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Monday, July 29, 2013

CT Wine Festival

WineAnd already Monday again. Can't complain though. Had a nice weekend even though it went by too fast. 

On Saturday I had to work. Afterwards we decided to check out the Bayou North restaurant in Ridgefield. It's the sister restaurant of their place in Mount Vernon, NY. Since we had a Groupon for it so we decided to go. Had super delicious blackened catfish and Mike the Shrimp Poboy. 

Sunday we headed to the CT Wine Festival which is always fun. We usually try to go every year. Managed to get there right at 12 when they opened which was nice because there were less people. It filled up quickly as it usually does. Went with our friends Tim & Sam and had fun sampling the different wines. Afterwards we stopped at SMV to do a tasting there and to have some wine on their patio. Next stop was the White Horse Pub for a late lunch. Always enjoy that place. We had fun sitting outside by the brook and even were lucky enough for it not to rain. Had the most delicious crab cake asparagus omelette. 

Today it's Monday and back to work and reality. Just found out that one of the employees in another department gave her notice. Really too bad. I am happy for her of course and am happy that she is persuing a job in the field that she went to college for. But of course it will mean rearranging, retraining and figuring out things at work. Well oh well. 

Mail Update: No letters owed at the moment. :)

Posted by Hanna at 02:49 PM in Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Friday, July 26, 2013

Mets Baseball & David Garrett = Fun NYC day

NEWQuick update on a fun day and night out in New York City yesterday. 

Mike & I went to see the Mets at Citi Field (baseball). The game started at 12.10pm. After all the crazy heat and humidity all last week it was actually quite chilly, only in the 60ies (18C) and pretty windy too. Plus some rain showers/drizzle in between. We still had fun though. It was a good game and the Mets also won which helped. :) 

After the game Mike headed back to Connecticut while I took the subway into Manhattan. Had dinner at Blue Haven while waiting for the doors to open at Le Poisson Rouge for David Garrett's showcase. Really neat venue. Basically a club where they had tables set up in front of the stage and also a standing room area by the bar. The tables had already sold out by the time I had purchased my tickets so I had standing room tickets but really there wasn't a bad place to be at all. Didn't have to worry about drink/food minimums either not having a table.

Jana met me at the club and we had a good time watching David perform. It definitely was a very cool show. More laid back and less scripted than some regular shows. He seemed to say whatever came to his mind, joking around etc. Really fun.

He played for about an hour and a half which for $30 wasn't a bad deal at all. After the show Jana and I walked around the village some more and had a late dinner at La Laterna on McDougal Street. Shared smoked salmon and a 6-cheese platter. And some profiteroles for dessert. Delicious. 

Afterwards we took a cab back to Grand Central and the train back to White Plains where Jana had parked the car. The ride home turned into an forever ride as there was construction around exit 1 on 84. Didn't get home till 1am. So needless to say I am kind of out of it today. :) 

Working tomorrow since I was off yesterday. Then Sunday we are heading to Goshen for the annual CT Wine Festival which should be fun. 

Mail Update: A letter went out on Monday to: Jessica/DE. Letters went out today to: Laura/Spain, Charles/TN and Lotte/Denmark.

Posted by Hanna at 03:38 PM in Food and Drink, NYC, Performances, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Heat Wave, annoying internet and more

HannaI was pretty much 99% done with this post when the internet decided to go out yet again. I am so done with that issue. I really am. I am not sure what is really causing it. It might be the router that is doing it. We did buy a new router that Mike has to put in. It also could be the modem which means we would need to exchange it at Comcast for a new one. Whatever the issue is it is super annoying. I hate being in the middle of the post and all of a sudden the internet goes out and everything is gone. What kind of crap software does Typepad use by the way where it doesn't auto save at least some of it? LiveJournal does that, so how come Typepad that I pay good money for each month can't do that? Anyway, rant over for now I guess.

Anyway enough about all of that. :) It's been really hot this past week which probably doesn't help the cranky factor at all. The whole Northeast has been suffering through a crazy heatwave all week. Temperatures were in the 90iesF (33C) but with the humidity the heat index was around 100F (37C) Just not fun at all. 

We spent most of our time at work where we have AC luckily. After work we went to dinner at various restaurants (also AC). And once we got home we turned on all the fans we have to try and make it somewhat bearable. We did buy an AC window for the bedroom window a few years ago but only used it one summer. It's just such a pain to put in plus it uses up crazy amounts of electricity. So we usually say to ourselves "Ok it's just a few days, it will be ok" and we suffer through it. Oh well. 

Today it's only in the 80ies (27C) but still pretty humid. I was hoping that whatever storm system came through yesterday would wipe this out. But no such luck just yet. We are supposed to have more storms today and the rest of the week so we will see I guess. What a weird summer so far. 

Originally we had talked about going to a NY Mets baseball game today but in the end decided against it. Just didn't feel like it. Yesterday we went to the movies and saw R.I.P.D. (ok movie, funny), relaxed and then tried a restaurant in Newtown we had wanted to try for a while called Figs. Really enjoyed the place so I imagine we will go back. 

Today we hung out at home for a while and will head up to Oxford to eat at 121 in a little bit. Then later we are going to catch up with some more recorded shows I assume.

Mail Update: Received letters/still owe a response to: Laura/Spain, Jessica/DE, Charles/TN and Lotte/Denmark.

Posted by Hanna at 12:18 PM in Food and Drink, Weather | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Hopkins Inn, anniversary, dead battery & more

SchnitzelAnd another post from me. I think I have been more active this week than any other week in a long time. Let's see what's new since I last updated. 

Tuesday night we went to the Black Keys concert in Hartford which I already posted about. Was a really good show. Wednesday night I stayed home and worked on some of my creative writing assignments although I didn't get as much done as I would have liked. Was pretty tired since we didn't get home till close to 1am. 

Thursday was trivia night as usual. As we were leaving work to drive to Two Steps we discovered that our car wouldn't start. We figured it was a dead battery (it's the original battery) so we called AAA. Didn't take them all that long thankfully. The guy checked out the battery, tested the alternator etc. Luckily it was just the battery so they were able to replace it right then and there and we were on our way after that. Annoying but timing could've definitely been worse. At least we didn't have to be anywhere urgently or weren't trying to go home from somewhere later at night. So all in all not so bad. 

Friday was our American wedding anniversary. I am one of the few people with two wedding anniversaries. :) Our real one is February 10, 2001. That's when we got married in Austria. But that was a smaller ceremony with just a few people, mostly family. After I moved to the US we had a bigger ceremony (with the big white dress, DJ, dancing, tiered cake, reception, open bar ... all that) with guests from all over the country & world. That one was July 12, 2002. (also the anniversary of our engagement which was July 12, 2000). :) 

So Friday we went to Chuck's Steakhouse for a nice meal, then to Rizzuto's for some wine afterwards. And yesterday, Saturday, we had dinner at the Hopkins Inn. A yearly tradition to go there once a year in the summer, usually around our anniversary. Delicious food, great views. Always a great place to be. The picture on the upper left is my Wiener Schnitzel from last night. For dessert I had Toblerone Sundae. You can also click here for our nice lake view from our table. Mike had a delicious seafood sautee and for an appetizer we shared escargot. Yum. 

Today we are relaxing and going over to our friends Ken and Lisa's house in the afternoon. I hope the weather holds out as they have a pool and we might do some BBQing. Will see what happens. 

Mail Update: Received letters/still owe a response to: Laura/Spain, Jessica/DE, Charles/TN and Lotte/Denmark.

Posted by Hanna at 11:24 AM in Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Friday, July 12, 2013

Please meet Sam Heughan aka Jamie Fraser

Sam2Happy Friday everyone! I thought I should make a quick post to keep you all in the loop in regards to my latest obsessions, Twitter & Facebook sharings.

Let's back up for a minute for anyone who does not know that I've been a fan of an author named Diana Gabaldon for quite some time.

I was introduced to her books by my sister-in-law Kristina as well as my ex-teacher & friend Linda from Santa Barbara. Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series spans 7 books so far (book 8 is out next March). Her books fall into the historical fiction category but with an interesting time travel twist. It's honestly hard to describe.

I absolutely love these books and the characters described within. The last book in the series to this point "An Echo in the Bone" was released in September 2009 and I traveled out to Phoenix to attend the book release party at the Biltmore there. Had a lot of fun staying with my friends Cyndy (one of many people I have met online through the Outlander forums) & Linda (who traveled from Santa Barbara). Hoping to make it out to Arizona again for the next book release this coming March. We will see.

But as if a new book in this series after 4 years wasn't exciting enough already, on top of that Starz is also turning the books into a TV series. How exciting is that? Filming will start in Scotland this coming fall and the first episode is scheduled to air right around the time the new book releases. 

We currently don't subscribe to Starz at home (for anyone not familiar, it's kind of like HBO, a pay-tv channel) but we most definitely will in time for when the show airs. :)

Just last Friday Starz announced their casting choice for one of the lead characters in the books, Jamie Fraser, and all the Outlander fans online went crazy. It's been a little nuts to say the least - if you want to laugh check out this link here. :) 

On the Starz Outlander website it says the following "Outlander follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743, where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened. When she is forced to marry Jamie, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate affair is ignited that tears Claire's heart between two vastly different men in to irreconcilable lives. The "Outlander" series spans the genres of romance, science fiction, history, and adventure into one grandiose tale.

Sam Heughan will play the role of Jamie Fraser. Armed with sheer grit and enduring strength, he is intelligent, principled, and, by 18th century standards, educated and worldly, with a tenderness and compassion that stands out in contrast to his contemporaries. A natural leader of men, he has no political ambitions or desire for battlefield glories. Instead, he wishes to remove the price on his head and return to his family's ancestral farm."

So there you have it. Sam Heughan who not many people probably knew in the US before last Friday, who only had around 1500 followers on Twitter (as of right now he has close to 6000 and every time I look it's more), is now blowing up to be one of the most sought after celebrities. At the very least in my Outlander circles that is. :)

I have to be honest, I have tweeted Sam a few times over the last few days, smiling at all the interactions he has had with fans and Diana Gabaldon herself. He has been nothing but sweet & funny, bantering back and forth with Diana Gabaldon and some of the fans. I love how he is taking the time to interact with his new fan base, answering questions and playing along, being a good sport about things. Of course he is not bad to look at either ;) So when you take all of those things and put them together, I definitely have to say he has quickly made it to the status of "celebrity crush" in my book. :)

Now if he would favorite one of my tweets or tweet me back I would probably end up with heart palpitations. ;) But having said that I totally understand that he can't answer every single thing everyone sends since he is probably getting thousands and thousands of messages each day. In the mean time I am enjoying myself just reading all the other interactions and looking forward to the show's and new book's release date. 

Mail Update: Received letters/still owe a response to: Laura/Spain, Jessica/DE, Charles/TN and Lotte/Denmark.

Posted by Hanna at 03:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Black Keys

1354420396-the-black-keys-perform-live-at-palaolimpico-in-turin_1649191Just a quick update on the Black Keys concert we saw in Hartford last night. Had a really good time even though the venue is way bigger than the places we usually go to (it holds about 30 000 people, 7500 in seats and 22500 more on the lawn) The seats we had were great though, only six rows back. We were able to get them in a pre-sale from a local radio station when the venue was first announced/added to the tour. Very cool. 

Left work around 3pm to drive up to Hartford for a leisurly pre-concert dinner at the City Steam Brewery Cafe. Always a fun place to go. They have a great Happy Hour as well. Really wish the place was closer and more convenient to get to. Oh well. 

After we left City Steam we headed over to the Comcast Theater. It was my first time at this venue and it is definitely massive. Concession stands that remind of a big stadium and the whole layout is just crazy big. Had some over priced wine in a plastic cup while watching the opening band perform. 

The show was definitely a lot of fun and went by very fast. Getting out of that venue was of course anything but fast. First the mile long trek back to the car where we had to remember where we even parked in the sea of cars in a huge gravel/field space, then inching slowly forward in line trying to actually get out. We finally made it home a little before 1am. Needless to say I am not really all that awake for work at this particular moment. :) 

Mail Update: Received letters/still owe a response to: Laura/Spain, Jessica/DE, Charles/TN and Lotte/Denmark.

Posted by Hanna at 07:45 AM in Food and Drink, Music, Performances | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Busy 4th of July week

SnoopyThis week was definitely hectic and crazy. No denying that. I guess I figured as much but it definitely was one of the more complicated and annoying holidays in a while. I guess the problem is that the 4th can fall on any day unlike Memorial Day or Labor Day which are always on a Monday. Thursdays is one of our heaviest delivery days schedule wise so trying to rearrange everything so people can receive deliveries on other days then of course overloads those days plus makes it difficult to call everyone for an order in a timely manner. 

Well oh well it's done. I know Monday will still be hectic as we will be dealing with the ripple effects of everything. But hopefully once that is done we should be better off. Fingers crossed anyway. I am definitely of the opinion that as nice as it was to have the 4th off I would have rather worked and had a less stressful week. We didn't really do much on the actual holiday. Slept in which was needed and nice. Then I worked on my creative writing assignments for a while in the afternoon. I can't even remember if I have mentioned this on here or not. A few weeks ago I signed up for a creative writing class online. It's a 6 week course and started on June 19th. So far I am enjoying it a lot. 

Let's see what else is new? Worked Friday and Saturday. Today we slept in and in a little while we are going to take the train to Darien to go to a restaurant we found and like there. It's called "Darien Social" and I have probably mentioned it on here at one point or another. 

Other than that not too much going on. The weather has been really hot (90ies F = 33C) and humid. Today seems especially bad. I am only sitting in front of the computer and am already sweating again after just having taken a shower a little while ago. No fun. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 12:29 PM in Food and Drink, Holidays, Weather, Work Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Monday, July 01, 2013

Yay for a beach vacation

SiestakeySarasota-Siesta Key here we come. :) Mike and have been discussing for a while now that we want to take a long weekend somewhere together before the end of the summer but yesterday we decided to just book it and be done with it. :)

Originally we had talked about maybe going back to the West Coast, maybe California again (L.A. or San Diego or even Santa Barbara or San Francisco - so many options) or the Northwest (Oregon or the Seattle/Vancouver area) but in the end we decided to stay on the East Coast and just fly to Florida. It's a lot cheaper and there a ton of flights from the NYC area to anywhere in Florida so it's easy and convenient too. 

At first we were going back and forth between the Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood/Miami Beach area and Sarasota/Siesta Key but ended up deciding on Sarasota/Siesta Key area as we really liked it when we were there in December of 2008 with my parents for New Year's. Plus the flights to Tampa over Miami were a tad cheaper so that helped too. :) 

I am really looking forward to our trip. It will be a fun "chill and relax" trip. We are not planning anything massive, just to hang out, walk along the beach, eat & drink (looking forward to heading back to the Old Salty Dog) and maybe squeeze in a couple of other things like nature walks or museums depending on the weather. I am sure it will be super hot & humid as it is Florida in August but at least we will be near the ocean so that will help. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 01:05 PM in Beach, Food and Drink, Weather | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack