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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Birthday Weekend - Shelter Island

IMG_20141025_141853Hello from Shelter Island. :) Been busy unpacking and spending most of my time after work in the evenings moving boxes around, rearranging, unpacking, decorating and trying to piece everything back together. So this weekend has definitely been a welcome change of pace from all that. 

Had a yummy diner breakfast at Elmer's on Friday morning before leaving Danbury. Then headed towards NY and Long Island and out onto the North Fork. It's amazing how quickly the landscape changes out there. One minute you are driving through strip malls, the next you are out amongst vineyards and farms. Pretty neat. 

Checked out three vineyards we had never been to before. It's amazing how many vineyards there are out there. Been to quite a few of them but there are still some we haven't seen. Had fun wine tasting and also had a cheese platter at one of the vineyards. When we were done we took the ferry from Greenport over to Shelter Island. 

Our B&B only has 5 rooms and is pretty cozy. Found a nice place for dinner and then relaxed in the room for a bit. This morning we slept in which was very nice and then took advantage of the gorgeous fall weather to hike through the Mashomack Preserve which is run by the Nature Conversancy. Hiked for about 6 miles through forests, meadows and marshes. Definitely the perfect day for it. 

Now we are back in the room for a bit relaxing before heading out to dinner. Going to take the ferry back over to Greenport as there are more choices over there. If you take the ferry as a passenger without the car it's only $2 so that's not so bad. So that's what we will be doing later. Then tomorrow we will probably sleep in some more before checking out and heading back over to Greenport. Might do some more wine tasting before we leave L.I. and head back to CT. 

Then next week it's back to work and back to more unpacking. Need to start looking into buying a washer/dryer, a couch, kitchen table and some other smaller things too. Work's going to start getting busier too with Thanksgiving only a bit over a month away. Don't even want to think about that just yet. 

Mail Update: Owe replies to: Charles/TN, Jessica/DE and Carmen/Malta. 

Posted by Hanna at 03:24 PM in Food and Drink, Nature, Outdoors, Wine | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Monday, October 20, 2014

Surprise - we moved :)

Collage_20141020113606550_20141020113622745.... yup, we moved. :) I know this probably comes as a surprise to a lot of people since I haven't talked about this at all on here before now. It's been in the works for a while now though but hadn't been finalized so we didn't want to say anything until it was all done. 

The main reason for selling and moving was the condition of our house. It just wasn't in the best shape and needed a lot of work. It's been getting close to impossible to keep up with everything. So we either would have had to pour a lot of money into it and renovate from the ground up or sell. So we decided to take an offer we got and sell.

For right now we are happy renting and happy to let someone else worry about maintaining things, general upkeep, snow plowing, yard work and all that. We might buy again eventually. Just have to see what we want to do.  

Our apartment is still in Danbury, only about 10 minutes from where our house was. It's in a neat Victorian building that has been split into three units. Our unit is on the second floor (only complaint - moving all of our furniture and things in there was a huge pain) with 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, living room and a big kitchen. We also have a large unfinished attic for storage which is nice. 

So I apologize for my absence but been quite busy with packing everything up, renting a truck and getting everything moved. Luckily we had some help taking things apart and two of our friends helped us move all the bigger items so that helped a lot. I did have to work Saturday but spent the late afternoon/evening and all of Sunday unpacking most of our essentials. Still have a lot of stuff left to unpack but at least things are starting to come together.

I will post more pictures of our new place once not everything is in boxes anymore. Right now it would look quite chaotic. If you want to see a picture of the outside of the house click here. I love those type of houses. They look so New England to me. I remember adoring them when I first visited this area in 2000 when seeing Mike for the first time. I had no idea I would actually be living in one fourteen years later. :) 

Mail Update: Letters went out last week Tuesday to: Lotte/Denmark, Celia/MA, Charles/TN and Laura/Spain. Owe replies to: Charles/TN. 

Posted by Hanna at 04:31 PM in Home Improvement | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thursday, October 02, 2014

More NC (Mountains & Biltmore)

NCAnd somehow it got to be October and Thursday night already. No idea how that happened. I guess time just flies by when you are busy and having fun. :) Well, let's do a quick recap to try and keep everyone up to date with what we have been doing. 

Tuesday we spent a good amount of the day exploring the outdoors around here. Went to Grandfather Mountain where we also did some hiking. Let me tell you uphill hiking at 6000 feet is quite different from other elevations. :) Definitely had some great views though and enjoyed the excercise. Although my legs are still sore from all the walking we have done. 

After we were done at Grandfather Mountain we took the Blue Ridge Parkway over to Mt. Mitchell which is the highest peak east of the Mississippi. (6683 feet = 2037 meters) The Blue Ridge Parkway is definitely very scenic and reminded me of Skyline Drive that runs through the Shenandoah Valley. Took some more pictures and walked to the observation platform at Mt. Mitchell before making our way back to Boone. 

Wednesday we drove to Asheville to tour the Biltmore Estate. A truly impressive operation with a massive house (250 rooms), 80 000 acres (=324 kmĀ²) of grounds (gardens, woods, ponds and more) and a winery. We upgraded to the audio tour guide for the house which worked out well as it tells you about each room as you walk through it. There were 40 stops on the tour so it was definitely a big place. After the house we explored the gardens and grounds for a bit before heading over to the village where the winery was situated. I really didn't have the highest expectations for the wine considering that a lot of places like that tend to be too over commercialized and only bank on the name rather than quality. But I have to say I was happily surprised. We ended up purchasing 6 bottles and had another bottle with some cheese at their in house wine bar. 

Today, Thursday, we decided to go back into the mountains to take advantage of the nice weather. Drove to Chimney Rock State Park where we did some more hiking. Lots of great views including of a waterfall that was featured in the movie "Last of the Mohicans". Also took the 26 story elevator up to the top where you have to take some more steps to get to the actual top of the rock. I really enjoyed the views but was also definitely terrified. But all in all it was worth it. Also was happy with the views of Lake Lure (where the famous water lift scene from "Dirty Dancing" was filmed) - super gorgeous. 

Tomorrow it's supposed to be a rainy day so we will probably end up heading to Greensboro to check out an art museum there. Then Saturday it's already time for us to check out and leave again. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 07:23 PM in Nature, Outdoors, Travel, Wine | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack