Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Hello November .. Election Day .. Vienna Terrorist Attack

ElectionAnd it's Tuesday already and November. And Election Day here in the US. I really wanted to write this post early in the day or really ideally yesterday Flag-Austriabefore any results start coming in. My stomach has been in knots for weeks/months now. And while I am somewhat excited and happy that the day is finally here I am also worried. Well, let's see how it goes. The voter turn out definitely seems to be high and that's a good thing. No matter how people are voting it's good that they are getting out there and having their voices heard. So yeah, we will see how it all turns out. For now I'll try not to think about it too much. I also have a feeling that this will drag on for a while longer and we won't have a clear answer by tonight or even tomorrow. But it is what it is. Go vote if you're here in the US and haven't already! I can't since I am still an Austrian citizen and Austria doesn't allow dual citizenship (only in very specific circumstances) so everybody who can vote, go out and vote. :) 

Alright, what else? Weather has been pretty cold and dreary most days. Last Friday we even had some snow. It snowed quite heavily for a while. Didn't stick to the roads, only the grass and parked cars, and went away pretty soon after, but still. The next day, Halloween, was nicer. Still chilly but bright and sunny at least. We didn't really do anything for Halloween. Had lunch at Rizzuto's in Westport and later stopped at Two Steps to see our bartender friend Tyler who always dresses up for Halloween.

Sunday was also a pretty quiet day. Slept in, went for brunch at the Marketplace, grocery shopping and then stopped at Centrico for a bit before heading home and watching some TV. 

Nothing much going on this week (last week I had a dentist and an orthodontist appointment as well as bloodwork for my upcoming physical) so that's good. 

Also, my thoughts are with all my friends at home in Vienna. Vienna faced a terrorist attack last night, right downtown in an area where I often would hang out when I lived there and when I go visit. The police said at least one heavily armed attacker opened fire in the city center. So far they have reported 4 dead and 14 injured, some of them critically. They are unsure if some of the suspects are still at large as there were conflicting reports of multiple shooters. Ugh. I know it has been happening all over the world but when it hits so close to home it is even worse somehow. 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to:  Carmen/Malta, Nina/WA, Lotte/Denmark and Kimber/Canada. 

Posted by Hanna at 08:23 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 26, 2020

Birthday Weekend Recap

IMG_20201022_152543_355And another Monday. It's been a chilly, dreary day too. But I can't complain too much since I had four days off in a row and the weather was mostly IMG_20201022_153302_793pretty nice as well. 

Wednesday night after work I met up with my friend Susanna and we had some delicious tapas and wine at a Spanish tapas restaurant in town. 

Then Thursday Mike and I took a day trip out to the east of the state, near the coast. Went to some cute New England-y towns (Deep River, Chester, Guilford, Madison) Started the day at a neat independent coffee shop, walked a nature trail and found a great shop selling various olive oils and vinegars. Finished with a great lunch at a wine bar called Ballou's. The weather was super nice that day as well, perfect sitting outside weather. Had a great leisurely lunch. From there we headed back towards home and stopped at Lucas Local for dinner. Saw our friend Larry who was bartending and it was great to catch up. 

Friday we took a trip up to Framingham, MA (Boston suburb) to have lunch at Legal Seafoods. Yum. There was also a Cost Plus World Market just across the street so I was able to stock up on a bunch of international goodies which was great. Chocolates, gingerbread, jams, pickles, olives, pate, sausages and whatnot.

Saturday was my actual birthday and I started the day with a massage at Massage Envy in Brookfield. This was actually my first ever massage and I am glad that I finally decided to give it a try. I really enjoyed it and actually signed up for a membership which gives you a massage once per month. 

After that we hung out at Rosy's for a bit and later headed down to Darien to meet up with John & Jana and their friends Maya & Eddie for fondue at the Melting Pot. I absolutely love fondue so I was very happy this worked out. We had a few different cheese fondues, some steak and of course chocolate to top it all off. So good. 

Well, that's all the news here from my end. Now it's Monday and back to work. At least the day is coming to and end. I do have some things I should be taking care of but I may just make myself another big mug of tea and curl up on the couch with my book. 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to:  Carmen/Malta, Nina/WA, Lotte/Denmark and Kimber/Canada. 

Posted by Hanna at 03:58 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Happy Tuesday

WoodstockHappy Tuesday. Not sure why I didn't end up posting yesterday but somehow the day just got away from me. No real reason either. Worked from home and after work I made a General Tso's Cauliflower with scallion rice and snow peas dish that was pretty tasty. Watched another episode of Poldark and started a new book. Paula Hawkins "Into The Water". She is the same author who wrote "The Girl on the Train" so I thought I should check it out. Only got a few pages into it though and then ended up calling it an early night. So yeah, nothing super exciting really. Haha. 

So now it's Tuesday. Going to meet up with my friend Susanna after work and go to Ibiza (tapas bar) so that should be fun. Then tomorrow I am going into the office. Been doing that about once a week now just for a change of scenery. There really aren't very many people there at all but it's nice to just get out of the house and break up my routine for a bit. I mean don't get me wrong. I do enjoy the convenience of working from home. Sleeping later, rolling out of bed and starting work without a commute at all. It does have its perks for sure. :) 

Anyway, Thursday and Friday this week I'll be off. Took two vacation days and originally we had talked about going somewhere for a long weekend. We were floating around a few different ideas, the latest of it was Boston. But the Monet exhibit I wanted to see at the Museum of Art in Boston now doesn't start until November so we decided to just scrap the trip. Still taking the time off but we will just do some day trips. Will see what we come up with. On Saturday (24th) which is my actual birthday I have a massage booked in the morning and for dinner we are meeting our friends at the Melting Pot in Darien for fondue. Really looking forward to that. I love fondue. :) 

Alright, well that's about all from me for now. Will have more to write next week hopefully after my birthday week has come to a close.  

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to:  Carmen/Malta, Nina/WA, Lotte/Denmark and Kimber/Canada. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:31 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 12, 2020

Dreary Monday Musings

IMG_20201010_142006_741Dreary, rainy, chilly fall day today. It's been raining on and off all day. Shouldn't complain too much as we still need rain quite a bit with drought conditions here in CT. We really haven't had very much rain. But yeah, just not very motivating on a Monday but oh well. My work day is almost over so that's good anyway. Been able to log out earlier with working from home as I am able to log in earlier without having to worry about the commute to the office. 

Anyway, really not a whole lot new. Last week was relatively non eventful. On Saturday we went to Sherwood Island park and walked the trails through the woods and along the beach. Last time we were there it was the height of summer with people picnicking and spending their days on the beach. This time it was more low key. There were still people there but mainly people going for walks, walking their dogs, jogging etc. The weather was nice and sunny, a bit windy but pretty warm so it was great weather for a walk. Logged close to 4 miles and afterwards went to lunch at Rizzuto's. Later also stopped at Centrico for a minute and when it got too cold to sit outside there we went to Two Steps where we ran into our friend Jack who we hadn't seen in a really long time so that was a fun surprise. 

Sunday we slept in late and then headed to brunch at the Marketplace. Had the most delicious brunch burger (sunny side up egg, Applewood smoked bacon, arugula, avocado, siracha aioli on a brioche bun) So freaking delicious. Terrible for my attempts to eat healthy-ish I am sure but I got a side salad instead of the fries to make myself feel slightly better. lol. I know that hardly makes that huge of a difference but hey every bit helps I guess. 

After brunch we went grocery shopping and then made our way home. Watched the SNL from Saturday we had recorded and then binged the rest of Schitt's Creek. Didn't get to bed till almost 1am and really sad that we are all done with Schitt's Creek now. That show definitely grew on me, such great characters. 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to:  Carmen/Malta, Nina/WA, Lotte/Denmark and Kimber/Canada. 

