« March 2019 | Main | May 2019 »

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Europe ... it's almost time to say goodbye again

IMG_20190428_094317_851So here we are. It's already my last full day here in Europe again. My flight leaves from Trieste, Italy tomorrow, IMG_20190428_094004_932connecting in Munich and then on to Newark. Trieste is the closest major airport to where I am which is kind of funny because I need to cross 3 countries to get there (Croatia, Slovenia and Italy) but it's only about 1 hour and a half ride. Luckily my flight out of Trieste doesn't leave until 1pm so at least it doesn't mean a crazy early start. 

The weather has turned out to be pretty nice all in all. There was supposed to be rain on a bunch of days but besides a few showers nothing much happened. It is definitely cooler now than it was and you can see rain in the distance across the bay so I assume it will start raining more heavily later but we will see. The weather here seems to be a bit unpredictable and so far we have lucked out. I am sitting on the balcony again and like I said it's cooler but still nice to be breathing in the fresh sea air. 

We have had some delicious lunches at local restaurants. One day we drove to the Savudrija Lighthouse (only about 15-20 min away) where they also have a restaurant nearby. It was nice day so perfect for some pretty views. 

Yesterday I also discovered that the 5 star Kempinski Hotel next door has a beach bar that is open even in off season. I was just wandering around really, walking in a direction I hadn't walked before and found it by accident. It being off season and still kind of cool there weren't many people there at all. But since it was sunny it was actually quite warm sitting in the direct sun next to the water. Was quite peaceful and lovely. I would have been happy to just stay there. Alas I did have to leave when they started closing up at 5pm. :) 

Anyway it's been an enjoyable stay. Of course there is always the usual family stuff and drama involved with a family vacation but focusing on the wine, food and beautiful scenery does help. So let's hope we can bring this trip to a successful close tomorrow. 

Not looking forward to having to go back to work on Tuesday though. I know I can't complain having been off for almost 10 days now (plus the other trip I had in March) but just not feeling it at the moment. I am sure it will work itself out as it always does and I will be back in the swing of things in no time. 

Letter/Mail Update:  Letters have been written and will be mailed from the US upon my return to: Lotte/Denmark, Celia/MA, Kimber/Canada and Nina/WA. Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 03:59 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Hello from Istria (Croatia)

IMG_20190424_202953_492Sitting outside on the balcony with my Chromebook overlooking the sea and the old town of IMG_20190424_203158_679 Piran across the bay. It's 10am and the weather is pretty gorgeous today. It was very nice yesterday as well. The day we got here it was cooler and raining (on and off, sometimes more, sometimes less). That was Tuesday. We left Austria on Monday morning a little after 10am and got to Maribor, Slovenia around 3.30pm. (with a stop for lunch near Graz) Then Tuesday morning after breakfast around 10 we left Slovenia and headed for Croatia and got to our resort around 1.30pm. Checked into our room and then stopped at the small market at the resort for a few groceries before heading to lunch. You can see the pictures from our delicious lunch here. :)

Yesterday, Wednesday, we headed to the Plodine supermarket in Umag (about 18 min drive) for some more substantial groceries and supplies. Then we went for lunch at Pizzeria Laura. They have a great terrace overlooking the sea and the bay so it's a treat to go there when the weather is nice. And the food is delicious as well. So yeah no complaints. We ran into some guys from Styria who were already on beer 7 and a bit talkative. Wasn't too impressed but they were generally harmless so not too bad and semi amusing I guess. 

When we got back to the resort I went for a walk around the property down to the sea and over to the golf course. I already am familiar with the layout from the place from last year so that makes things easier. Afterwards I stopped at the 5 star Kempsinki Hotel next door and had a few drinks overlooking the pool and sea from their terrace. The weather was great so it was a fun way to spend the remaining afternoon. 

Today the weather is just as nice so I need to soak up some sunshine as the forecast for my remaining time here looks a bit shifty. I think these past 2 days will be my only really beautiful days here. But that's ok. Even if it's raining it's still nice to sit outside on the balcony looking out at the sea. Pretty peaceful. 

Later we are going to head to a restaurant near a lighthouse. They should have outdoor seating as well so that should make for a nice lunch with good views as well hopefully. We'll see how it goes. 

