Sunday, November 29, 2020

Thanksgiving Weekend

IMG_20201127_163605_592And another Thanksgiving done. It's been a nice four day weekend and I am kind of sad today is already day four but can't complain. We have had a 20201128_190544_resized_1nice relaxing long weekend. 

Monday to Wednesday was pretty hectic with work. But that was to be expected with the short week plus covering for someone else. But made it through of course. On Thursday we went over to our friends John and Jana's house for Thanksgiving. Jana made a turkey meal (from Blue Apron) and we also made Sachertorte for dessert. Had a lot of food and wine and a good time hanging out. After dinner we watched "Happiest Season" on Hulu which was a fun movie. 

Friday we slept in and then met Shannon, Mike's niece, and her boyfriend Kyle for lunch at Two Steps. Stopped at Rosy's for a bit and then caught up on some TV before calling it an early night. Since I went to bed early Friday I ended up getting up early-ish on Saturday and finally made a dent in my mail. Wrote four letters Saturday morning so that felt good. It's been a while since I wrote letters so it felt good to catch up. Still have one more to go, hopefully I'll get that done soon too. 

Also wrote all my international Christmas cards and mailed those earlier in the week. Now I still need to get the US ones done. Also managed to get most of my Christmas shopping for my oversees friends done already. Now just need to get the tree and decorations put up. Maybe tomorrow. 

Anyway, yesterday, after my letter writing, we went for brunch at J Lawrence. And later in the day I headed back over to John and Jana's for some Christmas baking. Their friends Maya and Eddie were staying over so Jana, Maya and I made some Rugelach and Linzer cookies. And Jana also made beef stroganoff for dinner. Followed by playing board games. 

Today we slept in and are heading to Rizzuto's in Westport for lunch. The weather is actually pretty nice, in the low-mid 50ies. We had talked about going for a walk before lunch but ended up being lazy instead. Oh well. Nice to have a low key day before heading back to work tomorrow. Well, since I am still working from home it's really not that much of a difference. Haha. But yeah. 

Mail Update: Letters went out on Saturday to: Celia/MA, Carmen/Malta, Lotte/Denmark and Kimber/Canada. Received a letter from/owe a response to: Nina/WA. 

Posted by Hanna at 11:02 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Almost Thanksgiving

IMG_20201122_104422_761Yup it's Thanksgiving next week. I really don't even know how we got here. Every year passes fast as you get older but this year has just been such a Snoopyweird year. It's Thanksgiving next week and I feel like I haven't done anything this year. Normally we would be heading somewhere on vacation right about now. My TimeHop app and Facebook Memories has been sending me pictures from all of our recent trips, the Azores 2 years in a row and Austria/Croatia last year. I am of course happy we are safe and healthy but the selfish side of me still laments the fact that we can't go anywhere this year. We did a few smaller weekend trips, one over the 4th of July and one in early September. But yeah, I don't know if we will get to do anything the rest of the year the way the cases are rising. Just doesn't feel safe to go somewhere, even if it's just a neighboring state. And a lot of states even around us are requiring quarantines etc. So yeah, no thank you. I guess we'll just stay put and make the best of it. I am able to roll my vacation time into next year so hopefully something will change at some point in 2021 so we can go on an actual trip. 

I see people on social media going on trips, pictures of people in Florida and whatnot. And it makes me so jealous. But I just don't feel comfortable doing that at the moment. Ugh. It's ok. Will still have a nice Thanksgiving. Will be a Friendsgiving this year. Our friends John and Jana invited us over to their new home for Thanksgiving so that should be a nice relaxed day. 

Other than that not too much new. On Friday I went to a friend/co-worker's house and worked at her house (about 25 min away) She has a new kitten so I had to go see of course. She has 2 dogs and 2 cats so it was fun working from her house and hanging out with all of her animals. She owns the brother of our cat Sherlock and it's amazing how similar Styx and Sherlock are personality wise. They have so many similar traits. And the new kitten - Ash - OMG just way too cute and adorable. And of course her two dogs, Atlas and Cleo, are super friendly too. 

Yesterday, Saturday, we had brunch at J. Lawrence and then later met up with John and Jana at Centrico and hung out there for a while. Today we are going to head to Rizzuto's in Westport and then eventually will do our grocery store run and catch up on some TV/Netflix. And tomorrow is already Monday again. At least it's a short week but I have a feeling that I'll be pretty busy for the three days I am working since I am covering for a co-worker. Well, we shall see. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 10:46 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 16, 2020

November Musings

SnoopyMid November and next week is Thanksgiving already. I know, I know, super cliché, cause I say it every week and every year, how I can't believe it's already this month or that season or whatever it may be. But this just has been such a strange year altogether. And I really can't wrap my head around the fact that it's Thanksgiving next week already. No travel plans for us this year (obviously) It's kind of sad. Because that has been our go-to thing to do over the Thanksgiving holiday break. Last year we were in Austria and Croatia, the two years before that the Azores. We have done Canada multiple times as well. Ugh. I miss Canada too. Really want to go to Montreal badly. One day. Hopefully next year. 

Of course everything is spiking everywhere and I have no idea what the rest of the year and the winter will bring. But I guess we just have to stay positive, be as safe as possible, wear our masks, social distance and hope this eventually blows over when a vaccine can be developed and distributed. Ugh. 

Anyway, really not a whole lot else new. On Thursday last week I had a consult appointment at the oral surgeon for getting my implant. Have another scan appointment this week and then the actual implant surgery mid December. I'll also need to coordinate that with getting my braces off and whatnot. Oh joy. 

Last Friday I had my physical appointment. All pretty well, just low on calcium for some reason so I bought some extra calcium to take in addition to my regular multi vitamins. The weekend was low key. Saturday I had a massage which was nice. Afterwards we had lunch at Bottega. And on Sunday we drove to Westport to Rizzuto's and later stopped at Centrico for a bit before heading home and catching up on some TV. Had a tornado warning last night around 9pm too. Ugh. So weird. Luckily nothing besides strong wind happened in our immediate area. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 07:04 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 09, 2020

Gorgeous November Weather - History in the Making

IMG_20201107_141127_796Well "election week" is finally over and I am happy that it "only" took a week to get the result. Of course there's still a lot left to be done and the other IMG_20201107_141940_993
side has not conceded and god knows what else may happen. But hopefully we can somehow move on and move forward from here. Let the healing of the country begin. I honestly don't know how that will be possible considering how hugely divided the country is right now but I guess time will tell and time is also the only thing that helps with healing. So hopefully with a positive outlook and leadership we will be able to get there. Certainly not going to be easy but I am feeling much more relieved than I had been in a while. I am also super excited about Kamala Harris and seeing history being made in front of my own eyes. The first female vice president elect and the first female black and Asian woman. So cool. And I really do like her, such a powerful woman. 

Other than that, the weather has been absolutely beautiful this past weekend and today. It's really crazy considering the day before Halloween we had snow and now this past weekend we were in the mid 70ies (20ies C). On Saturday we went to two vineyards (Gouveia and Paradise) We had been there previously in March. With the nice weather we were able to sit outside at both places. Gouveia has a gorgeous view. We also had a delicious cheese and fruit platter there. And Paradise has a nice outside area as well so we hung out there for a while before meeting John at Centrico and sitting around the firepit there for a while.

Sunday we went for a walk at Sherwood Island park, along the beach/water and back through the marshy/grass areas. And then sat outside at Rizzuto's for a leisurely lunch. Definitely took advantage of the perfect weather. Today was nice as well. Went for a walk during lunch time.

Now it's 7pm and I am going to curl up with my book and get some more reading done. I really need to write some letters but just haven't been motivated. Soon. I really do need to catch up. 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to:  Carmen/Malta, Nina/WA, Lotte/Denmark and Kimber/Canada. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Hello November .. Election Day .. Vienna Terrorist Attack

ElectionAnd it's Tuesday already and November. And Election Day here in the US. I really wanted to write this post early in the day or really ideally yesterday Flag-Austriabefore any results start coming in. My stomach has been in knots for weeks/months now. And while I am somewhat excited and happy that the day is finally here I am also worried. Well, let's see how it goes. The voter turn out definitely seems to be high and that's a good thing. No matter how people are voting it's good that they are getting out there and having their voices heard. So yeah, we will see how it all turns out. For now I'll try not to think about it too much. I also have a feeling that this will drag on for a while longer and we won't have a clear answer by tonight or even tomorrow. But it is what it is. Go vote if you're here in the US and haven't already! I can't since I am still an Austrian citizen and Austria doesn't allow dual citizenship (only in very specific circumstances) so everybody who can vote, go out and vote. :) 

Alright, what else? Weather has been pretty cold and dreary most days. Last Friday we even had some snow. It snowed quite heavily for a while. Didn't stick to the roads, only the grass and parked cars, and went away pretty soon after, but still. The next day, Halloween, was nicer. Still chilly but bright and sunny at least. We didn't really do anything for Halloween. Had lunch at Rizzuto's in Westport and later stopped at Two Steps to see our bartender friend Tyler who always dresses up for Halloween.

Sunday was also a pretty quiet day. Slept in, went for brunch at the Marketplace, grocery shopping and then stopped at Centrico for a bit before heading home and watching some TV. 

Nothing much going on this week (last week I had a dentist and an orthodontist appointment as well as bloodwork for my upcoming physical) so that's good. 

Also, my thoughts are with all my friends at home in Vienna. Vienna faced a terrorist attack last night, right downtown in an area where I often would hang out when I lived there and when I go visit. The police said at least one heavily armed attacker opened fire in the city center. So far they have reported 4 dead and 14 injured, some of them critically. They are unsure if some of the suspects are still at large as there were conflicting reports of multiple shooters. Ugh. I know it has been happening all over the world but when it hits so close to home it is even worse somehow. 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to:  Carmen/Malta, Nina/WA, Lotte/Denmark and Kimber/Canada. 

Posted by Hanna at 08:23 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 26, 2020

Birthday Weekend Recap

IMG_20201022_152543_355And another Monday. It's been a chilly, dreary day too. But I can't complain too much since I had four days off in a row and the weather was mostly IMG_20201022_153302_793pretty nice as well. 

Wednesday night after work I met up with my friend Susanna and we had some delicious tapas and wine at a Spanish tapas restaurant in town. 

Then Thursday Mike and I took a day trip out to the east of the state, near the coast. Went to some cute New England-y towns (Deep River, Chester, Guilford, Madison) Started the day at a neat independent coffee shop, walked a nature trail and found a great shop selling various olive oils and vinegars. Finished with a great lunch at a wine bar called Ballou's. The weather was super nice that day as well, perfect sitting outside weather. Had a great leisurely lunch. From there we headed back towards home and stopped at Lucas Local for dinner. Saw our friend Larry who was bartending and it was great to catch up. 

Friday we took a trip up to Framingham, MA (Boston suburb) to have lunch at Legal Seafoods. Yum. There was also a Cost Plus World Market just across the street so I was able to stock up on a bunch of international goodies which was great. Chocolates, gingerbread, jams, pickles, olives, pate, sausages and whatnot.

Saturday was my actual birthday and I started the day with a massage at Massage Envy in Brookfield. This was actually my first ever massage and I am glad that I finally decided to give it a try. I really enjoyed it and actually signed up for a membership which gives you a massage once per month. 

After that we hung out at Rosy's for a bit and later headed down to Darien to meet up with John & Jana and their friends Maya & Eddie for fondue at the Melting Pot. I absolutely love fondue so I was very happy this worked out. We had a few different cheese fondues, some steak and of course chocolate to top it all off. So good. 

Well, that's all the news here from my end. Now it's Monday and back to work. At least the day is coming to and end. I do have some things I should be taking care of but I may just make myself another big mug of tea and curl up on the couch with my book. 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to:  Carmen/Malta, Nina/WA, Lotte/Denmark and Kimber/Canada. 

Posted by Hanna at 03:58 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Happy Tuesday

WoodstockHappy Tuesday. Not sure why I didn't end up posting yesterday but somehow the day just got away from me. No real reason either. Worked from home and after work I made a General Tso's Cauliflower with scallion rice and snow peas dish that was pretty tasty. Watched another episode of Poldark and started a new book. Paula Hawkins "Into The Water". She is the same author who wrote "The Girl on the Train" so I thought I should check it out. Only got a few pages into it though and then ended up calling it an early night. So yeah, nothing super exciting really. Haha. 

So now it's Tuesday. Going to meet up with my friend Susanna after work and go to Ibiza (tapas bar) so that should be fun. Then tomorrow I am going into the office. Been doing that about once a week now just for a change of scenery. There really aren't very many people there at all but it's nice to just get out of the house and break up my routine for a bit. I mean don't get me wrong. I do enjoy the convenience of working from home. Sleeping later, rolling out of bed and starting work without a commute at all. It does have its perks for sure. :) 

Anyway, Thursday and Friday this week I'll be off. Took two vacation days and originally we had talked about going somewhere for a long weekend. We were floating around a few different ideas, the latest of it was Boston. But the Monet exhibit I wanted to see at the Museum of Art in Boston now doesn't start until November so we decided to just scrap the trip. Still taking the time off but we will just do some day trips. Will see what we come up with. On Saturday (24th) which is my actual birthday I have a massage booked in the morning and for dinner we are meeting our friends at the Melting Pot in Darien for fondue. Really looking forward to that. I love fondue. :) 

Alright, well that's about all from me for now. Will have more to write next week hopefully after my birthday week has come to a close.  

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to:  Carmen/Malta, Nina/WA, Lotte/Denmark and Kimber/Canada. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:31 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 12, 2020

Dreary Monday Musings

IMG_20201010_142006_741Dreary, rainy, chilly fall day today. It's been raining on and off all day. Shouldn't complain too much as we still need rain quite a bit with drought conditions here in CT. We really haven't had very much rain. But yeah, just not very motivating on a Monday but oh well. My work day is almost over so that's good anyway. Been able to log out earlier with working from home as I am able to log in earlier without having to worry about the commute to the office. 

Anyway, really not a whole lot new. Last week was relatively non eventful. On Saturday we went to Sherwood Island park and walked the trails through the woods and along the beach. Last time we were there it was the height of summer with people picnicking and spending their days on the beach. This time it was more low key. There were still people there but mainly people going for walks, walking their dogs, jogging etc. The weather was nice and sunny, a bit windy but pretty warm so it was great weather for a walk. Logged close to 4 miles and afterwards went to lunch at Rizzuto's. Later also stopped at Centrico for a minute and when it got too cold to sit outside there we went to Two Steps where we ran into our friend Jack who we hadn't seen in a really long time so that was a fun surprise. 

Sunday we slept in late and then headed to brunch at the Marketplace. Had the most delicious brunch burger (sunny side up egg, Applewood smoked bacon, arugula, avocado, siracha aioli on a brioche bun) So freaking delicious. Terrible for my attempts to eat healthy-ish I am sure but I got a side salad instead of the fries to make myself feel slightly better. lol. I know that hardly makes that huge of a difference but hey every bit helps I guess. 

After brunch we went grocery shopping and then made our way home. Watched the SNL from Saturday we had recorded and then binged the rest of Schitt's Creek. Didn't get to bed till almost 1am and really sad that we are all done with Schitt's Creek now. That show definitely grew on me, such great characters. 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to:  Carmen/Malta, Nina/WA, Lotte/Denmark and Kimber/Canada. 

Posted by Hanna at 04:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 05, 2020

October Fall Weekend

IMG_20201005_185537_439Hello October. In my mind I am still in March somehow but of course that's not really accurate. We have been having pretty nice fall/autumn weather these days so can't complain. Although we are in desperate need of some rain with drought conditions in CT. The weekend was sunny and nice. 

Saturday we drove to Westport and had lunch at Rizzuto's and then stopped at Centrico before heading home and starting on season 6 of Schitt's Creek. I will be really sad when we are done with that show. Sunday we decided to take a fall foliage ride even though the color ended up being pretty subdued. I don't know if it's going to still get brighter and more colorful or if it's the drought conditions that are messing with the foliage. Either way we still had a nice ride and stopped at two vineyards - Hopkins and Haight Brown. Had lunch at Hopkins (some bread, cheese, crackers, dipping oil, olives, etc) Haight Brown also had live music on their patio. When we got home we watched the season premiere of SNL as that had recorded the previous night. It was fun to see them back in the studio. 

What else? I won't even get into the whole Trump-Covid mess. There is just way too much to say about all of that and really all I will say is that every time I think it can't get any crazier with everything going on, yup it does. Ugh. 

Anyway, that's all for now I guess. Will curl up with another mug of tea and read the rest of my book (Mr. Malcom's List). 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to:  Carmen/Malta, Nina/WA, Lotte/Denmark and Kimber/Canada. A letter went out to Celia/MA yesterday.

Posted by Hanna at 07:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 28, 2020

Autumn Days

DownloadAnd it's almost October. The weather has turned more summery again and also weirdly humid these past days. Overall it definitely does feel more like fall though. Although the trees haven't really changed colors here very much yet but I know it's been happening further north. I really am not sure how it got to be fall. In my mind I am still stuck in March somehow. I feel like the whole world kind of went on "pause" mode for me in March when the whole Covid thing really started to blow up. Obviously a lot has happened since then but at the same time it also feels like not much has happened at all. 2020 has been such a weird year. 

Not really much to write about from last week. Wednesday night was our friend John's birthday so we went out to dinner with him and his wife Jana. On the weekend we had lunch at Rizzuto's in Westport and later met up with John and Jana at Centrico. The weather was perfect that night and we hung out by the firepit for a while, enjoying the live music. And when we got home we watched "Enola Holmes" on Netflix. Really enjoyed that. 

Sunday we went for brunch at the Marketplace, ran errands and whatnot. Oh Saturday I also bought two new pairs of sneakers at Sketchers. They had a really good sale so was able to get the second pair for 50% off. 

Well, that's really all for now. Finished the Mary Trump book the other day. Oh yey. I don't even know what to say about that besides it made me feel even more depressed and anxious than I already was/am considering the current state of things in this country. Going back to reading Susanna Kearsley's "Bellewether" now. A much better distraction. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 07:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)