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)

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

First concert since the before times, weekend stuff and more

1628592070682Meant to update last night, my usual Monday update. But the day just ended up getting away from me so here we are Tuesday morning. Oh well. 

Had a busy week last week but then what week is not busy these days? We had the concert on Wednesday night in the city at Citifield which was a lot of fun. It felt pretty crazy to be at a stadium concert with that many people. But it was definitely a lot of fun. So much energy, crazy. Fall Out Boy ended up having to cancel their appearance due to a positive Covid test within their organization, guess that's how things go these days. The Interrupters, Wheezer and Green Day all extended their sets so it was still an amazing time. Green Day kills me every time, they are just born performers. And it's crazy to think how long they have been around now. Makes me feel old. lol.  Anyway we had a great time and even though we didn't get home till 1am it was well worth it. I did have the foresight to take off Thursday morning so I didn't have to log on till 11am which worked out well. 

The weekend was relatively ok weather wise but definitely on the humid side. Saturday we just went to Rizzuto's for lunch. Sunday we went for a short walk around Wooster Cemetery and by the end you could definitely feel the humidity even though we hardly did anything super strenuous. Afterwards we headed to the Marketplace in Litchfield for brunch and then stopped at Miranda Vineyard for a bit. When we got to Miranda the clouds had actually given way to some sun so it was pretty hot sitting outside but we still had a nice time nonetheless. Watched a couple movies when we got home (Troop Zero and Gunpowder Milkshake) before calling it a night. Was dragging all day Monday and hoped I could reset myself by going to bed relatively early Monday night but yeah still pretty much dead tired this morning. Hopefully I will snap out of it at one point. 

I think it's just the non stop business at work that is starting to catch up with me but there isn't really much to be done but to power through it. I do have a vacation coming up in less than a month (heading to the UK for a few days to see my friend Nicola and then on to Austria to see my mom for a week and a half - barring any Covid related travel problems - everybody cross your fingers for me please) 

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 06:43 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 02, 2021

Wave Hill

IMG_20210731_162218_300And yes here we are again, Monday night. And it's August. I feel like I have been wishing the summer away between being so busy at work and half the time the weather being either super hot, humid, raining or all of the above. We haven't had a lot of great weather this summer so far. 

Can't complain too much about the weekend. Saturday was a really nice day weather wise. We went to Wave Hill in the Bronx. Been meaning to go there for ages when we used to see posters for it on Metro North on the train. Anyway it was a pretty place and we walked all around and checked out the different areas, plants, flowers and views. When we were done there we went to Rizzuto's in Westport. Traffic was horrible but we did eventually make it. 

Sunday we went to the movies and saw "Jungle Cruise" which was a fun and entertaining movie. After the movies we had lunch at Newsylum Brewery in Newtown which we had been meaning to check out for ages as well. Delicious pizza and they had Citizen cider on draft as well so that worked out. Afterwards we stopped at Rosy's for a bit where we met up with John. And eventually caught up on some TV and movie stuff at home. 

Watched a few movies over these past days. "Tomorrow's War" (meh), "SAS Red Notice" (not super impressed), "Jungle Cruise" (fun & easy watch) and "My Spy" (cute funny movie) and also finished my re-read of "Echo in the Bone". Now I just have "Written in my Own Heart's Blood" to read before the new one in the Outlander series comes out in November. 

Had another new person start at work today. In the office tomorrow too, then Wednesday and Thursday I am working 1/2 days. We have tickets to a concert at Citi Field in NYC Wednesday night. Green Day, Fall Out Boy, Wheezer and the Interrupters. Should be a great show. It's been ages since we have been to a concert. I am a bit freaked out with the whole Delta variant thing going around but at least it is an outdoor show and I am fully vaccinated so I guess I will take the risk. I am looking at it as a calculated risk. 

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 08:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 26, 2021

Great Weekend

IMG_20210724_123720_005It's hot and humid and annoying again weather wise but over the weekend we actually had one nice weekend day (Saturday) where the weather was IMG_20210724_123941_882 pretty perfect. Not too hot, not too cool, low humidity, no rain. By Sunday it changed to being humid again with unstable weather but hey we got one day. I will take what I can get. 

The week itself was pretty busy. But then that's every week these days. Just basically putting one foot in front of the other and doing my best to get from one day to the next. Wednesday I was supposed to have my appointment to finally get the implant/crown finished but my dentist called last minute needing to cancel because a part they needed didn't come in. I need to call them back to follow up to re-schedule but just haven't found the time to do that. 

Saturday was a truly great day. Tiring but great. We picked an early start and left the house a little after 6.30am. Got to Hammonasset State Park in Madison, CT around 8am and spent a little over two hours there, walked close to 6 miles. I didn't realize it is quite so big. We checked out a lot of the trails but there was one we didn't get to I think. So there's a good reason to go back. Weather was beautiful and it was fun to be out and about getting some exercise. 

When we were done there we headed to Saltwater Vineyard in Saltwater Farm Vineyard in Stonington, CT - right by the RI border. Had some delicious wine and were able to sit outside enjoying the pretty scenery. Definitely a place to go back to. From there we headed back west and had lunch at Chamard Vineyard in Clinton, CT. Always a great spot. I love their French bistro and the wine is great as well. Had a nice leisurely lunch before heading back towards home. Our last stop was at Centrico in Bethel, CT. Was the perfect night to go there since they have such a beautiful outdoor area with sand, palm trees and a firepit. Was great to sit outside, have a light dinner and some yummy margaritas (papaya was their seasonal one and was absolutely amazing) 

So yeah, was a tiring and busy say but definitely worth it. Sunday was more low key. We slept in later and had lunch at Rizzuto's in Westport. And eventually caught up on some more TV. Watched the first episode of the 2nd season of "Ted Lasso" and also started "Schmiggadon". And watched the season finale of Charmed which threw me for a bit of a loop. I won't post any spoilers but yeah, if you watch the show, you can always message me. 

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 08:49 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 19, 2021

Unstable Weather and some random stuff

20210716_065706_resizedAnd more unstable weather, that seems to be the story of this summer. It's either super hot, crazy humid, pouring rain, cool or a mixture of all of it. We haven't had many days were it has been truly nice. Also in unrelated news every week when I update my blog I tell myself that I will get back into my letter writing and answer my outstanding mail. It's been a struggle. And now everything has been so busy with work that I usually just don't feel like it when I finally do have a free moment. Hopefully everybody will be understanding when i finally do get to it. 

Not all that much new really. Had another busy week at work last week covering for people on vacation plus just the usual summer craziness. But it's really just take it one day at a time, all we can do right now. 

The weekend was relatively uneventful. Saturday we went for an hour long walk at Sherwood Island in Westport. Was really humid and hot so kind of exhausting. Had lunch after at Rizzuto's. Hung out for a while and when I got home I watched the latest episode of "Universum" (Austrian nature show) about Wales and their animals. And then read some more of "Echo in the Bone" (on an Outlander re-reading spree to re read all the books before the new one comes out in November) Some crazy thunderstorms with lightning and thunder very close by that night as well. 

Sunday I had a massage in the morning which was perfect timing cause I had some pain in my lower back that was really annoying. Love my massage therapist. As usual she managed to work some magic and I am feeling like new. Afterwards headed to Newburgh, NY for lunch at Hurricane and when we got home we started binging the Apple show "Ted Lasso". We only have 3 episodes left of the first season and I think we will get those in tonight. The second season releases pretty soon I think so that's something to look forward to. 

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 08:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)