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

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

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easter Weekend in Austria

IMG_20190420_232927_711Figured I should make an update since it's Sunday and about a week since I posted. So hello from Austria. And IMG_20190421_195525_725goodbye really. Because we are already leaving Austria tomorrow. :) 

I left NYC on Wednesday and arrived in Vienna on Thursday morning. Took the train out to St. Poelten where my dad picked me up. We then had lunch with my aunt which was nice. Friday I had my hair appointment at 9am which of course took a long time. But the end result is great as always and I was able to get some reading done while at the hairdressers. And when I was done my parents and I went to a different restaurant for a late lunch. It was a restaurant with continuous hot food service (a lot of restaurants outside of the big cities only serve hot lunch until 1.30 or 2pm) so that worked out. 

Saturday we went to a Heurigen (vineyard that also serves food) and had a nice leisurely lunch there. The weather has been pretty perfect so we were able to sit outside which was nice. Same with today. I spent today (Easter Sunday) in Vienna visiting with some friends. Took the train in and back. Had brunch with Claudia at Motto am Fluss which was really nice. We were able to sit outside which was great. Although after sitting in the shade for a while we were a bit cold and ended up walking to some benches in the sun and sitting there, chatting for a while. After that we ended up having ice cream/gelato before I headed to Schoenbrunn to meet up with my other friend Andrea. At Schoenbrunn they had the Easter Market going on. And holy crap --- there were so many people. I didn't really think about this. Easter Sunday, Easter Market, perfect weather == the perfect combo of a ton of people. It did make for some nice pictures. After walking around Andrea and I headed into the park to sit on a bench in the shade to chat and catch up. Much more relaxing than mingling with all the crazy crowds. 

After meeting up with Andrea I took the train back to St. Poelten and connecting to St. Georgen to get back to my parent's house. Spent the night hanging out with my parents and tomorrow we are already off to Croatia. Well first stop will be Slovenia tomorrow night, then Croatia on Tuesday. The weather has been great since arriving in Austria but I think that streak will break on Tuesday. Oh well. I am sure we will have a good time in Croatia even if the weather isn't perfect. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 04:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 15, 2019

Humid Weekend - Wine Tasting and more

Pixlr (2)Monday morning again and I am not quite awake. Went to bed semi late after catching up on some recorded TV and was woken up by crazy thunderstorms a bit after 4am. I don't generally mind thunderstorms but this was crazy lightning and thunder and especially at a time where it was close enough to the alarm going off that it made it hard to fall back asleep. The storms didn't stop till close to 5 I think. One of our cats is absolutely terrified of storms so she begged to come into the bedroom in an absolute panic so she could hide in the back of our closet. She's still in there and it's now close to 7.30am. 

The weather has been a bit weird over the weekend. 70ies (22C) on Saturday, only mid 60ies (18c) on Sunday but really humid on both days. Not normal weather for April. And I guess the humidity is also what made the storms happen in the night. Again not normal April weather. We usually get thunderstorms like that in the summer. But yeah climate change isn't a thing right? Ugh. I guess don't get me started on that topic. 

Anyway, the weekend was good all in all. Saturday we went to lunch at 121 in Oxford and then the store on our way back to stock up on necessities (mainly cat food, kitty litter and some other basic stuff) I spent the evening getting stuff together for my Europe trip this week. I haven't quite wrapped my mind around the fact that I will be back on a plane on Wednesday. Been trying to get all my work stuff in order which has mostly worked out ok. But the next couple of days are definitely going to be very busy. 

Sunday we went to Millbrook,NY. Did some wine tasting at the vineyard and then enjoyed a glass outside on their deck overlooking the vineyard. They now have Gruener Veltliner which I thought was pretty neat. After that we headed to downtown Millbrook and had lunch at Canoe Hill which was a neat place. Strong hipster/hippie vibe but delicious food and drinks. On our way back to CT we stopped at Rosy's to meet our friends John and Jana. Hung out with them for a bit before heading home to catch up on TV. 

Sherlock is doing well. She hasn't worn her cone at all but she has been good about leaving her incision area alone. She's been doing well, eating, drinking, playing. Of course I haven't been able to prevent her from jumping as the vet asked but she seems in good spirits and doing totally fine. This week Friday (4/19) will be the 2-week mark which is when she would normally get her cone off. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 07:38 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Sherlock's spay appointment + some nice spring weather

Pixlr (1)Alright a little behind on my post this week. I usually try to post either Sundays or latest Monday (lately it's been mostly Monday mornings) about the past week but it just completely slipped my mind yesterday morning. I think because I was out of my routine as I worked from home instead of going into the office. I was staying home to watch over Sherlock as she had her spay appointment this past Friday. She is really doing great so all's well but of course it's still good to watch her. Especially since she managed to get her cone off twice (we even went back to the vet Saturday morning to get her a different cone). We now decided to leave the cone off and see what she does. As long as she doesn't bother her stomach where her incision is she doesn't really need the cone. Of course that's a TBD as she could start licking/scratching/messing with it at any moment but so far so good. She's been good and has left it alone so we shall see how it goes. 

Her surgery was Friday. We dropped her off in the morning and picked her back up again around 5pm. She was a bit groggy and loopy still when we first brought her home but not too bad. She just absolutely hated that cone. Friday to Saturday night was not a very restful night as she would wake up about once an hour getting up, trying to mess with her cone and whatnot. So Saturday morning we went back to the vet and got her a clear plastic cone (the original one was a soft one made out of paper) hoping that would help. All was ok for most of the day when in the late afternoon she managed to get that one off too. We don't even think she really did it on purpose. She was trying to scratch/lick a certain area and was bending and managed to get it off that way. My sis-in-law was watching her at the time and couldn't get the cone back on so we decided to leave it off for now. 

Other than that the weekend was pretty good. We had some nice spring weather (around 65F/18C and sunny) even though everything is still pretty brown here. Can't wait for the trees to get leaves and everything to turn green again. Hopefully soon. We had some nice weather Monday as well. Today it's going to be much cooler though (50F/10C) and the lows for the next few days are dropping down to around freezing again. It's been so nice having the windows open especially at night. Nothing better than sleeping with an open window. Sunday night it also rained for a while and that's always a soothing sound/feeling somehow when you're in bed sleeping. 

Sunday we also checked out a new restaurant that opened up. It's part of a local chain called Marketplace. This one opened up in an old jail which was really neat. In the bar you could still see the bars from the cells and it was just a neat converted space. Here is an article about it if you are interested. It's a neat project. Was definitely busy but as they haven't been open for very long I am sure a lot of people wanted to go to check it out same as we did. Anyway it was fun. Not right around the corner but if we are in the area again for any reason it's worth going back to. That same chain does have restaurants much closer but the menus do vary slightly at each location. The one in Woodbury is pretty neat as well - set in an old converted barn. 

Well, that's about all for now I suppose. Let's see what the rest of the week brings. Work's pretty busy but that's only normal as we are now heading into the spring/summer season where all goes a bit haywire. And a week from tomorrow I will already be on a plane again heading to Austria. I am not quite sure I am really prepared for that just yet. But I guess I have a week to get my stuff in order right? 

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

Posted by Hanna at 07:18 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 01, 2019

Happy April Fool's

SnoopyHow did it get to be April? I mean I am happy because that means that spring weather may actually be on the horizon for real. We had some nice days while in Europe and there the trees were starting to be green, flowers blooming etc. Here in the Northeast everything is still pretty grey and dead. I suppose it will happen at some point. We had some nice weather on Saturday but Sunday was much colder and raining all day. Oh well, made for a good day to go to the movies (we saw "Captain Marvel")

On Saturday we ran a bunch of errands. Feeling a little more put together today after having replaced some odds and ends (a new wallet, lip balm, Tide stick, travel size Advil etc.) DMV visit to replace my license was done on Friday as well. Also called a bunch of other places to get replacement stuff for various cards (definitely not traveling with all that stuff again -- just the basics going forward) So slowly starting to go back to normal. 

Let's see what else? Well that's pretty much it. We flew back from the UK on Tuesday (got home around 11.30pm - ugh), went back to work on Wednesday and had a relatively decent week. It was busy of course, trying to catch back up but all in all ok. The weekend was a welcome break. And well here we are and it's Monday again. Honestly not quite sure I am ready to face another Monday and week ahead but it will be ok. Things at work are definitely in an upswing as spring has sprung and summer is just lurking around the corner (our busy season) Always happy for the nicer weather but it also makes for crazy days/weeks at work. Well oh well. 

I can't complain too much because I will be heading back to Europe in just 17 days. Leaving for Austria on April 17 and will be there until April 29. Spending a few days in Austria and then heading to Croatia with my parents for about a week. So something to look forward to on the not too distant horizon. After that no real vacations until probably mid-late fall (October/November) Well we'll see. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 07:29 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)