Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Austria & London

IMG_20190322_200954_182And here I am sitting at the airport at Gatwick airport in London already waiting for our flight back to New York. As IMG_20190323_190600_206usual everything went by way too fast but then isn't that how things always go? 

Anyway, let's see if I can recap the most important things. I will turn this into 2 posts just to make it a little easier. 

So Tuesday last week (a week ago from today) was the funeral. As far as these things go it was a nice event and the pastor did a very good job. It was heartfelt but not unnecessarily drawn out. Afterwards our family went for come drinks and pastries at a close by restaurant. Was nice to see a lot of family and friends, some I hadn't seen in some time. Also went to the house and looked at old photo albums. There were some pictures of Uncle Karl when he was barely 18 and in the army. He looked so young. Crazy. 

The rest of my time in Austria was pretty quiet. Went for lunch with my parents, went to the store to buy some goodies and just spent time with them in general. Then Friday I was already off to London. I was catching a morning flight and as I was taking a shuttle transport that was picking up some other people had to leave at 1.40am. Getting up at 1am was no fun. But made it to the airport ok, checked in and got to Heathrow even a little early. Mike's flight from NY was about 1/2 hour delayed which was fine because it gave me enough time to make it to terminal 5 and have a bite to eat and some tea at Costa before Mike getting there. 

Made it to our hotel ok (Holiday Inn Whitechapel) and eventually headed back out to explore some of London. We walked along the river for a while, taking pictures of all the sights and also had lunch at a Weatherspoon's. Had a nice afternoon even though the weather was a bit gloomy. Then hung out at the hotel bar for a bit before calling it a night. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Celia/MA, Kimber/Canada, Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 09:56 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 18, 2019

Spring has sprung ...

Pixlr... well in Austria anyway. When I arrived on Sunday it was quite perfect. The high was around 70F (21C) on Saturday and I got to spend some pleasant time sitting in the garden soaking up the sun. There are also plenty of flowers already blooming in my parent's yard as well as some bushes/trees showing buds. Definitely much more of a sign of spring than we have seen in CT so far. 

To be fair today it went down to only about 40F (4.5C) and windy so not nearly as pleasant. Next few days it is supposed to be a mix of chilly and somewhat decent weather but relatively dry. I am off to London on Friday and currently the forecast for London is also pretty dry which is more than you can generally hope for in England. The temps look to be topping out in the 60ies (15C) which isn't half bad. 

Anyway, not too much has happened. Last week was ok. Just busy with trying to get everything done for going away. I left Saturday night out of Newark and my flight was pretty delayed but by some miracle everything worked out fine where I managed to catch my connection from Dublin to Vienna without a problem and had no problems with my luggage either. Made it to St. Poelten by train and then had lunch with my parents before heading back to the house. 

Today, Monday, I chilled for a bit in the morning after sleeping in late. Then my parents picked up lunch from a local restaurant. After eating lunch I worked for 1/2 a day from 1pm to 5pm. Made sure everything was in decent order before logging off and joining my parents in watching TV and having a glass of wine. Watched some TV and eventually headed upstairs now. Probably going to read for a bit before calling it a night.

Tomorrow is the funeral so that will be the main focal point of tomorrow. No exact plans for Wednesday and Thursday just yet but probably nothing major. Just lunch, some errands, shopping and spending time with family probably. Then Friday I am off to London to meet up with Mike. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Celia/MA, Kimber/Canada, Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 03:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 11, 2019

Daylight Savings Time, Andy Warhol/NYC and more

PixlrAlright today's complaint is Daylight Savings Time. I hate the whole concept to begin with but I hate it even more in the spring when we lose an hour and even worse it's not even spring yet. The US changes so ridiculously early now. It's super annoying. Yes it's light out later at night but in the mornings it had finally been somewhat light when I get up. No, not anymore. It was pitch black dark when our alarm went off at 5.45am. I don't actually get up till about 6.15am but even then it was still dark. Ugh. It's my least favorite part of winter. The cold, dark mornings. I am not a morning person to begin with and this just makes it ten times worse. Ugh. Alright I will stop complaining now but ugh.

The weekend was good but of course went by too fast but then when doesn't it? Saturday we went to NYC to see the Andy Warhol exhibit at the Whitney Museum. It only runs until the end of the month so I am glad that we were able to squeeze it in and go see it. And the weather on Saturday was actually really nice. It was in the low 50ies (12c) but somehow felt much warmer. The sun was out and people were sitting outside at restaurants in NY. So weird. It was nice to walk around and not be freezing for a change. So we went to the exhibit (out tickets were for 12.30pm) and then headed to brunch at a place called "The Spotted Pig" which was a lot of fun. The place fit the neighborhood perfectly somehow. Typical NYC prices too but it was fun to hang out for a bit. Would be a neat neighborhood to live in. Well, in a pretend world where we make way more money. :) 

Sunday we slept in late and then headed to lunch at 121 in Oxford before heading home to catch up some recorded TV shows. And well here we are and it's Monday again. It's finally starting to be light outside now that it's 7.33am. Yes, I will keep complaining about this for at least a few more weeks I assume. 

In other news our London trip is not that far away now. Only about a week and a half. And in a turn of events I'll actually be heading to Austria first and continuing on from there to London to meet up with Mike. The reason behind that sudden change of plans is not the best one though. I am heading home for a funeral. "Uncle Karl" (everyone in the extended family and friend circle always called him uncle no matter the actual personal relationship) passed away on Friday. He was 94 and for sure lived a full life and only had a real decline during the last 6 months or so when he had a 24 hour live-in help. Anyway, it is what it is I suppose. I'll be heading to Austria on Saturday, arriving there on Sunday and the funeral will be on Tuesday (so a week from tomorrow) Then on Friday I will continue on to London where I'll meet up with Mike and we will spend some days there as planned. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Celia/MA, Kimber/Canada, Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:43 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 04, 2019

Where's spring??

FB_IMG_1549149218165Ok yeah I am definitely over winter. Woke up to 10 inches of snow this morning and that was after we had some minor snow events this past week as well. They were just a couple of inches though. This one dumped a good amount on us. Ugh. I haven't actually gone outside yet. Lingered in bed for way too long. just not feeling this snowy Monday morning scenario. I wish I could just stay in bed. All the schools in the area are closed. Not that that matters for me but would be great not to have to work today either. Oh well, I will go outside in a minute. Looks like our landlord just showed up to plow our driveway and parking area behind the house. We will still need to clean off the stairs outside and the area around the car. Also really should shovel a path to the mailboxes. Not sure how much time I will have to get that done though. ugh. 

So anyway, had a nice relaxing weekend which was good. Slept in on both days which I think is why I was craving sleeping in again today even more. Well, it's not to be. Yesterday I did get a few things done around the house. Vacuumed, cleaned the area around the kitty litter boxes and put on a new bed set. I always love the feeling of sleeping in new bed sheets. Also had put on newly washed PJs. So it was just a glorious feeling all around. Can you tell how everything I talk about this morning seems to revolve around sleeping?  

Well, I better get on with it and go outside now that the landlord has finished plowing so I can clean some more. Nothing really scheduled for this week so just the usual stuff. We'll see how the week goes at work. Technically we're still in the slower season but that doesn't always mean anything. It could get crazy for no real reason. So let's see what the week brings. Ugh. Monday mornings. Alright I better stop complaining and really get on with it. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Celia/MA, Kimber/Canada, Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:34 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 25, 2019

Book Launch + the Oscars

IMG_20190224_163203_441Brrr it's cold out. It's not even that cold out really. Just around freezing but it's super windy so with the windchill it only feels like about 20F (minus 6 C) Still not terrible but yesterday we were quite a bit above freezing. Although it wasn't really nice either. Mostly misty and rainy all day. But still, the temperature swings are getting annoying. It's always freezing for a few days, then warms up for a few days and then right back down to freezing. Ugh. I am ready for actual spring to come along. We will see how the weather plays out then. Our winter has definitely been unusual. A lot of ice storms rather than traditional snow. 

Let's see what else is new? This past weekend on Saturday we took Sherlock to the vet for her next appointment. She's now up to date for all her shots. Her next appointment is on April 5th to get spayed. She is still pretty tiny but has definitely grown since we got her. She's 3 lbs now where she was just a little over 1 pound when we first got her. She was sooo tiny. :) 

Saturday night we caught up on some TV and Sunday I went to my friend Falguni's book launch at the Barnes and Noble in Scarsdale, NY. It's always great to support a friend and exciting to be able to be part of her success. When that was done we stopped at Rosy Tomorrow's for a quick bite before heading home to watch the Oscars. I always enjoy watching the Oscars and this year was no different. Of course there are plenty of boring/dull moments but it's still fun. I do hope they find a host for next year though. The no-host thing worked out semi ok (better than I had thought) but I think it's still better when they have a good host. Guess we'll find out what happens next year. 

Well, that's all for now I suppose. Another week ahead. It will be March at the end of the week already. I know there is still plenty of chance for snow/ice and cold weather but at least once you hit March it feels like you're slowly creeping towards spring. Also we will be in London in March. I can't even remember if I have written about this on here yet or not. We're heading to London for 4 nights March 21 to 26. Still a month away but it will be fun to be away for a bit. It's been a while since we have been to the UK together. The last few times I had gone on my own visiting with friends. Should definitely be fun.  

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Celia/MA, Kimber/Canada, Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:33 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 18, 2019

Happy Birthday Mike

Isn't_It_Romantic_(2019_poster)Another snowy Monday morning. Ugh. At least it's not that much snow. But as with every storm this season so far there is a layer of ice coating everything. I am so over that. I am not a big fan of snow but this ice/frozen stuff is the worst. It turns everything into a skating rink. Ugh. Today (knock on wood) doesn't seem as bad as some of the previous storms but still. More to come Wednesday night into Thursday apparently. I am really over winter. Can we be done already? 

It's Mike's birthday today. Since it's a Monday and neither of us gets President's Day off we are both still heading into work. Going to meet up with some friends for dinner and drinks later. Been feeling a little under the weather with some minor stomach bug since Saturday night too. Hope this goes away again sooner rather than later. 

Let's see what else? This past week went by relatively quickly as I was away for work in Pittsburgh for 2 days. Went with 3 other people for a client visit so we drove. About 6 1/2-7 hour drive each way. On the way there we encountered some crazy stuff (sheets of ice flying off trucks and cars and snow white out conditions) part of the way. At least the way back was a pretty smooth ride. The meetings and presentations went well. So that was Wednesday and Thursday so then I just Friday to work and it was the weekend again. 

Well, now it's Monday again though unfortunately. Oh well, will get through this week too. The weekend was nice and pretty low key. Saturday we had our check-up vet appointment with our cat Mindy. She's never too easy when going to the vet so all in all it went as well as it could have. She is fine, just supposed to be losing some weight. Well, don't we all? 

Sunday we went to the movies and saw "Isn't It Romantic" which was pretty funny. Had lunch/brunch afterwards and caught up on some recorded TV. So yeah a laid back weekend all in all. Hopefully my stomach decides to reset itself sooner rather than later but anyway enough complaining about that for now. Better get ready for work.  

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Celia/MA, Kimber/Canada, Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:48 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 11, 2019

Anniversary North Fork Wine Weekend

IMG_20190209_150037_297Ugh, Monday again. We did have a really nice weekend so can't complain about that. It was our anniversary yesterday (married for 18 years -- crazy!) IMG_20190209_190833_104so we went away for the weekend. Spent the night at the Hotel Indigo on Long Island which is close to the North Fork wine region of Long Island. The North Fork is such a contrast to the rest of Long Island. Farmland, small villages, farm stands, wineries, etc. Really pretty and cozy. This time of the year it is also pretty quiet. Of course it's fun to go during the warmer weather months where you can sit outside and everything is green and pretty but that also means much larger crowds. Traffic can get crazy and the lines in the tasting rooms and hotel prices just get wacky. So it's nice to go during the off-season sometimes. Especially Sundays seem to be extra quiet. 

We drove out Saturday morning (a little over 2 hours) and did some wine tasting. We started at Clovis Point and then headed to Osprey's Dominion. Osprey's always seems to be a stop we make each time we go out there. After that we headed to lunch at A Mano which was pretty delicious. I had lasagna and Mike got a brunch egg spinach/mushroom/potato hash type dish. After lunch we continued on and stopped at Sannino Vineyard which was really small but very cozy. They are apparently building a new place for it. I imagine that's going to be nice but the current small place also had its charm. After that we went to Bedell which is really polar opposite, very sleek and modern looking. They do have a nice covered porch which can be nice during the warmer months if it happens to be raining. I remember one year we sat outside under the covered porch sipping wine, watching the rain on the grapes/vines. Last stop of the day was Macari where we ended with a bottle of wine and some cheese, serrano ham and crackers. Pretty delicious end to the day. We then checked into our hotel and hung out at the hotel bar for a while longer before eventually calling it a day.

Sunday we slept in a bit and then took advantage of the breakfast buffet included in our room rate. Just wanted to have a quick snack to have something in our stomachs before setting off on more wine adventures. :) We headed over to the South Fork to check out Channing Daughters Vineyard which was a pleasant surprise. We tried a bunch of quite different wines. They also had a bunch of neat wood sculptures/artwork and the grounds seemed nice. Then headed back over to the North Fork and Paumanok. I know we have definitely been there before as well. They have a huge outdoor deck overlooking the vines. Really pretty rustic feel to everything as well. Definitely a place to come back to during the nicer months. Last but not least we stopped at Coffee Pot Cellars. We went there for the first time over New Year's when we were on LI for NYE 17-18. Really enjoyed the place last time (pretty small boutique winery, cute dog called Beasly and a bunch of regulars) Sometimes you don't know if you can replicate an experience but definitely glad we decided to stop back there again. Hung out there for a bit before eventually leaving, stopping at Starbucks and heading back to Connecticut. 

Well, now it's Monday morning and back to reality. This is going to be a very busy week at work. I have a bunch of really tedious reports I need to get through and they need to be done by Wednesday but really Tuesday because I won't be in the office Wednesday and Thursday. Heading to Pittsburgh for a client meeting. So yeah, definitely going to be a busy week. Also supposed to snow tomorrow. Ugh. Can't winter be over already?  

Letter/Mail Update: A letter went out on Friday to: Lotte/Denmark. Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Kimber/Canada, Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:40 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 04, 2019

February .. Super Bowl Weekend ..

FB_IMG_1549135714907And yes here we are again, on a Monday morning. And it's February already. This year is definitely already flying by. Not complaining too much as I am not a fan of winter all in all so if the winter months can go by a bit quicker I am ok with that. Of course once spring hits everything at work will start to go a bit more crazy and I don't even want to think about summer just yet. But let's not get ahead of ourselves, it's only February 4th. :) 

We had a very low key weekend all in all. Slept in late both days, well as much as the cats will allow that (basically my sleep is interrupted multiple times throughout the night), went out for lunch, caught up on recorded TV, etc. Oh and yesterday we ended up going out and watching the Super Bowl at a local bar/restaurant. We weren't even really going to stay for the whole game but then Mike got interested in it and two of our friends also showed up so we ended up staying for the whole game. I am really not a football fan so I don't care but it was ok. Anyway, now it's Monday again and I am tired and not sure I am ready for another week but hey it is what it is. 

This upcoming weekend is our wedding anniversary on Sunday, Feb. 10th. (18 year -- crazy!!) so we are going away for the night (Sat to Sun). Just to the North Fork of Long Island for a wine tasting/relaxing weekend. I always enjoy that area, so many fun vineyards and pretty scenery. This time of the year it's generally pretty low key as well with a lot of places closed or only open for limited hours. But we will have enough to do, not too worried about it. Staying at the Hotel Indigo which is a nice place. So anyway, that's something to look forward to for the weekend. :)

Other than that, the weather has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride. We had crazy cold (our part of the country wasn't even as bad as the Midwest) and today and tomorrow it's supposed to be in the 50ies (10-13C) So bizzare. But I guess I'll take it. It is supposed to go down to freezing again by the end of the week which I suppose makes sense for the time of the year. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Lotte/Denmark, Kimber/Canada, Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK. 

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

Monday, January 28, 2019

Monday again ...

Pixlr (7)And it's Monday again. Since I usually only update about once a week I feel like that's how my post always start. Already the end of the week/a new week again. I wish it wasn't Monday morning but I guess what can you do? The weekend was good and pretty low key. Quiet weather wise as well. Saturday was pretty cold but sunny and Sunday was a little warmer but gloomy. On Saturday morning we had Sherlock's 2nd vet appointment. All went well and she did really great. She received her 2nd distemper booster shot. She is still too small for her rabies so they didn't want to overload her tiny body. She's 2 lbs 7 ounces now (up from 1 lb 15 oz) So she will receive her rabies and 3rd distemper booster in 3-4 weeks when we go back. In the meantime all's well. She is definitely growing (albeit slowly) and getting more agile and bold. She LOVES to climb. Had to move a picture we had hanging on our wall above the bed as she started climbing on it (it's embroidered - something my grandmother made) So yeah, nothing is safe. As I am typing this she is sitting on my lap and biting the side of the computer table. 

Let's see, not really all that much else new. Doing well with my wisdom teeth recovery so that's good. This week Wednesday I have a cleaning appointment at my regular dentist so they will be able to check on things as well. This is already the last week in January as well. Time does seem to fly by. So far I can't complain too much about our winter. We have had some crazy deep freeze type cold but not much snow so far. The ice storm two weekends ago was no fun but all in all it hasn't been too bad. Well we will see what the rest of the winter brings. Definitely not out of the woods yet. I know last year we had snow into April so who knows. 

Alright now Sherlock is attacking my necklace trying to pounce on it and play with it. Everything is a toy with her. :) 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Lotte/Denmark, Kimber/Canada, Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:29 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 21, 2019

Baby it's cold outside ... brrrrrr

Little-girl-freezing-in-winter-cold-clipart__k37899492Ok it is freaking freezing cold outside. This morning when my alarm went off at 5.45 (I don't really get up till about 6.15 but that's a different story) the radio guy announced it was 2 degrees F outside (that's -16C) and with the windchill it feels like -16F (-26C) Lovely. Brrrr. I am really not looking forward to going outside AT ALL. 

Over the weekend we had some snow and ice. Really not nearly as much as they had originally predicted, at least for our area, so it wasn't too bad. But the ice coated everything and then the temps dropped like crazy so I can only imagine how many areas are total sheets of ice right now. Ugh. Can I just stay inside? I know I am a baby when it comes to that stuff but I am super clumsy and I am always worried I am going to slip and break something when it's icy outside. I can deal with the snow if need be. Not saying I enjoy that either but the ice is really what worries me. 

Anyway, is what it is. Will make it through this Monday somehow. Another week ahead. Last week went ok with the wisdom teeth recovery. I am still not a 100% but of course that stuff takes time. It is getting better though so that's all I can ask for. I managed to eat some more solid foods in the last few days so I am happy with that. I was starting to get tired of mashed potatoes and such. 

The weekend was pretty low key for us. Saturday we went to the movies and saw "On the Basis of Sex" which was a really good movie. I would most definitely recommend that to anyone who hasn't seen it. It's about Ruth Bader Ginsburg and gender equality. After the movies we had a light lunch and then stopped at Rizzuto's for dinner since they were doing a 'Buy 1 Get 1 Entree" deal for the snowstorm. It was kind of funny because the snow ended up coming really late so the restaurant was absolutely packed all night with people. 

Yesterday, Sunday, we slept in late which was nice. And then had lunch at a place called Pulcinella's in Brookfield. We had not been there before but it was a good find. I would definitely go back there and try it again. Well, let's see what this week brings. The crazy cold is only supposed to last into Tuesday, then it's going to be a tad warmer with rain for two days before dropping down to around freezing for the high for the foreseeable future. I guess it is winter and January after all. Brrrrrrrr. 

Letter/Mail Update: Letters went out last week to: Celia/MA and Carmen/Malta. Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Lotte/Denmark, Kimber/Canada, Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:36 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)