Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Vermont Easter Weekend

IMG_20170415_093757_559 IMG_20170415_152328_998 IMG_20170416_123426_177A little behind with my updating but here's a quick recap from our weekend in Vermont over Easter. :) 

Went into work at 7am on Good Friday so I was able to leave at 11am (only 1/2 day for us) Once I was out of work we drove up to Vermont. About a 4 1/2 hour drive. We were slowed down by some construction work so I think it took us about 5 hours but still not too terrible. 

Once we made it to Burlington we checked in at our hotel. We had booked a neat boutique hotel in South Burlington (Green Mountain Suites Hotel) Our room had a cozy fireplace and a nice layout overall. After freshening up a bit we went to check out a store called 'Wine and Cheese Traders". Really neat store. Vermont definitely seems to be all about the cheese. Not a bad thing in my eyes. :)

Afterwards we headed into downtown Burlington. Walked around for a bit and ended up having dinner at the Vermont Pub & Brewery. Pretty neat place. Then on Saturday we headed out of the city to go wine tasting. It turned out to be a really nice day even if it didn't start off that way initially. On our way up from CT the day before we had gotten a tire pressure warning in the car. We checked on the tires but they didn't seem to have any real issues. The next day we put some air into the front tire and that made the warning go away (well for a bit anyway) Once we got to the first winery we checked the tire again and by that point it had really gotten low so clearly something was off. At that point it was Saturday mid morning on Easter weekend. We called around and luckily found a tire repair shop some miles away. And by some miracle we managed to limp to that place without getting stranded on the side of the road. They couldn't fix the tire (there was a screw in it) but they had a compatible tire at least. Fixed us up and we were on our way to continue the wine tasting for real this time. Stopped at two wineries and were able to sit outside, enjoy a cheese platter & drink some wine. Very enjoyable way to spend the day. 

Once we got back into Burlington we had dinner at Citizen Cider. Neat to be able to taste various ciders while also having yummy food. And well Sunday it was already time to head back. We had breakfast and stopped at the Ben & Jerry's Factory on the way home which was fun. Got to taste some ice cream and break up the drive home a bit. Yesterday, Monday, it was back to work. Lots of Europe had Monday off for Easter Monday so my communication with any European offices was slowed down quite a bit. We will see what today and the rest of the week brings. The weather is very up and down in typical April fashion. Can't complain too much I guess.  

Letter/Mail Update:Letters went out yesterday to: Bianca/Germany, Eloine/NY, Nina/WA and Eunice/Malta. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:39 AM in Food and Drink, Outdoors, Travel, Wine | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Valentine's, Birthday Weekend for Mike, Broadway and more

PixlrAnother busy week has come to an end. Already Sunday afternoon again, how does that happen? 

Had a good but definitely busy week. Tuesday was Valentine's Day. I had to work till 6 but after I got out we made our way over to Red Rooster in Newtown. First time I had been there but I really liked the place. It was busy but we lucked out and managed to get a seat at the bar. Yummy thin crust pizza.

Yesterday was Mike's birthday and we headed down to NYC to see "The Book of Mormon" on Broadway. Been wanting to see it for ages, it's been on Broadway since 2011 I think.  It was definitely worth the wait and really funny.  Had lunch at "The Perfect Pint" prior to the show and afterwards we went to dinner at Ibiza back in CT - yummy tapas. 

Today we slept in and then stopped at my office for a min. Wanted to hang up a couple of things I got for my cubicle. Afterwards we headed to 121 in Oxford for lunch. Relaxing and drinking some delicious rose from Provence now.

Let's see what next week brings at work. Mike is actually off to CA for 3 nights starting tomorrow. Our Australian friend Nicki will be in L.A. so he will meet up with her. I would have loved to have been able to go but with my new job and saving up vacation time it is really not a good time. Oh well. At least the weather has turned almost spring like here in CT at the moment too. Can't complain too much.  :) 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter/owe a reply to: Eloine/NY, Bianca/Germany and Tiffany/OK.

Posted by Hanna at 04:00 PM in Food and Drink, Holidays, NYC, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween from Montreal

PixlrHappy Halloween :) We really IMG_20161031_180832aren't doing anything Halloween related but that's ok. We decided to go to Canada for a 3-night getaway to have a few more days of vacation before I start my new job. One week from today, Nov. 7th. 

Drove up to Montreal on Saturday. It's about a 5 hr drive so not too bad. We timed it so we would get here around 3pm for check in time. Settled in for a bit and then headed to the old town of Montreal which is just a few blocks from our hotel,  very convenient. Had dinner at Les 3 Brasseurs - one of our favorite restaurants. Delicious poutine, popcorn shrimp and spicy pepperoni flatbread. 

