Sunday, May 17, 2015

Spring Weekend

IMG_20150517_150648And already Sunday again. The weeks are flying by and next weekend is already Memorial Day weekend, the official start to the summer season here in the US. Trying to enjoy the nice weather as much as possible after this god awful never ending winter. Ugh. 

Was off on Wednesday and it was actually quite a bit cooler that day than it had been (60F = 15C and breezy) But it worked for what I needed as I wanted to do some spring cleaning. The warmer, humid weather we had before wouldn't have been good for that.

Worked on Saturday. Today we had off and took advantage of the nice weather and went for a walk in Meriden/Cheshire followed by lunch at SBC in Milford. Yummy swordfish salad with avocado and strawberries. 

Oh and of course we also saw "Pitch Perfect2" since it came out on Friday. Was a fun movie and a good sequel to the first movie. Had a good time watching it. Some amusing jokes, great performances and heartfelt moments. A feel good movie all around. 

Mail Update: A letter went out on Thursday to: Charles/TN. Received mail/owe a reply: Laura/Spain.

Posted by Hanna at 03:35 PM in Food and Drink, Nature, Outdoors | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Birthday Weekend - Shelter Island

IMG_20141025_141853Hello from Shelter Island. :) Been busy unpacking and spending most of my time after work in the evenings moving boxes around, rearranging, unpacking, decorating and trying to piece everything back together. So this weekend has definitely been a welcome change of pace from all that. 

Had a yummy diner breakfast at Elmer's on Friday morning before leaving Danbury. Then headed towards NY and Long Island and out onto the North Fork. It's amazing how quickly the landscape changes out there. One minute you are driving through strip malls, the next you are out amongst vineyards and farms. Pretty neat. 

Checked out three vineyards we had never been to before. It's amazing how many vineyards there are out there. Been to quite a few of them but there are still some we haven't seen. Had fun wine tasting and also had a cheese platter at one of the vineyards. When we were done we took the ferry from Greenport over to Shelter Island. 

Our B&B only has 5 rooms and is pretty cozy. Found a nice place for dinner and then relaxed in the room for a bit. This morning we slept in which was very nice and then took advantage of the gorgeous fall weather to hike through the Mashomack Preserve which is run by the Nature Conversancy. Hiked for about 6 miles through forests, meadows and marshes. Definitely the perfect day for it. 

Now we are back in the room for a bit relaxing before heading out to dinner. Going to take the ferry back over to Greenport as there are more choices over there. If you take the ferry as a passenger without the car it's only $2 so that's not so bad. So that's what we will be doing later. Then tomorrow we will probably sleep in some more before checking out and heading back over to Greenport. Might do some more wine tasting before we leave L.I. and head back to CT. 

Then next week it's back to work and back to more unpacking. Need to start looking into buying a washer/dryer, a couch, kitchen table and some other smaller things too. Work's going to start getting busier too with Thanksgiving only a bit over a month away. Don't even want to think about that just yet. 

Mail Update: Owe replies to: Charles/TN, Jessica/DE and Carmen/Malta. 

Posted by Hanna at 03:24 PM in Food and Drink, Nature, Outdoors, Wine | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thursday, October 02, 2014

More NC (Mountains & Biltmore)

NCAnd somehow it got to be October and Thursday night already. No idea how that happened. I guess time just flies by when you are busy and having fun. :) Well, let's do a quick recap to try and keep everyone up to date with what we have been doing. 

Tuesday we spent a good amount of the day exploring the outdoors around here. Went to Grandfather Mountain where we also did some hiking. Let me tell you uphill hiking at 6000 feet is quite different from other elevations. :) Definitely had some great views though and enjoyed the excercise. Although my legs are still sore from all the walking we have done. 

After we were done at Grandfather Mountain we took the Blue Ridge Parkway over to Mt. Mitchell which is the highest peak east of the Mississippi. (6683 feet = 2037 meters) The Blue Ridge Parkway is definitely very scenic and reminded me of Skyline Drive that runs through the Shenandoah Valley. Took some more pictures and walked to the observation platform at Mt. Mitchell before making our way back to Boone. 

Wednesday we drove to Asheville to tour the Biltmore Estate. A truly impressive operation with a massive house (250 rooms), 80 000 acres (=324 kmĀ²) of grounds (gardens, woods, ponds and more) and a winery. We upgraded to the audio tour guide for the house which worked out well as it tells you about each room as you walk through it. There were 40 stops on the tour so it was definitely a big place. After the house we explored the gardens and grounds for a bit before heading over to the village where the winery was situated. I really didn't have the highest expectations for the wine considering that a lot of places like that tend to be too over commercialized and only bank on the name rather than quality. But I have to say I was happily surprised. We ended up purchasing 6 bottles and had another bottle with some cheese at their in house wine bar. 

Today, Thursday, we decided to go back into the mountains to take advantage of the nice weather. Drove to Chimney Rock State Park where we did some more hiking. Lots of great views including of a waterfall that was featured in the movie "Last of the Mohicans". Also took the 26 story elevator up to the top where you have to take some more steps to get to the actual top of the rock. I really enjoyed the views but was also definitely terrified. But all in all it was worth it. Also was happy with the views of Lake Lure (where the famous water lift scene from "Dirty Dancing" was filmed) - super gorgeous. 

Tomorrow it's supposed to be a rainy day so we will probably end up heading to Greensboro to check out an art museum there. Then Saturday it's already time for us to check out and leave again. 

Mail Update: Owe replies to: Lotte/Denmark, Celia/MA, Charles/TN and Laura/Spain.

Posted by Hanna at 07:23 PM in Nature, Outdoors, Travel, Wine | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Monday, September 29, 2014

Wine Tasting, nature trails and a rainy day in Charlotte

IMG_20140929_200208Already Monday night. As usual time is flying. :) Had a fun day yesterday. Checked out the Boone Greenway Trail in the morning and then went wine tasting afterwards. There are three wineries on the Boone Wine Trail and we made our way from one to the next along windy mountain roads. Definitely no easy way from A to B around here. :) Had fun tasting at the various wineries and also made another stop at a nature trail with a waterfall. Ended up being a long day with a lot of streneous driving even though we had originally intended to take it easy. Still was a fun day of course nonetheless. 

Today it ended up being rainy so we decided to drive to Charlotte to explore some museums. First stop was the Carolina Aviation Museum where they have the US Airways plane that crashed into the Hudson on display. A bunch of interesting exhibits detailing the incident along with quotes from passengers, the crew and traffic control. 

Next stop was the Modern Art Museum in downtown Charlotte. A quick visit as there wasn't a ton to see but still a neat experience all in all. Afterwards we hung out at a pub close by for a while before returning back to Boone. 

Tomorrow's plan so far is to get up relatively early and head to Grandfather Mountain followed by some other scenic nature things. Will update again in a few days. :)

Mail Update: Owe replies to: Lotte/Denmark, Celia/MA, Charles/TN and Laura/Spain.

Posted by Hanna at 08:35 PM in Food and Drink, Nature, Outdoors, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Boston, Tree Swallow Cruise and more

TreeswallowHere is my weekly update which always seems to happen on Sundays these days. :) Let's see what I can tell you about last week? Our weather was fairly fall like for most of the week. Monday we worked half the day and then drove up to Boston. Checked in at our hotel and then found a neat beer/wine bar/pub in Cambridge right near Harvard Square. Hung out there for a while. The original plan was to go see a concert but due to sound issues the set time kept getting pushed back and eventually we decided to just skip the show (the people we wanted to see wouldn't have come on till after midnight) and to hang out some more.

Tuesday we checked out from the hotel and headed over to the JFK Presidental Library. We had never been there and got the idea to go there when we went to the FDR Home & Library a few weeks ago. Glad we went, it was definitely a very well done museum with great exhibits highlighting his life and political career.  

Wednesday to Saturday were regular work days for me. Saturday we headed down to Norwalk for a late lunch/early dinner at the SoNo Brewpub. And today, Sunday, we are currently hanging out at Starbucks. Driving to Oxford for lunch in a little bit and then on to East Haddam, CT. That's where we have a nature cruise booked at 5pm. It's a tree swallow cruise and seems pretty neat. Last March we did an eagle cruise with the same company which was very cool. The weather is a bit weird at the moment, very humid, foggy and generally unstable. But according to the Weather Channel it's supposed to clear up a bit later so I hope that holds true. We will see I guess.

Then tomorrow is already Monday again and another work week. I have plenty of things to take care off before we leave for North Carolina next week on Saturday. We will be gone for a week, taking advantage of the timeshare resort in the NC mountains that my parents had originally booked but now unfortunately can't use. At least they are currently in Croatia enjoying a vacation of their own which is nice for them.

Mail Update: Letters went out on Wednesday to : David/IN and Nina/WA. Owe replies to: Lotte/Denmark. 

Posted by Hanna at 11:18 AM in Food and Drink, Nature, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack