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)

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Where is spring?

PixlrSo it is now officially spring but I think nature didn't quite get that memo.  We had more snow and another Nor'Easter this week. To be fair we didn't get nearly the amount that they forecasted for our area but it's just annoying needing to deal with ice and snow at all at the end of March. I am really over it. Ugh. 

I am ready for some nicer weather, sun, spring flowers and for nature to wake up again. I guess it will happen sooner or later. Next weekend is Easter and we are going to head up to Maine. Got a deal on Travelzoo for a hotel in Portland, Maine so that should be good. Just 2 nights but it's always nice to be away for a bit.  I have a 1/2 day off for Good Friday and decided to take 1/2 a vacation day so we can head up to Maine on Friday. We will come back Sunday. No real plans as the weather looks a bit iffy but I guess we can play it by ear and see how it goes. 

Annoying it's already Sunday again but I guess at least I will have a 4 day week next week which will be nice. Also it's only a month now until I leave for Europe. Looking forward to going. My parent's cat passed away earlier this week which is sad. It will be weird going there and not having him around. He was a Maine Coon and such a sweet and friendly giant cat. RIP Jumbo. 

This weekend we mostly relaxed. Ran a few errands,  had lunch.  My new Galaxy S9 phone also got delivered. But I didn't realize it uses a different charging cable than my current S7 so I am ordering more cables before I activate the phone.  

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

Posted by Hanna at 05:02 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 19, 2018

Kevin Hart, St. Patrick's Day Weekend

Kevin-Hart-The-Irresponsible-TourSo tomorrow is the first official day of spring. It really does not feel like spring though. Right now (at 7.15am) it is 26F (-3C) and feels like 19F (-7C) according to the Weather Channel. The high later is supposed to be 40F (4C) And I don't think tomorrow is going to be a whole lot better. And for Wednesday there is snow in the forecast again. Not a lot, about 1-3 inches is what they are saying right now (2.5-7.5 cm) But still. Just ugh. I am really just over winter and the snow/ice/cold. I am ready for some warmer weather. Well I guess, patience is a virtue. It will come sooner or later. 

This weekend we went to Bridgeport on Saturday to see Kevin Hart's standup at the Webster Bank Arena. Definitely a lot of fun. Saturday was also St. Patrick's Day. I am really not a big fan of the holiday, especially here in the US. Everyone seems to go a little crazy. We ended up at an Italian restaurant prior to the show. (to avoid the St. Patrick's Day crowds) We originally decided to go to a place called Milano Wine Bar but weren't too thrilled with it. After we finished our drink, we left and then we saw another Italian place across the street called Trattoria 'A Vucchella and went there instead. Neat little place with really good food. Lots of Italian people working there as well which was a good sign. I had lasagna and it was pretty yum. Anyway, we hung out there for a while before heading to the show. Luckily the weather wasn't too terrible. It was cold but no rain or snow so the 10 minute walk back and forth to the arena from the garage wasn't too bad. 

Sunday we went to the movies and saw " Annihilation". All in all a good movie even though I am still not a 100% how to interpret the whole thing. I can't really say too much about it without giving things away but anyway I'd recommend it. It was different and interesting enough. And I always enjoy Natalie Portman. After the movies we had lunch at 121 in Oxford. Then stopped at the store for some stuff and eventually caught up with some recorded shows. And well here we are and now it's Monday again. 

We'll see what this week brings. I am really not in the mood for more snow on Wednesday. Normally that would be the best day as I usually works from home on Wednesdays but I decided to go into the office this week for a meeting. Let's hope it doesn't end up cancelled. Well, we shall see I suppose. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 07:31 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Is it spring yet??

IMG_20180310_193633_501I am so over winter, I really am. We ended up with about 14 inches of snow in Danbury last Wednesday (some neighboring towns got as much as 28 and more) and I am really just over it. Some of it has melted but definitely not all. And they are forecasting another storm for Monday night into Tuesday. Right now it doesn't look like it will be a major one but I don't want another 4-6 inches on top of what we already have. I am ready for spring. Well enough complaining. At least we didn't lose power as a lot of people lost power the Friday before that due to heavy winds/rain and then also on Wednesday with the winds/heavy snow bringing down a lot of trees. 

Had another quiet weekend as Mike had to go to NJ (Princeton) on a last minute business trip. So I ended up having a very quiet weekend with the cats, lots of reading, drinking tea, etc. Friday night I watched "Not Another Happy Ending" Was a fun indie type movie set in Scotland. It had 2 actors in it who also starred in Outlander (Stanley Weber & Gary Lewis) which was a happy coincidence as well as Karen Gillian who I really like. So that was a fun movie to watch. 

Also been doing a good amount of reading. Let's see, just finished "The Accidental Empress" by Alison Pataki. It's historical fiction and based on Sisi/Elisabeth, the Austrian empress. I really enjoyed it. There's a second book/sequel that I just checked out from the library as well. I also read "Beautiful Ruins" by Jess Walters and that was really good as well. Different people and settings as well as decades (now, 60ies, Hollywood, Italy, Scotland and more) all intertwined. Went to the library earlier today and checked out 3 more books. Definitely on a roll with my reading so far this year. 

Well tomorrow is already Monday again. I've been tired all day and I blame it on the fact that we switched over to Daylight Savings time. That always makes me feel out of sorts. And I hate that we switch so early in the year now (legacy from W. Bush) 2 weeks before Europe. Annoying. It was just starting to get light out in the morning when I have to get up and tomorrow morning it will probably be pitch black dark again. I hate getting up in the dark, one of my least favorite parts of winter, well besides the cold and the snow and all that. 

Well this seemed like a pretty bitchy post altogether today. I do apologize for that. Hopefully the next one will be a bit more cheery. Fingers crossed. 

Letter/Mail Update: A letter is going out tomorrow to: Celia/MA.

Posted by Hanna at 04:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)