Sunday, December 16, 2018

Goodbye Austria ... until next year :)

IMG_20181215_114659_885And as predicted the time here in Austria just flew by. I was here for a little over a week but honestly it doesn't IMG_20181215_114457_224seem to matter how long I am here. Time just always seems to fly by. I did have a good time even though it's a bit of a blur looking back. 

Monday to Thursday I had to work so there was limited time for other things but I still managed to get a good amount of stuff in. Checked my work email in the mornings and then had a delicious lunch with my parents at various local restaurants each day. Also ran some errands each morning and then worked from 3 to 10pm each day. The schedule was a little weird but honestly it worked out pretty well. I was able to get everything done that needed to get done and everything worked pretty seamlessly. Good to know for the future. This was sort of a trial/test run and I feel that I have passed. I figured I would be able to do it but wasn't a 100% sure how easy it would be. But luckily with being able to do my job from anywhere as long as I have internet, a PC and a phone, it worked out well. 

Also managed to head into Vienna on the weekend to meet up with some friends and enjoy the Christmas markets. And it even decided to start snowing to make it look even more christmassy. It was a bit cold but the atmosphere definitely fit the season. Enjoyed a few different punches and had fun just wandering around. Was also nice to meet up with Lydia and Andrea. And in the evening we had our 20th High School reunion. How crazy is that? We had a really good turn out with even a lot of teachers showing up. I was pretty impressed. Was nice to catch up with some people and spend time. Also stayed at my friend Barbara's house overnight before heading back to St. Poelten the next day. 

Also went to the hairdresser again one morning and colored my hair. If you want to see the newest style/color just click here . Always happy to be able to experiment. 

And well here I am. Back at the airport, back in Vienna heading to JFK/New York. Was able to fit everything into one suitcase so no extra bag charge (which is $100 -- ughh) so that was nice. Let's hope everything arrives safely and in one piece. But at least I was able to squeeze everything in without too much of an issue. My carry-on luggage at this point is way overweight as I bought 2 things in duty-free. A bottle of orange punch and a bottle of Gluehwein (mulled wine). Let's see how they taste. Trying to replicate the Christmas market experience at home. We will see how that goes. :) 

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

Posted by Hanna at 03:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Hello from Austria

Pixlr (4)And back in Europe again. Hello from Austria. :) Yesterday was pretty rough with the jetlag but I am feeling better today. Left New York Friday night and arrived in Vienna on Saturday morning. My flight landed a little early so I was able to catch the 8.33 am train from the airport which got me to St. Poelten at 9.28 am. My dad picked me up from the train station and we spent some time at my parent's house before heading out to lunch at 1pm. 

Spent the rest of the day hanging out, watching some TV and just spending time. We also watched the 2nd Mama Mia movie that I got my parents as a gift so we watched it together. The music was good, the story a bit flat. But it was enough to keep me awake which was really the goal. :) 

Today I slept till a little after 9am which gave me a glorious 12 hours of sleep and really helped re-set myself. Went to lunch at a Heurigen (a vineyard that also sells food at certain times of the year) and spent some time eating, trying various wines and hanging out. Eventually headed back and spent some more time in the house. Now watching TV with my mom. Really the main goal of the trip, to be here and spend time.

Tomorrow we are meeting my aunt for lunch and to celebrate her birthday which was last Friday. Tomorrow I am also back to work as I am working while here Monday through Thursday. I am lucky in the regard that I can do my job from just about anywhere as long as I have my laptop, internet and a phone. And well my management's permission of course. :) 

I'll try to update again before I leave Austria a week from today, next Sunday. We'll see how that goes.

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

Posted by Hanna at 01:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 03, 2018

Back from the Azores, Christmas prep and leaving again soon

Pixlr (4)I truly meant to make another post while we were away but somehow that did not happen. I thought we'd have more downtime but honestly managed 20181201_210131_resized to fill our days fully the whole time we were gone. Not too crazy of a schedule but we did have full days each day. Let's see what else did we do the rest of our stay there? 

We did a lot more driving around, exploring the rest of the island. And of course had super delicious food. Walked around Furnas do Enxofre, a scenic volcanic park with some trails. Checked out a lighthouse. Saw a lot of goats and cows on the road and just had a very pleasant time. Oh we also went whale watching on Wednesday. On Tuesday a storm passed through that was quite wild so by Wednesday morning the water was still a bit choppy. And the boats they use for whale watching there I'd classify as powered life rafts. They are not much bigger. But surprisingly enough very sturdy as I found out as we raced through the water, sometimes airborne, in the search of sea life. We did see some dolphins and even baby ones which was cool. And had some nice scenic views being out on the water. But when we were done we were pretty much soaking wet so we went back to the hotel to shower and change and then headed for lunch afterwards. 

