Monday, August 12, 2019
Saturday morning we left Danbury around 8.30 am and headed up to Boston. Our hotel was in the Seaport district and was quite the unique experience. We stayed at a Yotel. Here's how they describe it on their website "Old England meets New England – and any tea parties will be of the entirely social sort! Inspired by Japan, defined by a Brit, YOTEL delivers ergonomically designed rooms, that optimize the available space, and make smart use of technology to save you time and money" The room was truly tiny but had everything we needed. The bed was super comfortable and the whole experience felt very futuristic. lol. Valet parking at the hotel would have been $50 (no thank you) so we parked at a nearby garage where they had a $5 weekend special so we paid just $10 for parking. Much better.
After dropping off our bags at the hotel we walked over the bridge to the harbor area near the aquarium. Had lunch at the Legal Seafoods there. Delicious as always. After hanging out at the Legal Seafoods we intended to go to the aquarium but there was a super long line, mostly filled with families with kids in strollers. Again, no thank you. So we decided against that idea (plus admission was $31 per person - yikes) and instead walked over to the Hard Rock Cafe near Quincy Market. Looked at some shops and then had a couple of drinks at the Hard Rock.
Afterwards we meandered our way back to the hotel via the Harborwalk which goes along the water and made for a nice walk. Stopped at the hotel for a bit to freshen up and then headed back out. The plan was to go to the Legal Seafoods in Harborside. It's a 3 story building and each floor offers a different experience. I had looked this up online and the 3rd floor looked really nice. Rooftop bar offering a limited menu with small plates and sushi. It looked like a fun place to hang out enjoying the views. Well it seemed like a good idea until we discovered they turn it into a sort of club type place with bouncers and a rope and a wait in line. We did stand in line and made our way up there but ended up not staying. Really not our scene. Too bad because the views were super pretty. Oh well. Instead we headed back downstairs and went across the street to the Legal Test Kitchen. (yes there are a bunch of Legal Seafood restaurants in Boston and the surrounding areas) Had a light dinner there and some wine before heading back to the hotel.
Sunday we slept in which was nice. Then checked out around 10.30 and brought our bags to the car in the garage. Stopped at a neat coffee shop called Caffe Nero. Apparently an UK chain that also exists here in the US, just not in our area where we live. Hung out there for a bit before having brunch at the Trillium Brewery. They also have a rooftop bar so we headed up there to start with but as they had no umbrellas or shade up there it was just too hot. We had a drink up there and then headed back downstairs to eat. Delicious. Hung out for a while before eventually having to leave to had back to CT. Traffic was annoying but then nothing much else could be expected coming back on a Sunday late afternoon I suppose. We eventually made it back a little after 6pm so really not too bad. Met up with our friend John and hung out for a while.
And well here we are. It's Monday again. Let's see what this week brings at work. Not sure I am ready for another week but ready or not it will have to be ok. Can't believe we have already made it into the middle of August. Crazy.
Letter/Mail Update: A letter is going out today to Lotte/Denmark.
Tuesday, August 06, 2019
Hopkins Inn, Hawk Ridge Winery and more
Alright Tuesday morning. A little behind this week it seems. I have been pretty good about writing my weekly posts on either Sunday or lately Monday but somehow didn't happen this week so here I am, Tuesday morning, instead. Alright, let's see. Well, it's August. I know that's very cliche but it's always a turning point of sorts to me when one month changes to the next. I really don't want to be wishing summer away because there are things I truly do enjoy about the summer. I like being able to sit outside for lunch/dinner, linger outside at wineries or other places, people watch, all relaxed. Being able to go for walks, the pretty scenery, blooming flowers, etc.
What I don't like about summer is the crazy business at work. Plus the crazy heat and humidity. It hasn't been all that bad with the heat and humidity this summer. I mean we have definitely had it but I think it was worse last summer. But we still have most of August to go so who knows. Work has definitely been crazy. I do feel like this summer has been worse than the last 2 I experienced. But who knows. It could just be a combination of different factors as well.
Anyway, last weekend was nice. Saturday we went to Hawk Ridge Winery in Watertown, CT. Completely accidental Google find. They have only been open for about 2 years but seemed really busy when we were there. Beautiful deck and grounds, a full food menu (we didn't eat this time but definitely worth coming back for) and good wine. Hung out for about an hour before moving on to 121 in Oxford for lunch.
