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Sunday, December 30, 2018

Almost New Year's + Meet Baby Sherlock

Pixlr (5)Almost New Year's already. Christmas was nice and low key. Christmas Eve we had dinner at Outback and then went over to our friend John and Jana's house for dessert and drinks. Then on Christmas Day we opened our gifts with Mike's sister, niece and nephew and later went to the movies to see "The Favourite". Mike got me an Amazon Echo so I'll need to play with that and get that set up. I got him a pizza, beer and history walking tour in NYC which should be fun. Among other smaller gifts and odds and ends we exchanged. Came back home after that and watched a bunch of recorded TV shows. Slowly catching up. 

Worked Wed (26th) to Fr (28th). Nice to have a short work week. It was weird at work because a lot of people had taken the week off and/or were working from home so it was pretty quiet. Volume wise anyway. Work wise it was semi busy but not too terrible. Tomorrow (31st) I am working a 1/2 day and am working from home. Let's see how it goes. I have quite a few things I need to take care of/catch up on so I'll try and get all that taken care of. 

Oh and last but not least we have a new family member since yesterday. :) Little baby kitten Sherlock (he's only 8 weeks old, was born on November 2nd) One of my friends at work had a cat who had a litter and now the cats are old enough to leave their mom she is looking for homes for them. My friend Abby also adopted one and as we had played with the idea of a new cat for a while already we decided to give in and just go ahead. 

So far so good. He's absolutely adorable. He has been a bit skittish but has also played a lot already and been fun to have around. The other cats haven't really interacted with him much yet so we'll see how all that goes. So far so good. 

No big plans for New Year's Eve tomorrow. We'll probably go out to dinner and then come home and watch some TV and eventually switch to New Year's Rockin Eve. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Lotte/Denmark, Kimber/Canada, Celia/MA, Nina/WA, Carmen/Malta and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 06:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Eve already

Pixlr_20181224135947167The first week back dragged and flew by all at the same time. Jetlag was annoying but then again it's the same story every time more or less. Either way I made it through the week and was able to finish up work ok with a nice 4 day weekend ahead of me. Friday, 21st, we also had our work Christmas party which was a lot of fun. 

The weekend was nice and low key. Saturday we went to see the new Transformers movie "Bumblebee". Not normally into that franchise at all but I really enjoyed the movie. Would definitely recommend it. In the evening I watched the original Mary Poppins movie in anticipation of going to see "Mary Poppy Returns" on Sunday. Of course it is not the original but I'd recommend it nonetheless. I think they did a good job with the sequel and I will definitely watch it again when it comes out on streaming/Blu-Ray. 

And now it's already Monday and Christmas Eve. Mike had to work so I took advantage of the extra time to take care of a few things. Wrapped the gifts and ordered a few remaining digital gift cards and whatnot. Also finished my unpacking from Austria, putting everything away. I was going to get some mail done - I am so behind on my letters - but I don't think that will actually happen. One of these days I'll catch up with my mail. Maybe next weekend. 

Tonight we're heading to Outback for dinner and tomorrow we have another low key day planned. Gifts in the morning with Mike's sister, niece and nephew, movies afterwards and then just relaxing at home, catching up on recorded TV shows. We bought some yummy food at Caraluzzi's yesterday (shrimp cocktail, broccoli & ranch dip, bread & brie as well as some other cheeses and crackers) so will be able to have a nice feast relaxing, drinking wine and having a low key relaxed Christmas Day. 

Wednesday I am working from home so that will be nice and then just Thursday and Friday before it's the weekend again. :) I have a 1/2 day on the 31st which is also nice. Wish every week could be a short work week. :) 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Lotte/Denmark, Kimber/Canada, Celia/MA, Nina/WA, Carmen/Malta and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 02:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Goodbye Austria ... until next year :)

IMG_20181215_114659_885And as predicted the time here in Austria just flew by. I was here for a little over a week but honestly it doesn't IMG_20181215_114457_224seem to matter how long I am here. Time just always seems to fly by. I did have a good time even though it's a bit of a blur looking back. 

Monday to Thursday I had to work so there was limited time for other things but I still managed to get a good amount of stuff in. Checked my work email in the mornings and then had a delicious lunch with my parents at various local restaurants each day. Also ran some errands each morning and then worked from 3 to 10pm each day. The schedule was a little weird but honestly it worked out pretty well. I was able to get everything done that needed to get done and everything worked pretty seamlessly. Good to know for the future. This was sort of a trial/test run and I feel that I have passed. I figured I would be able to do it but wasn't a 100% sure how easy it would be. But luckily with being able to do my job from anywhere as long as I have internet, a PC and a phone, it worked out well. 

Also managed to head into Vienna on the weekend to meet up with some friends and enjoy the Christmas markets. And it even decided to start snowing to make it look even more christmassy. It was a bit cold but the atmosphere definitely fit the season. Enjoyed a few different punches and had fun just wandering around. Was also nice to meet up with Lydia and Andrea. And in the evening we had our 20th High School reunion. How crazy is that? We had a really good turn out with even a lot of teachers showing up. I was pretty impressed. Was nice to catch up with some people and spend time. Also stayed at my friend Barbara's house overnight before heading back to St. Poelten the next day. 

Also went to the hairdresser again one morning and colored my hair. If you want to see the newest style/color just click here . Always happy to be able to experiment. 

And well here I am. Back at the airport, back in Vienna heading to JFK/New York. Was able to fit everything into one suitcase so no extra bag charge (which is $100 -- ughh) so that was nice. Let's hope everything arrives safely and in one piece. But at least I was able to squeeze everything in without too much of an issue. My carry-on luggage at this point is way overweight as I bought 2 things in duty-free. A bottle of orange punch and a bottle of Gluehwein (mulled wine). Let's see how they taste. Trying to replicate the Christmas market experience at home. We will see how that goes. :) 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Celia/MA, Nina/WA, Carmen/Malta and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 03:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Hello from Austria

Pixlr (4)And back in Europe again. Hello from Austria. :) Yesterday was pretty rough with the jetlag but I am feeling better today. Left New York Friday night and arrived in Vienna on Saturday morning. My flight landed a little early so I was able to catch the 8.33 am train from the airport which got me to St. Poelten at 9.28 am. My dad picked me up from the train station and we spent some time at my parent's house before heading out to lunch at 1pm. 

Spent the rest of the day hanging out, watching some TV and just spending time. We also watched the 2nd Mama Mia movie that I got my parents as a gift so we watched it together. The music was good, the story a bit flat. But it was enough to keep me awake which was really the goal. :) 

Today I slept till a little after 9am which gave me a glorious 12 hours of sleep and really helped re-set myself. Went to lunch at a Heurigen (a vineyard that also sells food at certain times of the year) and spent some time eating, trying various wines and hanging out. Eventually headed back and spent some more time in the house. Now watching TV with my mom. Really the main goal of the trip, to be here and spend time.

Tomorrow we are meeting my aunt for lunch and to celebrate her birthday which was last Friday. Tomorrow I am also back to work as I am working while here Monday through Thursday. I am lucky in the regard that I can do my job from just about anywhere as long as I have my laptop, internet and a phone. And well my management's permission of course. :) 

I'll try to update again before I leave Austria a week from today, next Sunday. We'll see how that goes.

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Celia/MA, Nina/WA, Carmen/Malta and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 01:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 03, 2018

Back from the Azores, Christmas prep and leaving again soon

Pixlr (4)I truly meant to make another post while we were away but somehow that did not happen. I thought we'd have more downtime but honestly managed 20181201_210131_resized to fill our days fully the whole time we were gone. Not too crazy of a schedule but we did have full days each day. Let's see what else did we do the rest of our stay there? 

We did a lot more driving around, exploring the rest of the island. And of course had super delicious food. Walked around Furnas do Enxofre, a scenic volcanic park with some trails. Checked out a lighthouse. Saw a lot of goats and cows on the road and just had a very pleasant time. Oh we also went whale watching on Wednesday. On Tuesday a storm passed through that was quite wild so by Wednesday morning the water was still a bit choppy. And the boats they use for whale watching there I'd classify as powered life rafts. They are not much bigger. But surprisingly enough very sturdy as I found out as we raced through the water, sometimes airborne, in the search of sea life. We did see some dolphins and even baby ones which was cool. And had some nice scenic views being out on the water. But when we were done we were pretty much soaking wet so we went back to the hotel to shower and change and then headed for lunch afterwards. 

The trip was definitely a lot of fun and I'd recommend the Azores to anyone. From the East Coast it's a really cheap trip as well so anyone looking for something a little outside of the box (read not Florida, Disney or the Caribbean) go check it out. 

Well now we are back and somehow it's already December 3rd. Christmas just kind of snuck up on me. I guess it's partly because we missed Thanksgiving more or less and when we got back everything switched into Christmas mode. Well, I did finish the rest of my US Christmas cards but still have a few things left. Still need to package up some gifts that need to be mailed and figure out a few other things. I did get the tree put up on Saturday so that was an accomplishment at least. I wouldn't be in such a rush but I am already leaving again on Friday. Flying to Austria and won't be back until December 16th. So anything Christmassy that needs organizing really needs to be organized now or well, it may not happen. lol. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Celia/MA, Nina/WA, Carmen/Malta and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:32 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)