The trip was definitely a lot of fun and I'd recommend the Azores to anyone. From the East Coast it's a really cheap trip as well so anyone looking for something a little outside of the box (read not Florida, Disney or the Caribbean) go check it out. 

Well now we are back and somehow it's already December 3rd. Christmas just kind of snuck up on me. I guess it's partly because we missed Thanksgiving more or less and when we got back everything switched into Christmas mode. Well, I did finish the rest of my US Christmas cards but still have a few things left. Still need to package up some gifts that need to be mailed and figure out a few other things. I did get the tree put up on Saturday so that was an accomplishment at least. I wouldn't be in such a rush but I am already leaving again on Friday. Flying to Austria and won't be back until December 16th. So anything Christmassy that needs organizing really needs to be organized now or well, it may not happen. lol. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 07:32 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving from the Azores

Pixlr (3)And already day 3 here on Terceira (Azores). We left Boston on Wednesday night and arrived here Thursday morning Pixlr_20181124205534903(Thanksgiving Day). The ride to the airport wasn't too bad considering it was the day before a a major holiday so we arrived quite early. Gave us some time to chill and hang out before our flight. 

So we arrived Thursday morning and were hoping to crash in our room for a bit but unfortunately the room wasn't ready yet due to it being early. So we chilled in our rental car for a bit before walking into the town. Walked through the old town, taking some pictures and eventually had lunch at a neat cafe/bar. Hung out there for a bit before walking back to the hotel. Then went up to a lookout point which turned out to be interesting (curvy mountain roads) but the views were quite nice. 

Yesterday, Friday, we did some more exploring around the west side of the island. Had a delicious lunch, met a donkey, walked a lot (so many hills!!) and had a generally pleasant day. In the evening we walked back into the center of Angra and had dinner at the same cafe/bar. 

And today, Saturday, was a pretty rainy and windy day. Decided to sleep in and then walked into the center of town for lunch. Had a delicious seafood lunch overlooking the water. When we were done it was down-pouring pretty hard so we decided to take a cab to the museum. Spent some time exploring the museum which was surprisingly large and interesting. When we were done at the museum the rain had lightened up again a bit so we were able to walk back to the hotel without getting too badly soaked. Relaxed in the room for a bit before heading out to dinner. Ugh, so so full now. Don't usually have 2 full meals per day at home. But it was definitely yummy. Now back at the hotel relaxing with some more wine. 

Tomorrow it is supposed to be sunny again so we will spend some more time exploring the island. Definitely been having a good time so far. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Nina/WA, Carmen/Malta and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 05:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 19, 2018

Client Meeting, Snow and NYC

Pixlr (2)A little behind with my update but here we go. It's just been busy, busy, busy. 

Last week Thursday and Friday I was away for a client meeting/presentation in NJ. This coincided with the snow which was made the whole thing even more interesting. Luckily my colleague and I made it to the hotel on Thursday before it got bad. But the other 2 colleagues who were coming from Newark airport spent 4 hours on what should have been a 45 minute drive.  A lot of people in the area dealt with really crappy road conditions and hours in the car. I know of some people who ended up spending the night in their office or hotels. Luckily I made it to the hotel before things got too bad and in the morning when we had to leave for our meeting everything was mostly cleared so all that worked out ok. 

Saturday we went to the movies and saw "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" which was good but a bit dark. Then in the evening we caught up on some recorded TV shows. And Sunday morning I continued with my Christmas cards. My international ones are done now and I am about halfway done with the domestic US ones. 

Then Sunday we went for breakfast at a local diner and after I caught the train down to NYC. Went to see Josh Groban at MSG which was a lot of fun. Since it was late I had made arrangements to stay near Grand Central and caught the train back this morning instead. I stayed at a Pod Hotel which was pretty neat. They are very small rooms but really have everything you need. The show was really great and definitely worth it even though I am dragging quite a bit today. 

Alright and here we are. Leaving for the Azores on Wednesday. I haven't quite wrapped my mind around the fact that it's the day after tomorrow. I am not quite sure how I will get everything taken care of but I guess it will all work out one way or another. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Nina/WA, Carmen/Malta and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 08:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 12, 2018

It's getting cold outside + lots of misc stuff + Happy Birthday Mom

Winter-is-coming-o-pnts-its-getting-cold-out-6300031Brrrr. This morning the temp I woke up to was 24F (-4C). I am not ready for this. Over the weekend there were snow squalls and some sleet as well. Nothing crazy and nothing that even lasted for any length of time and didn't stick to anything but just the sight of snow. Just not ready for it. It's definitely getting to be the season though. Ugh. Not ready for it at all. Overall the weekend had relatively decent weather. It was sunny but really chilly and windy which made it feel even colder. 

We had originally thought about doing something outside, going for a walk maybe, but even though it was sunny it just didn't feel every inviting. There really weren't any movies out we wanted to see so instead we slept in both weekend days which was nice in itself. Sunday morning I got up a little earlier to watch the 2nd episode of "Outlander". I suppose that will be my routine going forward for the rest of the season probably. :) Saturday we ran some errands in the morning and Saturday night I started my Christmas cards. Yes, yes, I know. It's way early. But I'll be traveling quite a bit over the next few weeks and if I don't get started now they just won't get done. I needed to get the international cards done which I accomplished. I won't mail them until right before we leave for the Azores but at least they are written and done. 

Anybody move/change addresses over the last year? I emailed/messaged a few people but thought I would put something on here as well just in case. :) 

Let's see what else. Last week Thursday I had my physical/yearly dr. appointment. All in all everything went well. Thursday night we also went out at work for Happy Hour with one of our partner companies at work which was fun. And this week I have a presentation to attend for work. Let's see how it goes. Fingers crossed. Anyway, never a dull moment really. Last week I was also covering for a co-worker for a few days and oh yeah we also had a full day training session on Tuesday. So like I said never a dull moment. Let's see what this week brings. One more full week and then next week Wednesday night we already leave for the Azores (21st). Crazy how time flies. 

Oh and last but not least, let's not forget this. Happy Birthday Mom. :) It's my mom's birthday today. :) 

Letter/Mail Update: A letter should be going out shortly to: Eunice/Malta. Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Nina/WA, Carmen/Malta and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:35 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 05, 2018

Outlander is back - low key weekend

OutlanderAnd somehow it is November. I honestly don't know where the year has gone. The other day when we walked into Starbucks everything was red and all the Christmas stuff was out. Transformed overnight pretty much. It used to be that Christmas stuff didn't really start until after Thanksgiving but nowadays it seems to be November 1st more or less. I don't know. Maybe I am being a Grinch. Haha. I am just not ready for it. 

I also feel like this remaining part of the year will be super busy. We were just in San Diego and in just 2 1/2 weeks we are off to the Azores for 8 days. We leave the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and don't get back until the Thursday after. And less than a week after that I am off to Austria. I'll be there for a week. I am mostly working though while I am there but it will still be nice to be there and see my parents and some friends. We'll see how it all works out. Just so much going on in such a short time period.

I think by the time Christmas and New Year's actually rolls around I'll be very happy to just relax and not do anything. Work is in the less busy season now but I have still been busy with various projects. I am also mentoring someone new. We're in week 5 or 6 now I think. She works in our Houston office so it's been a remote mentoring situation which can make things a bit more tricky and challenging. But I guess one day at a time, that's pretty much what I have been telling myself.

This past weekend was relatively low key. On Saturday we went to the movies to see "Bohemian Rhapsody", the Queen biopic. I really enjoyed the movie and would definitely recommend it. Afterwards we had lunch and in the evening I just relaxed. Sunday morning I watched the first episode of Outlander season 4. It's back. Yay. :) I really enjoyed it and thought they did a good job. Did they change some stuff? Yes. But it didn't bother me all that stuff. I guess I am generally pretty laid back when it comes to that but I always enjoy reading all the discussions and fierce opinions on the various message boards. Always entertains me reading all of that after an episode airs. Definitely shows that you just can't make everyone happy. Right? 

Well, anyway, another Monday and I better get ready for work. Let's see what this week brings? Tomorrow I have a training course I need to attend, at least that one is in house so no additional travel involved. And on Thursday I have my appointment for my yearly physical/Dr. appointment. 

 

Letter/Mail Update: A letter should be going out shortly to: Celia/MA and Lotte/Denmark. Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Eunice/Malta, Carmen/Malta and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:24 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

San Diego Re-Cap

Pixlr (1)I absolutely do not want to go back East. We are currently at the airport in San Diego. Arrived here on Saturday and I have been meaning to make a post since then but just didn't happen. We have been busy pretty much every day but it''s been a lot of fun. 

We left NYC on Saturday morning and the drive down to JFK was absolutely awful as we were hit with a Nor'Easter which brought a lot of wind and rain to the East Coast. Taking off in it was no fun either but eventually we managed to get to San Diego, even without a delay really. Landed in San Diego, headed to our hotel and eventually made our way to Baloboa Park. We didn't realize that there was a Halloween event going on so the park was pretty crowded but we still had a nice lunch at Panama 66 and then checked out the Art Museum afterwards. Stopped at the Gaslamp Quarter to walk around and I bought a shirt at the Hard Rock Hotel. Then headed back to our hotel on Shelter Island.

Sunday we went to the San DIego Zoo in the morning and spent 4 hours there. So many cute animals and lots and lots of walking. :) Afterwards we stopped at Stone Brewing at Liberty Station. I had some delicious mac n cheese and some wine while Mike tried a few of their beer flights. We then headed back to the hotel and went for a swim in the pool before heading out to dinner at Puesto (yummy Mexican). 

