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Monday, September 29, 2014

Wine Tasting, nature trails and a rainy day in Charlotte

IMG_20140929_200208Already Monday night. As usual time is flying. :) Had a fun day yesterday. Checked out the Boone Greenway Trail in the morning and then went wine tasting afterwards. There are three wineries on the Boone Wine Trail and we made our way from one to the next along windy mountain roads. Definitely no easy way from A to B around here. :) Had fun tasting at the various wineries and also made another stop at a nature trail with a waterfall. Ended up being a long day with a lot of streneous driving even though we had originally intended to take it easy. Still was a fun day of course nonetheless. 

Today it ended up being rainy so we decided to drive to Charlotte to explore some museums. First stop was the Carolina Aviation Museum where they have the US Airways plane that crashed into the Hudson on display. A bunch of interesting exhibits detailing the incident along with quotes from passengers, the crew and traffic control. 

Next stop was the Modern Art Museum in downtown Charlotte. A quick visit as there wasn't a ton to see but still a neat experience all in all. Afterwards we hung out at a pub close by for a while before returning back to Boone. 

Tomorrow's plan so far is to get up relatively early and head to Grandfather Mountain followed by some other scenic nature things. Will update again in a few days. :)

Mail Update: Owe replies to: Lotte/Denmark, Celia/MA, Charles/TN and Laura/Spain.

Posted by Hanna at 08:35 PM in Food and Drink, Nature, Outdoors, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Hello from the North Carolina Mountains and travel updates in general

20140927_171646_resizedQuick update from me here while I have wi-fi at the restaurant/bar we are at currently. :) No wi-fi and almost no working cell signal at the resort we are staying so need to take advantage of being connected while we can. Welcome to the mountains I suppose. Lol. I do have to say it's a very pretty area from the little I have seen on our ride here. 

Well let's recap last week before I get to our current trip. Work was busy as it usually is when I am preparing for some time off. This is actually the first time in a year that Mike and I are taking a whole week off together so I am sort of anxious about how things are going to go at work with the scaled back staff/work force we have now. Fingers crossed I suppose. 

In more fun news we also booked a trip to Austria for the very end of November. My mom's 60th birthday is in mid November and I wanted to go for that but work is going to be just crazy hectic prepping for the Thanksgiving holiday. So instead we are leaving on Thanksgiving itself (Nov. 27 this year) and coming back December 8th. Mike is coming with me which will be a nice change of pace. I have been to Austria three times so far this year but always by myself. This time around we are turning this into more of a touristy trip in addition to visiting with family.

Booked Turkish Airlines since it was the cheapest so we are connecting in Istanbul. On the way there we booked a 12hr layover so we are going to be able to leave the airport for a bit to explore the city. So that should be fun. Obviously going to spend plenty of time in Vienna and Austria in general, especially looking forward to the Christmas markets. Also booked train tickets and a hotel for a 2-night stay in Prague. So this will definitely be a fun trip. :) Lots of new Hard Rock Cafe shirts and Starbucks mugs. :) 

But back to our current trip. :) Got up at 4am and left Connecticut around 5am and checked in at the resort a tad before 5pm. All in all a relatively smooth drive although the last two hours brought us through loads of windy mountain roads. While scenic not necessarily the most fun to navigate after having been on the road for 10 hours already. 

Tomorrow we are planning to take it relatively easy. Going to go for a short hike and some wine tasting around the Boone area. Then Monday we will probably do some museums in Charlotte since it's supposed to rain for most of the day that day. Then more outdoor stuff for the rest of the week. Will update again as I come across wi-fi. :)

Mail Update: Owe replies to: Lotte/Denmark, Celia/MA, Charles/TN and Laura/Spain.

Posted by Hanna at 09:05 PM in Austria , Family, Food and Drink, Outdoors, Travel, Wine | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Boston, Tree Swallow Cruise and more

TreeswallowHere is my weekly update which always seems to happen on Sundays these days. :) Let's see what I can tell you about last week? Our weather was fairly fall like for most of the week. Monday we worked half the day and then drove up to Boston. Checked in at our hotel and then found a neat beer/wine bar/pub in Cambridge right near Harvard Square. Hung out there for a while. The original plan was to go see a concert but due to sound issues the set time kept getting pushed back and eventually we decided to just skip the show (the people we wanted to see wouldn't have come on till after midnight) and to hang out some more.

Tuesday we checked out from the hotel and headed over to the JFK Presidental Library. We had never been there and got the idea to go there when we went to the FDR Home & Library a few weeks ago. Glad we went, it was definitely a very well done museum with great exhibits highlighting his life and political career.  

Wednesday to Saturday were regular work days for me. Saturday we headed down to Norwalk for a late lunch/early dinner at the SoNo Brewpub. And today, Sunday, we are currently hanging out at Starbucks. Driving to Oxford for lunch in a little bit and then on to East Haddam, CT. That's where we have a nature cruise booked at 5pm. It's a tree swallow cruise and seems pretty neat. Last March we did an eagle cruise with the same company which was very cool. The weather is a bit weird at the moment, very humid, foggy and generally unstable. But according to the Weather Channel it's supposed to clear up a bit later so I hope that holds true. We will see I guess.

Then tomorrow is already Monday again and another work week. I have plenty of things to take care off before we leave for North Carolina next week on Saturday. We will be gone for a week, taking advantage of the timeshare resort in the NC mountains that my parents had originally booked but now unfortunately can't use. At least they are currently in Croatia enjoying a vacation of their own which is nice for them.