Sunday we checked out Exporail, a railway museum about 30 min from Montreal. They had the whole place decorated for Halloween which was pretty cool. Always fun to see the different old rail cars and locomotives. After the museum we headed back downtown and had a late lunch. Delicious Swiss cheese fondue followed by Nutella banana crepes for dessert.  Yum! Checked out another neat bar (Pub BreWsky) afterwards as well.

Today we had a yummy breakfast at Eggspectation. So good.  And then headed east into rural Quebec for some wine tasting. Checked out four vineyards and had a lot of fun tasting and talking to the staff. It being a weekday and off season we were the only people at each place we went to. 

Tomorrow it's already time to drive back across the border.  Going to have lunch and then make our way back. Not ready to leave. Till we meet again Quebec!! A plus tard Quebec!! 

Letter/Mail Update: A letter went out on Friday to; Eloine/NY. Received letters/owe replies to: Carmen/Malta, Celia/MA and Nina/WA.

Posted by Hanna at 08:34 PM in Food and Drink, Travel, Wine | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Boston Meet-up :)

IMG_20161012_173301Quick update about our trip to Boston yesterday. Found out recently that my Dutch friend Esther was coming to the States with her husband, on a sort of last minute/spur of the moment vacation. After some back and forth I learned that she was visiting friends in Boston. Since we're not that far from Boston (2 1/2-3 hours without traffic depending on the area) I suggested that we should meet up. 

I am really glad that things worked out and we managed to get together. We've been in touch online (on Livejournal) and via mail since 2011ish (we both weren't sure on the exact date - time flies) but had never met in person. I am glad that we could make it work so we finally met up in person. It was fun to be able to hang out. 

We met up with them at the place where they are staying and then drove into Boston together. Walked along the Freedom Trail while chatting about all sorts of various topics. Made a stop at the Hard Rock for a yummy lunch and continued on the trail afterwards. Managed to snap some neat pictures, a truly gorgeous fall day. Perfect weather. 

Had a long day yesterday (got up at 5.30am and didn't return to CT till 9.30pm) but it was totally worth it. Always glad when I get to meet a pal I have known for a while but have never met in person. Yay. :) 

Other than that not too much else going on. Still job hunting. Waiting for a final answer from one job which now should be coming on Monday. Everyone keep your fingers crossed for me that the answer will be a positive one. If not it's back to the drawing board. But either way, I know something will work out one way or another. Just need to stay confident and keep looking. 

Bunch of plans for this weekend. Want to see the movie "The Accountant". We also have tickets to see the band Chvrches at Radio City Musical Hall Saturday night. And on Sunday we are supposed to be heading to Wurtsburo airport for a glider ride for Mike (Christmas present from last year) Hopefully the weather cooperates as we already had to reschedule it once due to that. 

Letter/Mail Update: All caught up with my mail at the moment. :) 

Posted by Hanna at 04:42 PM in Food and Drink, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Oregon Coast .. goodbye West Coast :(

IMG_20160821_210119And it's already our last day here IMG_20160822_195707 on the West Coast. Where did the last 8 days go? Time always flies by so fast when you are having fun. 

We left Portland on Sunday morning and headed to the coast. When we made it to the ocean it was still a bit cloudy but the weather improved quickly and the clouds gave way to sun. Such pretty scenery. 

We did some wine tasting and after headed to Yaquina Head Lighthouse where we checked out a couple of trails and took loads of pictures. Such a pretty area. 

Later we had lunch at the brewpub at Rogue Brewery before checking in at our hotel (just a Days Inn..  had gotten used to the Air B&Bs we had in Seattle and Portland which were much nicer of course) Walked down to the main street to check out the various shops and restaurants. What a funky town. 

Monday we left Newport and continued up to Cannon Beach. On the way we checked out the Three Cape Scenic Route which was very pretty. Cape Kiwanda, Cape Lookout and Cape Meares. Saw the Lighthouse at Cape Meares and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. Also stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory (yummy samples!!)

Once we got to Cannon Beach we had lunch at the Pelican Brewery. And walked up and down the main street to look at all the shops. Very cute and quaint town. Did some more wine tasting and eventually had a nice relaxed dinner. 

This morning we walked along the beach for a bit, out to Haystack Rock. Cool and breezy but really pretty. Now at lunch at the Wayfarer Inn. Had the most delicious double cheese (asiago on the outside, cheddar on the inside] melt with avocado, tomato and bacon & garlic fries. So yum. Now just sitting, sipping on my glass of Pinot Gris, looking out at the ocean.

