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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

London Adventures continued

IMG_20190325_220853_086England continued: Saturday we went to the British Museum in the morning and spent a good amount of time there. IMG_20190325_221430_228 It was our second time there but the first was quite some years ago. I am glad we went back and spent some time exploring the various exhibits. Their Egyptian collection is quite impressive as well as the Roman statues etc. 

After the museum the plan was to head to the Hard Rock Cafe which got a little derailed when we ended up in the middle of the Anti Brexit march. We hadn't realized that it was going on that day so we ended up straight in the middle of it as the route was going right by the Hard Rock. We did eventually make it to lunch and had a nice time at the Hard Rock. Were able to leave ok but our next stop was supposed to be at Gordon's Wine Bar which didn't really work out. The wine bar apparently is rather busy normally anyway and with all the crowds from the march it absolutely impossible to get a table or even an area to stand. So we eventually just continued on looking into different places as we walked. Ended up in Soho at Balans Soho Society. Had some nice food for dinner and hung out for a while before heading back to the hotel.

Sunday we met up with my friend Nicola and went to the Postal Museum which was kind of neat. Afterwards we had intended to have lunch at the Slug & Lettuce near the London Eye but god that place was so mobbed and a real disaster so we abandoned that idea and ended up having lunch at a pub inside Waterloo Station which was fine. Much quieter and good food/drinks. Always great fun hanging out with Nicola. It was already 4 years again since I last saw her at her wedding. Time flies so much. 

After spending time with Nicola Mike & I headed to Greenwich and toured the Royal Observatory there. Then had dinner at a neat pub there. Definitely an area to come back to and explore some more. After Greenwich we headed back to the hotel for a few more drinks at the hotel bar. That's where things went a bit sideways. I had my bag hanging on the chair and neither Mike or I noticed when a guy came in and grabbed it. Well, long story short. My bag (incl. my wallet with my credit cards & driver's license, some meds, a guide book, battery & usb cable and some other small stuff) disappeared so we had to cancel credit cards (after the guy charged up $2000 already - but Capital One should be taking care of that), file a police credit and so on. Oh the joy. I will need to go to the DMV when we get home, order replacement cards for everything else (store cards, library cards etc.) and work on replacing everything else. To be fair the staff at the hotel was super, super nice and apologetic about the whole situation. The mgr. assured us they had never had anything like that happen and seemed truly upset. 

Anyway, we still had a good day on Monday and tried not to let this ruin the remainder of the vacation. Spent Monday in Bath (1 1/2 hrs by train from London) and had really nice weather that day as well. Went to the Roman Baths when we got there, then had lunch at a lovely placed called the Bath Brew House. Then wandered around some more, went to the Jane Austen museum and also bought a bunch of tea at Whittard's. Eventually made our way back to the train and back to our hotel. And well now it's Tuesday, we are at Gatwick and probably going to be boarding our flight in another hour or so. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 10:29 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Austria & London

IMG_20190322_200954_182And here I am sitting at the airport at Gatwick airport in London already waiting for our flight back to New York. As IMG_20190323_190600_206usual everything went by way too fast but then isn't that how things always go? 

Anyway, let's see if I can recap the most important things. I will turn this into 2 posts just to make it a little easier. 

So Tuesday last week (a week ago from today) was the funeral. As far as these things go it was a nice event and the pastor did a very good job. It was heartfelt but not unnecessarily drawn out. Afterwards our family went for come drinks and pastries at a close by restaurant. Was nice to see a lot of family and friends, some I hadn't seen in some time. Also went to the house and looked at old photo albums. There were some pictures of Uncle Karl when he was barely 18 and in the army. He looked so young. Crazy. 

The rest of my time in Austria was pretty quiet. Went for lunch with my parents, went to the store to buy some goodies and just spent time with them in general. Then Friday I was already off to London. I was catching a morning flight and as I was taking a shuttle transport that was picking up some other people had to leave at 1.40am. Getting up at 1am was no fun. But made it to the airport ok, checked in and got to Heathrow even a little early. Mike's flight from NY was about 1/2 hour delayed which was fine because it gave me enough time to make it to terminal 5 and have a bite to eat and some tea at Costa before Mike getting there. 

Made it to our hotel ok (Holiday Inn Whitechapel) and eventually headed back out to explore some of London. We walked along the river for a while, taking pictures of all the sights and also had lunch at a Weatherspoon's. Had a nice afternoon even though the weather was a bit gloomy. Then hung out at the hotel bar for a bit before calling it a night. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 09:56 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 18, 2019

Spring has sprung ...

Pixlr... well in Austria anyway. When I arrived on Sunday it was quite perfect. The high was around 70F (21C) on Saturday and I got to spend some pleasant time sitting in the garden soaking up the sun. There are also plenty of flowers already blooming in my parent's yard as well as some bushes/trees showing buds. Definitely much more of a sign of spring than we have seen in CT so far. 

To be fair today it went down to only about 40F (4.5C) and windy so not nearly as pleasant. Next few days it is supposed to be a mix of chilly and somewhat decent weather but relatively dry. I am off to London on Friday and currently the forecast for London is also pretty dry which is more than you can generally hope for in England. The temps look to be topping out in the 60ies (15C) which isn't half bad. 

Anyway, not too much has happened. Last week was ok. Just busy with trying to get everything done for going away. I left Saturday night out of Newark and my flight was pretty delayed but by some miracle everything worked out fine where I managed to catch my connection from Dublin to Vienna without a problem and had no problems with my luggage either. Made it to St. Poelten by train and then had lunch with my parents before heading back to the house. 

Today, Monday, I chilled for a bit in the morning after sleeping in late. Then my parents picked up lunch from a local restaurant. After eating lunch I worked for 1/2 a day from 1pm to 5pm. Made sure everything was in decent order before logging off and joining my parents in watching TV and having a glass of wine. Watched some TV and eventually headed upstairs now. Probably going to read for a bit before calling it a night.

Tomorrow is the funeral so that will be the main focal point of tomorrow. No exact plans for Wednesday and Thursday just yet but probably nothing major. Just lunch, some errands, shopping and spending time with family probably. Then Friday I am off to London to meet up with Mike. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 03:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 11, 2019

Daylight Savings Time, Andy Warhol/NYC and more

PixlrAlright today's complaint is Daylight Savings Time. I hate the whole concept to begin with but I hate it even more in the spring when we lose an hour and even worse it's not even spring yet. The US changes so ridiculously early now. It's super annoying. Yes it's light out later at night but in the mornings it had finally been somewhat light when I get up. No, not anymore. It was pitch black dark when our alarm went off at 5.45am. I don't actually get up till about 6.15am but even then it was still dark. Ugh. It's my least favorite part of winter. The cold, dark mornings. I am not a morning person to begin with and this just makes it ten times worse. Ugh. Alright I will stop complaining now but ugh.

The weekend was good but of course went by too fast but then when doesn't it? Saturday we went to NYC to see the Andy Warhol exhibit at the Whitney Museum. It only runs until the end of the month so I am glad that we were able to squeeze it in and go see it. And the weather on Saturday was actually really nice. It was in the low 50ies (12c) but somehow felt much warmer. The sun was out and people were sitting outside at restaurants in NY. So weird. It was nice to walk around and not be freezing for a change. So we went to the exhibit (out tickets were for 12.30pm) and then headed to brunch at a place called "The Spotted Pig" which was a lot of fun. The place fit the neighborhood perfectly somehow. Typical NYC prices too but it was fun to hang out for a bit. Would be a neat neighborhood to live in. Well, in a pretend world where we make way more money. :) 

Sunday we slept in late and then headed to lunch at 121 in Oxford before heading home to catch up some recorded TV shows. And well here we are and it's Monday again. It's finally starting to be light outside now that it's 7.33am. Yes, I will keep complaining about this for at least a few more weeks I assume. 

In other news our London trip is not that far away now. Only about a week and a half. And in a turn of events I'll actually be heading to Austria first and continuing on from there to London to meet up with Mike. The reason behind that sudden change of plans is not the best one though. I am heading home for a funeral. "Uncle Karl" (everyone in the extended family and friend circle always called him uncle no matter the actual personal relationship) passed away on Friday. He was 94 and for sure lived a full life and only had a real decline during the last 6 months or so when he had a 24 hour live-in help. Anyway, it is what it is I suppose. I'll be heading to Austria on Saturday, arriving there on Sunday and the funeral will be on Tuesday (so a week from tomorrow) Then on Friday I will continue on to London where I'll meet up with Mike and we will spend some days there as planned. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 07:43 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 04, 2019

Where's spring??

FB_IMG_1549149218165Ok yeah I am definitely over winter. Woke up to 10 inches of snow this morning and that was after we had some minor snow events this past week as well. They were just a couple of inches though. This one dumped a good amount on us. Ugh. I haven't actually gone outside yet. Lingered in bed for way too long. just not feeling this snowy Monday morning scenario. I wish I could just stay in bed. All the schools in the area are closed. Not that that matters for me but would be great not to have to work today either. Oh well, I will go outside in a minute. Looks like our landlord just showed up to plow our driveway and parking area behind the house. We will still need to clean off the stairs outside and the area around the car. Also really should shovel a path to the mailboxes. Not sure how much time I will have to get that done though. ugh. 

So anyway, had a nice relaxing weekend which was good. Slept in on both days which I think is why I was craving sleeping in again today even more. Well, it's not to be. Yesterday I did get a few things done around the house. Vacuumed, cleaned the area around the kitty litter boxes and put on a new bed set. I always love the feeling of sleeping in new bed sheets. Also had put on newly washed PJs. So it was just a glorious feeling all around. Can you tell how everything I talk about this morning seems to revolve around sleeping?  

Well, I better get on with it and go outside now that the landlord has finished plowing so I can clean some more. Nothing really scheduled for this week so just the usual stuff. We'll see how the week goes at work. Technically we're still in the slower season but that doesn't always mean anything. It could get crazy for no real reason. So let's see what the week brings. Ugh. Monday mornings. Alright I better stop complaining and really get on with it. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 07:34 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)