Mail Update: Letters went out on Wednesday to : David/IN and Nina/WA. Owe replies to: Lotte/Denmark. 

Posted by Hanna at 11:18 AM in Food and Drink, Nature, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hello Fall (PEZ, Yale Art and more)

Collage_20140914164323465_20140914164338274And already Sunday again. And it really feels like fall this weekend. I love fall generally speaking but it feels like we went from hot summer weather to cool fall weather in a matter of minutes. It's usually still much warmer here in September in this part of the US so this is not really expected.

Saturday we went into work for a bit in the morning before heading out to have some fun. Went to the PEZ Factory & Museum in Orange, CT. It was fun to see some of the older vintage items and learn more about the history (for those of you who don't know it was created in Vienna, Austria and the family still holds a 2/3 interest in the company) 

After PEZ we went to New Haven to check out the Yale Art Museum. We had never been there and considering it's free it really was about time to check it out. We ended up enjoying it quite a bit. Very nicely laid out, bright and airy. 

Had lunch at SBC Brewery in Milford afterwards and eventually headed back to Danbury to take care of some issues at the office before meeting up with our friends Kim and John for John's 40th birthday celebration at Old Heidelberg (they had a special Oktoberfest event going on) 

Today, Sunday, we decided to take advantage of the nicer, sunnier weather (yesterday it was cloudy and then rained most of the afternoon) and went for a 5 mile/8 km walk along a trail in Cheshire/Meriden. Then headed for lunch at 121 Restaurant in Oxford. Nice, relaxing Sunday all in all.

Tomorrow we are only working half a day until noon and then heading up to Cambridge, Massachusetts (near Boston) for a concert. Going to see "The Dollyrots". Staying overnight and then driving back on Tuesday. Might end up doing something around the Boston area on Tuesday depending on how our schedule turns out. 

Mail Update: Still owe replies to: David/IN and Nina/WA.

Posted by Hanna at 05:22 PM in Food and Drink, Outdoors, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, September 07, 2014

FDR Presidential Home & Library - Fun Sunday

Collage_20140907173515690And already Sunday evening again. Where do my weekends go? The week was a very busy week dealing with the aftermath from the holiday (first few days after a holiday are always extra busy) plus a new employee started on Thursday so I have been busy training her. Now that summer has come to an end and school is back in session we are busier again in general so added the part-time position we had eliminated previously back in.

We will see what next week brings. Not ready for it to be Monday tomorrow just yet. Had a nice weekend though. Yesterday, Saturday, I had to work. Afterwards we headed to the movies to see "Guardians of the Galaxy" which was pretty good. Hung out at Two Steps for a while afterwards.

Today, Sunday, we went to Hyde Park, NY in the Hudson Valley to tour the FDR (Franklin Roosevelt) home & library. It was interesting to see the home and hear some more background stories. The library had some very interesting exhibits as well, detailing his career and personal life, struggles with polio etc. 

It was definitely interesting to see all the things FDR was able to accomplish to help the country out of a deep depression. The New Deal, job creation, unemployment coverage, social security, etc etc. It seems like such a simple concept but imagine the backlash if a president tried to do any of that now. There was enough outcry over Obamacare as it is. Definitely feels like things are moving in the wrong direction sometimes.

Afterwards we headed to Poughkeepsie to have lunch at the Millhouse Brewery. Had never been there but it came recommended by our friend Robin so we thought we should check it out being in the area and all. Definitely a fun place, great food and beers/cider. 

Mail Update: Still owe replies to: David/IN and Nina/WA.

Posted by Hanna at 06:27 PM in Food and Drink, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Monday, September 01, 2014

Labor Day Weekend, Paramore & Scranton, PA

Collage_20140901102133526Here is a quick update from Scranton, PA. We are here for one night for the Paramore show. Worked Saturday and also for about an hour Sunday morning to finish up some month-end stuff at work. Saturday night I was able to meet up with my friend Jana and her friend Nathan for a lovely fondue dinner at the Melting Pot in Darien. Then Sunday morning we drove to Scranton (a little over 2 hrs) and checked in at our hotel. We are staying at a really neat Radisson that originally was a train station and then converted into a hotel later on. Definitely different and a lot of fun. 

After checking in at the hotel we walked around downtown for a bit and had lunch at the Backyard Ale House. Had a nice lunch and then went back to the hotel to freshen up for a bit before heading downstairs to the hotel bar Trax (pretty neat design). Later on we drove to the venue - the Pavillion (definitely different too, on top of a mountain near ski resorts, ski lifts, water parks and whatnot) Saw the end of the opening band New Politics and of course the whole set of Paramore. Ended up not staying for Fallout Boy so we wouldn't have a crazy time getting out of the venue later. This was the third time we saw the show and I can definitely say they put on a great performance at each show. Neat to compare the different venues (Hartford, CT - Holmdel, NJ - Scranton, PA) too. 

Well, now it's Monday morning - Labor Day - and we have the day off. Well mostly, we do have to head into work for about an hour when we get back home but at least we were able to sleep in and can now take it easy for most of the day. We might check out some sights around here before we leave Scranton. There's a train museum really close by to where we are staying (makes sense considering we are staying in a train station doesn't it *g*) so we might check that out in a bit. 

Mail Update: Letters are going out tomorrow to: Charles/TN and Lotte/Denmark. Still owe replies to: David/IN.

Posted by Hanna at 10:46 AM in Food and Drink, Performances | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack