Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Sara Bareilles - MSG

Pixlr (2)Hey! Somehow I missed my weekly post on Sunday/Monday. That seems to be the day when I most often update these days. I guess yesterday morning I was just a little out of it after having gotten back home and to bed quite late. Sunday night we saw Sara Bareilles at Madison Square Garden in NYC. It was a great show and had a lot of fun. But of course by the time we got home it was around 12.45 and by the time I actually fell asleep (even though I was dead tired but then of course couldn't fall asleep anyway) after 1am. So yeah Monday dragged. 

Now it's Tuesday morning and I am not really much more awake. lol. I guess I will catch up on some sleep eventually. It's cold this morning, only 39F (just under 4C) Yesterday was a really nice, sunny and pretty warm fall day, close to 70F (21C) but not going to get that today. Oh well, it is October after all. I do love fall but it always has that bittersweet feeling and foreboding that winter is just around the corner. And well we know how I feel about winter. Not really a fan. And I keep hearing how bad of a winter we are going to have. Oh well. I guess there really is no predicting with the weather. What will come will come. Right? 

Anyway, let's see, what else has been going on? Nothing too much last week really. Same old. Work's keeping me busy. Saturday we didn't do much. Slept in and then had lunch at 121 in Oxford. And later caught up with some recorded shows. I feel we are already behind because I was away for two weekends and the weekend after next we'll be in CA so yeah we're definitely behind on our TV stuff. So Sunday we headed down to NYC and hung out at Lillie's for a while before going to MSG to see the show. 

So yeah, that's all really. Nothing much going on for this week or upcoming weekend. I imagine we'll figure out something to do for the weekend. And then next week we just have a two day work week and are in CA Wed/Thur/Fr/Sat/Sun (23-27) Yay. Definitely looking forward to spending time in Santa Barbara. The last few times we have been there we have just spent a day or 1 night and haven't stayed for any extended periods in a while. So that should be fun. 

Letter/Mail Update:  Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Lotte/Denmark, Celia/MA and Nina/WA.

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

Monday, October 07, 2019

Back from Europe

IMG_20191003_120021_108And I am back. As usual my time in Europe just FLEW by. Had a good stay but it was a very busy week which is probably why it felt like it went by even faster than usual. 

Let's see. Last Monday we returned back from Salzburg. Had breakfast in the hotel and then picked up Chinese once we returned back to St. Poelten. I then had to work (I was working approx. 2 to 10pm to match EST hours) Tuesday I slept in just a little bit and didn't do all that much in the morning. Oh, yeah, Tuesday was the day the weather was absolutely beautiful, almost summer like. I helped my mom re-pot a plant so spent some time outside in the garden. And then we went for a walk to drop off some things at a friend's home a bit down the road. Made for a nice walk since the weather was so nice. Our friend wasn't home but no big deal. Still a great walk.

Wednesday morning I had a hairdresser appointment so spent most of the morning at the hairdresser before returning home and working for the rest of the day. Thursday I had taken 1/2 a day off for some errands and things to take care of. Also went into Vienna to see a friend which was nice. Spent some time with Lydia while also spending some time alone in a cafe just people watching. An enjoyable day. Then I returned back with the train and worked the rest of the day 6 to 10pm.

Friday my parents and I met up with my aunt for lunch so we left early to meet her in another town (about 20 min away). Had a delicious lunch and then returned back so I could work the rest of the day again. I am very grateful I was able to do this but the schedule definitely does get tiring for sure. 

Saturday we did some shopping and I picked up all the goodies I wanted to bring back. Some bottles of wine, chocolates and whatnot. They already have most of the advent and gingerbread stuff in stores too so I picked up a bunch of that in anticipation of the upcoming season. My luggage was definitely HEAVY. After shopping we had a leisurely lunch and when we returned home I made sure to get everything packed up and then had some wine with my dad before having to go to bed.

My ride to the airport was supposed to pick me up at 3am so I ended up getting up a little after 2am. The shuttle was late in the end but it wasn't a huge deal as my flight wasn't until 7.10 anyway. Still had enough time to grab breakfast at the airport (yay for Jamie Oliver's). Then on to Brussels where I didn't have much time for anything but walking briskly from one gate to the other. And on to JFK. And well here we are, it's Monday again. And back to work. I feel like I could sleep for a week. Haha.  

Letter/Mail Update:  Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Lotte/Denmark and Nina/WA.

