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Sunday, September 29, 2019

Salzburg Family and Friends Reunions

Pixlr (3)Hello from Salzburg. :) I arrived in Austria only on Saturday (worked 1/2 a day on Friday and left from JFK via Pixlr_20190929234354836Brussels Friday late afternoon) Took the train out to St. Poelten from Vienna airport and then had a late lunch with my parents. Hung out for a bit before heading to bed. Today, Sunday, was national elections day in Austria so my parents went to cast their vote and we then headed off to Salzburg. Arrived there just after noon. We met up with my friend Anneliese (the funny thing is that Anneliese moved to Salzburg just 1 year ago but by some complete accident she ended up moving into the same apartment building my dad's cousin lives in -- such a small world)

So all in all it was a big reunion. Growing up my parents and I used to spend a good amount of time with Gerti and her then husband and their 2 kids. The kids Kathrin and Florian are my age more or less (Florian is a few months older than me and Kathrin a few years younger than me) But about 16 years ago Gerti and Gerhard divorced, I had already moved to the US and contact became less frequent. We still exchanged Christmas cards and so on but contact became less frequent. Mike and I did meet up with Kathrin and Florian quite some years ago in Salzburg and I also saw Kathrin maybe 3 years ago (but that was a visit after quite some years had passed again as well) So I guess what I am trying to say, in my jetlagged brain fog is that it was really nice to go visit and spend time with them again. 

We spent time with Anneliese (who I also haven't seen in over a year since she moved away from St. Poelten and to Salzburg) and then had a delicious lunch at Gerti's apartment. We spent quite some time there, also had coffee and cake, and Kathrin stopped by for a while too. And then later in the evening we headed into downtown Salzburg where they had reserved a table for dinner. Florian and his girlfriend also joined us there. It definitely has been many, many years since I have seen him as well. 

Tomorrow morning we have to head back to St. Poelten and I will then need to work (I am working remotely this week while here in Austria) and I would be lying if I am saying I am looking forward to it. But all in all I am of course grateful I get to be here, spend time and see family, while not using my precious vacation days (it's always funny to me the reactions you get from Europeans when you tell them how many vacation days you have in most US jobs to start with)

Anyway it's midnight now so I better get some sleep. Another day, another week tomorrow.

Letter/Mail Update:  Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Lotte/Denmark.

Posted by Hanna at 06:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 23, 2019

Last Summer Weekend

Pixlr (1)Yes it's Monday again. My start to every blog post it seems. It's officially the first day of fall today. But the weather is not feeling fall-like at all. It's going to be almost 90F today (31C) Not complaining, I guess it's summer's last hurrah so to speak. The weekend was really warm and nice as well. I guess it fit since it technically was our last summer weekend. After today the temps are supposed to go down into the 70ies (20C) which is more seasonable. Just one more week of September and then we'll be in October already. Time is definitely flying, that's for sure. 

Last week was relatively uneventful, same old stuff at work more or less. It's still busy even though we are winding down from the summer season. And like I said the weekend was pretty nice. Saturday we went to the movies and saw "Ad Astra" (the new space movie with Brad Pitt) It wasn't quite what I expected but I did enjoy it. Then afterwards we had lunch in Oxford at 121 and then came home to catch up on some more Netflix ("Mindhunter") We also watched the Comedy Central roast of Alec Baldwin which was quite funny.

Then yesterday, Sunday, we did another wine tasting tour and explored a few different vineyards in NY state. We started at Whitecliff which had really great wine and also a beautiful outside area so we had a glass while sitting outside. Very pretty views. The next stop was supposed to be Robibero but we ended up abandoning that idea as they had some kind of fall/grape stomping festival/event. Instead headed to lunch at the Gilded Otter in New Paltz which was tasty as always. Since the weather was really nice we sat outside -- something I usually enjoy but this time we were being chased by yellow-jackets and I really was not feeling it. Three of them ended up drowning in my drink. I felt bad but they were just relentless. After lunch we headed to Brimstone Hill Winery. What a funky little place. Don't get me wrong, the wine was good but the place itself was just a little weird. Lineulom floors in the tasting room, old tractors outside, a crusty old man giving the wine tasting. Definitely an interesting experience. After that we had one more stop, Baldwin Vineyards. Another interesting place  with goats, an alpaca and chickens. And the tasting room was also very old-school looking with an event room in the back where somebody was playing live music but we were the only people in there the whole time we did the tasting. Nonetheless the wine was good and we did buy a couple of bottles. 

When we were done with our wine tour we headed back to CT and met up with our friends John and Jana for a light dinner at Rosy's. Going to see them again today as it's John's birthday today. But first need to get through my Monday at work. Ugh.  

Letter/Mail Update:  Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Lotte/Denmark.

Posted by Hanna at 07:35 AM in Wine | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 16, 2019

Winery Weekend

PixlrAnd it's Monday again. Why do weekends always fly by so fast? I guess it's nothing new. We did have a nice weekend even though it went by too fast of course. On Saturday we slept in and then I took care of a couple things at home (put a new bed set on the bed - always such a nice feeling to have new, clean sheets on the bed - I wish that feeling could last forever) Afterwards we headed to Oxford for lunch at 121. Then came home and watched the last episode of "Carnival Row" (it took me a bit to get into the show but now I am kind of sad it's over - hopefully they renew it for a 2nd season). After that we started "Mindhunter" on Netflix. I wasn't too sure on that one either, took me at least 2 episodes to get into it, but after that I was more or less hooked. Good news with that one is that there is already a second season out so once we finish season 1 we can also binge season 2. 

Not too long from now the regular fall season for all the network TV will also start so we'll have plenty of stuff to watch in the near future. Yesterday, Sunday, we decided to take advantage of the nice weather and went on a vineyard tour of the Hudson Valley/upstate NY. We started at Stoutridge and from there headed to Benmarl. We actually ended up not staying at Benmarl cause they had some sort of fall event going on with hayrides and an admission charge. So we skipped that and headed to Clinton Vineyards and from there on to Millbrook. At Millbrook we got a bottle of their unoaked Chardonnay and sat outside on their deck. Well, we sat outside for about half of our bottle. Eventually I got tired of the wasps and we ended up going inside. But it was still a nice day all in all.

From there we headed to Centrico and hung out with our friends Cait and Pat for a while. I had some delicious mussel and sausage appetizer and also a soup. The soup was especially delicious. It had chorizo, shrimp and avocado and was really amazing. So good. Eventually we headed home and watched a movie on Netflix. And here we are - it's Monday again. 

Letter/Mail Update:  Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Lotte/Denmark.

Posted by Hanna at 07:44 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 09, 2019

Beautiful fall-like weekend

IMG_20190908_135440_745I know we are still officially in summer season but this weekend definitely had a fall feel to it. Don't get me wrong. It was a really nice weekend and no IMG_20190908_135558_402 complaints whatsoever but fall definitely was felt in the air. While it was mostly sunny, with some puffy clouds here and there, there was a breeze and if you were not in the direct sun it could be a little cool at times. But if sitting in the direct sun it was actually pretty warm. 

Friday was a pretty miserable day with wind and rain (the leftover system from the hurricane pushing through). We had tickets to see "Vampire Weekend" at Madison Square Garden. Ended up taking the train down which worked out well. But the walk to MSG was through misty/rainy weather, same on the way back. And when we got off the train back at home it was actually pouring. But the show was definitely worth it. They put on such a great show. (3+ hours) Definitely got our money's worth there. Before the show we were going to stop at "Stout" for dinner but the place was so packed we ended up going to the place next door "Feile". It was quite busy there too, being Friday night, but we at least were able to grab a table before it got too crazy. Overall I wasn't too impressed with the place. Another generic Irish pub in midtown more or less. But it was super close to MSG so it was ok I guess. We didn't get home till around 2am so I was glad that we were able to sleep in on Saturday. 

Saturday we went to lunch in Oxford at 121. And later caught up on some more TV and started watching the new Amazon show "Carnival Row". I wasn't too sure about it at first but we almost finished it on Sunday (just have 1 episode to go now) and by the end of it it had really grown on me and I wish there were more episodes. Well, we do have 1 more episode and hopefully they will make another season. 

Sunday we took advantage of the nice weather and went to the White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield, CT. They have a neat boardwalk trail we had done before. Was nice to go back. After we did that we stopped at a vineyard nearby - Haight Brown. We had never been there before so it was nice to check it out. I honestly wasn't overly impressed with their wines but their space and property was really nice and it was fun to sit outside and sip a glass of wine. Afterwards we headed over to the Marketplace in the center of Litchfield for lunch. And eventually back home for more Netflix binging of "Carnival Row". 

And here we are, it's Monday again. Not sure I am ready for another week. But I guess ready or not, here we go. 

Letter/Mail Update:  Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Lotte/Denmark. A letter to Celia/MA went out early last week.  

Posted by Hanna at 07:25 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 02, 2019

Labor Day Weekend

Pixlr (2)Hello September and happy Labor Day to those in the US and Canada. :) Mike and I spent the weekend in Philadelphia and only got back today. Always nice to have an extended weekend and be able to go away for 2 nights rather than just 1. 

Philly isn't my favorite city but it's relatively close (2 1/2-3 hours depending on traffic) and does have a lot of neat history. It's definitely a bit rough around the edges and I do prefer Boston, DC or NY over it. But we decided to visit with our friends Megan & Jonathan who moved down there about a year and a half ago. It was definitely nice to see them and to catch up a bit. 

We left Danbury around 8am on Saturday. Drove to our hotel (Club Quarters) and checked in. After that we headed to lunch at Iron Hill Brewery. A bit of a chain but enjoyable. The location we went to opened just under a year ago and was across the street from the Hard Rock. After lunch we walked around, took some pictures of the historic buildings in Central Philly as well as the Liberty Bell. When we were done we headed back to the hotel for a bit and then had dinner at Dandelion Pub. 

Sunday we headed down to Wilmington, DE and had breakfast at Einstein's Bagels (love that chain!!) From there we continued into rural PA for some wine tasting. The first 2 vineyards we went to (Paradocx and 1723) were really neat and we had a lot of fun tasting the various wine and hanging out. The third vineyard (Kreutz) unfortunately was a bit of a bust. Kind of too bad because they had a super cute dog and the lady running it seemed nice. But the wines just weren't our cup of tea. Oh well. Can't win them all. It was still a fun day. 

Once we returned back to Philly we headed back to the hotel briefly and then met our friends at a place called Chick's in South Philly. That was a lot of fun and I'd definitely recommend checking it out if you're ever in the area. 

Today, Monday, we went to the Mutter Museum in the morning (what an odd place) and then had lunch at Fado Irish Pub before heading back to CT. And well here we are. It's the evening and tomorrow it's back to work and back to the grind. 

Letter/Mail Update:  Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Celia/MA. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:52 PM in Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)