Sunday we went to the Hopkins Inn. Pretty much a yearly ritual to go there once every summer. It's always great to have a delicious leisurely lunch sitting outside overlooking the lake. They have an Austrian chef so I always end up getting Schnitzel or something along those lines. We shared escargot for the appetizer and I had the Toblerone Sundae for dessert while Mike got the mint parfait. Plus some Earl Grey tea and we shared a bottle of Gruener Veltliner. All super delicious. It's also pricey so it's a special once a year spot for us. Really amazing though.
Well, now we are back in the work week and just trying to make it through the week. This upcoming weekend we are heading to Boston (for 1 night, Saturday-Sunday) so I am looking forward to that. The one thing I can't really complain about this summer is that even though we haven't taken any real vacations we have been able to sprinkle mini getaways and fun outings in throughout the summer to keep things interesting.
Oh, I probably didn't even mention it yet. But I'll also be going back to Austria at the very end of Sept into early Oct. Just for a week to visit with my parents.
Letter/Mail Update: Owe a reply/received a letter from Lotte/Denmark.
Friday, September 22, 2017
Hello from Austria as my European journey continues :)
We left Croatia on Wednesday morning and made our way to Austria via Slovenia. The weather cooperated and we only had some slight showers along the way, nothing too crazy. Stopped in Carinthia for a really delicious late lunch and eventually made it back to my parents house in Lower Austria.
Yesterday, Thursday, I had my hair appt first thing at 8am. I wasn't a 100% sure yet what color scheme I wanted to go with but ended up with something I really like. I knew I wanted some kind of red with something else but wasn't quite sure what yet. The end result is very enjoyable :)
Didn't do too much the rest of the day. Today I went to the local grocery store and bought waaaayyy too much stuff. I wasn't even going to buy that much but somehow it's very tempting when you know that you can't get a lot of the items in the US. To be fair a lot of what I bought was also gifts for people back in the US.
Later I will go see my great uncle and my aunt is stopping by as well. And in the evening I am going to be meeting up with my friend Anneliese and we will head into St. Poelten for dinner and some drinks.
Tomorrow I am off to Vienna to meet friends and then on Sunday I will need to figure out my packing so I am ready for my flight on Monday. Going to take the train from St. Poelten to Vienna airport which seems like the smart choice on a Monday morning with rush hour traffic.
Letter/Mail Update: Letters have been written to: Lotte/Denmark, Laura/Spain, Celia/MA, Eloine/NY. The European ones were mailed from Croatia. Will mail the others when I am back in the States Mon.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Croatia ... already time to leave again tomorrow
And somehow it is already time to say goodbye to Croatia tomorrow. Why does the time fly extra fast when you are away from home? The weather has cooperated sort of while here. Not really all that great but there were some sunny and dry spells in the midst of all the rain and thunderstorms so I was able to make the best of it. Today has been the only complete wash-out kind of day. Too bad really for it being our last day here but oh well. Had some nicer days and was able to walk along the seaside path into the old town and back a few times. Also found some nice cafes and bars along the way.
One day we took a trip to Vrbnik and actually had very nice weather that day which worked out for some great views. Had a really delicious lunch there before returning back. So really can't complain. Have managed to enjoy the yummy local food and wine as well as get the most time near the sea. I will miss my walks down by the sea. My parents are already talking about maybe coming back here next year in May or June so maybe I'll come here again as well. We will see how it goes and what I can figure out with my vacation time.
Tomorrow our check out time is 10am and then we're on our way to Austria. We will probably stop for lunch somewhere along the way. The ride without any stops is a little over 6 hours so not too, too terrible. Hopefully the weather cooperates. We will see how it goes. Just have to hope for the best.
On Thursday morning I have my hair appointment. Looking forward to that. Not sure what color combination I will go with this time but some sort of red will be in the mix, pretty sure about that. And on Saturday I am heading into Vienna to meet up with friends. Friday my aunt is going to stop by so that should be nice. And also want to see a few other relatives and friends while I am there.
No doubt my days in Austria will fly by like crazy as well. My return flight to New York leaves on Monday next week so less than a week to go now. Well, going to focus on making the best of it and seeing as many as people as possible and enjoying myself along the way. Then it will be time to return back to work and every day normal life after that.
Letter/Mail Update: Letters have been written to: Lotte/Denmark, Laura/Spain, Celia/MA and Eloine/NY. The European ones were mailed yesterday, not sure yet when I will mail the US ones. Only finished those today.
Saturday, September 16, 2017
Hello from Croatia :)
Hello from Croatia :) This is already day 3 here now, where does the time even go? I left New York on Wednesday, got here Thursday and now it's Saturday already. I was lucky enough to catch my connecting flight as my flight from New York to Hamburg was delayed by 2 hours. I had a 3 hour connection in Hamburg for my flight to Croatia and wasn't sure I would make it but luckily both I and my luggage made it ok.
When I got to Croatia on Thursday it was a bit after noon, approx. 1pm. All went well, picked up my luggage and then we went for a delicious lunch in the old town.
The weather has been shifty the whole time I have been here. Lots of rain and thunderstorms but I have managed to make the most of it so far.
The hotel where we are staying is not far from the sea so I have managed to walk my share alongside the water. Yesterday I spent the afternoon walking the path alsongside the sea to the old town and back. Was able to sit outside at a cafe/bar and enjoy some wine and spagethi carbonara.
Today my parents and I went for lunch into the old town and managed to avoid the rain for the most part as well. It's thundering and raining again now but at least it mostly stopped while we were out. We will see what the rest of the stay brings. So far I have mostly been able to avoid the weather ok.
We are here until Wednesday. Leaving Wednesday and then in Austria until the following Monday when I fly back to New York. Time is flying by like crazy of course but oh well. What else is new? :)
Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Lotte/Denmark, Laura/Spain, Celia/MA and Eloine/NY.
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
And off I go ... Europe here I come ..
Ok so I have been so busy and wrapped up in myself and everything that I didn't even realize I didn't make my weekly post. I usually always make it a point to post on Sundays or if not latest on Monday but now it's Wednesday and it didn't even dawn on me I didn't make my post until I arrived at the airport today and now it's 30 min prior to boarding and here I am making my post.
It's just been so crazy with work and trying to get everything all squared away. I know I have control issues and this job is bringing them out in full force. OCD, control, compulsive checking and knowing what is happening and all that. Yup, that's me. And it works in my favor for my current job more or less. But when I am going away for 10+ days and have to relinquish control to my coverage it wrecks havoc. It's not that I don't trust my co-workers. But I am just very particular and I am always worried that I missed something somewhere in a file and they won't know what to do. I know we have all been there and we figure it out. I have covered for numerous people and it's just a game of figuring it out and we always do. But I just want to have all of my ducks in a row and everything nice and neat so I tried my hardest. Let's see how it pans out. :)
I am at the airport now enjoying some food and rose wine. Super expensive and inflated prices but hey it's the airport. And I want to have some nice stuff before I have to fly for a while. Flying to Hamburg with a layover and then on to Croatia from there. Meeting my parents in Croatia. Looking forward to that of course.
So I will be sure to make another post from "the other side" once I get to Europe and get over my initial jetlag maybe. This past week didn't include too much else eventful besides trying to get ready for my vacation, both personal and work wise. :)
Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Celia/MA and Eloine/NY.
Monday, September 04, 2017
Labor Day, Green Day, September, ...
Happy Labor Day to all my US friends. :) Had a very nice three day weekend which is winding down now. Was nice to have the day off and still always a bit weird to me since I never had these days off during my last job. We were always open on Labor Day and Memorial Day and almost always on the 4th of July. So it's weird having three day weekends since I often worked on the Saturday before the holiday as well as the actual holiday. But no complaints of course. :)
This past Tuesday we went to see Green Day in Hartford and it was a really amazing show. They are so great live. We saw them once before on their American Idiot tour and they were just as great, if not even better, on this tour. Of course it was super late (1.30am) by the time we got home but it was worth it.
The weekend has been pretty relaxing. Saturday we had a vet appointment with Bailey and she luckily passed with flying colors. We now don't have to go back until April so that's good. After the vet appointment we set up our new DVR (we are replacing our old TiVo) and our new vacuum cleaner. Happy with the new vacuum. The one we had before we have had for about 3+ years and it really just wasn't performing properly anymore. So far the new one seems to be pretty good so fingers crossed it lasts.
Sunday the weather was cool and rainy all day so we decided to sleep in late. Then had lunch at 121 in Oxford. Stopped at the store for a bunch of errands and eventually caught up on some recorded TV. We are finally more or less caught up from last season's shows so that's good. Just in time for the new seasons to start up.
And today we slept in and then decided to do something outdoors since the weather was a lot nicer. We had decided on a trail in Danbury but there was a lot of flooding from the rain the day before. So we decided to try a trail in Brewster instead. It wasn't anything too exciting or too long but at least we walked for a little over 2 miles and got some exercise in. So not a bad thing.
Now we are at RIzzuto's winding down and enjoying the last bits of our holiday weekend. Tomorrow it's back to work and real life. But at least's it's only a 4 day work week. And then the week after that I leave for Europe. So there is lots to take care of before then,
Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Celia/MA and Eloine/NY.
Monday, August 28, 2017
MoMa, NYC, movies and more
Hello Monday ... again. Time really does fly by. I know, I know. I literally start every post this same way. Maybe I need to start writing posts on a different day. Because writing them on Sunday afternoons/evenings or Monday mornings always gives me that feeling of "ugh another full week ahead, the weekend gone AGAIN". Well we will see what the week brings. The weather has been really nice these past few days and I think is supposed to continue like this for at least a few more days. We've had highs of around 75-80F (23-26C) with no humidity and a slight breeze. At night the temps go down into the 50ies (10-15C) which makes for nice sleeping weather. Really can't complain. I would take this weather all year round if I could. :)
Saturday we spent the day in NYC which is always fun. Went to MoMa (Museum of Modern Art) to see the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit which was pretty neat. We have a membership at MoMa even though we don't go all that much. But as long as we go twice a year the money for the membership is made back plus it's money spent for a good cause. After we saw the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit we also quickly looked at the other floors with their permanent collection. We've seen those quite a bit but it's always fun to see some Monets or Van Gogh's "Starry Night".
After MoMa we made our way back to midtown and had a late lunch/early dinner in the theater district at Osteria al Doge. We've been going there for ages. It's actually where we officially got together in February of 2000 when I visited Mike in the US. So we've been going there for 17+ years and nothing much ever changes. Delicious food, good wine. They have the absolutely best lasagna ever. Mike gets a spinach ravioli in a butter sage sauce that's also pretty yum. Before and after the theater it can get pretty crowded and without reservations on the weekend you don't have much of a chance. But since we went during a more off time it was not crowded at all and actually really nice. We may need to try that again another time. We usually tend to go before or after a show and I guess so does everyone else so that's when it's really, really busy.
After we were done at Osteria al Doge we stopped at Madison&Vine for some wine before eventually taking the train back to Connecticut. Definitely a fun Saturday even though it's always tiring and a long day but still a lot of fun of course.
Sunday we slept in and and then went to the movies to see "Ingrid Goes West". Really makes you think about today's world and social media. The perfect commentary on all of those things in a way. Would definitely recommend catching it if you have the chance. After the movie we had a late lunch at 121 in Oxford and later caught up on some TiVo before watching the MTV VMA's. We recorded those too so we fast forwarded through the commercials and boring parts. Nothing too spectacular I suppose.
Well let's see what this week brings. Tomorrow, Tuesday, we have tickets to see Green Day in Hartford so that should be good. The last time we saw them I think was on their American Idiot tour, so quite some time ago. Going to shows mid week always makes me feel old because I am always dragging like crazy the next day but oh well, such is life I suppose.
Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Celia/MA.
Sunday, August 06, 2017
And it's August ...
Time really does fly it seems as it's already August. Work continues to be busy so that definitely makes the work days go by fast. I really often wish there were more hours in the day to getting everything done. :) But so far I am hanging in there and hopefully August will pass with too much of an issue. I have a vacation coming in September so there's something to look forward to with that. Going to be visiting with my parents in Europe for 10 days. Going to be flying to Croatia to meet up with them there and then head to Austria afterwards My dad has been struggling with his health a bit so I hope he continues his upward cycle and is in better shape by the time I get over there. It's definitely not easy being that far away at times. I do look forward to seeing them and to spend some time and of course to eat a lot of delicious food. Also looking forward to getting my hair done when I am in Austria. Will need to decide what color(s) I want to go with this time.
