Saturday, August 20, 2016

Portland, Oregon

IMG_20160820_114224Hello from Portland.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, August 08, 2016

Hopkins Inn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Summer Hikes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, July 04, 2016

4th of July weekend

20160704_084131Happy 4th of July to all my American friends. :) The holiday happens to fall on a Monday this year which is turning this into an extended weekend for most of the country. I say most of the country because I still ended up working on Saturday and today. But it's ok, not the end of the world. 

We really aren't the BBQ or picnic type people mostly anyway so it's not the end of the world. We actually did have an invitation to go to a BBQ/picnic yesterday but already had other plans so that didn't work out. 

Saturday after work we had a leisurely lunch at 121 in Oxford. And on Sunday we took advantage of the nice weather and spent some time outdoors. Went to Hyde Park and walked along a trail by the Hudson. The weather was pretty humid though so even the short 2.5 pretty flat trail felt like a challenge. We did have fun being outside though. 

Afterwards we went to the Mill House in Poughkeepsie for a late lunch and to watch the France-Iceland Euro game. When that was done we went to the place where Candy Hearts was playing. It was at a pizza place in Poughkeepsie and had more of an open mic feel. Kind of weird but pretty neat all in all. There were a bunch of other people playing before Mariel came on. Had fun hanging out and listening to the various people though. 

Today we are at work but should get out of here by noon. Afterwards we are going to check out a winery not that far from here (Glorie Wines) for some wine tasting and then lunch near the water at the River Station Restaurant. Should be a nice afternoon. 

Mail Update. A letter went out to Eunice/Malta on Tuesday last week. All caught up with my mail at the moment. :)  

Posted by Hanna at 10:41 AM in Food and Drink, Holidays, Outdoors, Wine | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 05, 2016

More Croatia :)

IMG_20160605_095853And it's already Sunday again.  Why does time always fly when you are enjoying yourself? I am currently sitting on the balcony with my feet up, a glass of wine, reading "The Shell Seekers" and listening to the waves. 

Friday we drove to the island of Vir. Also stopped in Nin for a bit and bought a bunch of neat things at the salt museum gift shop (rosemary salt, basil salt, fleur de sel sea salt, olive oil and various scented bath salts) Had a great lunch close to the water. Super yum. 

Yesterday, Saturday, we took the road along the coast and drove all the way to Senj. Very pretty drive. In a way reminded me of a Croatian version of CA Highway 1. Really pretty scenery and a great drive along the coast. Had lunch in Senj and then cut through the mountains over to the highway inland to drive back to the hotel.

Today, Sunday, we drove to Primosten (about hour and a half away) and had lunch in another lovely restaurant right on the water. Had yummy fish soup and a delicious grilled fish platter with veggies, olives, etc. Cappuccino, wine,  ... life's good :)

Will see what the weather holds in store tomorrow and decide what to do then. 2 more nights here after tonight. Making the most of my time near the sea and my balcony :)

Mail Update: Received letters from/owe replies to: Nina/WA and Lotte/Denmark. 

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

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Walkway over the Hudson, Broadway and more

Pixlr_20160501145259830And already Sunday afternoon again. Can't complain. Had/having a very relaxed weekend. Didn't have to work Saturday which was nice.  

Saturday the weather was pretty nice as well so we took advantage of that and spent some time outdoors, on the Walkway over the Hudson. Always enjoy spending time there and when the cooperates it's extra nice.  Walked across and back again and then had a leisurely lunch at the Millhouse Brewpub. Yum. 

Hung out at Two Steps with some friends and later watched "Special Correspondents" (Ricky Gervais, Eric Bana) on Netflix. Really neat and funny movie.  So all in all a fun day.

Got to sleep in again this morning.  Managed to write two letters while having some tea before we headed out for lunch.  Now at 121 in Oxford having some yummy food and wine, relaxing, before we are heading back home to catch up on some recorded TiVo shows and movies. Should be a nice relaxed rest of our Sunday.

