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Monday, February 23, 2015

More California ... before we return to the snow tomorrow

IMG_20150223_104848And it's already our last day here in sunny California. Been pretty lucky with the weather too. The only day it rained and was dreary all day was yesterday, Oscar Sunday. But it was fine because we went to the movies in the morning. Went to see "The Last Five Years" which wasn't playing anywhere locally in CT. So that worked out. The theater we went to was in Beverly Hills and really neat. They had beer/wine and real food plus comfortable stadium seating. 

Let's see, what else we have been up to? Friday we had breakfast with my friend Linda and her husband at Andersen's Bakery in Santa Barbara. Always nice to see old friends and to catch up a bit in person. Then afterwards we went to the zoo in Santa Barbara. My favorite was the super adorable desert fox you can see in the picture. Too cute. 

After the zoo we continued on to Santa Monica. Checked in there and hung out at our place for a bit. Definitely happy with AirBnB so far. The apartment here in Santa Monica is perfect. Could move in here and be totally happy. :)

Saturday we went for a walk along the beach from the pier in Santa Monica over to Venice Beach and back. A long walk but great scenery plus the weather was nice and sunny too. Walked past the Independent Spirit Awards which always draws a lot of attention and spectators.

Saturday night we drove to Universal Studios to meet up with Nicki, Damien and Jack one more time. Had dinner at a place on the Universal City Walk. 

Then yesterday, Sunday, we went to the movies. Afterwards we prepared a little feast for ourselves since we have the full kitchen and livingroom here. Definitely convenient. Had some wine, ate and watched the Oscars. A fun, relaxing night.

Today it's sunny again and we are going to head to Burbank to Warner Bros Studios to see a taping of "Conan". Should be fun. Going to check in and then have some lunch before returning for the taping. 

And tomorrow it's already time to fly back to the cold and snow. So not ready to go back AT ALL. 

Mail Update. Letters went out on Saturday to: Kimber/Canada, Emilia/Finland and Alex/Peru. Received letters from: Caroline/Scotland. 

Posted by Hanna at 03:11 PM in Beach, Food and Drink, Outdoors, Travel, Weather | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Friday, February 20, 2015

California Update

IMG_20150220_090359Hello from California. :) Been meaning to update since we got here on Tuesday but now it's already Friday and the days are just flying by. I guess isn't that always the way when you are having fun? :)

Our trip out here was pretty uneventful luckily. We definitely got lucky with making it out here without any issues as it was snowing that day (again!) and several flights, including the one before ours, were cancelled. But everything worked out ok and we managed to get to L.A. on time. Picked up our rental car and then started to fight the never ending rush hour traffic. I really don't know how people do it. Traffic here is just completely insane. 

We eventually managed to make it to our place in Hollywood, which is another crazy place to be during Oscar week. The location all in all was very good, just a block away from the Dolby Theater (where the Oscars are held), Walk of Fame, Chinese Theater, Hollywood Blvd, etc. But after getting there and parking the car we decided to take the metro for the rest of the night. Much easier and less stressful. Met up with our Australian friends Nicki, Damien and their son Jackson for dinner at the Hard Rock at Universal Studios. Was great to see them again.  

Wednesday we had originally talked about taking the ferry to Catalina Island but instead decided for a more low key day. Took the metro over to L.A. Live for lunch at the Yardhouse. Nicki, Damien and Jack joined us there and afterwards we all went to the Grammy Museum which is also located in that same complex. Mike & I had been there two years ago but they have a lot of different and changing exhibits (they currently have a whole floor dedicated to Taylor Swift - pretty neat) so it was a lot of fun to go again. 

Wednesday night we went to the Golden Roads Brewery for Mike's birthday dinner. The place came recommended by a friend and didn't disappoint. Had a fun dinner before heading back to Hollywood.

Then Thursday Mike & I drove up to Santa Barbara. Always fun to be back here. Walked up and down State Street for a bit and then had lunch at the Santa Barbara Brewing Company. After lunch the sun had come out too so we were able to walk down to the pier, see the pelicans and enjoy the pretty views. After that we checked out the Funkzone where they have a bunch of wine tasting rooms and the urban Santa Barbara Wine Trail. Pretty cool. Had fun checking out some neat wineries. After that we went to Pascucci's for a delicious dinner. Yum. 

Today it's Friday and we are leaving Santa Barbara already again today. Going for breakfast with my friend Linda at Andersen's first though. Will see what we do afterwards before heading down to Santa Monica where we will be for the next 4 nights before returning to cold and snowy Connecticut. Not ready to think about that yet. Ugh. 

Mail Update. Letters going out soon to: Kimber/Canada and Alex/Peru. Received letters from: Caroline/Scotland and Emilia/Finland. 

Posted by Hanna at 12:26 PM in Beach, Food and Drink, Outdoors, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Anniversary, Valentine's and more

IMG_20150211_175803Another week already flown by again. Today is Sunday so only two more days until we leave for California. I absolutely cannot wait. We had more snow during the week (although 3-5 inches seems like nothing at this point and looking north to Boston where they are getting buried we really can't complain that much) and it's crazy cold out now. The current temperature is currently 15F (-9C) but with the windchill it feels like -3F (=-19C). Tonight the low is supposed to be -7F and there is a windchill warning in effect from 6pm tonight until 9am tomorrow morning. Brrr. 

So to sum up I am definitely looking forward to California. :) Work was busy again this week due to the weather plus the upcoming President's Day holiday and winter break schedules for the schools. Tuesday was our anniversary (14 years!!). Tuesday night we went to the movies to see "The Theory of Everything" (really great movie) and Wednesday night we went for a nice dinner at Ibiza Tapas & WIne Bar. Yummy. 

Valentine's Day fell on a Saturday this year which really made me happy. So we had originally planned to spend the day in NYC, either seeing a show or check out an exhibit at a museum, followed by dinner at Osteria al Doge. It's the place where we officially got together 15 years ago so we try to go back at least once a year. They have the most delicious lasagna and for midtown it's not even priced that high either. So a win-win altogether. :) 

Well things didn't quite work out the way I had wanted. Mike had to go into work Saturday morning to work on an issue with a server plus the weather forecast was iffy with snow coming and super cold temperatures and wind. Not really the kind of weather where you want to be outside, walking long distances. I don't usually mind walking in New York. It's actually kind of nice, you get to people watch and there is always something to see and discover. But I draw the line when the temperature dips down this low. Plus the wind can be really brutal down there too. So anyway, we decided against it, cancelled the reservation and went for a late lunch more locally instead. Then caught up on some TV shows at home. A fairly low key Valentine's but we will make up our NYC day when we get back from California. :) 

Not sure what we are doing yet today. Nothing outdoors due to the temperatures, that's for sure. Even though it's very pretty looking outside, seeing the sun and the snow. But the wind is making everything super frigid cold. Brrr. 

Mail Update. Received letters from: Caroline/Scotland, Emilia/Finland, Kimber/Canada and Alexandra/Peru. 

Posted by Hanna at 11:58 AM in Holidays, NYC | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Monday, February 09, 2015

Lazy weekend, Grammy's and more snow

ImagesSo here we are .. Monday .. and it's snowing AGAIN. I am really over it at this point. Ugh. It doesn't help that I am not feeling all that great to begin with but what can you do?

Spent the whole weekend at home, writing some letters, drinking lots of tea with lemon & honey, trying to fight off some sort of head cold/sinus thing and sore throat. Been sneezing and blowing my nose and just generally feeling like a mess. Bleh. 

Last night the Grammy's were on so we watched those. Nothing too eventful I suppose. The big surprise for me was that Paramore won for "Best Rock Song". Didn't see that coming at all. I am really happy and excited for them. Their first Grammy. So cool.

Other than that nothing too exciting going on. Last week we played catch up all week from the snow on Monday. And it seems like we will be in a similar situation this week. It didn't snow quite that much today so far but it's still coming down so we will see what the rest of the day brings. I am really truly over winter. Such a pain. 

In more fun news we will be leaving for California a week from tomorrow. Not really ready for it but I am definitely looking forward to getting out of the frigid weather for a bit, even if it's just a week. The weather around L.A. can be iffy in February too so we will see what it brings but at least it won't be -7F (-21C) like it was the other morning when I woke up. Brrr. 

But until then we still have a lot to get done at work. A week from today is President's Day and a lot of schools have their winter breaks scattered around it. Add in all the delayed openings, snow days and early closings and it becomes quite the challenge to keep track of it all.

On a non-work related note tomorrow is our wedding anniversary (14 years already - where does the time go?), Saturday Valentine's Day and on the 18th Mike's birthday (40 -- again, where does the time go?) Busy, busy. :)  

Mail Update. Letters went out today to: Tiffany/OK, Nina/WA, Lotte/Denmark and Celia/MA. Received letters from: Caroline/Scotland, Emilia/Finland, Kimber/Canada and Alexandra/Peru. 

Posted by Hanna at 10:36 AM in Travel, Weather, Work Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

SNOW + David Garrett

IMG_20150203_071324Been meaning to update since Sunday but time's just getting away from me. Had another snow storm Sunday night into Monday which totally messed up everything, especially at work. It wasn't even that bad. Maybe 6-10 inches I would guess, maybe a bit more, but over the course of Sunday night to Monday night.

Some other areas we deliver to received more snow though so we ran into difficulties delivering and had to reschedule a bunch of routes from Monday to Tuesday and Tuesday to Wednesday. Having to do that always ends up messy, making sure we don't forget anyone, making sure people end up on the right routes/trucks etc. Plus checking school schedules, seeing who is closed or delayed and how much milk they have on hand and/or need. 

 Last week was absolutely crazy too after having a "blizzard of the century" warning for Tuesday, closing our offices down, and then not really getting a lot of snow in the end. We were struggling the whole rest of the week trying to recover from that. What a mess. I know quite a lot of New England did get a ton of snow but the forecast for NYC and our area of CT was just dead wrong. Ugh. 

In more fun news Sunday was a great day for me. Went down to NYC to meet up with some friends for the "Devil's Violinist" screening at the Quad Theatre in the Village. David Garrett was scheduled to be there for a Q&A and short performance after the movie. Had a lot of fun meeting up with some other fans and seeing the movie. We sat in the first row which was a bit of a pain during the actual movie but paid off afterwards when we were super close to David during the Q&A and performance. 

It was great to see him again and was made even better when I was able to get his autograph and even a picture with him. I was completely beside myself. :) It was a truly amazing day. And definitely worth the trip down to NYC and the late train ride home. So much fun. 

Now it's back to reality, snow and crazy work. Let's hope this week gets at least a tad better but I am not sure how hopeful I want to be either. There is snow in the forecast on various days so it will all depend on how much we get if anything. It's also super cold so that's not helping either. I am SO ready for spring. 

Mail Update. Letters went out today to: Jessica/DE and Charles/TN. Received letters from: Tiffany/OK, Nina/WA, Emilia/Finland, Lotte/Denmark, Kimber/Canada, Celia/MA and Alexandra/Peru. 

Posted by Hanna at 12:55 PM in Film, NYC, Performances | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack