Monday, November 29, 2021

Thanksgiving Montreal Weekend

IMG_20211128_220510_700 IMG_20211128_220722_318Here we are, it's Monday night again. Last week was just a blur it feels like. Monday through Wednesday was super busy at work with the short work week and also covering for a co-worker on vacation. Plus we had a newbie start I am mentoring so yeah everything all at once. But somehow I made it through, always do, right?

Monday we also had our PCR test scheduled as we needed that for travel to Canada and had to be within 72 hours of arrival. We went Monday afternoon and got the results back mid morning on Wednesday. Didn't book a hotel until Wednesday night after work and left Thursday morning. So all was a bit last minute but we didn't want to book a hotel and then find out last minute we couldn't go because the results didn't come back in time or a false positive or a break through case. You just never know these days. But luckily it all worked out

We left early Thursday morning and got to Montreal around 12.30pm. Checked in at our hotel (the Holiday Inn in Chinatown) and then walked to the old town to have lunch at Les 3 Brasseurs - one of our favorite places and always great to go to. Had the most delicious poutine and some popcorn shrimp. After hanging out there for a while we wandered around a bit and also checked out the Christmas Market before having drinks and a small dinner at The Farsides - what a funky, trendy, 90ies inspired placed. Hung out there for a while before heading back to the hotel. The hotel bar and restaurant wasn't open due to Covid but luckily everything else was mostly open. 

Friday we went to check out a museum in the morning and then walked around a bit before lunch. The weather was pretty miserable that day. mostly rain and a snow/rain mixture all day so chilly and wet. But we made the best of it. We went to a pub for lunch and then afterwards headed to the Biodome. We had originally planned to take the metro and walked to the station, bought our tickets, only to find out that there was a problem/issue with somebody on the tracks. Lots of announcements in French which we couldn't really understand so we eventually ended up grabbing a cab and made it to the Biodome about 30 min past our ticketed time slot. Luckily that worked out ok and we had a nice time checking out the exhibits. It was completely redone from when we went the last time and they really did a great job I have to say. When we were done we made our way back to the hotel and then had dinner in the old town (back to Les 3 Brasseurs) followed by some wine at Maggie Oakes. By the time we left there the snow had started to stick a bit and while it was a bit slippery of a walk it also did look very pretty.  

Saturday we slept in a bit and then had breakfast at Allo mon Coco with somebody I work with. I have worked with her on the same account for a few years now so it was a lot of fun to actually get to meet in person. We don't work for the same company but partner companies but work together quite a bit. Had a yummy breakfast and then in the afternoon walked around the old town some more. Went to a market and had a few drinks at Pub Brewsky followed by dinner at Taverne Gaspar. Absolutely delicious ribs and a fun place for sure. On our way back we decided to randomly stopped at a place called "NELLI CafĂ© + Vin nature" at Hotel Nelligan. We were just looking for a not too crazy place for another glass of wine and this turned out to be a pretty neat place. 

Sunday we had breakfast at Eggspectations and then headed back towards the US. We spent way too long in line at the US border but what can you do? We did eventually make it back around 6.30pm and stopped at Centrico for dinner where we met up with our friend John. 

And well here we are, Monday night. I do need to work on my US Christmas cards but that will have to wait another week I think. Also need to put up our tree but again that may just have to wait a bit. Will get there - eventually. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 08:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Christmas Cards, Outlander Launch Event and more

PeanutsSunday afternoon. And the weekend before the Thanksgiving week. Crazy times ahead. :) I am covering for a co-worker on vacation next week plus we have a new employee starting who I will be mentoring, It will be ok. It always is. :) We have tentative plans to go away for Thanksgiving, Thursday to Sunday. It's all a bit TBD at the moment. We are thinking of going to Montreal and need a PCR test to enter Canada. We are vaccinated but there's always a chance of a break through case of course so we decided to not book a hotel until we get our test back. So we'll see how all that pans out. I do hope we get to go. It's been over 5 years since we were last in Montreal. 

Was supposed to have a dental cleaning appointment this past Tuesday but that ended up getting cancelled as my insurance is maxed out. Rescheduled that for January when the insurance resets. I do have an appointment this coming Tuesday but that's for a crown and veneers and either already paid for and/or not covered by insurance anyway. 

Also started my Christmas cards yesterday and finished all of my international ones so I can get those into the mail asap. I don't trust the postal system very much these days but I guess let's see how it goes. I do still need to write all my US domestic cards but there's a little more time for that at least. Yesterday we also got to see our friends Robin & Ashley who we haven't seen in forever. So that was really nice. Was great to hang out and catch up for sure. And today we went to see "Belfast" at a movie theater in Trumbull followed by lunch at Flipside in Fairfield. 

And tomorrow from 7 to 10pm is the launch event for Diana Gabaldon's new book "Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone" It's a virtual event via Zoom but should be fun. As a huge fan of the Outlander series I am very excited for the new book. The book itself releases on Tuesday 23rd. I have a copy ordered via Kindle and will also receive a signed hardcover copy from that launch event. Good times. :)

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

Posted by Hanna at 03:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 15, 2021

Random musings

SnoopyMonday morning. Not sure if I am ready for another week but here we are. I am just not a fan of Mondays. I actually did go to bed pretty early last night, around 9.30pm. Often my problem with Mondays is that I end up staying up late cause we are watching TV and whatnot but I don't even have that excuse today. Still tired and dragging nonetheless, maybe a little less than if I had gone bed at midnight but guess we'll see how the rest of the day goes. 

Not all that much new really. Last Tuesday I had my first dentist appointment of a few in a row - two more to go - in hopes of finishing up things with my implant and crown. The appointment this week is actually just a normal cleaning one, then next week something else and I assume will need at least one more before all is said and done. But the way things go with me, I am sure it's just a matter of time before some other project ends up happening with me and the dentist. But at least this particular issue seems to finally be coming to a close so that's something I suppose. 

The weekend was nice and mostly uneventful I guess. Saturday it actually ended up being pretty nice in the morning. Wish I had realized how warm it was out so we could have taken advantage and maybe gone for a walk or something. Oh well. Had lunch at Rizzuto's and later watched a bunch of stuff on TV. Finished the "Murders in the Building" show and also watched the new Ryan Reynolds /Dwayne Johnson/Gal Gadot movie "Red Notice" on Netflix. 

Sunday we went to the movies in the morning and finally saw the new Bond movie. It was pretty good but definitely too long. They easily could have cut out 45 min to 1 hr and it would have been still fine. But glad we went to see it I guess. Then we had brunch at Lucas Local. The first week they were having brunch there so was nice to try it. And stopped at Centrico for a bit after to say hi to Cait. And then watched the SNL we had recorded. Originally we had talked about watching something on Disney + after (we signed up again since it was only $1.99 for a month) but I was starting to fall asleep so we postponed that idea. 

And well here we are, Monday morning. So let's see what the week holds. I have my dentist cleaning appointment on Tuesday and my yearly physical appointment on Friday. Other than that all as usual. 

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

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

Sunday, November 07, 2021

Movie Weekend

1636316245147 Here we are, already in November. It's definitely been chilly, especially in the mornings with frost. Not so bad during the day but mornings and nights have been hovering right around freezing. I mean it is what it is and normal for the season. At least it hasn't been raining and has been mostly dry this week. So that's something. 

This weekend has been the weekend of movies for us. For a while there wasn't really much coming out, especially for the theaters, but lately quite a few movies have come out and these past weekends we always had other things to do so this weekend we went both on Saturday and today. We still haven't seen the new Bond movie, so that's still pending. And now the new Marvel movie "Eternals" also came out and the new Ghostbusters movie is coming out in a few weeks too I think. Oh and "Belfast". This weekend we saw "The French Dispatch" (the new Wes Anderson movie) and "Last Night in Soho". Two completely different movies. If I had to pick one over the other I would say "Last Night in Soho" would get my vote. It's definitely been fun being at the movies again. 

Other than that not all that much new really. Friday night we went over to our friend John and Jana's place. Jana invited us over for a fondue night which was fun. And we also watched a movie after dinner "Bestsellers" which was also fun. 

This upcoming week I have a dentist appointment (I have a few upcoming appointments in November) on Tuesday and also have to get my blood-work done for my upcoming physical apt later this month. 

But yeah, other than that not too much new. Yesterday I finished my reread of the Outlander series with "Written in My Own Heart's Blood" in anticipation of the new book "Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone" coming out on the 23rd of this month. There's a virtual release/launch event on the 22nd which should be fun. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 03:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Happy Halloween

SnoopyHappy Halloween :) Look at me updating on a Sunday. Figured I would try and get ahead of the game. No big Halloween plans for us. Just having lunch at Rizzuto's and going to stop at the store later to get some grocery shopping done and watch some TV. We caught up on all of our recorded TV yesterday. Anybody watching "Ordinary Joe" on NBC? I am going back and forth on it and I think they are obviously trying to have "This is Us" vibes, I am guessing as this will be the last season for "This is Us" so they are looking to have something to replace it. The other new show we have been watching is "Ghosts" which I thought was really campy at first but now has kind of been growing on me. Oh and "La Brea". That one has serious Lost vibes going on. Going to start "Only Murders in the Building" tonight I think. 

On my last post I wrote that we were coming back from our mini getaway Tuesday. In fact after I wrote my post, we packed up and checked out of our room. But when we got outside we realized how crazy the weather actually was. It was sideways blowing rain, windy, just crazy. And no end in sight either. Gale warnings, the ferries stopped etc. So we decided it just wasn't a good idea to drive back 3 hours in that weather so we ended up booking another night. Hung out on Tuesday at Bedell and then had lunch at Greenport Brewery. Hung out there for a while as the rain was blowing around outside. Then made another stop at Lenz, had some cheese, crackers and prosciutto as a snack before heading back to the hotel. 

Wednesday morning we got up at 5.30am and left the hotel just a bit after 6am as I did have to work. Rush hour traffic was of course a pain and I didn't get to the office till about 9.30am but at least we didn't have to drive in the crazy rain. 

The rest of the week was busy but uneventful otherwise. Yesterday, Saturday, we went to brunch at J. Lawrence. It was their last day yesterday which was bittersweet. We have really enjoyed going there these past few years and have become regulars. The people who bought the restaurant are supposed to open in about 4-5 weeks and are going to keep most of the staff on so hopefully it will be an ok transition. Wishing the family very well of course and would be fun if we get to see them at the new place but on the other side of the bar. :) 

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

Posted by Hanna at 02:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

North Fork Birthday Getaway

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Here we are Tuesday morning. And the last day of our mini getaway/vacation. Still have today off at least so we will make the most of it even though there is heavy rain in the forecast today so the drive home won't be very pleasant but what can you do? At least we had pretty nice weather on Sunday and Monday so that's something, right? 

Last week was another busy week at work but honestly when is it not these days? Saturday we went for a nice walk around Tarrywile Park in Danbury in the morning to get some fresh air even though it was a bit drizzly but sill nice to get some exercise and be outside. Also stopped at Rite Aid for our flu shots and then headed to Westport to Rizzuto's for lunch. Said goodbye to our friend Andy who works there and is moving out to Victoria in Canada this week. Of course very happy for her and wishing her all the best but will be kind of sad not to see her on a regular basis. 

Sunday was my birthday and we started with a delicious diner breakfast at Elmer's. Yum! From there we made our way out to the North Fork of Long Island. Our first stop was Kontokosta. Got there around 12.30pm and hung out outside on their lawn for a while. Then stopped at Coffeepot which is always a highlight. Always fun to see Laura who runs the place along with her husband. She always has so many interesting stories and it's always great to see her pug Beasley. He is getting pretty old now and has some issues walking so Laura bought him a laundry cart so he can still hang out in the tasting room and be greeted by everyone who comes in but doesn't have to struggle with walking. 

Yesterday, Monday, we went to Starbucks and hung out there for a while before continuing on to Paumanok. The weather was pretty cooperative especially in the morning with almost being 70 already at 11am. Hung out for a while with some wine and a delicious fresh baguette with some olive oil. From there we continued on to a little nature trail where we were able to get a little bit of exercise in and some more fresh air. Then stopped at Osprey and One Woman. We have been coming to Osprey for a while now and One Woman has become one of my favorites as well as they have Gruener Veltliner which is an Austrian grape and always exciting to me to try it when I see it somewhere here. Ended at Coffeepot which as always was fun and interesting. Laura had some people there from local wineries who were celebrating a birthday so we somehow ended up getting wrapped up in that celebration, even eating birth day cake and all. It's honestly part of why I always enjoy stopping there because you just never know what the visit will bring. Always interesting people to talk to and a fun time. 

Today we are going to pick up a couple of bottles of wine to bring home and maybe stop at one more, maybe Bedell as they have a covered deck from what I recall so that may work out considering the weather. And then we will need to make our way back to CT which will probably be a longer ride considering the weather conditions. And well tomorrow it will be back to work and normal every day stuff but I will try and not think about that just yet. At least it will be a shorter work week which is also nice. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 09:53 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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)