Monday, May 22, 2023

Random Updates

FB_IMG_1626137611195Hello Monday and yes another week flown by already. 

Not really all that much to report on from last week. Tuesday I had physical therapy for my shoulder and Thursday night I had a work dinner that turned out to be a pretty fun evening. Hung out with some colleagues, delicious food and drinks, fun night. 

The weekend overall was pretty low key. Saturday we went to Rizzuto's for lunch and caught up on some recorded TV in the evening. Weather was on and off rain for most of Saturday which made it kind of dreary but we did need some rain I guess. Sunday the weather was a bit nicer, partly cloudy although a bit more clouds than sun but no rain at least. Went for a walk Sunday morning to get outside and enjoy the fresh air for a bit. And after that headed to Rosy's for lunch. Hung out there for a while before ordering pizza and heading home to catch up on some more TV in the evening. 

Also been reading "Spare", Prince Harry's book. I am about a 1/4 into it and so far it's an enjoyable read. I wanted to read it but didn't want to really buy it so I got it from the library which works out. While I was in Austria I watched a lot of documentary and news type coverage on the royals (leading up to the coronation) since my mom enjoys that stuff so I figured it's only fitting that I read the book. 

Otherwise really not too much new. This coming week is Memorial Day and I will have Monday off. Mike most likely too but TBD on that. Sunday we have Broadway tickets to see & Juliet on Broadway followed by dinner at Osteria al Doge. The last time we saw anything on Broadway was early 2020 so I am definitely excited to go! And Osteria al Doge is one of our favorite restaurants in the theater district in NYC. They were closed for the longest time following Covid and just reopened not that long ago. Excited they didn't close for good. 

 Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to: Celia/MA and Nina/WA. 

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

Monday, May 15, 2023

Eurovision, Mother's Day and other stuff

IMG_20230514_100838_548Yup already a full week since I flew back to the US. Came back exactly a week ago today.

All in all the first week back has been pretty uneventful. Mostly over my jetlag now which is always a struggle the first few days.

Travel back was pretty normal. The airport transfer/taxi picked me up at 6.30am. Had some food and drinks at the airport before boarding my non stop Austrian flight to Newark. Arrival into Newark was bumpy and the lines at the airport were annoyingly long plus traffic back to CT was super backed up. But it is what it is, right? Made it back in one piece with all of my luggage so really that's all that matters.

Went to the office on Tuesday. First day back is always a struggle but of course made it through as I always do. Rest of the week was fine, busy with catching up but nothing too unusual.

Friday we had Wednesday's (the kitten) appointment to get him fixed. Dropped him off in the morning and picked him up in the evening. And he acted like nothing happened. I guess the procedure is a lot less complicated for a male cat than a female. But even knowing that it was kind of funny how he acted like he didn't have surgery at all. I mean I am glad of course, just kind of funny.

Saturday was the day of the Eurovision Song Contest. I had already planned on staying home figuring I would keep an eye on Wednesday (although he really didn't need me as it turns out) so I ordered myself some Panera and watched Eurovision. Austria qualified for the finals and we had a lot of predictions that were saying the Austrian song was actually rumored to possibly place in the top 10. We ended up with 15th place. Oh well. Sweden won which means the song contest will be held there next year. I thought the UK did a good job cohosting with the Ukraine this year in Liverpool.

Sunday was Mother's Day and we drove to Flipside in Fairfield for lunch. Hung out there for a while before heading back to Danbury. Caught up on a bunch of recorded shows Saturday and Sunday night as well.

 Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to: Celia/MA and Nina/WA. 

Posted by Hanna at 08:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 07, 2023

Goodbye Europe .. until we meet again

IMG_20230507_130138_049And somehow two and a half weeks flew by in a flash. I guess I cannot say I am super surprised. Always seems to happen. Tomorrow I am already on a IMG_20230430_193027_207 plane back to the US again. 

Let´s see what I can recap from the last week. A week ago today I took the train to Salzburg and met up with my friends Anneliese & Andi as well as my Salzburg family (Gerti, Kathrin and Florian) My train got in a bit after 11am and we headed to Gerti´s apartment where she also invited Anneliese and Andi over and we had some prosecco while catching up. Afterwards Gerti and I headed out to meet Florian and his wife & son for lunch. Had a delicious lunch and we were even lucky enough to sit outside. After lunch Gerti and I headed to Kathrin´s home just across the border in Germany. Was great to see her and her newborn baby and husband. Had some coffee and apple strudel and caught up a bit before Gerti & I had to head back to Salzburg where I took the train back to St. Pölten. Definitely a fun day. 

Monday to Thursday I had to work this week which made the week go by fast as well. Since I worked US East Coast Hours I did have my mornings free and was able to go for a walk with my mom each day as well as accompany her to her speech therapy that she usually has on Tuesdays. Friday I had the day off and the weather luckily was really nice that day so I was able to take advantage of the afternoon and headed into St. Pölten. Did some shopping (some Mother´s Day gifts for my mom and some other odds and ends) and enjoyed just wandering around. Also had some delicious gelato and ended up hanging out in an outdoor cafe enjoying a cocktail (Hugo) for a bit. 

Saturday was centered all around the royal family and events in England. My mom had the TV turned on by 9am so we were watching the coronation coverage most of the day. Did go for a walk with my mom as well as a bit of a stroll by myself to break up the TV time but other than that we had the TV on most of the day. Did some reading and other random stuff while having the TV on. Also made sure to get to the grocery store to buy a few more random things to bring back. 

And today was mostly just a quiet day. Went for another walk with my mom and managed to get all of my stuff packed up. Packing always ends up being a chore but I managed to get everything done. Fingers crossed both pieces of luggage are under the allowed weight limit. 

Well that´s about all. Going to watch the coronation concert tonight and tomorrow my airport transfer pickup is booked for 6.30am. Crazy how fast these trips can fly by and crazy how it is already May 8 tomorrow. Time is just racing by. 

 Mail Update: A letter went out on Friday to: Carmen/Malta. 

Posted by Hanna at 12:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Austria Updates

IMG_20230427_184854_532And here we are, a whole week later already. I am not even sure how the time passes that fast but I guess it´s the way it always goes. IMG_20230428_224313_311

Sunday last week ended up working out ok weather wise. It was relatively sunny and dry for most of the day. Was able to go for a walk with my mom in the morning, we had lunch and in early afternoon I went into Vienna to meet up with Andrea. We were able to take a leisurely stroll followed by a visit to a cafe. Hung out for a while catching up and chatting. Eventually made my way back on the train. And the rain held out for the most part which was good. 

Monday to Wednesday I worked but also went for walks with my mom and to her speech therapy session. And Thursday and Friday I was off. Thursday I met up with my friend Lydia and we walked around the Schönbrunn Palace gardens before sitting down in a cafe. We were able to snag a table in the sun and the sunshine cooperated for most of the time we were there. Absolutely perfect spot to sit outside and chat. 

On Friday the weather stayed pretty nice in the morning followed by more clouds as the day went on. Had some nice weather in the morning when I met up with my friend Stefan for a catch up and some time at a local cafe. Weather even cooperated enough for us to sit outside. And later I met up with my friend Claudia Friday evening at 8pm for dinner in Vienna followed by a theater visit. Went to see the musical "Rebecca" which was a lot of fun. I haven´t been to the theater in Vienna in many many years, not since I still lived here in 2001. Really enjoyed Rebecca and the evening in general. Didn´t get home till about 12.30pm but oh well, definitely a great night. 

And today we went to a Heurigen (vineyard) with my mom and our neighbors Helga and Franz. Had a nice lunch and some good wine before returning home mid afternoon. Watched some TV and just relaxing now. 

And tomorrow I am off to Salzburg to meet some family. Looking forward to another fun day before returning to the work week on Monday. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 11:23 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Austrian Spring Post

IMG_20230422_190631_277Hello from Austria. Left for Austria on Wednesday and today is already Saturday evening so as usual time is flying by. Monday and Tuesday were busy days. Wednesday I worked half a day and then had my flight Wednesday night. Connected in Frankfurt this time with a pretty long layover so didn't get to Vienna until after 3pm and to St. Pölten close to 5pm. But of course didn't really matter and maybe even helped with my jetlag. 

The first few days I have been here the weather has been pretty nice. It actually gradually got nicer from Wednesday to today Saturday. Yesterday, Friday, I had a hairdresser appointment at 9.30am and spent my morning there before heading back home and having a late lunch with my mom. Later my aunt stopped by and we went for a walk. Also had some wifi troubles at the house when I arrived but luckily were able to get it fixed.

Today the weather has been absolutely beautiful, around 22C (71F) and mostly sunshine with hardly any clouds and almost no wind. Truly beautiful day. Went for a walk with my mom in the morning before heading for lunch at a Heuriger. Since the weather was so nice it was perfect to sit outside and have a leisurely lunch. Afterwards my mom and I watched some TV before taking advantage of the nice weather and sitting outside for a bit and then going for another walk. Stopped by a home of a family friend before eventually heading back home. 

Tomorrow, Sunday, the weather is supposed to turn again ushering some unstable weather and rain. Well let's see how it goes. You never know with forecasts and how true they are. I am heading into Vienna tomorrow afternoon to meet up with my friend Andrea so would be nice if it didn't pour so we can go for a walk. Well I guess we will see how it goes. 

Mail Update: All caught up! 

Posted by Hanna at 01:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, April 16, 2023

April Showers

FB_IMG_1618260696031Happy Sunday Fun Day :) The weather has turned a bit more iffy again over the weekend. Yesterday, Saturday, it was close to 70F (20C) but turned unstable with rain on and off throughout the afternoon and evening. And today is pretty much the same, more rain than sun, but not really cold. The weather in Austria seems a lot colder and rainy at the moment, hoping it turns a corner before I get there mid week next week. I'll be there for two and a half weeks so there really is no telling how the weather will behave while I am there. It's a case of "pack a little of everything and hope for the best".

Thursday and Friday we had temps in the 90ies (30+C) which was really out there for April. Thursday night we went for dinner at Broken Symmetry and it was really nice to sit outside for dinner. A lot of schools in our area had their spring break this past week and I think all the teachers and students couldn't have been happier with the weather during their time off.

Yesterday, Saturday, we went for a walk on Sherwood Island which was nice, followed by lunch at Rizzuto's. Always nice to walk along the beach there and enjoying some time outdoors. In the evening I made a yummy Shrimp Orzo dish and started to sort through my stuff to figure out what to bring/pack for Austria. I don't leave until Wednesday but I always like to get a head start, especially if I am going for an extended time period.

Today we went to the movies to see "Air", the new movie about Nike & Michael Jordan. Really enjoyed it I have to say. Moved at a good pace and was an interesting story, and from what I can tell relatively close to the truth with just a few Hollywood moments thrown in that didn't actually happen. Now we are at Red Rooster hanging out for a bit and later will probably get take out pizza and catch up on some more recorded TV.

Mail Update: All caught up! 

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

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Niagara on The Lake Easter Weekend Recap

IMG_20230408_085834_802Happy Wednesday. We are currently having absolutely amazing weather. I would describe IMG_20230408_090021_710 it as a small burst of summer in the beginning of spring. Today the weather was close to 80F (25C) and the next two days we'll be close to 90F (30F). Earlier in the week it was around 70F (20C). Come Saturday it will cool down significantly again and get back down into the 60ies (15C) which is much more seasonable. But while I am not quite ready for temps in the 90ies I will say that it has been nice having a bit of a glimpse of summer.

Last weekend while we were in Niagara on the Lake the temps there were only in the low to mid 40ies (4-6C) but it was super sunny the whole time so really can't complain.

On Friday we ended up getting to Niagara on the Lake around 12.45pm. Just a couple of cars in front of us at the border so wasn't bad. Stopped at Marynissen Winery for some wine tasting before our 2pm lunch reservation at the Farmhouse Cafe at Caroline Cellars. Had a super delicious lunch (Cuban Sandwich & Fried Perch) but while the food was amazing the wine wasn't really all that great. But no huge deal. Afterwards stopped at Inniskillin Wines and Riverview Cellars before heading to our hotel to check in. Inniskillin was really neat I have to say.

After checking in we walked around the old town for a bit and also headed out to the lake. Since the weather was pretty much perfect we had a lot of great views, for example of the skyline of Toronto straight across the lake. After wandering around for a while we returned back to our hotel and hung out at the bar/lounge for a while. Our bartender was a lot of fun and also had a lot of great recommendations for us on places to try for the next day.

So Saturday we slept in a bit and then had breakfast at Silks Country Kitchen. After a nice hearty breakfast we ventured out for more wine tasting starting at The Hare Wine Co. From there we stopped at Wayne Gretzky's winery. While neither of us are big hockey fans it was kind of fun to check out. From there we went to two of the places that our bartender had recommended, Big Head Wines as well as Between the Lines. Both were really interesting and had super informative tastings. Our last stop was Stratus before heading back into town.

Had an early dinner at Corks Wine Bar and eventually made our way back to the hotel for some more drinks at the hotel bar/lounge.

On Sunday we stopped at Starbucks before leaving Niagara on the Lake around 9am. Crossing the border was surprisingly enough very quick again. Originally we had made lunch reservations for 1.30pm at Dano's Heuriger in the Finger Lakes but we actually made it there before 12pm. So we stopped at Wagner Vineyards for a glass of wine and luckily Dano's was able to switch our lunch reservation to 12.30pm. Always excited when we get to go there and really enjoy the Finger Lakes, such a beautiful area. And really wasn't much out of the way driving back.

Ended up getting back to Danbury a bit before 7.30pm and had dinner at Barbarie's at the mall before evntually heading home.

And well here we are, already Wednesday again. The week has been relatively uneventful. Just trying to tie up some lose ends before heading to Austria next week. Leaving a week from today.

Mail Update: All caught up! 

Posted by Hanna at 08:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 07, 2023

Easter Weekend Getaway

Desktop-wallpaper-snoopy-easter-clipart-snoopy-easterHappy Friday. Good Friday and the start to the Easter Weekend. We are currently somewhere in Upstate New York on our way to Niagara on the Lake, probably about an hour and a half from the Canadian border. It's a six and a half hour drive and the GPS has us getting there at 12.30pm so it was an early start today. 4.45am alarm to leave the house somewhere between 5.30 and 5.40 with a stop at Starbucks before setting off. 

Last weekend was a quiet weekend. Saturday the weather was rainy in the morning but cleared up for the afternoon so I was able to go for a nice walk around the neighborhood before cooking dinner. 

Sunday the weather was quite a bit cooler again, it's been a lot of up and down lately temperature wise with the weather. Just went for brunch at Marketplace and stopped at Rosys for a bit before heading home and catching up on a bunch of TV.

The week itself was relatively uneventful. Was covering for somebody out on vacation so that kept me busy. Other than that nothing too much out of the ordinary. 

Been trying to prep for my trip to Austria which is not that far out now (19th) but first our little weekend getaway to Niagara on the Lake. We have lunch reservations for 2pm at Caroline Cellars. Depending on how long it takes to get across the border we should have time for a stop at a winery before our lunch reservation. 

No solid plans for after lunch or tomorrow yet but basically want to check out the town and visit some wineries and just relaxing and chilling. We are staying at a neat 19th century inn/hotel which should be fun. 

Looking forward to a couple relaxing nights away. Happy Easter to anybody who celebrates! 

Mail Update: All caught up! 

Posted by Hanna at 10:52 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 31, 2023

Random Stuff

Pixlr_20230331202923846Happy Friday. TGIF! Somehow it's been a week and a half or so since my last update again. I seem to just be struggling with my updating lately, never on a consistent schedule but I guess it is what it is.

Let's see what is new since I last posted. Not too much really.

Last weekend was relatively uneventful. The weather has been up & down lately. Some nice and mild days followed by really chilly days. Saturday was dreary, cold and wet and just not a nice day. We didn't do much, went to Rizzuto's for lunch and actually ended up hanging out there for a while watching the UConn women's basketball game. They ended up losing which was disappointing but again it's one of those it is what it is things. The men's UConn team had an amazing win that same night though so at least that helped make up for it a bit.

Sunday we just stayed local and went to Rosy's and later got pizza from Bambino's and caught up on a bunch of recorded TV. Nice, relaxed day.

This week we had a work happy hour Thursday night to celebrate a co-worker's retirement and tonight I met up with my friend Sharon - had yummy Chinese at Panda House and had a nice time catching up. It's always fun hanging out with her as she is one of my oldest friends here in Connecticut. We met shortly after I moved to Danbury in 2001 so it's been a while. :)

No big plans for this upcoming weekend either. But next weekend over Easter we will be away for 2 nights, spending time at Niagara on the Lake. Definitely looking forward to that. Always nice to get away for a bit even if it's just three days. And not too far in the distant future (April 19) I will be on a plane to Austria. Can't believe it's already April 1 tomorrow. The year is definitely already flying by.

Mail Update: All caught up! 

Posted by Hanna at 08:43 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Happy Spring

D2G0nraW0AE8jr8Spring officially started Monday afternoon which makes me happy. The weather has been ok these past few days, definitely longing for the weather to continue to warm up. Looking forward to patio season. But I'll take this for now. 

Other than that not too much new really. Last week was St. Patrick's Day on Friday. We didn't do anything really but had a corned beef sandwich over the weekend. :) On Saturday we had lunch at Rizzuto's and later watched some stuff on TV. And Sunday we went to see the new "Shazam" movie at the theater in Southbury followed by pizza at Newsylum Brewery and a few more drinks at Rosy's before catching up on more TV at home.

This week has been relatively uneventful so far as well. Yesterday we had a work happy hour after work hosted by one of our vendors which was nice. Free drinks and food is never a bad thing. :)

No real plans for the rest of the week or the weekend at the moment. Will just see how it goes.

Oh, we bought tickets to see "Bad Cinderella" on Broadway in June - definitely looking forward to that. Our tickets are side rear mezzanine but at least they weren't horrendously priced as most Broadway tickets seem to be these days.

So yeah, that's about all I have for right now.

Mail Update: All caught up! 

Posted by Hanna at 08:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)