Posted by Hanna at 04:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 05, 2020

October Fall Weekend

IMG_20201005_185537_439Hello October. In my mind I am still in March somehow but of course that's not really accurate. We have been having pretty nice fall/autumn weather these days so can't complain. Although we are in desperate need of some rain with drought conditions in CT. The weekend was sunny and nice. 

Saturday we drove to Westport and had lunch at Rizzuto's and then stopped at Centrico before heading home and starting on season 6 of Schitt's Creek. I will be really sad when we are done with that show. Sunday we decided to take a fall foliage ride even though the color ended up being pretty subdued. I don't know if it's going to still get brighter and more colorful or if it's the drought conditions that are messing with the foliage. Either way we still had a nice ride and stopped at two vineyards - Hopkins and Haight Brown. Had lunch at Hopkins (some bread, cheese, crackers, dipping oil, olives, etc) Haight Brown also had live music on their patio. When we got home we watched the season premiere of SNL as that had recorded the previous night. It was fun to see them back in the studio. 

What else? I won't even get into the whole Trump-Covid mess. There is just way too much to say about all of that and really all I will say is that every time I think it can't get any crazier with everything going on, yup it does. Ugh. 

Anyway, that's all for now I guess. Will curl up with another mug of tea and read the rest of my book (Mr. Malcom's List). 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to:  Carmen/Malta, Nina/WA, Lotte/Denmark and Kimber/Canada. A letter went out to Celia/MA yesterday.

Posted by Hanna at 07:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 28, 2020

Autumn Days

DownloadAnd it's almost October. The weather has turned more summery again and also weirdly humid these past days. Overall it definitely does feel more like fall though. Although the trees haven't really changed colors here very much yet but I know it's been happening further north. I really am not sure how it got to be fall. In my mind I am still stuck in March somehow. I feel like the whole world kind of went on "pause" mode for me in March when the whole Covid thing really started to blow up. Obviously a lot has happened since then but at the same time it also feels like not much has happened at all. 2020 has been such a weird year. 

Not really much to write about from last week. Wednesday night was our friend John's birthday so we went out to dinner with him and his wife Jana. On the weekend we had lunch at Rizzuto's in Westport and later met up with John and Jana at Centrico. The weather was perfect that night and we hung out by the firepit for a while, enjoying the live music. And when we got home we watched "Enola Holmes" on Netflix. Really enjoyed that. 

Sunday we went for brunch at the Marketplace, ran errands and whatnot. Oh Saturday I also bought two new pairs of sneakers at Sketchers. They had a really good sale so was able to get the second pair for 50% off. 

Well, that's really all for now. Finished the Mary Trump book the other day. Oh yey. I don't even know what to say about that besides it made me feel even more depressed and anxious than I already was/am considering the current state of things in this country. Going back to reading Susanna Kearsley's "Bellewether" now. A much better distraction. 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to:  Carmen/Malta, Nina/WA, Lotte/Denmark, Celia/MA and Kimber/Canada. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 21, 2020

North Fork Weekend

IMG_20200918_204344_460Monday night - mid September. And it's cold. I am enjoying the nice autumn/fall weather but it's a bit cold at night for my taste. Only slightly above IMG_20200918_205824_943freezing overnight at the moment. That's more normal for October rather than early-mid September. But won't complain too much. The days have been pretty nice and I am enjoying the fall sweater weather. :) 

Had a nice long weekend with good weather as well. Work was busy Monday to Wednesday but then we were off Thursday to Sunday so that was nice. Just a small extended weekend break. Drove to the North Fork on Long Island for some R&R and vineyard hopping. :) 

Thursday morning we started with breakfast at our local diner Elmer's. Yum. Then headed out to Long Island and arrived at our first vineyard Kontokosta by 1pm. This vineyard is the furthest one out on the North Fork and is always super pretty to me as it is located by the bluffs with views over the Sound. Vineyards don't usually have ocean views so that's always neat to me. Had a bottle of wine there while sitting outside enjoying the pretty views. From there we went to One Woman which we discovered the last time we were out on LI. It's a much smaller operation but they grow Gruener Veltliner which is always fun to find outside of Austria. So hung out there for a while before ending at Osprey. Followed by a delicious seafood dinner at A Lure. Shared crabcakes and shrimp cocktail. Yum. 