Monday we headed to the San Diego Wild Animal/Safari Park north of the city and spent 3.5 hours there wandering around looking at all the cute animals. When we were done there we continued north to Temecula Valley for some wine tasting. Stopped at Mount Palomar, Doffo Winery & Chapin Family Vineyards. Had fun hanging out, wine tasting and drinking some wine outside on their patio area. When we were done we headed back to Shelter Island where our hotel was for some more Mexican at Miguel's Cocina. Delicious. 

And that brings us to today, Tuesday. Slept in a bit and then checked out the Old Point Loma Lighthouse at Cabrillo National Monument. Walked around for a bit and then headed to the Unconditional Surrender Statue. Took some pictures and then headed for lunch at the Fish Market. Had a delicious seafood lunch and fun hanging out sitting outside watching the boats go by. 

And well here we are, now hanging out at the airport at the Stone Brewery restaurant. I am so not ready to go back to work tomorrow morning (after we land after our red-eye flight) but I guess it is what it is. We had a good time and I suppose all good times have to come to an end eventually. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Eunice/Malta, Carmen/Malta, Celia/MA, Lotte/Denmark and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 09:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 22, 2018

It is getting cold ... brrr

Pixlr (3)Brrr. Woke up to 30F (-1C) weather this morning and just not quite ready for this yet. It is supposed to warm up to 50F (10C) later so that's something at least. But still. Brrr. We don't seem to have any real seasons anymore. The weather just goes from hot to cold with very little in between. It's also been weird with the foliage this year. There are still a lot of trees that are still completely green. Others have turned colors or even lost all their leaves but still a lot of completely green ones too. I think nature is just as confused as I am with the way the weather has been. Late in the week we actually had pretty mild weather but now it turned back to cold again. 

Let's see what else. Thursday I had a dentist appointment, just a cleaning, so that went by relatively quickly at least. Have to go for cleanings every 3 months now due to my braces. And on Saturday we had our vet check-up appointment with Sadie. It's always a struggle to get her to the vet and honestly emotionally draining. She acts like a Tasmanian devil when you first put her inside the carrier and develops a volume of sound that is pretty crazy. I always think the neighbors must wonder if I am trying to murder my cat or something. Anyway we got her to the vet, they did their check-up exam, gave her her shots, etc. She has a little bit of asthma and bronchial issues so they gave her some antibiotics and a steroid. That seemed to do the trick the last time we went so hopefully that should help again. They also discovered that one of her paws had an ingrown claw and that her paw was swollen. I felt so bad because I honestly hadn't noticed it. She had been acting completely fine, racing around like usual. To be fair the vet didn't catch it during the initial exam either. They only saw it when I asked them to cut her claws. Anyway they had to pull out that claw and we will need to keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't grow back the same way. 

Well that's about all the news here from me. Trying to figure out why Typepad doesn't seem to be displaying my blog correctly. None of my pictures are showing up etc. So I will need to figure that out. Ugh. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Eunice/Malta, Carmen/Malta, Celia/MA and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:37 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 15, 2018

Movie Weekend

Pixlr (2)The weather has officially turned to fall weather now. We had frost at night over the weekend and the temps were only in the 50ies (10-12C) Today it's supposed to get up to 63 (17C) but with showers. And then back down to the 50ies with some days barely above freezing over night. Brrr. Not quite ready for this just yet. I mean I am happy we are done with the excessive heat and humidity don't get me wrong. But not really ready for freezing temps yet either. Oh well. Is what it is. 

Made it through last week and my week of covering plus my new mentee. So let's see how this week goes. Hopefully better but I do need to catch up from last week so there will definitely be some catching up to do especially in the beginning part of the week. 

Over the weekend we took it relatively easy and went to 2 movies. Saw "A Star is born" on Saturday and "First Man" on Sunday. Originally we were supposed to go to the "Museum of Pizza" in NYC on Saturday. But our tickets were for the 10.30am admission. When I bought them the location wasn't disclosed yet since it's a pop up museum with a limited run. Anyway the location ended up being in Brooklyn, in a part that is just really hard to get to. In order to get there by 10.30 we'd have had to leave the house at 6.30am and take four trains. Or drive but then figure out how to deal with parking since there aren't really garages in that area. Yeah, as much as I was curious about this thing I wasn't that curious either. So we decided to skip it. Instead we went to the Colony Grill since I did need my pizza fix. :) They are famous for their hot oil pie. Delicious. 

Caught up on some recorded DVR shows on Sunday and well here we are and it's Monday again. We'll see how it goes. I have a dentist appointment on Thursday and on Saturday we have a vet appointment (just a check-up) with Sadie. Always something going on lately. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Celia/MA and Tiffany/OK. 

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