Posted by Hanna at 07:34 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Salzburg Family and Friends Reunions

Pixlr (3)Hello from Salzburg. :) I arrived in Austria only on Saturday (worked 1/2 a day on Friday and left from JFK via Pixlr_20190929234354836Brussels Friday late afternoon) Took the train out to St. Poelten from Vienna airport and then had a late lunch with my parents. Hung out for a bit before heading to bed. Today, Sunday, was national elections day in Austria so my parents went to cast their vote and we then headed off to Salzburg. Arrived there just after noon. We met up with my friend Anneliese (the funny thing is that Anneliese moved to Salzburg just 1 year ago but by some complete accident she ended up moving into the same apartment building my dad's cousin lives in -- such a small world)

So all in all it was a big reunion. Growing up my parents and I used to spend a good amount of time with Gerti and her then husband and their 2 kids. The kids Kathrin and Florian are my age more or less (Florian is a few months older than me and Kathrin a few years younger than me) But about 16 years ago Gerti and Gerhard divorced, I had already moved to the US and contact became less frequent. We still exchanged Christmas cards and so on but contact became less frequent. Mike and I did meet up with Kathrin and Florian quite some years ago in Salzburg and I also saw Kathrin maybe 3 years ago (but that was a visit after quite some years had passed again as well) So I guess what I am trying to say, in my jetlagged brain fog is that it was really nice to go visit and spend time with them again. 

We spent time with Anneliese (who I also haven't seen in over a year since she moved away from St. Poelten and to Salzburg) and then had a delicious lunch at Gerti's apartment. We spent quite some time there, also had coffee and cake, and Kathrin stopped by for a while too. And then later in the evening we headed into downtown Salzburg where they had reserved a table for dinner. Florian and his girlfriend also joined us there. It definitely has been many, many years since I have seen him as well. 

Tomorrow morning we have to head back to St. Poelten and I will then need to work (I am working remotely this week while here in Austria) and I would be lying if I am saying I am looking forward to it. But all in all I am of course grateful I get to be here, spend time and see family, while not using my precious vacation days (it's always funny to me the reactions you get from Europeans when you tell them how many vacation days you have in most US jobs to start with)

Anyway it's midnight now so I better get some sleep. Another day, another week tomorrow.

Letter/Mail Update:  Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Lotte/Denmark.

Posted by Hanna at 06:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 23, 2019

Last Summer Weekend

Pixlr (1)Yes it's Monday again. My start to every blog post it seems. It's officially the first day of fall today. But the weather is not feeling fall-like at all. It's going to be almost 90F today (31C) Not complaining, I guess it's summer's last hurrah so to speak. The weekend was really warm and nice as well. I guess it fit since it technically was our last summer weekend. After today the temps are supposed to go down into the 70ies (20C) which is more seasonable. Just one more week of September and then we'll be in October already. Time is definitely flying, that's for sure. 

Last week was relatively uneventful, same old stuff at work more or less. It's still busy even though we are winding down from the summer season. And like I said the weekend was pretty nice. Saturday we went to the movies and saw "Ad Astra" (the new space movie with Brad Pitt) It wasn't quite what I expected but I did enjoy it. Then afterwards we had lunch in Oxford at 121 and then came home to catch up on some more Netflix ("Mindhunter") We also watched the Comedy Central roast of Alec Baldwin which was quite funny.

Then yesterday, Sunday, we did another wine tasting tour and explored a few different vineyards in NY state. We started at Whitecliff which had really great wine and also a beautiful outside area so we had a glass while sitting outside. Very pretty views. The next stop was supposed to be Robibero but we ended up abandoning that idea as they had some kind of fall/grape stomping festival/event. Instead headed to lunch at the Gilded Otter in New Paltz which was tasty as always. Since the weather was really nice we sat outside -- something I usually enjoy but this time we were being chased by yellow-jackets and I really was not feeling it. Three of them ended up drowning in my drink. I felt bad but they were just relentless. After lunch we headed to Brimstone Hill Winery. What a funky little place. Don't get me wrong, the wine was good but the place itself was just a little weird. Lineulom floors in the tasting room, old tractors outside, a crusty old man giving the wine tasting. Definitely an interesting experience. After that we had one more stop, Baldwin Vineyards. Another interesting place  with goats, an alpaca and chickens. And the tasting room was also very old-school looking with an event room in the back where somebody was playing live music but we were the only people in there the whole time we did the tasting. Nonetheless the wine was good and we did buy a couple of bottles. 

When we were done with our wine tour we headed back to CT and met up with our friends John and Jana for a light dinner at Rosy's. Going to see them again today as it's John's birthday today. But first need to get through my Monday at work. Ugh.  

Letter/Mail Update:  Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Lotte/Denmark.

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

Monday, September 16, 2019

Winery Weekend

PixlrAnd it's Monday again. Why do weekends always fly by so fast? I guess it's nothing new. We did have a nice weekend even though it went by too fast of course. On Saturday we slept in and then I took care of a couple things at home (put a new bed set on the bed - always such a nice feeling to have new, clean sheets on the bed - I wish that feeling could last forever) Afterwards we headed to Oxford for lunch at 121. Then came home and watched the last episode of "Carnival Row" (it took me a bit to get into the show but now I am kind of sad it's over - hopefully they renew it for a 2nd season). After that we started "Mindhunter" on Netflix. I wasn't too sure on that one either, took me at least 2 episodes to get into it, but after that I was more or less hooked. Good news with that one is that there is already a second season out so once we finish season 1 we can also binge season 2. 

Not too long from now the regular fall season for all the network TV will also start so we'll have plenty of stuff to watch in the near future. Yesterday, Sunday, we decided to take advantage of the nice weather and went on a vineyard tour of the Hudson Valley/upstate NY. We started at Stoutridge and from there headed to Benmarl. We actually ended up not staying at Benmarl cause they had some sort of fall event going on with hayrides and an admission charge. So we skipped that and headed to Clinton Vineyards and from there on to Millbrook. At Millbrook we got a bottle of their unoaked Chardonnay and sat outside on their deck. Well, we sat outside for about half of our bottle. Eventually I got tired of the wasps and we ended up going inside. But it was still a nice day all in all.

From there we headed to Centrico and hung out with our friends Cait and Pat for a while. I had some delicious mussel and sausage appetizer and also a soup. The soup was especially delicious. It had chorizo, shrimp and avocado and was really amazing. So good. Eventually we headed home and watched a movie on Netflix. And here we are - it's Monday again. 

Letter/Mail Update:  Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Lotte/Denmark.

Posted by Hanna at 07:44 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 09, 2019

Beautiful fall-like weekend

IMG_20190908_135440_745I know we are still officially in summer season but this weekend definitely had a fall feel to it. Don't get me wrong. It was a really nice weekend and no IMG_20190908_135558_402 complaints whatsoever but fall definitely was felt in the air. While it was mostly sunny, with some puffy clouds here and there, there was a breeze and if you were not in the direct sun it could be a little cool at times. But if sitting in the direct sun it was actually pretty warm. 

Friday was a pretty miserable day with wind and rain (the leftover system from the hurricane pushing through). We had tickets to see "Vampire Weekend" at Madison Square Garden. Ended up taking the train down which worked out well. But the walk to MSG was through misty/rainy weather, same on the way back. And when we got off the train back at home it was actually pouring. But the show was definitely worth it. They put on such a great show. (3+ hours) Definitely got our money's worth there. Before the show we were going to stop at "Stout" for dinner but the place was so packed we ended up going to the place next door "Feile". It was quite busy there too, being Friday night, but we at least were able to grab a table before it got too crazy. Overall I wasn't too impressed with the place. Another generic Irish pub in midtown more or less. But it was super close to MSG so it was ok I guess. We didn't get home till around 2am so I was glad that we were able to sleep in on Saturday. 

Saturday we went to lunch in Oxford at 121. And later caught up on some more TV and started watching the new Amazon show "Carnival Row". I wasn't too sure about it at first but we almost finished it on Sunday (just have 1 episode to go now) and by the end of it it had really grown on me and I wish there were more episodes. Well, we do have 1 more episode and hopefully they will make another season. 

Sunday we took advantage of the nice weather and went to the White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield, CT. They have a neat boardwalk trail we had done before. Was nice to go back. After we did that we stopped at a vineyard nearby - Haight Brown. We had never been there before so it was nice to check it out. I honestly wasn't overly impressed with their wines but their space and property was really nice and it was fun to sit outside and sip a glass of wine. Afterwards we headed over to the Marketplace in the center of Litchfield for lunch. And eventually back home for more Netflix binging of "Carnival Row". 

And here we are, it's Monday again. Not sure I am ready for another week. But I guess ready or not, here we go. 

Letter/Mail Update:  Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Lotte/Denmark. A letter to Celia/MA went out early last week.  

Posted by Hanna at 07:25 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 02, 2019

Labor Day Weekend

Pixlr (2)Hello September and happy Labor Day to those in the US and Canada. :) Mike and I spent the weekend in Philadelphia and only got back today. Always nice to have an extended weekend and be able to go away for 2 nights rather than just 1. 

Philly isn't my favorite city but it's relatively close (2 1/2-3 hours depending on traffic) and does have a lot of neat history. It's definitely a bit rough around the edges and I do prefer Boston, DC or NY over it. But we decided to visit with our friends Megan & Jonathan who moved down there about a year and a half ago. It was definitely nice to see them and to catch up a bit. 

