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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Busy Week, 4th of July prep etc.


Definitely another busy week. Worked six days (Mon-Sat) which really was the only way to get everything done in preparation for the 4th of July holiday next week. Since we are actually closed for the holiday all Thursday customers have to be assigned a new schedule for that week which then has to be communicated to them and kept track of manually. Always prone for errors of course, as much as we try to avoid it. 

On top of that school has ended and some systems have begun their summer programs plus summer camps are starting up, etc. As always that tends to be a mess at first until everyone is settled and we are familiar with their way of ordering and their exact delivery location and procedures (a lot of these camps are in the middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania, 200 plus miles from any other stop, on dirt roads with no cell phone signals so there isn't much room for error)

Well, we made it through the week. Now we just have to get through next week and past the actual holiday. Mike and I have no plans for th  4th itself really. I am working again next Saturday so in a way it will be just like a regular day off. Only difference that I will receive a comp day for it that I can use later on for a vacation. So that's not bad. :)

Not too much else new really. Yesterday after work we went to see the new Superman movie "Man of Steel". It was pretty good, definitely very action packed. Not sure if it was amazing but it was entertaining for the most part. 

Today we slept in and are heading up to Oxford in a bit for lunch at 121 Restaurant at the airport. Always a fun place to hang out and it's been a little while since we have been there. Originally we were thinking of doing something outdoors like a hike but the weather has been so weird, humid and unstable, almost like Florida weather. Not good outdoors activity weather. 

Mail Update: Received letters/still owe a response to: Jessica/DE, Charles/TN and Lotte/Denmarkt 

Posted by Hanna at 11:35 AM in Food and Drink, Home Improvement, Work Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Rhode Island Lighthouses & more

CruiseSurvived the first full week back at work. And it definitely wasn't an enjoyable week. Especially Wednesday, Thursday and Friday seemed especially annoying. But luckily I was off Saturday and today so can't complain too much I suppose. 

Yesterday, Saturday, we decided to take advantage of the nice summer weather and took a day trip to Rhode Island. (about a 2 1/2 hour drive) Went on a 90 minute lighthouse tour/cruise that was really cool. The weather was absolutely perfect, just a few clouds in the sky, and with the breeze of the ocean/being on the water the temperature was just right. It was definitely a fun way to spend the day. 

You can click here to see all the pictures we took.

After the boat tour we drove to Narrangansett where we had a late lunch. The place we picked was the Coast Guard House, a really neat restaurant right on the water. Their property was severly damaged during Hurricane Sandy last October and they just reopened this past May. For the summer season they only have the outdoor decks open. The rest of the restaurant (indoor dining rooms with full menu) will reopen for the fall season. It was perfect for us though as we wanted to sit outside anyway. Was great to have some seafood (I had a crabcake sandwich, Mike a lobster roll and we both had lobster bisque) and some drinks overlooking the ocean. Can't wish for more. 

After we came back from Rhode Island we stopped at Two Steps to hang out with Sam and enjoy some more of the nice weather sitting outside in their new beergarden they now have on Friday and Saturday nights. 

Today we are taking it easy. Slept in really late and in a little bit we are off to see "The Internship" at the movies. Looks like a pretty funny movie. Not sure what we are doing yet afterwards. Might catch up with some of our recorded TiVo stuff. 

Mail Update: A letter is going out tomorrow to: Nina/WA.

Posted by Hanna at 01:45 PM in Outdoors, Travel, Weather | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Saturday, June 15, 2013

London, Vacation Summary & Back in the USA

LondonBack in the USA. :) Never got around to making a blog post during my last 2 nights in England so I thought I should update real quick to sum up the rest of my trip. 

Tuesday evening I flew from Vienna to London. My friend Nicola picked me up at Heathrow airport and by the time we got back to her house it was probably around 10pm. Chatted for a bit more etc. Then on Wednesday we got up, had breakfast and dropped her 6 year old son off at his school before heading to the Haywards Heath train station to go to London. Took the train into London and spent the day there. 

London was a lot of fun of course, even though the weather didn't quite cooperate the way we had wanted it to. All in all it could have been worse though. We only had mostly cloudy/gloomy weather (with the occasional break through of sun), no real rain, while in London. Around 3pm it started to drizzle again so we hopped back on the tube and took it back to Victoria station to take the train back. 