Friday morning we went to Starbucks before heading to Paumanok for our 11am reservation (due to COVID all the vineyards were doing something different - some requiring reservations - others doing walk-in, some bottles-only, some glasses, some tasting flights, some no) Ordered two different tastings flights there along with some crusty baguette with olive oil. Paumanok has a really pretty rustic deck and the weather, while a bit cool, was still nice to sit outside and be comfortable. From there we continued on to Jamesport Vineyard which was right next door. When looking them up I saw that they had a woodfired pizza oven so we decided to go check that out. The pizza was pretty good but not crazy amazing but the place was still a lot of fun. Tried a few different wines. And from there ended at Coffeepot Cellars. Always our favorite of course. One of the owners Laura is just such a sweetheart and their pug Beasley is the most adorable dog ever. 

Had a light dinner at First and South in Greenport. Had some delicious seafood chowder and shared an antipasto platter. Eventually made our way back to the hotel (Indigo) and hung out in the hotel restaurant/bar for a bit longer. 

Saturday was our day to go home but still had a good day. Stopped at Starbucks again in the morning after checking out and then went to Lenz for our 11am reservation. Had two tasting flights plus some cheddar cheese, crackers and prosciutto. From there we went to Bedell. They were doing walk-in only and it wasn't too crazy busy yet when we got there. Were able to grab a table and even though it felt a bit like a wind tunnel it was still nice. Also had some delicious shrimp cocktail that they were selling. Yum. From there we were going to stop at Pindar but when we got there we took one look around and pretty much decided to leave. Way way too many people scattered around everywhere, lawn chairs, people in big groups, just really not our scene. So instead we stopped at Coffeepot one last time, said hi to Laura and Beasley, had some more wine and then drove home from there. 

And the good thing was that we then still had Sunday to spend at home and relax. So that all worked out pretty well. And Saturday you could already tell the traffic was getting crazy out on the North Fork so it was good we planned it a different way. 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to:  Carmen/Malta, Nina/WA, Lotte/Denmark, Celia/MA and Kimber/Canada. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 14, 2020

Random musings

Bellewether CanadaAnd here we are, into the middle of September already. Just a few days away from the official start of fall. it's definitely starting to feel like autumn/fall. I do like this season. I just don't like the foreboding feeling of what comes after it. The cold, ice, snow and dreariness of winter. But let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet I suppose. 

Last week went fine. I did end up working Thursday and Friday because Mike had a work conflict. So we pushed our two nights away to this week instead. Not the end of the world and gives me something to look forward to this week at least. :) 

The weekend was pretty low key, didn't do too much. On Saturday we had lunch in Westport at Rizzuto's and after headed to Centrico and met up with John and Jana, followed by a bunch of Schitt's Creek binging on Netflix. Sunday we also slept in and then headed to the Marketplace in Danbury. We thought they were rolling out their new brunch menu but apparently that didn't start just yet. Oh well. Still had a nice lunch and 1/2 price wine on Sundays so no complaints. Eventually got our grocery shopping done and then more Schitt's Creek binging. We're about halfway into season 5 now. Season 6 isn't on Netflix yet - hopefully soon. 

Anyway, that's about all the news at the moment. Having a low key night tonight. Going to make a sauteed chicken dish with squash. And then will continue reading "Belleweather" by Susanna Kersley. I also really should write some letters. I am so so behind with my letters. Just haven't been in the mood at all.  I think because normally I would be writing in my letters about my travels, shows we have seen, concerts or museums we have gone to. And now there really isn't anything like that to write about. I feel like I am constantly just hanging in limbo. I mean I shouldn't complain. We have been making the best of it, having some nice lunches and times at vineyards etc. But there just isn't much else to do. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 04:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 07, 2020

Labor Day Weekend

Pixlr (3)Today is Monday but it's a holiday here in the US so that means I am off - yay. It's day three of our three day weekend. Of course time always flies by IMG_20200906_162237_535way too quickly but can't complain really. The weather has been absolutely beautiful this weekend. In mid-high 70ies (25C), sunny and low humidity. 

Saturday we went for brunch at J. Lawrence. Then stopped at Supercuts so I could get my long overdue haircut (just got a lot of the dead ends chopped off and some layers put in to add some more volume - definitely feels a lot lighter and less dead now) and after that made our way to Centrico where we met up with John. Hung out there for a while. Always a fun place to sit and just chill. They had the firepit going and even though it got a bit cool at night it was still nice sitting outside. 

Yesterday, Sunday, we went for a nature walk at the Audubon Society in Fairfield. Always a nice place. It's not huge but they have some pretty trails. Marshy, swampy, wooded. We spent some time there and enjoyed the weather before heading to Flipside for lunch. I had the MacFlip burger which is their take on a McDonald's Big Mac and absolutely delicious. Plus Sunday is half price margarita day so I had two Pink Grapefruit Margaritas. So good. 

Watched "Irresistible" when we got home which I thought was a really good movie and a great take on today's world and politic landscape. After that binged some more of Schitt's Creek. And well here we are. Now it's Monday. 

Heading to Mill House Brewing Company in Poughkeepsie for lunch and then we'll see where the rest of the day takes us. I have an early presentation at work tomorrow so do need to plan on going to bed at a reasonable time tonight. But luckily it's only 10am right now so the day is still ahead of us. Plus we also took Thursday and Friday off this week so I only have Tuesday and Wednesday as work days. Then we're off to the North Fork for some vineyard relaxation days. So can't complain. :)  

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

Posted by Hanna at 10:13 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 31, 2020

Bye Bye August

IMG_20200830_134414_605Tomorrow is already September. I really can't begin to comprehend how that happened. I mean time always flies but this year is just extra weird with everything going on. I think it just feels like summer never happened. Yes it was hot and humid but there wasn't anything much we could ever do. No concerts, no baseball games, no city trips, sightseeing, museums, movies, nothing. Luckily we have been able to hang out at wineries so that's a small blessing but everything else has been rather dull. 

This past week on Thursday we brought Mindy to the vet. Dropped her off for the day so they could get an urine sample from her. And luckily the crystals in her urine have disappeared. They want to keep her on the special urinary diet food for the next 3 months and then re-check her. Overall she is pretty much acting normal again so hopefully all will be ok when we re-check around Thanksgiving.

On Saturday the weather was super humid and rainy for most of the day (leftovers from the hurricane coming through) so we went for lunch at Rosy's. Later in the day the weather cleared up a bit and we stopped at Centrico and were able to sit outside and it actually turned into a rather nice evening. Not bad at all.

Then yesterday, Sunday, we drove down to Westport and took advantage of the nicer, less humid weather. Went to Sherwood Island State Park. Mike and his sister used to go there with their parents when they were kids when they went to the beach. I actually had never been there, neither Mike or I are big "spend the whole day at the beach" people. But it was fun to check out the area and the different trails and paths. Walked 3.7 miles according to my FitBit so that was good. After we were done there we headed to Rizzuto's for lunch (only a 10 min drive from the state park) Had a nice leisurely lunch and eventually headed home to binge on more Schitt's Creek. Oh, Saturday night we watched the new Bill & Ted movie. As expected it was pretty dumb but in a fun way. 

Well now it's Monday again and we'll see what this week brings. Tomorrow I am meeting up with my friend Susanna for dinner after work. We used to work together and haven't seen her since Feb or March in before COVID times. So will be nice to catch up. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)