Tuesday, October 19, 2021

New Haven Pizza Lover's Tour

1634640042870Alright already Tuesday morning. And brrr it's chilly this morning. 41F right now (5c). Going to be around 63 today I think (17c) I guess it's typical fall weather where it can get pretty nice during the day especially if you are outside in the sun. But mornings and evenings can be downright chilly. I guess it is what it is obviously. I do like fall/autumn. But I always say it's bittersweet because it is just the beginning of what is to come, which of course is winter. I hate cold, ice and snow and I also especially hate when it's cold and dark in the morning when I get up. I have a much easier time getting up and getting ready for the day/work if it's light outside and nice and warm. The dark doesn't bother me so much at night although in the dead of winter it can be kind of depressing when it's dark before 5pm. But no use complaining about it, of course not going to change it. I guess I pretty much go through this cycle every year though. 

Anyway, had a nice weekend. Saturday we didn't do too much. Slept in a bit and then headed to Westport for lunch at Rizzuto's. Our friend John also met up with us there. Our friend Andy who works there is going to be moving to Canada soon and of course we wish her all the best on this next adventure. But it's going to be kind of sad to not see her every week or every other week. She used to work at the location in Bethel and also at another place close by Rosy's so we have known her for quite some time. But will be fun to see what she does next. Always good when people have the opportunity to branch out and spread their wings and try something new. 

On Sunday we went to New Haven for the Pizza Lover's Tour. I had gotten this for Mike as a Christmas gift some time ago I think and we finally managed to book it. I have to say it was quite the epic day, started at noon and ended a little after 6pm. Lots of eating, drinking and walking. Definitely a long day. They took us to four different pizza places (Pepe's, Modern, Next Door and Sally's) At each place they had three different types of pizza (a tomato, a mozzarella and a specialty pie) There was also plenty of beer and lots of walking in between. I think all in all we walked a little over 4 miles (6.5 km) Lots of history about the city, the origins of the different pizza places, the Yale university campus and more. We had about 17 people in our group and everyone was pretty fun so it was a neat while kind of exhausting day. I definitely enjoyed trying all the different pizzas. New Haven is kind of famous for their pizza so it was fun actually trying some of these places for myself, without needing to stand in line. Modern was my favorite. Their tomato pie was actually amazing. Kind of crazy since it doesn't have the cheese but the sauce was so flavorful and delicious. Their cheese was really good too though. 

And well yesterday was Monday. Nothing special to report on that. Just trying to get through another week. :) My birthday is this upcoming Sunday (24th) so I took Monday and Tuesday off next week and we'll head to the North Fork for some relaxing and wine tasting. Should be fun. 

 Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Carmen/Malta. 

Posted by Hanna at 06:59 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 11, 2021

Van Gogh Immersive Experience - NYC

TempFileForShare_20211011-204423And here we are again, Monday night, another start to another week. Had a nice weekend but of course it flew by. 

On Saturday we had a great in NYC. Our friends John & Jana picked us up around 9.15am and we headed down to NYC to see the Van Gogh exhibit there. We had bought tickets a while ago and I think originally were supposed to go in early August but then ended up having to re-schedule and exchanged the tickets for a date in October. I was really looking forward to it and it definitely did not disappoint. I am a big Van Gogh fan anyway but I have heard a lot of people say, even if you aren't into art at all, this is the exhibit for you, and I definitely agree. The first two rooms are more normal museum type rooms with some paintings and plaques on the history of Van Gogh and his life. But then the third room is a huge warehouse type space where his art is projected all across the walls and floor so it feels like you are being totally immersed. The art is animated as well so it really does feel like you are inside the paintings. It's hard to describe but I promise it was a very cool experience and I would definitely recommend it. 

After the exhibit we took the subway to Union Square to have brunch at Lillie's. Hung out for a while and eventually took a cab back to Vessy Street where we had parked. Got home around 7-7.30pm I think and just hung out at home watching some TV and relaxing. 

Sunday we slept in which was really nice and then had lunch at Rizzuto's in Westport. The weather was kind of iffy so it was a good excuse for a low key day. Watched more TV in the evening (finally getting to the last season of Lucifer) and well here we are, now it's Monday. Had a busy day at work and tomorrow is looking busy as well. I am guessing one of these days things will start to slow down, just not quite sure when yet. 

 Mail Update: No letters at the moment - all caught up :)

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

Monday, October 04, 2021

Random Stuff

SnoopyHello October. I really don't even know where the time is going but then I seem to say that all the time and the older you get the faster the time seems to be flying. 