Had a fun day, walking around, being touristy. Also had afternoon tea at the Langham Hotel which was a lot of fun. Neither Nicola or me had ever done afternoon tea so it was a lot of fun. We were SO full afterwards. You wouldn't believe how filling finger sandwiches, scones and some little cakes can be. Definitely delicious though. 

After we got back from London we picked up Nicola's son from his after school program and headed back to the house. Stayed there for a bit and then went to the local village pub. Had a good time there, hanging out. On the walk back to the house it started pouring like crazy. At least it didn't do that while we were in London at least. 

Thursday morning we had to get up at 2.30am to head to Gatwick airport. At least Gatwick is only a 15 min. drive from her house so that worked out. Caught my plane to Dublin and then back to JFK from there. The weather in NYC was pretty terrible with rain/wind so landing was not a lot of fun. But I made it so it's all good I suppose. 

You can click here to see all the pictures I took while with Nicola.

Now I am back to reality. Went to work yesterday and also working today. Have a lot to catch up on (emails, various tasks, spreadsheets and whatnot). My main thing is to start getting organized for the upcoming 4th of July holiday which is not that far away. I will need to get started on that ASAP.

In more fun news my new Samsung Galaxy 4 phone arrived yesterday so I now have a brand new phone to play around with. Yay. :) 

Mail Update: Letters went out yesterday to: Kimber/Canada and Tiffany/OK.

Posted by Hanna at 07:28 AM in Food and Drink, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

And almost time to leave Austria again

IMG_3017So here we are. Tuesday already and almost time to leave Austria again. Where has all the time gone? It feels like this whole trip is just flying by. But I guess that's what happens when you pack a lot of stuff all into one trip. My time with my friend Joanne in England already feels like a million years ago and in reality it was less than a week ago.

I am off again back to England tonight. This time going to stay with my friend Nicola. The two of us have a day in London planned tomorrow (afternoon tea at a fancy hotel and all) so all that should be fun. Then on Thursday morning (super early - ugh) I am off again back to the US via Dublin.

My time here in Austria was really nice. Was able to see a lot of relatives, friends and spend time with my parents. Definitely made the most out of my time here. Spent time with my friend Lydia in Vienna on Sunday. Also met up with my great uncle, aunt and some other family friends. Had plenty of delicious food and wine. So definitely a good stay. :)

Missing Mike and the kitties of course but luckily I have been blessed with plenty of cats here during my stay. First my friend Joanne's cats plus her new kitten, then my friend Andrea's cats and now my parent's cat. Plus other various ones at people's houses we visited. :) 

You can click here to see all the pictures I took while in Austria. 

Mail Update: Still owe replies to: Kimber/Canada and Tiffany/OK.

Posted by Hanna at 07:53 AM in Austria , Food and Drink, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Hello Vienna

IMG_2992Left England and arrived in Vienna yesterday evening. Had a really nice stay with my friend Joanne in Portsmouth. Was great to see her again and be able to catch up and spend some time. On our last day we did some more shopping (more tea, Twinnings that time), had lunch at Wetherspoon's and just relaxed and ohung out. 

Yesterday Joanne dropped me off at Gatwick and I was off to Vienna. Easy Jet this time. My first time with Easy Jet and all in all it wasn't too bad. They definitely seem very strict with their baggage and carry-on policies and I managed to push all the limits but luckily got away without any extra fees. Yay. :) The flight itself was uneventful. Everything is a charge item on their flights so I didn't get anything. Wasn't a big issue though because I had a nice meal at the Wetherspoon's at the airport (including 3 Strongbows *g*). 

My friend Andrea and her husband Markus picked me up from the airport which was very nice. Stayed with them for the night. Today Andrea and I went into downtown Vienna to walk around, have lunch etc. Also bought some souvenirs for people back in the US. After lunch we stopped at Cafe Neko, the first cat cafe in Europe (an idea originally coming from Japan). Was fun to hang out with the cats there while having tea and ice cream.

Later today I have a High School Reunion to go to. 15 years. Where has all the time gone? Crazy. Should be interesting to see some of these people again. 

And even later tonight my parents are flying back from Madeira, Portugal. Will be nice to see them. :)

 You can click here to see the pictures I took today. 

Mail Update: Owe replies to: Kimber/Canada and Tiffany/OK.

Posted by Hanna at 10:17 AM in Austria , Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Monday, June 03, 2013

Brighton, Jamie Oliver & a new kitten

JokittenWhat an interesting day. :) Took the train to Brighton which worked out nicely. I always enjoy taking trains, especially in Europe. 

In Brighton we walked around for a while, walked out to the pier/seafront and to the Royal Pavilion and all around The Lanes. Had fun browsing in different shops, looking at random odds and ends type things. 

Lunch was at Jamie Oliver's Italian restauran which made me very happy. I love Jamie Oliver. :) I think I vaguely remembered that he has restaurants here in the UK but hadn't thought about it in a while. So when we stumbled upon his restaurant eaI was super excited. :) 

Headed back on the train and when we arrived back in Portsmouth we had more exciting things to occupy us. Dan, Joanne's boyfriend, found an abandoned kitten (someone put it in a garbage bin - WTH?) while at work. So he decided to take it home at least for the time being. You can see her in the picture on the left. She is definitely making herself at home. :) If I had to place a bet I would say she is probably staying. Monty and Cookie aren't particularly excited about the new potential resident just yet but I imagine they will work it out. :)

Tomorrow we are planning another low key day. Just some shopping on the High Street in Portsmouth, some more tea shopping at Tesco for some Twinnings tea, and lunch at Wetherspoons.:)

Then tomorrow night I will need to pack while Joanne attends a sewing class and Wednesday afternoon/evening I am already off to Austria. The weather has worked out really nicely since I have been here. Sunny pretty much every day. I don't think I can expect the same in Austria. They are having really bad flooding at the moment. No fun.

 You can click here to see the pictures I took today. 

Mail Update: Mailed letter today to: Celia/MA and Carmen/Malta. Owe replies to: Kimber/Canada and Tiffany/OK.

Posted by Hanna at 03:40 PM in Cats, Food and Drink, Travel, Weather | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Blast from the past - Weald & Downland Open Air Museum

IMG_2958Today's destination was the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum in West Sussex.  Had a great time walking around checking out all the old houses (Tudor, thatched roof, etc.), imaging what it would have been like to live in them. As much as I loved looking at all of them I am not sure it would have been too great actually living in them. I don't think I would have done too well in those times. I like to pretend, reading my historical novels, but when it comes down to it I enjoy all the modern day comforts way too much. :)

Had a great time nonethless. In a way it sort of reminded me of a British version of Colonial Williamsburg if that makes any sense. Maybe a tad less crowded and a bit more low key but still with a similiar idea behind it. And anyone who knows me well knows I adore Colonial Williamsburg so it was right up my alley. :)

Afterwards we headed to Chichester for lunch. Always enjoy Chichester and it was fun being back there. It's been a while. Had lunch at this awesome bar/pub type place called Wests that was originally a church but has now been converted into a pub. Stain glass windows and all. Pretty cool.  

Now we are back in Portsmouth hanging out and relaxing. Tomorrow Joanne's boyfriend Dan will have to return to work while Joanne & I will head to Brighton for the day. Should be fun. Love Brighton. :) 

 You can click here to see the pictures I took today. 

 Mail Update: Wrote letters to (need to still mail them) to: Celia/MA and Carmen/Malta. Owe replies to: Kimber/Canada and Tiffany/OK.

Posted by Hanna at 01:16 PM in Outdoors, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Lovely day out in Dorset

IMG_2927On a roll with my posting lately so I figured I would do another update for today. Why not?:)

Had a lovely day in Dorset today. First we headed to Lulworth Cove where we took some pictures, walked around for a bit and then sat down to have some drinks. The weather was beautiful so it was great to sit outside. 

After Lulworth Cove we were off to Durdle Door, What a stunning place. The walk/hike down the steep path to get to it was a bit of a challenge but definitely worth the views once we got there.  Lots of super pretty ocean views.

Next was Weymouth where we had lunch at Wetherspoon's. Love, love, love Wetherspoon's.:) Good cheap meal, Strongbow cider, free wi-fi. What more can one want? ;) After lunch we walked around Weymouth and the seaside promenade for a bit, buying postcards and looking into the tourist shops. Mostly really cheesy stuff but it was still fun to have a look around. 

Now we are back in Portsmouth just relaxing and hanging out. Not sure what tomorrow's plans are yet but the weather is supposed to be nice again so I am sure we will come up with something fun. 

 You can click here to see the pictures I took today. 

 Mail Update: Wrote letters to (need to still mail them) to: Celia/MA and Carmen/Malta. Owe replies to: Kimber/Canada and Tiffany/OK.

Posted by Hanna at 02:54 PM in Food and Drink, Travel | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack