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)

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)

Monday, July 24, 2017

Mystic Wedding Weekend



Pixlr (2)So here we are and I made it through week 1 of vacation coverage ok. I won't lie and say that it was easy but hey I made it through. That's all that matters in the end. I have three more days to go as my colleague will be back on Thursday this week. So fingers crossed that I can make it through these next three days without too many issues as well. At least there is an end at sight, light at the end of the tunnel type thing. Haha. I do complain but really, if I had to cover for anyone (and there's no way around that, you go on vacation, people cover for you, they go on vacation, you cover for them .. it's just life) I would honestly always pick this co-worker. Her files are in great order, well organized and documented plus I am familiar with a good junk of them or the policies at least as I am on the same client as her. So hey, that's something. 

Let's see, what else is going on besides work? This past weekend we went to Mystic to attend our friend's Megan and Jonathan's wedding. The venue (Latitude 41 at Mystic Seaport) was really great and the weather held up as well for their outdoor ceremony. It was muggy and humid but no rain. The forecast earlier in the week had looked a lot worse so I am glad that it all turned out ok for them. Truly beautiful ceremony and reception. Was happy to be able to share the day with them. We stayed at the Quality Inn which was really nothing special but prices in Mystic during peak season are just off the charts. Megan and Jonathan had a discounted rate at their hotel but that was still more money so we opted to just stay at the Quality Inn. Nothing fancy or luxurious by any means but we really just needed a room to crash in so whatever. 

Oh, on the way to Mystic on Saturday we stopped at Chamard's Vineyard in Clinton and had a great lunch at their bistro. I really enjoy that vineyard and we don't get to go too often since it's really not very close. Been wanting to try their bistro ever since they opened it but never got around to it. So I am glad that we were able to combine that with this trip out to Mystic. 

Sunday we slept in and then checked out at 11. Stopped in Hartford at City Steam Brewery for lunch. Always great food and lots of beers for Mike to try. And well now it's Monday again. Ugh. I want another day to just relax. Haha. It's dreary and raining outside so it would be the perfect day to just stay in bed and sleep. Oh well. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received letters from/owe replies to: Laura/Spain, Eloine/NY, Michele/CA, Carmen/Malta, Kimber/Canada and Nina/WA.

Posted by Hanna at 07:28 AM in Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 17, 2017

Hopkins Inn



IMG_20170716_143250_869And here we are, it's Monday again and I have a week of coverage in front of me. Let's see how it goes. To be fair at least I am covering for a co-worker IMG_20170716_150118_736 I am pretty familiar with/know a lot of the clients she works on etc. Her files are usually very well documented and she goes out of her way to make things smooth. So fingers crossed I will make it through the next week and a half alive. Haha. :) 

Let's see what's new. Last week was busy but then all weeks in the summer seem to be busy of course lately. The weather was weirdly unstable pretty much all week. Thunderstorms, massive downpours, humidity. It mostly cleared out Friday into Saturday at least so that was nice. I think we are supposed to have a similiar weather pattern this week. Guess we'll see. So far it seems ok today but I think tomorrow we are supposed to get more rain. 

Saturday we went to the movies to see "The Big Sick". Really enjoyed that movie and would recommend it to anyone who hasn't seen it or hasn't heard of it. It's based on a true story and Kumail Nanjiani does a really great job, as well as the rest of the cast. It's pretty much a romantic comedy but based on true events. To sum it up in one sentence: It is the story of a relationship between a Pakistan-born aspiring comedian and a grad student who falls ill as they get to know each other. Anyway, go see it. :) 

Sunday we went up to the Hopkins Inn for our annual dinner. We usually go once during the summer, usually around our American wedding anniversary (July 12). The weather was great and we were able to sit outside on the porch and enjoy some delicious food. Had escargot, mozzarella & ham & arugula for starters, Wiener Schnitzel and Seafood Saute for the mains and Toblerone Sundae and Mint Parfait for dessert. Paired with a delicious bottle of Gruener Veltliner. Definitely a great meal. 

Well, now it's Monday morning and I'm getting ready for the day. I actually had some leftover schnitzel and roesti potatoes for breakfast. Yum. :)

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

Posted by Hanna at 07:17 AM in Austria , Food and Drink, Outdoors | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Broadway Saturday - Kinky Boots



IMG_20170624_171505_148Sunday afternoon, we meet again. Really, where does the time go? :) It's already super close to July now. Only one week left in June. So crazy. 

Yesterday, Saturday, was a fun day. We took the train into NYC in the morning and had lunch at "The Perfect Pint" before seeing the 2pm show of "Kinky Boots". What a great show. We had been meaning to see it for a while but there are so many shows on Broadway it's hard to make the time and money to see them all. But when Brendon Urie (from Panic at the DIsco) was announced to star in it we finally decided to go see it. I am really glad that we did because it was a truly great show. Very inspiring & heartfelt as well as funny with great music and dance numbers. Would recommend it in a heartbeat.

After the show we stopped into a restaurant/bar on our way back to Grand Central. Had another snack and I had some yummy Frozen Rose. Delicious. Later we took the train back and met up with our friend John at a local place for another couple of drinks. Fun and busy day all around.

Today we slept in late which was nice. Then went for lunch to Oxford. At 121 now. Had lunch and now just hanging out and relaxing with some wine. Nice, relaxing Sunday afternoon.

We will see what next week brings at work. I am sure it's supposed to be super busy. But it will be followed by a 4 day weekend. Management decided to give us Monday, July 3rd off as well as the 4th so we will have a 4 day weekend for the holiday. Really excited about that!!  Well let's get through this coming work week and then I can enjoy my four days off. :) 

Letter/Mail Update: Received letters from/owe replies to: Kimber/Canada, Eunice/Malta and Caroline/Scotland. 

Posted by Hanna at 03:29 PM in Food and Drink, NYC, Performances, Work Stories | Permalink | Comments (0)