We had another nice fall weekend with beautiful weather so really can't complain about that. Today was a dreary, cool, rainy, dark Monday which really did not put me in the mood to get out of bed in the morning or have any energy. But I guess better that way and a nice weekend rather than dreary weather on the weekend. 

On Saturday we went for a nice walk at Sherwood Island and then for lunch at Rizzuto's in Westport. Also caught on some recorded shows in the evening. And on Sunday we dealt with some errands and stuff in the morning and then had lunch at Broken Symmetry, fun place to sit outside so we took advantage of the nice weather to have a leisurely lunch outside. Also decided to get ice cream at local ice cream place afterwards and eventually headed home and caught up on more DVR TV and also watched "Cinderella" on Amazon Prime. 

And well now it's Monday and I made it past the day. A busy day and will be a busy week in general as I am covering for a coworker on vacation. Can't complain though since she covered for me for 2 weeks while I was away so obviously it's only fair. :) Will make it through the week one way or another, always do. 

Other than that not too much new really. Had a dentist appointment last week on Thursday and have a few more coming up in November for a cleaning and to finish my implant and whatnot. This coming weekend we have tickets for the Van Gogh exhibit in the city so that should be fun. Not sure what the weather is going to bring but doesn't really matter too much since the exhibit is indoors obviously. 

Mail Update: No letters at the moment - all caught up :)

Posted by Hanna at 09:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Just catching up

TempFileForShare_20210928-061914Tuesday morning and I have already been back to the US for over a week now. I really don't even know anymore where the time goes. It's officially fall now and I think today we are actually getting a bit of rain and a cold front coming through which will push the temps down into the 60ies (16C) compared to the 70ies (22C) we have been having. Supposed to get sunny again after today though I think. I actually really do like fall/autumn. The colors changing, leaves blowing around, crunching underfoot, crisp blue skies, being able to wear sweaters. Of course it never seems to last too long, the actual beautiful fall weather. But I can hope that we'll have a beautiful fall, right? 

Anyway my flight back last Monday was fine. It was a tiring long day since my car pickup from the house was at 3.45am. Then had my flight to London from Vienna, had to collect my bags and recheck again at Heathrow, go through security again and then board my Jet Blue flight to New York. All went well all in all, was just tiring, standing in line, waiting, more standing in line, more waiting, all of that. The rest of the work week went by in a blur. Between the jetlag and just trying to catch up from being away for 2 weeks, it was a bit crazy. I am still not in great shape this week and still trying to catch up but I suppose I will get there. Always do right? 

The weekend was filled with beautiful weather so that worked out well. On Saturday we went for a hike at Devil's Den, first time we had been there. Beautiful place and well maintained but super rocky so there was a lot of up and down which was a bit exhausting but still a fun way to get exercise. Afterwards we had lunch at Rizzuto's and later hung out at J. Lawrence with some friends. On Sunday we took advantage of another beautiful day and went to Wallingford to hang out at the two wineries there. Picked up some sandwiches at Jersey Mike's beforehand. First time we went there and was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the food. So was fun to sit outside, eat our food and drink some delicious wine. Definitely a great day. 

And well here we are another week. Nothing too eventful to report from yesterday, Monday. Another busy day at work. For dinner we tried out a Mexican place we hadn't tried before - Avocado. Was really happy with the quality of the food and the margaritas. We shared beef empanadas and a shrimp dish in a garlic wine sauce with rice and beans. All so delicious. Will definitely have to go back and try more things. Anyway for now it's Tuesday and off to work in a bit. 

Mail Update: No letters at the moment - all caught up :)

Posted by Hanna at 06:36 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Europe it's been a pleasure - till next time

TempFileForShare_20210919-125111And here we are, another week gone by. It's Sunday early afternoon and my flight back to the US is tomorrow, TempFileForShare_20210919-125133 Monday. I really don't know where the time has gone. When all is said and done I will have been away for 15 days but I have no idea how the time flew by so fast. But then I guess it's nothing new, always happens more or less. The car service picks me up at 3.45am tomorrow so a very early start ahead. I have my Austrian flight to London at 6.50am. Need to go through passport control, collect my luggage and then re-check it for the Jet Blue flight to New York. The NY flight isn't till 2.05pm so as long as all goes according to plan I should have plenty of time. But of course you never know these days with Covid restrictions/paperwork checks, flight delays and whatnot. But fingers crossed all goes well. 

