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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Back to the cold & work

ImagesSo we are back in CT and back in the cold. It hasn't even been THAT cold, low to mid 40ies (4-7C), but of course still a lot colder than CA was. Especially towards the end of our stay it was starting to get really nice/warm. Also back at work which isn't any fun after having being on vacation. Oh well I guess. :) 

Click here for the link for our pictures. 2 of them are stolen from my friend Nicki who was with us while we were there and got much better shots of things going on around the Oscar prep/red carpet. You can also check out her site (Movie Critical) and blog covering her stay here. Feel free to add her page on Facebook and Twitter as she always releases new fun things (movie reviews, articles etc.)

Our last day in CA was Oscar Day. In the morning we made our way to the Grammy Museum in downtown L.A. Took the subway which was a good idea because by the time we were ready to get back to our hotel the whole area around us had turned into complete craziness. So many streets closed off, sidewalks closed, lots of police presence, .. We ended up walking about 2 miles out of our way just to able to get back to our hotel as we couldn't cross Hollywood Blvd. where we were. The road our hotel was on also had a police check-point. So surreal. 

Not too much else has been going on. Just catching up with everything at work. On Saturday I leave again for 2 nights. This time I am off to Columbus, Ohio for a friend's wedding (my roommate from when I lived in Santa Barbara, CA in 98-99 for a year). Looking forward to seeing her again but wish she lived somewhere warmer. ;)

Mail Update: Owe replies to: Jessica/DE, Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK
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Posted by Hanna at 01:42 PM in Travel | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Sunday, February 24, 2013

California Update

Friends CouchOk finally a quick update from CA. Been meaning to update since we arrived here but it's just been go-go-go the whole time we have been here. Finally had some downtime earlier today but then the wi-fi in our hotel room decided to act up so that didn't work out either. Went to dinner, came back and hooked up the wired connection which seems to be working ok for now. Fingers crossed. :)

Here is a quick recap of what we have been up to. Arrived Tuesday night and after picking up our rental car and checking in at the hotel we met up with our Australian friend Nicki who had arrived earlier in the day. Had dinner at the Hard Rock and then went back to the hotel.

Wednesday we had a day around Hollywood planned. In the morning we went on the Warner Brothers Studio Tour which honestly was a lot better than Universal Studios. Universal is fun in its own way of course and has a whole theme park attached to it but the actual studio tour at Warner Brothers was a lot more intimate and personal (only 12 people per cart/tour guide). Your guide drives you around the lot and points out things but you also get opportunities to walk around. Saw the "Two and a Half Men" set and also got to sit on the couch of the "Friends" set in Central Perk (see picture). Very cool. :) In the afternoon we went to one of the cemetaries around town as Nicki is a huge movie fan to see some of the graves of the old-time Hollywood celebrities. And in the evening we had tickets for a Russel Brand stand-up comedy show. Very full day.
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Thursday Mike & I took a day trip to Joshua Tree National Park and Palms Springs while Nicki stayed behind in Hollywood meeting up with another friend. Joshua Tree is very cool and I will make sure to post pictures another time when it's not this late. Palms Springs was also very cool. Had a great late lunch and then headed back to L.A.

Friday Mike & I headed up north to Santa Barbara to spend the day/night. Had fun meeting up with my host-mom/family from when I lived there in 98-99 and went to school there for a year. Also met up with one of my teachers from back then and enjoyed some lovely wine on her terrace overlooking the ocean. Other than that walked along State Street and checked out all the new shops and restaurants they added since I was last there about 4 1/2 years ago. Had a great dinner at Pascucci's.

This morning we headed back down to L.A. along the coast. Stopped in Malibu, Venice Beach and Santa Monica along the way. Parked in Venice and then walked along the boardwalk all the way back to the Santa Monica Pier. Had lunch in Santa Monica and then walked back to Venice. Lots of walking but it was a beautiful day and what is nicer than walking along the beach/ocean on a beautiful day. :)

Finally made it back to our hotel in Hollywood. L.A. Traffic has been an absolute nightmare on this trip. Around our hotel it is especially bad as the Oscars are getting set up and more and more roads and even sidewalks are being closed down because of it. 

Tomorrow it's Oscar Day so we won't be doing that much. Will try and get to the Grammy Museum in the morning, then stay put for the day and wait for all the madness to subside again. Who knew that the Oscars were such a big production, shutting down blocks and blocks of streets and everything else around it? Crazy. :)

Mail Update: Letters went out on Thursday to: Charles/TN, Celia/MA and Lotte/Denmark. Owe replies to: Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK

Posted by Hanna at 01:40 AM in Food and Drink, Travel, Weather | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Monday, February 18, 2013

TK's Birthday

TksAnother quick post before we get on the plane tomorrow. :) Today is Mike's birthday so we are off to TK's for Mike's free birthday wings once we wrap everything up here at work. One good thing about getting older at least - more free wings. :) Looking forward to meeting up with some friends to catch up, eat and drink. :)

In my last post I forgot to mention Valentine's Day from earlier in the week. Had a nice Valentine's with a yummy dinner at Della Francesca. We had chilled lobster with a spicy vodka cocktail sauce as an appetizer. Mike had a pasta dish with shrimp & scallops tossed in a lobster sauce and I had the most delicious veal scallopini coated in a parmesan crust with a lemon wine sauce. For dessert we shared a chocolate lava cake. Yum. :)

Tomorrow we are off to California. It's been way too long since we have been there. Last time was in September of 2008, almost 4 1/2 years. Way too long! Looking forward to spending a week there and of course looking forward to seeing our friend Nicki who is flying in from Sydney. Yay. :)

Mail Update: No letters have gone out. Owe replies to: Charles/TN, Celia/MA. Lotte/Denmark, Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK

Posted by Hanna at 04:22 PM in Food and Drink, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Busy Week (yay for hot water)

1105911-Clipart-Man-Installing-A-Hot-Water-Heater-Royalty-Free-Vector-IllustrationWhat a week. Basically had to deal with all the fallout from the blizzard all week as lots of areas we serve at work got even more snow than us. So lots of school systems were closed, some of them most of or even all week so every day was a guessing game as to what schools might or might not open, who will need milk deliveries and who won't. On top of that this coming Monday is President's Day and a lot of the schools were scheduled to have days off around that for a small winter break. Some schools cancelled their breaks, some didn't. So it really kept me on my toes trying to figure it all out. One of my employees who lives in Bridgeport was snowed in until Tuesday. They had about 30 inches of snow in Bridgeport and apparently lots of trouble clearing all the roads, especially secondary roads. So her street wasn't plowed until late Tuesday afternoon. But as always we made due and every day got a little bit better. Friday wasn't too terrible but I was mostly just worn out by everything then. :) 

Monday is President's Day so it will be a tad quieter hopefully which will be nice. It's also Mike's birthday so we will head to TK's after work for some wings. Yumm. :) And then on Tuesday we are on a plane and off to California. Yay! I cannot wait. It's been way too long since we have been out to California. 

In other positive news we finally have hot water again. Yay. We had originally ordered a water heater with Home Depot last Sunday but nothing went right after that of course. The price they quoted us for installation just kept going up, their systems were down and everthing was just a mess. So we ended up going with Sears who pricematched something we found online and also had cheaper installation prices. So as of Thursday afternoon we have hot water again. Yay. :) You really don't think about it until you don't have it but then it's a huge hassle. I was getting really tired of washing my hair at work in the bathroom sink. LOL. 

Today we are heading to a place called Darien Social for lunch. Bought a Groupon a while back that is expiring soon so we figured we would go there today. Will have lunch, then come back home and catch up on our recorded TV shows that are starting to pile up. 

Mail Update: No letters have gone out. Owe replies to: Charles/TN, Celia/MA. Lotte/Denmark, Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK.

Posted by Hanna at 12:55 PM in Food and Drink, Travel, Weather, Work Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Blizzard Nemo, Broken Hot Water Heater, Anniversary and more

Snow-house-mailboxWhat a week or really what a weekend or end to a week. The beginning of the week was fairly normal and uneventful but the end not so much. Friday brought us a big snowstorm/blizzard called Nemo (actually I think they renamed it Charlotte once it changed to a blizzard from a snowstorm but who cares) that dumped a ton of snow all over the northeast. Danbury got about 21 inches of snow which is just a bit under 2 feet. With the snow drifts due to the wind we had more in some areas and less in others. It was definitely not fun digging ourselves out Saturday morning. When I first walked outside the snow was up to my knees. Fun, fun. 

A lot of areas north of us (Massachusetts, etc.) had even more snow and even other areas in CT. Bridgeport got 30 inches. One of my employees lives there and she sent me pictures of her road which has still not been plowed. Lots of towns are having trouble clearing all the roads so it will probably be a few days before everything is back to normal.

We left work around 1.30-2pm on Friday, worked from home a bit after that. Saturday morning we got up at our regular time and spent about an hour shoveling to dig ourselves out. Decided our road didn't look too great though so we worked from home for most of the day. I had brought all the essential paperwork home on Friday, checked the voicemail at work, etc. We went to the office later in the day to check on things and then out for a bite to eat.

If you are interested in seeing some more snow pictures click here. 

But as if the snow wasn't enough we also had another "fun" event to deal with at home. Friday afternoon we realized that our hot water heater was leaking in the basement. I am glad we found it when we did so not all 75 gallons of water spilled all over the basement floor. Instead we spent 2 hours draining the tank, filling small buckets and emptying them outside (while a blizzard was going on outside). Fun, fun. We now have no hot water. Will run some errands today to try and track down a new tank, find out about installation etc. We will need to figure out how to get the new tank into the house as the back of the house/yard/stairs are all covered in feet of snow and it would take forever to make a path. Hopefully we can get it in through the basement stairs inside the house. In the meantime we will stop by a friend's house to take a hot shower. :)

In more positive news today is our wedding anniversary (12 years). How time flies. :) Will be going to a nice dinner at Chuck's Steakhouse later on tonight.  

Mail Update: Letters went out last Wednesday to: Carmen/Malta and Kimber/Canada. Owe replies to: Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK.

Posted by Hanna at 12:55 PM in Weather | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Broadway & Super Bowl

BroadwayHad an ok week all in all and a very nice weekend. Had the whole weekend off which was nice. Saturday we slept in, then had lunch at Rizzuto's before heading down to New York City. Definitely very cold (the wind didn't help and NYC is even more windy it seems) but still a lot of fun. Had some drinks before the show at a neat Scottish pub (St. Andrew's) that was very cool and pretty low-key for being right in midtown. Then headed to see "Nice Work If You Can Get It". Matthew Broderick definitely stole the show but everyone else in the cast was very good too. All in all a fun lighthearted musical with lots of singing and dancing. After the show we had dinner at our favorite Italian place in the theater district Osteria Al Doge (best lasagna ever) Ended up not getting home till after 2am (the drive home wasn't fun either because it had started snowing and even though it wasn't much it was still enough to make the roads slippery) but still a fun night out. 

Today we slept in really late and then headed to Two Steps for a bit to hang out. Afterwards we went grocery shopping to pick up a few items to have later while watching the Super Bowl. Not really a big football fan at all but I enjoy watching the game mostly for the commercials and halftime show. :) Will be good to just hang out, have some food, wine etc. and relax. 

Nothing much planned for next week yet. I am working Saturday so hopefully should have a day off during the week. Other than that nothing too much going on. Next weekend on Sunday is our wedding anniversary but I don't think we will do anything major since we did the Broadway/NYC weekend this weekend so we will probably just have a nice dinner somewhere locally. 

Mail Update: Letters went out last Wednesday to: Jessica/DE, Charles/TN and Celia/MA. Owe replies to: Nina/WA, Carmen/Malta, Tiffany/OK and Kimber/Canada.

Posted by Hanna at 05:13 PM in Food and Drink, NYC, Performances | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack