I end up only getting my hair colored here at my hairdresser in Austria who I trust explicitly. She takes care of my fragile hair and the colors always turn out beautiful and last for ages. The best of all words really. 

Saturday I went into Vienna and the day just flew by. Managed to stop at the post office to mail a few things and met up with four friends that day, three in Vienna (Johannes, Lydia & Claudia) as well as one in St. Poelten (Anneliese) Was great seeing everybody and catching up. The weather was pretty decent as well and cleared up as the day went on as well. Walked around a lot, had some delicious food and drinks, and just fun hanging out with friends. 

Today, Sunday, I spent most of the morning packing up everything. Always a bit of a challenge when there are a lot of souvenirs coming home. But my mom helped with bubble wrapping all the more fragile things (like bottles of wine, olive oil, etc.) and hopefully everything will work out ok. For lunch we ordered from an Italian place in the next town over. Had some pizza delivered as well as some delicious pork cutlets wrapped in ham and cheese in a white wine sauce with rice. Yum. 

Then later in the afternoon my aunt stopped by and we took advantage of the nice weather and sat outside in the garden for a while. Afterwards I went to see my great uncle (he's almost 94) Always nice to see him. When I got back I watched some TV with my mom. We found a nice TV movie to watch. And well now it's time for bed since I need to get up at 5am. 

So my next post will be back from the US, most likely next weekend. Hopefully by then I will have shaken most of the jetlag. Always the most dreaded part. At least getting up in the morning and going to work is not bad but once the afternoon hits I am more or less done. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received letters from/owe replies to: Celia/MA, Eunice/Malta, Lotte/Denmark, Nina/WA, Kimber/Canada and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 04:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Hello from Austria :)

SchnitzelAnd just like that it's already Thursday. We drove back from Croatia to Austria yesterday. Managed to make it ok with the rental car and all worked out so that's good. We had to make the drive in one way in order to return the rental car on time but everything ended up working out ok. We left the resort a bit after noon and arrived back at the house around 8.30pm so not so bad. 

Today my dad and I returned the car in Voesendorf (near Vienna) and picked up a different car he can use until his own car arrives back from Croatia. After that we also stopped at a grocery store so I was able to stock up on some supplies (soup mixes, chocolates, candy and whatnot) Always a necessity. :) 

Once we returned back to St. Georgen we decided to go for lunch and I had some delicious Fritatten Soup as well as Cordon Bleu. Yum. 

Tomorrow I have my hairdresser appointment at 8am and then we will see what the rest of the day brings. Saturday I am heading into Vienna to meet up with my some friends. And Sunday is already my last day here. Sunday I think my aunt is going to stop by and I also want to make sure to see my great uncle before I leave. Oh and my friend Anneliese who lives close by. Always so many people to see and such little time. Same story every time. 

Of course this whole trip has flown by but what can you do? Can't say that it has been perfectly smooth but I guess things have worked themselves out and I have been able to make the most of everything. Well I better close here because I am sitting outside and I keep hearing thunder in the distance so I think it might only be a matter of time before the rain comes pouring down. Will try and update one more time before I leave Europe if possible. :) 

Letter/Mail Update: Received letters from/owe replies to: Nina/WA, Kimber/Canada and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 10:25 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Croatian Adventures Part 2

Croatia_3So it's Tuesday already and I leave Europe next week Monday so less than a week to go. Croatia_2Time is flying as usual. We leave Croatia tomorrow already. It's been a bit of a turbulent stay here but making the best of it. Saturday after lunch we ended up in a minor accident on the way back into the resort. We are all fine, nobody hurt, but the car didn't fare quite as well. Damage on the driver's side, the hood, headlight, rim, etc. The car was sort of driveable but it was making all sorts of bad noises because the driver's door was shifted as well. So my dad ended up having the car towed. It was brought to a local garage and is now being transported back to Austria by OAMTC (the Austrian version of AAA) We will now receive a rental car that was also organized by OAMTC to drive back to Austria tomorrow. 

So it's been a few turbulent days. Getting things organized and set up. Also no car now so was only able to stay around the area which has worked out ok though because there are a few restaurants, bars as well as a small market in the area around the resort. So been making the best of it as much as possible. The weather has been beautiful. A lot of days up to 75F and even slightly more (23C) Yesterday it was only 70F (21C) and today a little less (around 18C) and a bit cloudy. But most of the time here the weather has been absolutely beautiful. So really no complaints. Especially compared to the way the weather was when I left Connecticut. 

Yesterday on the walk back from lunch we stopped by a street vendor who was selling local products. So I bought some acadia honey and infused oil (with rosemary, peppers and garlic). Always nice to have some local items to bring back. And especially nice considering that we weren't able to drive anywhere so I was happy that we came across that stand. Was also able to get some postcards at the mini market at the resort. Just no souvenirs (magnets or key chains or whatnot) to bring back for people. But oh well, that's ok. I can always pick up something in Vienna when I am there on Saturday. 

Alright I will close here for today. Will see how the rest of this trip develops. Fingers crossed. :)

Letter/Mail Update: Received letters from/owe replies to: Nina/WA, Kimber/Canada and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 04:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Hello from Croatia

Croatia1And already day 3 here in Croatia. Time is flying as usual. Left JFK on Wednesday night and Croatia_foodthe flight to Munich was pretty uneventful. I got lucky and the seat next to me was empty so I was able to stretch out a bit more and was able to doze off for some of the flight. Had a long connection in Munich which was ok because last year after my initial flight being delayed I barely made my connection so it was ok to have a long connection and not need to stress about that. I bought myself a smoked salmon panini and a tea and just hung out until my next flight to Trieste, Italy. My parents picked me up at the airport and we drove to Croatia. Stopped on the way in Slovenia for lunch. The hotel/resort we are staying at in Croatia is right across the bay from Piran, Slovenia and you can see the old city in the distance from our balcony. Lovely ocean views. The resort itself is not very full due to it being off season still but that's ok. Less crowded that way. 

Yesterday, Friday, we went to lunch in the port of Savudrija. Hung out there for quite a while, ordering appetizers (scallops & pasta stuffed with shrimp and truffle oil), a huge shellfish platter & a fried fish platter as well as cappuccino and wine. When we got back to the hotel my parents decided to take an afternoon nap and I ventured back out to another restaurant close by (about 15 min walking distance) for some gelato and a white wine spritzer. Had the most gorgeous views from their terrace. Unfortunately their credit card machine wasn't working and I only had my credit card on me, no local currency. But they were fine with that and just gave me the bill, telling me to come back and pay later. So we will end up having lunch there today. :) 

Today I slept in a bit (still trying to shake this jetlag) and am now sitting outside on the balcony catching up on a few things, like my blog, Instagram, etc. Also have a couple emails to write so maybe I will try and do that. In the morning the sun doesn't shine on the balcony yet so it's a bit cool but really not bad. It's already close to 70F now, going to get up to 76F later. The weather has been most gorgeous. Supposed to be really nice tomorrow as well, then cool down a tiny bit but still very nice. Especially considering the weather that I came from. Just about perfect here. Palm trees, the ocean, wine, what more can you want? 

Letter/Mail Update: Received letters from/owe replies to: Nina/WA, Kimber/Canada and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 04:17 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Is spring finally getting here? Almost time to leave for Europe ...

PixlrAnother week gone by and the weather is still being kind of weird. Today the high is supposed to be 60F (15C) and that's actually really nice compared to some of the temps we have been having. Plus it's sunny which is nice. But tonight overnight it will go back down to 35 (barely above freezing) Such weird weather. I think after mid week it is supposed to get a little better but it won't really matter to me anymore then as I will be on a plane heading to Europe on Wednesday. :) I am leaving Wednesday night, getting to Munich Thursday morning and connecting to Trieste, Italy. From there it's a little over an hour to get to the town in Croatia where our hotel is. I started pre-packing some of my things yesterday, just to get ahead of the game. Mainly to try to make sure that I have all the things I am bringing with me for other people. Just as I wrote that I thought of one other thing I needed to make sure to bring. Yup, pretty much how it goes with me. I collect things throughout the year to bring with me for various people when I go to Austria. And then it becomes a game of remembering all the stuff stored all over the apartment when it's actually time to go. 

So anyway I started pre-packing last night and been adding small things here and there since then. Our cat Mindy was "helping" me last night when I was trying to pack. What is it with cats and suitcases? Well I guess a suitcase is really just a slightly different shaped box and we all know that cats love boxes. So hey, it makes sense. So yeah Mindy was helping me while I gathered things. And then after I was done I rewarded myself with an episode of "Outlander" while Sadie curled up on my lap purring. It's going to be weird going to Austria and not seeing my parent's cat Jumbo. Did I write about him on here? I am not even sure if I did. Jumbo was my parent's cat, a super gentle sweet Maine Coon cat, and passed away suddenly about a month ago. He wasn't even that old, I think maybe 8 or 9, but Maine Coon's can be prone to heart disease so we are thinking it may have been something to do with that as he went from "fine" to "not fine at all" within 24 hours more or less. Poor kitty. I will miss seeing him during my visits. 

So yeah, pretty much set to go on Wednesday. I tried to put my work stuff in order but that's all a "work in progress" until I actually leave as things could still change, new files be added, etc. But everything seems to be in as decent of an order as it can be for right now. Yesterday, Saturday, we slept in and then had lunch at 121 in Oxford. Today I took care of some stuff around the apartment this morning, put on the spring bedset and finally switched out my winter deco for the spring deco. When I come back from Europe it will be May and I really don't want winter stuff around in May. :) 

Letter/Mail Update: Received letters from/owe replies to: Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 11:52 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Warm, cold ... crazy weather

IMG_20180415_114305_047This weather is absolutely crazy. Spring, where are you? Come on, you can do it!! We had nice weather on Friday and Saturday with temps up to 70F (21C) but today it's back down to 40F (4-5C). What the hell! And the weather doesn't look too promising for this upcoming week either. Looks like mostly temps in the 50ies (10 C) with lows in the 30s (around freezing C) for some nights. Brrrr. I am really over it. 

At least we were able to enjoy the nice weather yesterday and went for the first walk of the season. Between my ankle injury back in November and the colder weather, ice/snow, we haven't really been out and about much since last fall. I am definitely out of shape. But it was nice to be outside walking. We walked for about 4 miles on a paved trail in Cheshire/Meriden we go to a lot. It runs alongside a river and lake and has some pretty scenery. Plus it's flat and paved. So just the right thing to get back into walking. We had a nice walk and then lunch in Oxford at 121. You could feel the temperature dropping, getting windier etc. Today it's really windy, gloomy and cold. Total opposite from yesterday. 

Well, one more full work week plus a half a week and then I will be on the plane to Europe. I don't know if I am ready. Well I know I am not. Haha. Between work (I still need to cover for a co-worker for 3 days while she is on a mini vacation) and just getting ready on a personal level, no nowhere near ready. I do have a bunch of things accumulated and set aside that I need to bring with me when I go. Just need to try and make sure not to forget anything. I have contacted a good amount of friends already to try and set up gettogethers. Won't really be in Austria for very long (just 3 days) Most of the trip will be in Croatia. Originally it was going to be Piran, Slovenia but my dad now switched to a different hotel across the bay in Croatia. Either way, the food and wine will be delicious. I am flying into Trieste, Italy (about 1 hr 15 min from the hotel) Leaving on April 25 and returning on May 7. I am sure it will fly by super fast. 

Not too much else going on right now. Just taking it easy today. Going to drop off some clothes I want to donate and then heading for lunch. Going to catch up on some TV shows when we get back. And well then it will already be Monday again. Time just flies by too fast, especially on the weekends. 