I so do not want to leave. Of course we will have to make our way back to Seattle airport regardless after lunch. Well Oh well ..  until next time West Coast :)

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

Posted by Hanna at 04:55 PM in Beach, Food and Drink, Outdoors, Travel, Wine | Permalink | Comments (0)

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)

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Hello from Seattle

IMG_20160817_200013Already Thursday again. Time's flying by. Our alarm went off at 2.45 am on Tuesday so we could catch our morning flight to Seattle from Newark. The flight seemed to be never ending but we eventually made it to Seattle. Picked up our rental car and drove to the area where we were staying. We couldn't check in yet so we just parked the car and took the Light Rail to downtown to explore. 

Spent some time walking around Pike Place Market and had lunch at a really neat brewpub (Old Stove). After lunch we made our way over to Seattle Center via the monorail. Took some pictures of the Space Needle and went to the Experience Music Project museum. Such a cool place. Afterwards we headed back to Pike Place Market and hung out for a bit before meeting up with my friend Nina for dinner at Pike Place Brewing Company. Was great to meet up with Nina after writing letters for 10 years. Always neat to get to meet people in person. 

Yesterday, Wednesday, we drove north to the Boeing Factory for a tour. They bring you through the factory so you can see the planes being assembled and whatnot. It's really pretty neat. Such a huge complex too. They employ 40,000 people in that location alone. Pretty fascinating when you think about it. It's like a small city with their own fire department, police, coffee shops, cafes, daycares etc. 

After we were done at Boeing we headed back south again to Woodinville for lunch and some wine tasting. Had lunch at the Red Hook Brewpub and then went for wine tasting at Columbia Winery and Chateau Ste Michelle. Was happy to get to visit Chateau Ste Michelle as it is definitely one of my favorite wines. Neat to go to their tasting room after all these years. 

After we were done we fought our way back south through rush hour traffic. Had dinner at the Columbia City Ale House near where we are staying and later some wine, sitting outside. Nice end to the day.

Today we are going to the Museum of Flight and later are going to head back into the city to take the ferry over to Bainbridge Island. Should be a good day. :)  

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

Posted by Hanna at 12:05 PM in Food and Drink, Travel, Wine | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Goodbye Croatia, hello Slovenia :)

IMG_20160608_151233And here we are. Already Wednesday night in Ljubljana. Time's flying as usual of course. Had a nice remaining stay in Croatia and was kind of sad to say goodbye to my balcony with the lovely view of the ocean/sea. So beautiful and blue, truly perfect.

Monday we took a trip to the Krka National Park. Took a boat ride to the waterfalls. It was kind of hot so we didn't actually walk close to the falls but I saw them from the distance. Had a lovely lunch and great time before thunderstorms started to threaten the area. Had the most delicious tuna salad with black beans, corn, onion, cucumbers, tomatoes - so good.

Tuesday we ran a few errands to pick up some gifts for people back in Austria and the US (cheese, wine and whatnot) and had another lovely lunch at the restaurant in Simuni. When we got back to the hotel in the afternoon I spent a few hours by the pool and went swimming. It was probably the hottest day so perfect to spend some time hanging out in and by the water.

Today, Wednesday, we packed up the car after breakfast and then made our way towards Slovenia. Had a delicious lunch while still in Croatia. Eventually crossed over to Slovenia and then checked into the hotel in Ljubljana. Tomorrow we will be on our way to Austria.

Lots planned for once I get to Austria. Hair dresser appointment, meet ups with friends and family both in Lower Austria and Vienna. As usual I will be busy and I am sure time will fly by. For now I still have a week to go before I have to board my plane back to NYC. Lots more food and adventures to be had so stay tuned. :)  

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

Posted by Hanna at 02:52 PM in Food and Drink, Travel | 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)

Friday, June 03, 2016

Croatia .. sun, sea and delicious food :)

IMG_20160602_223245And it's already Friday. Got here Wednesday and we are here into next week Wednesday.  That's when we leave for Slovenia. Staying there for a night before heading to Austria to be back there Thursday night. 

The weather has worked out in my favor so far. It's been a bit unstable with thundershowers but yesterday it cleared up right around midday so we were able to sit outside for lunch. Had a delicious fish/seafood platter in a restaurant right by the sea. Since the weather had turned out to be nice we continued on to the island of Pag and to the olive trees in Lun. It's a world heritage site with 1500 year old olive trees. Very cool. Bought some sage honey at one of the stands as well.

Later in the day after we returned to the hotel I sat on the balcony for a bit. That's when it started thundering and eventually downpouring again for a bit.  But it really didn't matter anymore at that point.

Had breakfast this morning and are now heading out as the weather is pretty nice so far again. Driving to the island of Vir. Will update again more in the next few days. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 04:50 AM in Food and Drink, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)