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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Relaxed Weekend

IMG_20160424_152651Only worked Wednesday to Saturday this week but the week still felt long.  Busy after coming back from Chicago.  Even though we technically only took 2 business days off it still felt like there was a lot of things to catch up on. Always so much to do. 

And of course the weekend flew by like crazy.  Worked Saturday till about 2pm. Then headed to a winery near work (Brotherhood) where we had some wine and a meat and cheese platter. Then hung out at a local place with some friends watching the Mets game before heading back home. 

Today, Sunday, we slept in a little and then went for a walk near a reservoir across the border in Brewster, NY. Was a nice walk near the water and woods.  Nice being outdoors. When we were done we headed to Oxford to 121 for a leisurely lunch.  Happy surprise that they rolled out a new menu for spring/summer with some interesting new additions. 

Later we are going to stop at the store for some necessities and then catch up on our recorded TV shows on TiVo. Yay for a relaxed Sunday night.  :) 

Mail Update: Mailed letters on Wednesday to: Carmen/Malta, Laura/Spain, Lotte/Denmark and Jessica/DE. Still owe a reply to: Charles/TN. 

Posted by Hanna at 03:51 PM in Food and Drink, Outdoors | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 18, 2016

Art & Animals - Chicago Day 3

Instaplace_20160418_122031And here's my recap for today. Figured I would post it in a separate post to try and keep Instaweather_20160418_160208 things more organized. :)

Had a really nice day so far today as well. Got up and decided that it was early enough for us to have a real sit down breakfast before heading to the Art Institute. Dropped off my postcards at the post office on the way and then had a yummy diner breakfast before eventually heading to the museum. 

There was a line at the museum to get in. They open at 10.30 and we were there at maybe 10.15-10.20. The line wasn't too long though and we had purchased our tickets online and printed them so once the doors opened we were able to bypass the ticket line and could go straight through to the exhibits. So that was a big help. 

First thing we did was go to the special exhibit (Van Gogh's Bedrooms) It's been very popular and at times can get very crowded so we wanted to make sure to go and see it on a weekday first thing in the morning when they open up. Worked out well as there was no line to get into the exhibit. Of course there were people there but all in all it wasn't terribly crowded. And I really enjoyed the exhibit and had a lot of fun with it. 

After we were done with the Van Gogh things we explored the rest of the museum. We had been there previously in 2007 and liked it then so I wasn't surprised to enjoy it just as much this time around. Lots of interesting collections. Loved the Impressionist paintings. Always my favorite anyway. Also checked out a bunch of the more modern art and various other things. 

When we were done at the museum we took the train to the zoo. The weather has been really nice so it was perfect walking around outside weather. Really no complaints whatsoever. We have completely lucked out with the weather. It's been in the high 60ies/low 70ies (18-22C) and sunny the whole time we have been here. So nice. Tomorrow it's supposed to get cloudy/rainy again later in the day but it won't really matter since our flight leaves at 1.30pm. 

Anyway, the zoo was a lot of fun, despite the fact that it's spring break here in Chicago at the moment which meant A TON of kids running around. The zoo is free (which is really surprising but cool) so of course a big attraction for people with kids. Anyway, we had fun either way and enjoyed looking at all the cute animals. 

Eventually made our way back to the hotel where we are now. Relaxed for a bit and are going to head out to dinner at another brewpub in a bit. This one's called Haymarket Brewing. Oh, almost forgot. At the zoo we had a super delicious Chicago hot dog (with mustard, relish, peppers, diced onions and pickles) Really like their hot dogs. Not sure I am a big fan of their deep dish pizza but their style of hot dogs I do like. :)

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Charles/TN, Carmen/Malta, Laura/Spain, Lotte/Denmark and Jessica/DE. 

Posted by Hanna at 05:47 PM in Food and Drink, Outdoors, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Chicago Meetup with Dave

IMG_20160418_160811Hello again. :) Having a really great time so here's a quick recap of yesterday so I don't fall too far behind with my posts. :)

Had a great day yesterday. After Starbucks and lounging around for a bit we met my friend David who came into the city from Indiana. Took the subway out near Wrigley Field to eat at the Julius Meinl Cafe in Southport. I was really excited to go back there again (we had also been there during our 2007 Chicago trip) and it definitely didn't disappoint. 

Everything inside the cafe (all the furniture, wall hanging, etc.) was imported from Vienna so it has a very authentic feel to it. And the food is just delicious. Had yummy Frittaten Soup to start with, followed by a ham & Swiss cheese croissant and Palatschinken (Austrian crepes) for dessert. Oh and a Viennese iced coffee (with vanilla ice cream) So delicious. 

After lunch Mike, Dave and I walked over to Wrigley Field. Took some pictures there and then continued on to a brewpub not that far down the road (Atlas Brewing Company) Had a couple of drinks there while relaxing and chatting. And eventually continued on back to the train/subway to go back to downtown/The Loop. Was really nice to be able to see Dave again. Always nice to be able to hang out with people in person you normally don't get to see all the time. 

After we parted ways with Dave we relaxed in the room for a bit and eventually ventured back out to check out a wine bar (Enolo) Turned out to be a really neat place. Had some nice wine and a few tapas style snacks before eventually heading back to the hotel for the night. Definitely a fun day. 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Charles/TN, Carmen/Malta, Laura/Spain, Lotte/Denmark and Jessica/DE. 

Posted by Hanna at 05:34 PM in Austria , Food and Drink, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Chicago Update

IMG_20160417_104613Hello from Chicago. :) The weather has been sooo much nicer compared to the last time we were here in 2007. To be fair it was February then. And crazy cold. Sooo cold, even for Chicago. Record breaking cold snap. I remember being bundled up and still being cold. Even then we did have fun but I do have to say I am enjoying the nice weather on our current trip better. :)

Yesterday our alarm went off at 3.45am. Ugh. We parked at a closeby train station and took the train down to NYC. To Harlem - 125th Street where we caught the bus to LaGuardia airport. Pretty stress free all in all. LaGuardia is such a miserable airport though. Out of all the NYC airports it is definitely the worst. I know they just approved plans to pretty much completely overhaul and remodel it. It needs it - desperately. 

Anyway, our flight was fine. We had a crazy tail wind so we arrived super early. No turbulence either. Very happy with that. After we got into O'Hare we caught the subway (the El) to downtown which is about a 45 min ride. Really easy though. Gets you right to the Loop/middle of the city. We walked to our hotel, checked in and then headed to the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch. 

After lunch we walked over to Navy Pier. Really nice weather so it was fun to be near the water. From Navy Pier we walked along the water over to Millennium Park where the bean is. Such a neat thing to see in person. It's hard to describe. Anyway, we walked A LOT and by the time we were done we were both really tired, especially after having gotten up that early. But it was a fun afternoon.

Had dinner at Elephant & Castle, which is a British-style pub chain. Conveniently it's right downstairs connected to the hotel so that worked out well. 

Today we slept in a bit, grabbed something at Starbucks and are now just hanging out. Going to be meeting up with my friend David who is coming into the city from Indiana to meet us. Looking forward to seeing him again. We will be heading out to near Wrigley Field to have lunch at the Julius Meinl cafe there. Can't wait. :)

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Charles/TN, Carmen/Malta, Laura/Spain, Lotte/Denmark and Jessica/DE. 

Posted by Hanna at 12:04 PM in Food and Drink, Travel, Weather | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Outlander - Season 2

IMG_20160410_144635Another week gone by already. Took a while to get through the week as we had somebody on vacation.  But we made it and got through the week without too much of an issue.  Now it's already  Sunday afternoon somehow. How did that happen?

Worked Saturday till 2pm. Then went for a late lunch in Oxford. Later in the evening I stayed home while Mike went out to watch the Mets game.  I caught up on some recorded things and then watched the first episode of the second season of "Outlander" again.  They had released it early on Thursday though streaming so I had caught it then but wanted to see it again.  

Been having fun talking it through with my friends, discussing changes from the books and how the show has been set up.  It's neat to see what they have done and how they are approaching the season.  I think it's a good setup and really enjoyed the first episode.  Let's see what the rest of the season brings.  Can't wait.  :)

In other fun news our trip to Chicago is getting close now.  Leaving in less than a week, on Saturday next week. Really looking forward to it. Let's hope the weather at least semi cooperates. 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Carmen/Malta, Laura/Spain, Lotte/Denmark and Jessica/DE. 

Posted by Hanna at 03:04 PM in Television, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Spring Sun, Snow and all

PixlrSuch weird April weather so far. We had pretty decent weather with mild temps but then yesterday was the strangest day weather wise.  Sun,  crazy downpour of rain, hail thunder, all within a few minutes of each other. And overnight it snowed and was super windy.  So we woke up to having to clean our car off before heading out to the movies.

Went to see "Zootopia" which I really liked.  And afterwards to a late lunch at SBC Brewery. Now just hanging out. Yesterday we worked half the day. And tomorrow it's already Monday again. 

On Thursday I had a dentist appointment for a deep cleaning. Honestly the worst part is the needle and the weird numbness afterwards. They also told me I absolutely have to get my wisdom teeth out as they are causing major issues with my gums.  I have been delaying this for years and years.  But I guess it finally has to happen.  Anyone who had them taken out, let me know how it went for you.  I am just way too terrified and reading things online isn't helping but rather making my anxiety about it worse. Ugh. 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Carmen/Malta, Laura/Spain, Lotte/Denmark and Jessica/DE. 

Posted by Hanna at 04:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)