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Saturday, November 25, 2017

More scenery, ankle/phone issues and almost time go home

23735218_935434416605675_6143994083212787712_nHello again. Can't believe it's already time to fly back home tomorrow. Where has this week gone? Time really does fly by.  IMG_20170914_181225_444

So let's see, what has happened since my last post? Thanksgiving Day we headed back into Ponta Delgada to check out the old fort which now houses a military museum. Wandered around there for a while. The weather was a bit iffy but not too terrible. When we were done there we headed to the seaside town of Caloura for lunch. Someone had recommended a restaurant there and we were very happy with our lunch spot right by the sea. Had a delicious seafood lunch overlooking the waves. At one point a thunderstorm rolled through so we had to move back under the awning but it was just a good excuse to stay a little longer, have a cappuccino, dessert and some more wine. When we were done we checked out the next town over Villa Franco do Campo before heading back to the hotel. Definitely a great Thanksgiving Day, albeit non-traditional. :)

Yesterday, Friday, we headed to Lagoa do Fogo which is another scenic lake, high up in the mountains. Which meant another windy mountain road but the views were worth it. Despite some clouds we were relatively lucky with the weather and were able to snap some good pictures. Afterwards we drove to the tea plantation/factory Gorreana. Was neat to see the planted tea and also how it is processed. You also get to taste the tea and of course there was a neat little gift shop as well. Lots of cute cats hanging around the parking lot so all in all a great spot. 

After that we headed to Ribeira Grande, another city right on the ocean. Found another great restaurant with ocean views and great food. Had a great lunch and afterwards decided to check out the old town section a bit to get some pictures. That's where things went a bit sideways as my clumsiness set in and I slipped/missed a step and smashed myself and my phone into the cobblestoned sidewalk/street. My phone is pretty smashed up. So far it's still working but no telling if it will last. And my ankle is pretty banged up but I am hopeful that it's just a sprain and nothing worse. I made sure to put ice on it and keep it elevated. 

Today we took it easy due to my ankle but still managed to have a nice lunch. Mike dropped me off in front of the restaurant so that worked out ok. And the hotel gave us a recommendation for dinner for a nice restaurant with a parking lot. Originally we had talked about going to a tapas bar but that was in the old town in Ponta Delgada and involved quite a bit more walking. Trying to take it easy with the walking as I will need to of course walk tomorrow at the airport etc. 

Well oh well. I guess I am used to it, having been a clumsy person pretty much all my life. Could have been worse and at least it happened toward the tail end of our trip and not right at the start. 

Letter/Mail Update: All caught up with my mail at the moment. 

Posted by Hanna at 11:51 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving from the Azores

IMG_20171120_203948_765Hello from the Azores. :) Been meaning to write a quick post since we got here and now it's IMG_20171121_221856_664 already Wednesday evening. How did we get here? :) 

Well anyway, we left Boston Sunday night and got here early Monday morning. Our flight landed at 6am. We ended up having to wait till about 7.45 to pick up our rental car so we grabbed a tea/coffee. The ride to the hotel from the airport was relatively short (approx. 15 min) As it was raining and dark and we got lucky and got a room when we got to the hotel we decided to take a nap. We got up again a bit after 11am and by that time the weather had cleared up a bit which was nice. Headed into Porta Delgada and explored the city a bit. Walked around and ended up having lunch. Then walked around some more before heading back to the hotel. It started pouring again just as we left the parking garage so all in all we lucked out with the weather. 

Yesterday was a nice day weather-wise and we made the most of it. We headed to Sete Cidades, one of the main attractions. Super pretty and stunning views. Lots of windy, slightly scary mountain roads but the views were great. Checked out various view points around the area to get different views of the lakes. After that we headed to Ponta da Ferraria where they have hot springs right next to the ocean. Pretty neat. And then went to Mosteiros to have lunch. Found a yummy restaurant where I decided to be brave and tried octopus in a red wine sauce. It looked like I was eating an alien but was pretty tasty. 

Today the weather was supposed to be pretty decent in the morning so we headed to the east side of the island all the way to the end to Nordeste. Pretty views of the coast, a neat lighthouse, cute town, beautiful gardens and some super cute stray cats. Just as we were done there the weather started to deteriorate and it began pouring. Made our way over to Furnas where we had lunch at Tony's. The area is known for the hot springs so it was pretty neat to walk around and see all the boiling water/springs and sulphur smell. The weather was still misty after lunch so we decided to skip the overlook of the lakes/springs/town and headed back. Using the time to update my blog and will write my cards. 

Looks like weather is clearing up some now with some sun peeking out but not sure what it will bring for tomorrow. We will decide what to do tomorrow later I suppose. Weird to think it's Thanksgiving tomorrow. They are doing a Thanksgiving dinner here at the hotel although honestly it's not even that traditional. Don't think we will attend but who knows.

 Letter/Mail Update: All caught up with my mail at the moment. 

Posted by Hanna at 12:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Off to the Azores

IMG_20171119_193811_648Hello from Boston Logan Airport Terminal E. Currently hanging out at Vino Volo (my favorite wine bar airport chain) before boarding our flight to the Azores in about an hour. 

Our drive up to Boston was relatively uneventful. It's a little under 3 hours for us to get here. We parked, took a shuttle to the terminal and then had to wait for about an hour and a half for the check in counter to open as we were pretty early. So we had a couple of drinks, checked in, made our way through security and then headed for Vino Volo.

Going to board in a bit, the flight is only 4 1/2 hrs long and we get there at 6am. So really not much sleeping going to happen tonight.  We are renting a car so we will head to the hotel and at least drop our bags off. Our room most likely won't be ready yet. Will go and explore some after that.  It's supposed to rain so we will see how that goes. 