To stay with the travel theme for a minute - I can't wait for my trip with Mike to the Azores in November. I think I wrote about this on here when we booked it but now I can't quite remember if I did or not. We found a great deal for a package that included the flight and hotel and afterwards we also found a good deal on a rental car so we are all set now. It's over Thanksgiving week so still some time away but I am definitely looking forward to going.
Mike's on his way back from L.A. tonight. He was originally supposed to come back yesterday but American ended up changing his flight. They did give him a night in a hotel and also a $400 travel voucher. So maybe we'll be able to use that to go somewhere fun during the winter, maybe in January or February when it's cold out. Would be nice to go somewhere warm then. We will have to ponder. Ideas right now are Santa Fe, New Mexico or Mexico City. We'll see what we decide.
The week has been ok otherwise. I managed to catch up on my mail so that's good. Was getting pretty behind and managed to get 7 letters done during this week and weekend. Also been reading and watching a few movies (watched 'Basketball Diaries" and "Cafe Society") Been a relatively relaxing week and weekend. Today Kristina (my sis-in-law) and I went to Panera Bread. Haven't been there in ages so it was nice to go, sit outside and take advantage of the cooler/non-humid weather. During the week we got Thai food delivered. Oh and also yummy breakfast food from a local diner. Definitely ready for Mike to be back though now. It gets lonely sleeping in the bed by myself. Well, the cats kept me company of course but that's still not quite the same. :)
Letter/Mail Update: Letters have been written and already went out or are going out on Monday to: Lotte/Denmark, Laura/Spain, Eloine/NY, Michele/CA, Carmen/Malta, Kimber/Canada and Nina/WA.
Monday, July 24, 2017
Mystic Wedding Weekend
So here we are and I made it through week 1 of vacation coverage ok. I won't lie and say that it was easy but hey I made it through. That's all that matters in the end. I have three more days to go as my colleague will be back on Thursday this week. So fingers crossed that I can make it through these next three days without too many issues as well. At least there is an end at sight, light at the end of the tunnel type thing. Haha. I do complain but really, if I had to cover for anyone (and there's no way around that, you go on vacation, people cover for you, they go on vacation, you cover for them .. it's just life) I would honestly always pick this co-worker. Her files are in great order, well organized and documented plus I am familiar with a good junk of them or the policies at least as I am on the same client as her. So hey, that's something.
Let's see, what else is going on besides work? This past weekend we went to Mystic to attend our friend's Megan and Jonathan's wedding. The venue (Latitude 41 at Mystic Seaport) was really great and the weather held up as well for their outdoor ceremony. It was muggy and humid but no rain. The forecast earlier in the week had looked a lot worse so I am glad that it all turned out ok for them. Truly beautiful ceremony and reception. Was happy to be able to share the day with them. We stayed at the Quality Inn which was really nothing special but prices in Mystic during peak season are just off the charts. Megan and Jonathan had a discounted rate at their hotel but that was still more money so we opted to just stay at the Quality Inn. Nothing fancy or luxurious by any means but we really just needed a room to crash in so whatever.
Oh, on the way to Mystic on Saturday we stopped at Chamard's Vineyard in Clinton and had a great lunch at their bistro. I really enjoy that vineyard and we don't get to go too often since it's really not very close. Been wanting to try their bistro ever since they opened it but never got around to it. So I am glad that we were able to combine that with this trip out to Mystic.
Sunday we slept in and then checked out at 11. Stopped in Hartford at City Steam Brewery for lunch. Always great food and lots of beers for Mike to try. And well now it's Monday again. Ugh. I want another day to just relax. Haha. It's dreary and raining outside so it would be the perfect day to just stay in bed and sleep. Oh well.
Letter/Mail Update: Received letters from/owe replies to: Laura/Spain, Eloine/NY, Michele/CA, Carmen/Malta, Kimber/Canada and Nina/WA.