This past week was filled with various appointments such as my mom's hair appointment, my own hair appointment, meeting with the lawyer handling my dad's estate (yes that's still dragging on, guess everything is just delayed these days) and whatnot. 

Tuesday afternoon I also went into Vienna again to meet up with my friend Andrea. Was nice to catch up. Wednesday we had a lovely lunch with my aunt, my mom and our neighbors Helga & Franz at the Seedose, lovely lunch by the lake. And the weather was nice as well. Since then it has cooled off quite a bit and become a lot more fall like. But can't complain too much. Had gorgeous late summer weather for most of my stay and even now the fall weather isn't terrible, just cooler and more seasonable I suppose. 

Yesterday we went to a local Chinese restaurant for lunch and in the afternoon I went into St. Poelten for my negative Covid test as I do need one to get to the UK as well as the US. No line thankfully and all went quick and without any issues. Can't ask for more. Well, just had lunch now and my mom is taking her afternoon nap. Will probably use the time to get started on my packing so I am ready and set and can just relax for the rest of the day. 

Mail Update: Letters have been written/were mailed this past Tuesday to: Carmen/Malta, Eunice/Malta, Celia/MA, Nina/WA, Tiffany/OK and Kimber/Canada.

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

Monday, September 13, 2021

Heurigen (Vineyard) Lunch, Vienna, Salzburg and more

TempFileForShare_20210913-211552HTempFileForShare_20210913-211644appy Monday again. Not sure how a whole week has already passed. But then that is what tends to happen when TempFileForShare_20210913-211619 you are away from home right?

The weather has been great the whole week so no complaints there at all. Been spending time with my mom, helping with every day chores and helping out with decluttering the house some more. On Wednesday we went to a Heurigen (vineyard) and had a lovely lunch. On Thursday a phone technician stopped by as we were having some issues with the landline. Luckily they were able to get it all fixed pretty quickly. 

And the weekend was busy with a visit to Vienna and Salzburg. On Saturday I took the train to Vienna and met my friend Claudia for brunch at Castelleto. Was great to see her again and to catch up. After that I met up with Lydia at "Viva La Mama". We ordered way too much food but everything was delicious and we had a great meal. Hung out for a while chatting and catching up. And eventually decided to walk around some more and had a few more drinks at a bar/restaurant in the Bermuda Triangle. From there caught the subway back to the train station. Train ended up being delayed by almost 30 min which was kind of annoying but what can you do? 

Sunday was also a fun day. Headed to Salzburg and Helga, our neighbor, also accompanied me on the train ride as she is originally from Salzburg and still has relatives there. 

Gerti, my dad's cousin, picked me up from the train and we headed for lunch at a neat rustic restaurant. Had a great lunch with her and her two kids Kathrin and Florian (plus his family) Had fun catching up and eventually I went back with Gerti to her apartment. Had some drinks on her balcony where eventually also my friend Anneliese joined us (as a small world will have it - they live in the same building) 

Then went with Anneliese for a bit of a walk around the city, had some great Gelato and a drink at a lovely bar. Then made my way back to the train station where I met up with Helga again so we could catch the train back.

Today we worked around the house a little more. And took advantage of the nice weather by sitting outside. Tomorrow my mom has a hair apt at 8.30am and I am going to head into Vienna again in the afternoon to meet my friend Andrea. 

The rest of the week is filled with various appointments and things to do as well so I am sure the time will just fly by. And I will be on a plane back home a week from today which will come sooner than I know I am sure.

Mail Update: Letters have been written/just need to figure out where/when to mail) to: Carmen/Malta, Eunice/Malta, Celia/MA, Nina/WA, Tiffany/OK and Kimber/Canada.

Posted by Hanna at 03:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 06, 2021

Hello September ... Hello Europe

TempFileForShare_20210906-223437 TempFileForShare_20210906-223359Monday night, my mostly usual night to update. Happy Labor Day to everyone in the US. It really hasn't been on my mind too much since I am actually in Europe though. :) 

The last few days have been somewhat of a whirlwind. I worked all week and had a super busy week of course trying to prepare for vacation and being away. Headed to the airport Friday late afternoon for my evening flight. Got to London Saturday morning. Was supposed to meet up briefly with my friend but plans kind of derailed unfortunately last minute due to a family emergency. Sometimes even the best planned plans don't work out. Just is what it is. I still made my best of my layover and left Heathrow again Sunday morning to head to Vienna. Got to Vienna a bit after noon and caught the train to St. Poelten. My aunt picked me up from the train station and brought me to my parent's house. Was nice to see my mom of course. We hung out sitting outside in the garden for a while as the weather was really nice. And in evening our neighbor invited us over for grilling. 