We left Danbury around 8am on Saturday. Drove to our hotel (Club Quarters) and checked in. After that we headed to lunch at Iron Hill Brewery. A bit of a chain but enjoyable. The location we went to opened just under a year ago and was across the street from the Hard Rock. After lunch we walked around, took some pictures of the historic buildings in Central Philly as well as the Liberty Bell. When we were done we headed back to the hotel for a bit and then had dinner at Dandelion Pub

Sunday we headed down to Wilmington, DE and had breakfast at Einstein's Bagels (love that chain!!) From there we continued into rural PA for some wine tasting. The first 2 vineyards we went to (Paradocx and 1723) were really neat and we had a lot of fun tasting the various wine and hanging out. The third vineyard (Kreutz) unfortunately was a bit of a bust. Kind of too bad because they had a super cute dog and the lady running it seemed nice. But the wines just weren't our cup of tea. Oh well. Can't win them all. It was still a fun day. 

Once we returned back to Philly we headed back to the hotel briefly and then met our friends at a place called Chick's in South Philly. That was a lot of fun and I'd definitely recommend checking it out if you're ever in the area. 

Today, Monday, we went to the Mutter Museum in the morning (what an odd place) and then had lunch at Fado Irish Pub before heading back to CT. And well here we are. It's the evening and tomorrow it's back to work and back to the grind. 

Letter/Mail Update:  Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Celia/MA. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:52 PM in Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 26, 2019

Goodbye August

GoodbyeAugustThe last week of August. How did we get here? In a way it feels like the summer was endless but on the other end it feels like it was just the end of winter and getting nice and warm outside. And now we are on the other side of things already again. Today it definitely feels like fall is coming. It's only 52F (11C) right now and the high is going to be 73f (22C). Not bad weather of course and all in all I prefer this weather compared to the crazy humidity and heat. This makes for much better sleeping weather as well. I think my only hang up with it is that it feels bittersweet. Because while I really enjoy this weather I also know that it's only going to last for so long before it turns really cold and never ending winter takes over again. 

Of course we'll probably have some more summer weather in the coming weeks. I predict at least a few more 80 degree days (27C) September usually is a pretty nice month in New England. But temps can swing quite wildly. It can feel like summer one day and fall the next day. And sometimes even in the course of a day. Oh well, we can't change the weather so will just need to make due with what we are given, right? :)

Not really all that much new otherwise. We had a pretty low key weekend all in all. Sunday we went back to Hawk Ridge Vineyard. This time we tried their food and ordered a cheese platter and the buffalo chicken dip. Plus a bottle of the "Shake Your Tail Feather". Was fun to sit outside on the deck, hanging out, people watching, for a while. Then we stopped into 121 for a bit after before going home and catching up on some recorded TV and Netflix. 

Sunday was a similar day. We slept in and then went to have brunch at Gaudi. It's a tapas place in the town bordering ours and we had been meaning to try it out for a while now. It was an odd experience though. The food was good but the whole atmosphere was really strange. We were also the only 2 people in there the whole time we were there. The place gets really good reviews online so I dunno, maybe it's a different experience at dinner. But brunch was kind of strange. They had a three course prix-fix type deal but only two choices for each course. Mike didn't really like anything that much so he decided not to eat. I had a spinach salad with strawberries and walnuts for the 1st course, paella for the 2nd and creme brulee for the 3rd. The paella was really good. Anyway after that we went to Rosys and Mike was able to get his crab legs one more time (they are on the seafood fest special menu that only lasts throughout the summer) so he was happy with that. Eventually headed home and binge watched the rest of season 3 of 'Designated Survivor'. Kind of sad that the show is done now. Are they not doing a season 4? I really like what Netflix did with the show. 

Letter/Mail Update:  Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Celia/MA. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:18 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 19, 2019

Low Key Weekend

FB_IMG_1537840311909Yup it's Monday again. Kind of dragging this morning but then I guess that's about normal on a Monday. Honestly Monday is my least favorite day of the week. Also going to be really hot again today. There's a heat advisory for our area. I guess at least I'll be at work inside with air conditioning so it could be worse. It's supposed to be hot for the next few days before it cools down again. I guess all in all I shouldn't complain. Before we know it the weather will turn and it will get cold. I do look forward to fall but it's a season that just never seem to last very long. Where winter seems to last forever.  Oh well. Can't do much about the weather. 

Let's see, what else? Had a pretty low key weekend all in all. Saturday we went to the movies to see "Blinded by the Light" which was really good. A British independent film centered around a Pakistani teen growing up in the 80ies in Luton, England who discovers a love for the music of Bruce Springsteen. I'd definitely recommend the movie. It's inspired by a true story and was definitely a fun watch. After the movies we went for lunch in Oxford at 121. And later caught up on some TV. On Sunday we slept in which was nice and then went for lunch at Rosy's. They still have the Seafood Fest going on and Mike's a big fan of their crab leg special so we always have to go a few times every summer so he can get the crab legs. Hung out for a while and eventually left to run some errands and then to head home to catch up on more TV. We finished watching "Another Life" and then started on the latest season of "Designated Survivor". The latest season is only 10 episodes. It used to be on ABC but was cancelled and then picked up by Netflix. Sort of the same thing that happened to "Lucifer". We did already watch all the Lucifer episodes. I like the concept of Netflix and the various streaming services where you can binge watch a show after it gets released but it also makes the wait in between seasons so much longer. Oh well, is what it is I suppose. 

Alright, not much else going on at the moment. Another week ahead. I have a feeling it's going to be very busy for the remaining August weeks at work. It will probably get somewhat better after Labor Day. Well, just need to hang in there and I guess it will be here before we know it. 

Letter/Mail Update:  Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Celia/MA. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:29 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 12, 2019

Boston Weekend

IMG_20190811_100113_747And it's Monday again. My standard opening for 90% of my blog posts I think. Last week dragged, was busy but otherwise uneventful. But the IMG_20190811_111021_116weekend was a lot of fun. :) 

Saturday morning we left Danbury around 8.30 am and headed up to Boston. Our hotel was in the Seaport district and was quite the unique experience. We stayed at a Yotel. Here's how they describe it on their website "Old England meets New England – and any tea parties will be of the entirely social sort! Inspired by Japan, defined by a Brit, YOTEL delivers ergonomically designed rooms, that optimize the available space, and make smart use of technology to save you time and money" The room was truly tiny but had everything we needed. The bed was super comfortable and the whole experience felt very futuristic. lol. Valet parking at the hotel would have been $50 (no thank you) so we parked at a nearby garage where they had a $5 weekend special so we paid just $10 for parking. Much better. 

After dropping off our bags at the hotel we walked over the bridge to the harbor area near the aquarium. Had lunch at the Legal Seafoods there. Delicious as always. After hanging out at the Legal Seafoods we intended to go to the aquarium but there was a super long line, mostly filled with families with kids in strollers. Again, no thank you. So we decided against that idea (plus admission was $31 per person - yikes) and instead walked over to the Hard Rock Cafe near Quincy Market. Looked at some shops and then had a couple of drinks at the Hard Rock. 

Afterwards we meandered our way back to the hotel via the Harborwalk which goes along the water and made for a nice walk. Stopped at the hotel for a bit to freshen up and then headed back out. The plan was to go to the Legal Seafoods in Harborside. It's a 3 story building and each floor offers a different experience. I had looked this up online and the 3rd floor looked really nice. Rooftop bar offering a limited menu with small plates and sushi. It looked like a fun place to hang out enjoying the views. Well it seemed like a good idea until we discovered they turn it into a sort of club type place with bouncers and a rope and a wait in line. We did stand in line and made our way up there but ended up not staying. Really not our scene. Too bad because the views were super pretty. Oh well. Instead we headed back downstairs and went across the street to the Legal Test Kitchen. (yes there are a bunch of Legal Seafood restaurants in Boston and the surrounding areas) Had a light dinner there and some wine before heading back to the hotel. 

Sunday we slept in which was nice. Then checked out around 10.30 and brought our bags to the car in the garage. Stopped at a neat coffee shop called Caffe Nero. Apparently an UK chain that also exists here in the US, just not in our area where we live.  Hung out there for a bit before having brunch at the Trillium Brewery. They also have a rooftop bar so we headed up there to start with but as they had no umbrellas or shade up there it was just too hot. We had a drink up there and then headed back downstairs  to eat. Delicious. Hung out for a while before eventually having to leave to had back to CT. Traffic was annoying but then nothing much else could be expected coming back on a Sunday late afternoon I suppose. We eventually made it back a little after 6pm so really not too bad. Met up with our friend John and hung out for a while. 

And well here we are. It's Monday again. Let's see what this week brings at work. Not sure I am ready for another week but ready or not it will have to be ok. Can't believe we have already made it into the middle of August. Crazy. 

Letter/Mail Update:  A letter is going out today to Lotte/Denmark. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:29 AM in Food and Drink, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)