Letter/Mail Update: A letter went out on Monday to: Celia/MA. Received letters from/owe replies to: Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 11:56 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Busy Week

25c159c12b77354db5eb12029c8513e6And somehow it's already April 10. I am not even sure how that happened. And what is it doing outside? Snowing! Well to be fair it's just snow showers and not really sticking much. I don't think it's supposed to accumulate too much but it's just the point. Where's spring? But then on Friday and Saturday it's supposed to get up to 70F (21C) but then on Sunday back down to 50F (10C) Such crazy weather. I do hope that we actually get the nice weather even if it's just for two days. We will need to figure out something to do outside on Saturday, maybe go for a walk even if it's just something short. 

Let's see, what else? The rest of our Maine weekend was nice last weekend. Saturday night we went to the Thirsty Pig and that was a lot of fun. Sunday we slept in and then stopped in Portsmouth at the Portsmouth Brewery. Always a fun place and a good meal. So all in all a very nice weekend. Then last week was ok, nothing too crazy really. Just regular work stuff. 

This past weekend on Saturday we went to see "The Isle of Dogs" (Wes Anderson's newest movie) I liked it, really your typical Wes Anderson movie. Had lunch after and in the evening I relaxed, finished my book and had some tea. Sunday we had brunch at the Red Rooster and later caught up on some recorded shows. I feel like we are getting behind again with our shows but oh well. A bunch of them are going to be ending some time in May so we can catch up after that as needed. 

This week has been very busy so far. Been covering for a colleague who's been out sick. I hope she feels better soon. Miss her when she's not there. Obviously because I have to cover for her but also because it's less fun not having her around. Well hopefully she will feel better by tomorrow. Fingers crossed. Oh, also set up my Galaxy S9 and sent back my old Galaxy S7 Edge. So it's official. All new phone, no more old phone. It felt weird wiping the old phone and sending it back. 

 Letter/Mail Update: A letter went out on Monday to: Celia/MA. Received letters from/owe replies to: Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:37 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Maine Easter Weekend

PortlandheadlightHappy Easter from Maine. :) I am really not even a big Easter person but it's a good excuse Fedjacks for a quick getaway as I already had 1/2 a day on Good Friday so I took that 1/2 a day off and we were able to go away for a long weekend to Portland, Maine. 

Yesterday, Friday, we drove up from Connecticut and stopped in Kennebunkport, Maine for lunch. There's a neat brewpub there called Federal Jack's. It's been a little while since we have been but it never disappoints. Always fun to go back. Had delicious lobster bisque & a crab and havarti cheese sandwich. Very yummy. We hung out for a bit and then continued on to Portland. 

Staying at the Portland Harbor Hotel (found a deal on Travelzoo a while back and I'm really happy with the hotel - it has a neat nautical and old timey theme and feel to it) For dinner we went to a place called Central Provisions. It was tapas style food with an open kitchen which was really neat. We sat at the bar and I was able to watch all the prep and cooking being done. Almost like a live Food Network show. Very cool. The food was delicious as well. Then we headed back to the hotel bar and had some more wine before heading back to the room.

Today we had breakfast at a local diner called Becky's. Had to wait for about 20 min. but had a good diner breakfast. Then headed back to the hotel to get the car and drove over to the Portland Head Light. Took some pictures of the lighthouse and scenery. Worked out because the weather turned sunny today so that was good. Still a bit cool and breezy but the sunshine made up for it. After the lighthouse we headed to a tasting room of a Maine winery called Cellar Door (at Thompson's Pointe - very fitting) Hung out there for a bit. Really neat tasting room (urban chic) I am really enjoying Portland. It's very industrial but new at the same time. Lots of hipster tendencies and neat renovated warehouse spaces. Very fun city. 

For dinner we will try to check out a place called "The Thirsty Pig". Hopefully they have room. It's close to the Stonewall Kitchen store. So we will stop by and see how it goes and figure it out from there. Tomorrow we will probably sleep in and then have lunch somewhere on the way back. We'll see how it goes. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received letters from/owe replies to: Celia/MA and Nina/WA. 

Posted by Hanna at 04:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)