Today, Monday, my aunt came back over and we spent some time. And later worked for a few hours and then sat outside in the garden again taking in the late afternoon and evening sun. And eventually made our way back inside to watch some TV. No huge plans for tomorrow. Need to untangle some wires and figure out what stuff can be thrown out/given away near my dad's computer desk. On Wednesday we have plans to head to the Heurigen (vineyard) for lunch. 

And on the weekend I will be pretty busy. Heading to Vienna on Saturday to meet up with friends and also going to Salzburg on Sunday to meet some friends and relatives there. The weather so far has been absolutely gorgeous while here so really can't complain. Have also had some yummy food and all in all just been enjoying being away from work. Don't get me wrong I do enjoy my job but sometimes we all need a break. RIght? 

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

Posted by Hanna at 04:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Alanis Morissette Show, upcoming travel and more

1630251110794Look at me updating on a Sunday. Had a little bit of extra time so I figured why not try and get that out of the way :) 

Another busy week last week but then when isn't it lately? Nothing really too out of the ordinary besides work. Had an orthodontist appointment Thursday late afternoon but that was about it. 

Yesterday, Saturday, we had lunch at Rizzuto's in Westport and then at night we went to the Xfinity Theater in Hartford to see Alanis Morissette. It was the 25 Year Anniversary of Jagged Little Pill tour. Well 26 years now because the show was really supposed to be last year but being 2020 it was of course cancelled. Garbage opened for them and it was a really fun show all around. We also got super lucky 'cause as we were driving to the venue and were getting ready to get into the lane towards the general parking when someone in the car next to us yelled over to us that they had an extra VIP Parking Pass (usually $40) and handed it to us. So we got to park in the VIP section which is super close to the entrance and also made leaving the venue a whole lot easier. Although when we were leaving it started to drizzle and then turned into full blown rain which did not make the ride home much fun but the show itself was great. We got there early and were able to get some drinks and food beforehand. Also ran into a colleague from work which was fun. 

Today we are just chilling mostly. Slept in since we didn't get home till after midnight. I looked at some of my work stuff to try and organize things for when I am away. Can't believe I will be on a plane in less than a week now (I leave Friday night) Going to head to lunch in a bit and might run a couple of errands and eventually binge a few more shows. We have been watching "The Expanse" on Amazon Prime and "Turn" on Netflix. 

Other than that just been trying to get ready for my travels. I ended up pretty much cancelling the UK portion of my trip. I do still fly through London but it is really just a transit. It's too bad but is what it is, you know. I will have 1 night in a hotel at Heathrow on the way there, on the way back I just have a pretty long layover at Heathrow so all should work out ok hopefully. Need to still organize my Covid tests and all the other paperwork that is required by the UK and Austria for entry. Traveling sure isn't simple these days. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 11:35 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Still busy ... Henri and more

FB_IMG_1618260696031Happy Tuesday. Yeah running behind with everything as usual. Let's see if I can get this update in real quick before having to go into the office. As usual I meant to get up early but yeah didn't really pan out that way. One of these days I will catch up with my sleep. Right? Right? :) Well anyway, nothing all that much new really. This past weekend, Sunday/Monday, we had storm Henri pass through. The forecast kept changing all over the place on where it would actually make landfall and where the most impact would be. For a while they were saying that it would actually come over Danbury as a category 1 hurricane. It did not end up working out that way - thankfully - but we did still get a ton of rain. It rained from late Saturday night through pretty much Monday night I think. Not too bad on the wind part though so besides flooding there luckily weren't too many issues. Not complaining. Today it looks to be sunny out this morning. Kind of nice to see the sun and right now it's still relatively cool but I know it will get hot and muggy. Supposed to be in the high 80ies up to low-mid 90ies for the next few days again, with high humidity. UGH. 

Anyway, that's all for my complaints about the weather. Saturday night was actually pretty nice. We had lunch at Rizzuto's in Westport and later went to our friends Maryellen and Rich's house. They invited us over for a BBQ. It was one of those things that had been planned for ages but just never worked out for one reason or another. Got to swim in their lovely pool. And Maryellen of course had tons and tons of food. She is one of those Italian mothers who needs to always feed you. :) 

Sunday, we didn't really do much. Just had brunch locally at Marketplace, hung out, watched some TV, etc. I am still working on my travel plans. For the most part the UK is out of my plans at this point. I still need to fly to London since I booked the Jet Blue flight to Heathrow but will then continue on from there after a quick stop over. I rebooked my British Airways flights to Austrian Airlines after BA kept changing and cancelling my flights and nothing worked out right anymore with the schedule. All in all not so bad. There's one flight where I only ended up getting a voucher and not a refund but it's good till 2023 so hopefully I will be able to use it at one point. 

So yeah, that's all for now. This upcoming weekend we have a very busy weekend. Hopefully the weather cooperates. On Saturday we are seeing Alanis Morissette at the Xfinity Theater in Hartford and on Sunday we have a pizza walking tour in New Haven. So all that should be fun. Busy but fun.   

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

Posted by Hanna at 06:57 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Hopkins Inn Lunch ... and general business & craziness

Screenshot_20210817-070024_GalleryRunning behind again with my updating. Last night when I meant to update I was just kind of burned out. It was a long Monday and work is just really kicking my butt at the moment. I meant to get up early today to get a headstart on things and even had the alarm set for 5.30 but yeah it didn't really work out that way. I lingered in bed for way too long and just dragged when I really needed to get a move on. Ugh, I really do need a reset. I do have a vacation coming up in less than three weeks but even that is kind of stressing me out at the moment. Yes, go figure. lol. Back in May I booked a roundtrip flight to London when Jet Blue announced their new route and had a great sale on tickets. My thought process was that I could spend a few days with my friend Nicola in the UK before heading to Austria to see my mom. Well, all that sounds like a great plan in theory on paper but what I didn't calculate into the deal was that instead of getting better everything has gone a bit crazy again with the new variant of the virus. Travel restrictions and rules, testing, it's all super complicated and also expensive. The UK does let you in if you are fully vaccinated coming from the US now, without having to quarantine. BUT you still have to take a day 2 test ($$$) and then I also need a test to leave the country again and to get to Austria which has to be a PCR test no older than 72 hours. Those seem to be difficult to come by unless you are in a metro area because everything else is mail-in tests where you do the test at home and then mail the sample to a lab and get results. Anyway they do have relatively quick rapid tests at Heathrow but for a good amount of money ($150-$200). So I am trying to figure out what I am actually going to do. I really do want to see my friend and we had made such fun plans already. Go hang out at a winery, have afternoon tea, go to Brighton for the day, more tea & cake and whatnot. So yeah, just trying to decide. The only other way out of it would be to rebook my London-Vienna flight and go on to Vienna the same day I arrive in the UK (pretty much what I am doing on the way back) Because rebooking to a flight straight to Vienna would mean that I would have to cancel both my Jet Blue and British Airways flights - they are cancelable but you only receive a travel voucher/credit back and not an actual refund. So I would have to pay for an entire new set of tickets and booking with relatively short notice, not sure if that's the best of ideas either.  Also the other fun thing is coming from the UK you are currently required to quarantine when entering Austria. There are some exceptions such as extenuating personal circumstances in the immediate family/births/deaths/health of a family members etc. So my aunt is going to work on getting me a letter in regards to my mom's health and the reason for my visit which should hopefully do it. 

So anyway, besides the work stuff .. which I won't bore you with (basically it's really busy, we are short staffed and no matter what we do, hiring new people, it just never seems to help us because every time we solve a problem something else seems to happen) .. I just feel generally burned out and tired at the moment. I know it will get better and all this will be a distant memory at one point but right now it's just hard. But yeah, one day at a time, that's what I have to keep telling myself. If I didn't have all my personal stuff in the back of my mind (my mom, the upcoming trip, all the travel nonsense) it would be easier to manage I guess but well it is what it is.

The weekend was nice though. Most of last week was a crazy heat wave and by the weekend I was really over it. Saturday was still pretty hot but by Saturday evening it was much better and felt nice to have a nice cooler breeze and Sunday was absolutely beautiful. We went to see "Free Guy" in the theater (fun!) and then went for a lovely lunch at the Hopkins Inn - the most beautiful spot, lunch on a big terrace overlooking Lake Waramaug. Delicious food and the most wonderful weather and scenery. It was a nice break from all the craziness even if it only lasted for a few hours. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 07:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)