In other fun news just splurged on some Broadway tickets for my birthday which is Oct 24. The tickets are for Sunday 3pm, Oct 23. I love Broadway and it's been ages since we have been to a show. These seats are really great too, pretty much right in the middle of the action.  If you want to check it out go take a look here.  Really can't wait.  Should be worth the price for an unique and different experience  (you can check out the seating when you click on "Tickets") We have two of the blue dots, the swiveling arm chairs. :) 

Well that's all for today. Going to spend the rest of this rainy day drinking some more tea and wine and catching up on shows. And tomorrow it's already Monday again.  

Mail Update: Mailing letters tomorrow to Charles/TN and Celia/MA. 

Posted by Hanna at 03:48 PM in Food and Drink, NYC, Outdoors, Performances | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Relaxed Weekend

IMG_20160424_152651Only worked Wednesday to Saturday this week but the week still felt long.  Busy after coming back from Chicago.  Even though we technically only took 2 business days off it still felt like there was a lot of things to catch up on. Always so much to do. 

And of course the weekend flew by like crazy.  Worked Saturday till about 2pm. Then headed to a winery near work (Brotherhood) where we had some wine and a meat and cheese platter. Then hung out at a local place with some friends watching the Mets game before heading back home. 

Today, Sunday, we slept in a little and then went for a walk near a reservoir across the border in Brewster, NY. Was a nice walk near the water and woods.  Nice being outdoors. When we were done we headed to Oxford to 121 for a leisurely lunch.  Happy surprise that they rolled out a new menu for spring/summer with some interesting new additions. 

Later we are going to stop at the store for some necessities and then catch up on our recorded TV shows on TiVo. Yay for a relaxed Sunday night.  :) 

Mail Update: Mailed letters on Wednesday to: Carmen/Malta, Laura/Spain, Lotte/Denmark and Jessica/DE. Still owe a reply to: Charles/TN. 

Posted by Hanna at 03:51 PM in Food and Drink, Outdoors | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 18, 2016

Art & Animals - Chicago Day 3

Instaplace_20160418_122031And here's my recap for today. Figured I would post it in a separate post to try and keep Instaweather_20160418_160208 things more organized. :)

Had a really nice day so far today as well. Got up and decided that it was early enough for us to have a real sit down breakfast before heading to the Art Institute. Dropped off my postcards at the post office on the way and then had a yummy diner breakfast before eventually heading to the museum. 

There was a line at the museum to get in. They open at 10.30 and we were there at maybe 10.15-10.20. The line wasn't too long though and we had purchased our tickets online and printed them so once the doors opened we were able to bypass the ticket line and could go straight through to the exhibits. So that was a big help. 

First thing we did was go to the special exhibit (Van Gogh's Bedrooms) It's been very popular and at times can get very crowded so we wanted to make sure to go and see it on a weekday first thing in the morning when they open up. Worked out well as there was no line to get into the exhibit. Of course there were people there but all in all it wasn't terribly crowded. And I really enjoyed the exhibit and had a lot of fun with it. 

After we were done with the Van Gogh things we explored the rest of the museum. We had been there previously in 2007 and liked it then so I wasn't surprised to enjoy it just as much this time around. Lots of interesting collections. Loved the Impressionist paintings. Always my favorite anyway. Also checked out a bunch of the more modern art and various other things. 

When we were done at the museum we took the train to the zoo. The weather has been really nice so it was perfect walking around outside weather. Really no complaints whatsoever. We have completely lucked out with the weather. It's been in the high 60ies/low 70ies (18-22C) and sunny the whole time we have been here. So nice. Tomorrow it's supposed to get cloudy/rainy again later in the day but it won't really matter since our flight leaves at 1.30pm. 

Anyway, the zoo was a lot of fun, despite the fact that it's spring break here in Chicago at the moment which meant A TON of kids running around. The zoo is free (which is really surprising but cool) so of course a big attraction for people with kids. Anyway, we had fun either way and enjoyed looking at all the cute animals. 

Eventually made our way back to the hotel where we are now. Relaxed for a bit and are going to head out to dinner at another brewpub in a bit. This one's called Haymarket Brewing. Oh, almost forgot. At the zoo we had a super delicious Chicago hot dog (with mustard, relish, peppers, diced onions and pickles) Really like their hot dogs. Not sure I am a big fan of their deep dish pizza but their style of hot dogs I do like. :)

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Charles/TN, Carmen/Malta, Laura/Spain, Lotte/Denmark and Jessica/DE. 

Posted by Hanna at 05:47 PM in Food and Drink, Outdoors, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spring, Art, NYC, Outdoors and more

Instaplace_20160319_145215Happy Spring. It really doesn't feel Pixlrlike spring today though. I can't complain too much.  We have had some nice weather earlier, temperatures even breaking record highs for the time of year. But today it's just a little above freezing and it's going to snow later.  Ugh. I know I shouldn't be upset since we have had a very mild winter all in all. But I am just ready for spring, ready for the leaves to come back, flowers and green. Soon!!!

Thursday we had pretty nice weather and were able to leave work for a little bit to go for a hike.  We discovered a state forest with various trails just a short distance from our new office.  So we went for a hike that ended at a neat boardwalk around a swamp. Had fun exploring and being outside.  Nice break from being behind a desk and in the office. 

Also were lucky to have both Saturday and Sunday off. Yay.  We have been working a lot of Saturdays lately so it was nice to get two days off in a row. So nice! So don't want to go to work tomorrow now.

Yesterday,  Saturday, we took the train into the city to go to MoMa (the Modern Art Museum). Always enjoy going there. NYc is always fun regardless. They had a neat Pollock exhibit we wanted to check out. There were also some Klimt paintings. And of course Van Gogh's "Starry Night". Had fun wandering around. And afterwards we went for lunch at Chevy's. Yummy Mexican food and margaritas. So delicious. 

Tomorrow is Monday and back to work. Snowy Monday, not the way I want to start the week.  Let's hope it doesn't snow much.  I am really not in the mood for it. 

Mail Update: Letters are going out tomorrow to: Charles/TN and Celia/MA. 

Posted by Hanna at 04:03 PM in Food and Drink, NYC, Outdoors | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Dominican Update

IMG_20160224_161935Hello again one more time. :) Already time to leave again tomorrow - how did that happen? Not going to focus on that just yet though. 

Yesterday, Tuesday, we went to a national park (3 Eyes) which was really cool. It's a network of caves and underground lakes. We ended up hiring a local guide when we got there which only cost $30 for the both of us and was well worth it since there were very few signs and all of them only in Spanish. The guide explained the history and navigated us through the place in an efficient manner. Plus he took a bunch of pictures of us. So yay for all of that. :) 

Then after the park we took a cab to the Blue Mall to have lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe. And at night we went for dinner at a neat place right near the ocean not far from our hotel (Adrian's Tropical) Really nice views at sunset and we had some yummy food as well. Tried mofongo for the first time (a Puerto dish that is also very popular here in the Dominican and has tons of variations) After dinner we had a couple more glasses of wine at the hotel bar. Nice and relaxing evening. 

Today we decided to go for another relaxing and easy going day and just walked along the ocean to another restaurant closer to the old town area to have lunch. Had lunch at D'Luis Parillada and hung out there for a while. Very nice in the shade with the ocean breeze and great views. Yummy food. Had delicious shrimp in a garlic sauce with rice. 

Afterwards we walked back and I spent some time playing around in the pool before drying off at the pool bar with a fun cocktail. Yum. Hung out for a while people watching, enjoying the tropical scenery. In a little while we are going to be heading to dinner. Really don't want to be leaving tomorrow AT ALL. 

Well, hope you're all doing ok and I will catch up with everyone on the flip side back in the snow and cold weather. :) 

Mail Update: Received letters/owe a reply to: Laura/Spain and Nina/WA.

Posted by Hanna at 04:13 PM in Beach, Food and Drink, Outdoors | Permalink | Comments (0)