Either way I am looking forward to being away for a week. Will be nice to be somewhere else for a week. No work, surrounded by the Atlantic ocean on an island. No complaints from me. 

I will try and update some more while we are there but just in case I don't get to it going to wish all my American friends a happy Thanksgiving!! 

Letter/Mail Update: All caught up with my mail at the moment. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Appointments & Christmas Cards & Bailey

Pixlr (8)Alright a little behind schedule. I usually try to write my posts on Sunday or latest Monday morning but now it's already Tuesday morning. Just never got to it over the weekend and then yesterday was a crazy day too so yeah here we are on Tuesday. Let's see what did the last week bring? Mmmm .. I guess nothing too eventful for the most part. Work's steady. It's definitely less busy than it was during the summer but not dead by all means. I still have plenty to do. Also getting a lot more international shipments lately which means I need to remember all of the things that I learned during my training months and months ago. At least it's keeping me on my toes right? 

Tuesday last week I had my yearly physical/dr appointment so that's done for another year at least. This week on Thursday I have my follow up with the orthodontist to talk about my braces. Ugh. Not really looking forward to that. But I guess what needs to be done needs to be done. 

Saturday we went to the movies to see "Murder on the Orient Express". Really enjoyed it. They changed a few things from the book but nothing too drastic. I liked this version of Hercule Poirot better in some ways as well. And the cinematography was really stunning. Lots of great landscape shots as the train makes it way through the mountains etc. After the movies we had lunch and then in the evening I decided to tackle my international Christmas cards. I figured I should get a headstart on them as we will be gone for a week (off to the Azores) and when we come back it will be close to December already. Anyone who has moved since last year or anyone who didn't get a card from me last year who wants one, do let me know. :) 

Sunday we slept in for a bit and then moved a few more things around. All the old furniture from the bedroom is now mostly moved to other parts of the apartment or has been discarded. We have a few more things to do but we're getting there. It's nice to have things falling into place. Always enjoy being organized. :) 

Yesterday, Monday, I called the vet early in the morning to see if I could get an appointment for Bailey and they were able to get me in for that afternoon. She has been coughing so I wanted to get that checked out before we leave for the Azores. Unfortunately the news wasn't all that great. They had to do an x-ray and the x-ray came back inconclusive. They said it could be asthma but it's also possible that her cancer (she had that mammory tumor when we first got her) has come back is spreading. It's also possible it's an infection but something was showing on the x-ray that left open some questions. So she got an antibiotic and steroid shot and we have a follow up appointment in three weeks on Dec. 2nd for another x-ray. We will see what that shows. Fingers crossed. Please send good vibes and thoughts for my little cat. We have only had her for a year and before that she lived on the street in NYC and in shelters. So she really deserves a good life.  

Letter/Mail Update: All caught up with my mail at the moment. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:39 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 06, 2017

Halloween, Bedroom Set and Daylight Savings

Pixlr (7)And somehow it's already November 6. I really don't know where the time goes sometimes. Thanksgiving is in just a little over 2 weeks. Not really too worried over Thanksgiving itself this year as we won't be out of the country. When we are here we tend to go for a nice dinner at the Hopkins Inn. But this year we will be in the Azores. No complaints there. :) In past years we have gone up to Canada for a long weekend and one year we flew to Austria via Turkey (stop over in Istanbul for the day) Only 2 more full weeks at work before we get a full week off. I am looking forward to that. :) Definitely something to hold on to when it's Monday morning right now. The weather is dreary and rainy outside. Definitely not making me feel like going anywhere. Oh well. 

Last week was Halloween and we really didn't do too much for that either. We stopped by our local hangout Two Steps to visit our bartender friend Tyler. He loves Halloween and was dressed up while bartending (he was dressed up as a mix of Deadpool and Wonder Woman - pretty entertaining) I used to be more into Halloween when I first moved to the US. I think because then it was new and fun and something we didn't have in Austria. I was excited about carving pumpkins and handing out candy to trick and treaters. But 16ish years later I am really not that into it anymore. It gets to be too commercial as well. But that's really the case with most of the holidays. 

November 1st everyone decided to switch into holiday mode. All of a sudden there is a Christmas and holiday stuff everywhere. People are out shopping, traffic is crazy. It's only early November, so bizzare. We still have Thanksgiving before we even get into December. Well oh well. I know I am sounding like a scrooge right now. I do enjoy the holiday season, I just wish it wasn't so crazy and not thrown into our faces for two full straight months. Bah Humbug. 

In more fun news we received our new bedroom set on Friday. I worked from home that day so I was able to greet the delivery crew. They were super efficient and fast and had everything brought inside, assembled and set up in less than an hour. Pretty impressive. Very happy with how everything looks and the mattress has been really nice to sleep on. We got a Bob-o-pedic (which is basically their version of a tempurpedic. It's a Queen size bed, we only had a full before, so it's a little bigger which is nice too. Very happy. 

Saturday we slept in for a bit, had lunch and later I moved some things around and organized to get things back to where they need to be. We continued that on Sunday morning, taking apart a shelf we don't need anymore, and also moving an old dresser into the hallway. It actually looks pretty good there so that's a plus. We still have a second dresser to move which I think we will put into the kitchen. Not a 100% sure how it will look there yet but hopefully it will work ok. I want to keep the old dressers to have some more storage space as we are always struggling with staying organized.  

Letter/Mail Update: Letters are going out today to: Lotte/Denmark, Celia/MA, Eloine/NY, Carmen/Malta and Eunice/Malta. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:41 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)