Thursday, October 13, 2016

Boston Meet-up :)

IMG_20161012_173301Quick update about our trip to Boston yesterday. Found out recently that my Dutch friend Esther was coming to the States with her husband, on a sort of last minute/spur of the moment vacation. After some back and forth I learned that she was visiting friends in Boston. Since we're not that far from Boston (2 1/2-3 hours without traffic depending on the area) I suggested that we should meet up. 

I am really glad that things worked out and we managed to get together. We've been in touch online (on Livejournal) and via mail since 2011ish (we both weren't sure on the exact date - time flies) but had never met in person. I am glad that we could make it work so we finally met up in person. It was fun to be able to hang out. 

We met up with them at the place where they are staying and then drove into Boston together. Walked along the Freedom Trail while chatting about all sorts of various topics. Made a stop at the Hard Rock for a yummy lunch and continued on the trail afterwards. Managed to snap some neat pictures, a truly gorgeous fall day. Perfect weather. 

Had a long day yesterday (got up at 5.30am and didn't return to CT till 9.30pm) but it was totally worth it. Always glad when I get to meet a pal I have known for a while but have never met in person. Yay. :) 

Other than that not too much else going on. Still job hunting. Waiting for a final answer from one job which now should be coming on Monday. Everyone keep your fingers crossed for me that the answer will be a positive one. If not it's back to the drawing board. But either way, I know something will work out one way or another. Just need to stay confident and keep looking. 

Bunch of plans for this weekend. Want to see the movie "The Accountant". We also have tickets to see the band Chvrches at Radio City Musical Hall Saturday night. And on Sunday we are supposed to be heading to Wurtsburo airport for a glider ride for Mike (Christmas present from last year) Hopefully the weather cooperates as we already had to reschedule it once due to that. 

Letter/Mail Update: All caught up with my mail at the moment. :) 

Posted by Hanna at 04:42 PM in Food and Drink, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Oregon Coast .. goodbye West Coast :(

IMG_20160821_210119And it's already our last day here IMG_20160822_195707 on the West Coast. Where did the last 8 days go? Time always flies by so fast when you are having fun. 

We left Portland on Sunday morning and headed to the coast. When we made it to the ocean it was still a bit cloudy but the weather improved quickly and the clouds gave way to sun. Such pretty scenery. 

We did some wine tasting and after headed to Yaquina Head Lighthouse where we checked out a couple of trails and took loads of pictures. Such a pretty area. 

Later we had lunch at the brewpub at Rogue Brewery before checking in at our hotel (just a Days Inn..  had gotten used to the Air B&Bs we had in Seattle and Portland which were much nicer of course) Walked down to the main street to check out the various shops and restaurants. What a funky town. 

Monday we left Newport and continued up to Cannon Beach. On the way we checked out the Three Cape Scenic Route which was very pretty. Cape Kiwanda, Cape Lookout and Cape Meares. Saw the Lighthouse at Cape Meares and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. Also stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory (yummy samples!!)

Once we got to Cannon Beach we had lunch at the Pelican Brewery. And walked up and down the main street to look at all the shops. Very cute and quaint town. Did some more wine tasting and eventually had a nice relaxed dinner. 

This morning we walked along the beach for a bit, out to Haystack Rock. Cool and breezy but really pretty. Now at lunch at the Wayfarer Inn. Had the most delicious double cheese (asiago on the outside, cheddar on the inside] melt with avocado, tomato and bacon & garlic fries. So yum. Now just sitting, sipping on my glass of Pinot Gris, looking out at the ocean.

I so do not want to leave. Of course we will have to make our way back to Seattle airport regardless after lunch. Well Oh well ..  until next time West Coast :)

 Letter/Mail Update: Received letters/owe replies to Jessica/DE and Carmen/Malta.  

Posted by Hanna at 04:55 PM in Beach, Food and Drink, Outdoors, Travel, Wine | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Portland, Oregon

IMG_20160820_114224Hello from Portland.

Thursday we went to the Museum of Flight in the morning. Neat museum with lots of exhibits. Afterwards we headed back into the city to take the ferry over to Bainbridge Island.

Managed to get the 12.20 ferry (35 min ride) so we were on the island by 1. Found a place on the water to have lunch  (Doc's Marina Grill) and later did some wine tasting, checking out the different tasting rooms along the main street. What a neat island. Had some tasty gelato and eventually  walked back to the ferry. 

Friday we left Seattle and made our way to Portland. Got here a bit after noon and took the Max Light Rail into downtown. Had a late lunch at a brewpub (Deschutes) followed by a visit to Powell's book store. What a neat store. 

Today we checked out the Japanese and Rose Gardens in Washington Park. Both very pretty. Then made our way to the waterfront where we had lunch outside. In the shade by the water the heat was tolerable. It's been a 100F (38C) but at least there is no humidity so much more tolerable than the heat on the East Coast. 

Tomorrow we are off to the Oregon coast for 2 more nights. This trip is definitely flying by way too fast. 

 Letter/Mail Update: Received letters/owe replies to Jessica/DE and Carmen/Malta.  

Posted by Hanna at 09:30 PM in Food and Drink, Outdoors, Travel, Wine | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Hello from Seattle

IMG_20160817_200013Already Thursday again. Time's flying by. Our alarm went off at 2.45 am on Tuesday so we could catch our morning flight to Seattle from Newark. The flight seemed to be never ending but we eventually made it to Seattle. Picked up our rental car and drove to the area where we were staying. We couldn't check in yet so we just parked the car and took the Light Rail to downtown to explore. 

Spent some time walking around Pike Place Market and had lunch at a really neat brewpub (Old Stove). After lunch we made our way over to Seattle Center via the monorail. Took some pictures of the Space Needle and went to the Experience Music Project museum. Such a cool place. Afterwards we headed back to Pike Place Market and hung out for a bit before meeting up with my friend Nina for dinner at Pike Place Brewing Company. Was great to meet up with Nina after writing letters for 10 years. Always neat to get to meet people in person. 

Yesterday, Wednesday, we drove north to the Boeing Factory for a tour. They bring you through the factory so you can see the planes being assembled and whatnot. It's really pretty neat. Such a huge complex too. They employ 40,000 people in that location alone. Pretty fascinating when you think about it. It's like a small city with their own fire department, police, coffee shops, cafes, daycares etc. 

After we were done at Boeing we headed back south again to Woodinville for lunch and some wine tasting. Had lunch at the Red Hook Brewpub and then went for wine tasting at Columbia Winery and Chateau Ste Michelle. Was happy to get to visit Chateau Ste Michelle as it is definitely one of my favorite wines. Neat to go to their tasting room after all these years. 

After we were done we fought our way back south through rush hour traffic. Had dinner at the Columbia City Ale House near where we are staying and later some wine, sitting outside. Nice end to the day.

Today we are going to the Museum of Flight and later are going to head back into the city to take the ferry over to Bainbridge Island. Should be a good day. :)  

 Letter/Mail Update: Received letters/owe replies to Jessica/DE and Carmen/Malta.  

Posted by Hanna at 12:05 PM in Food and Drink, Travel, Wine | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Goodbye Croatia, hello Slovenia :)

IMG_20160608_151233And here we are. Already Wednesday night in Ljubljana. Time's flying as usual of course. Had a nice remaining stay in Croatia and was kind of sad to say goodbye to my balcony with the lovely view of the ocean/sea. So beautiful and blue, truly perfect.

Monday we took a trip to the Krka National Park. Took a boat ride to the waterfalls. It was kind of hot so we didn't actually walk close to the falls but I saw them from the distance. Had a lovely lunch and great time before thunderstorms started to threaten the area. Had the most delicious tuna salad with black beans, corn, onion, cucumbers, tomatoes - so good.

Tuesday we ran a few errands to pick up some gifts for people back in Austria and the US (cheese, wine and whatnot) and had another lovely lunch at the restaurant in Simuni. When we got back to the hotel in the afternoon I spent a few hours by the pool and went swimming. It was probably the hottest day so perfect to spend some time hanging out in and by the water.

Today, Wednesday, we packed up the car after breakfast and then made our way towards Slovenia. Had a delicious lunch while still in Croatia. Eventually crossed over to Slovenia and then checked into the hotel in Ljubljana. Tomorrow we will be on our way to Austria.

Lots planned for once I get to Austria. Hair dresser appointment, meet ups with friends and family both in Lower Austria and Vienna. As usual I will be busy and I am sure time will fly by. For now I still have a week to go before I have to board my plane back to NYC. Lots more food and adventures to be had so stay tuned. :)  

Mail Update: Received letters from/owe replies to: Nina/WA and Lotte/Denmark. 

Posted by Hanna at 02:52 PM in Food and Drink, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 05, 2016

More Croatia :)

IMG_20160605_095853And it's already Sunday again.  Why does time always fly when you are enjoying yourself? I am currently sitting on the balcony with my feet up, a glass of wine, reading "The Shell Seekers" and listening to the waves. 

Friday we drove to the island of Vir. Also stopped in Nin for a bit and bought a bunch of neat things at the salt museum gift shop (rosemary salt, basil salt, fleur de sel sea salt, olive oil and various scented bath salts) Had a great lunch close to the water. Super yum. 

Yesterday, Saturday, we took the road along the coast and drove all the way to Senj. Very pretty drive. In a way reminded me of a Croatian version of CA Highway 1. Really pretty scenery and a great drive along the coast. Had lunch in Senj and then cut through the mountains over to the highway inland to drive back to the hotel.

Today, Sunday, we drove to Primosten (about hour and a half away) and had lunch in another lovely restaurant right on the water. Had yummy fish soup and a delicious grilled fish platter with veggies, olives, etc. Cappuccino, wine,  ... life's good :)

Will see what the weather holds in store tomorrow and decide what to do then. 2 more nights here after tonight. Making the most of my time near the sea and my balcony :)

Mail Update: Received letters from/owe replies to: Nina/WA and Lotte/Denmark. 

Posted by Hanna at 11:10 AM in Beach, Food and Drink, Outdoors, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 03, 2016

Croatia .. sun, sea and delicious food :)

IMG_20160602_223245And it's already Friday. Got here Wednesday and we are here into next week Wednesday.  That's when we leave for Slovenia. Staying there for a night before heading to Austria to be back there Thursday night. 

The weather has worked out in my favor so far. It's been a bit unstable with thundershowers but yesterday it cleared up right around midday so we were able to sit outside for lunch. Had a delicious fish/seafood platter in a restaurant right by the sea. Since the weather had turned out to be nice we continued on to the island of Pag and to the olive trees in Lun. It's a world heritage site with 1500 year old olive trees. Very cool. Bought some sage honey at one of the stands as well.

Later in the day after we returned to the hotel I sat on the balcony for a bit. That's when it started thundering and eventually downpouring again for a bit.  But it really didn't matter anymore at that point.

Had breakfast this morning and are now heading out as the weather is pretty nice so far again. Driving to the island of Vir. Will update again more in the next few days. 

Mail Update: Received letters from/owe replies to: Nina/WA and Lotte/Denmark. 

Posted by Hanna at 04:50 AM in Food and Drink, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Croatia Update

IMG_20160601_160628Hello from Croatia :) Here I am, in Europe, about to crash since it's past 9.30pm now and I haven't really slept. I don't think the 3ish hours on the plane and my 25 minute power nap before dinner really count. So I am definitely ready for bed.

All in all my travels went smooth and uneventful which is always good. Our friend John had to pick up his wife Jana from JFK since she was coming back from France. So that meant that Mike didn't have to drive down to JFK to drop me off and I was able to hitch a ride with John who was already going down there anyway. Traffic was fine and the check-in and security lines were short and I was able to breeze through (almost never happens these days - pretty amazing) so I had plenty of time before my flight. Was able to sit down, grab a snack and some wine before catching my flight. Nice and relaxing start to the trip.

The flight to Munich was fine as well. Watched "Paddington" and "Carol". Both movies I had wanted to see when they came out but never got to them. Got to Munich on time and grabbed a snack during my layover while waiting for my flight to Split. Had a smooth flight there as well. My parents picked me up from the airport and we drove the hour and a half back to the hotel where they are staying, in Miletici. Nice and quiet place, right by the water. My room has a balcony overlooking the sea which is great. The restaurant also has views of the water. 

Had a snack and some wine. Then relaxed in my room for a bit and tried to help out with some work stuff. All hell was breaking loose at work (always does when I or both Mike & I are on vacation it seems) so I tried to help with a few things I could do remotely. Then took a quick power nap before dinner at 7pm. Yummy spaghetti with seafood. 

Here for another week and looking forward to a week of mostly relaxing and hanging out. :) 

 

Mail Update: Received letters from/owe replies to: Nina/WA and Lotte/Denmark. 

Posted by Hanna at 03:59 PM in Food and Drink, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 18, 2016

Art & Animals - Chicago Day 3

Instaplace_20160418_122031And here's my recap for today. Figured I would post it in a separate post to try and keep Instaweather_20160418_160208 things more organized. :)

Had a really nice day so far today as well. Got up and decided that it was early enough for us to have a real sit down breakfast before heading to the Art Institute. Dropped off my postcards at the post office on the way and then had a yummy diner breakfast before eventually heading to the museum. 

There was a line at the museum to get in. They open at 10.30 and we were there at maybe 10.15-10.20. The line wasn't too long though and we had purchased our tickets online and printed them so once the doors opened we were able to bypass the ticket line and could go straight through to the exhibits. So that was a big help. 

First thing we did was go to the special exhibit (Van Gogh's Bedrooms) It's been very popular and at times can get very crowded so we wanted to make sure to go and see it on a weekday first thing in the morning when they open up. Worked out well as there was no line to get into the exhibit. Of course there were people there but all in all it wasn't terribly crowded. And I really enjoyed the exhibit and had a lot of fun with it. 

After we were done with the Van Gogh things we explored the rest of the museum. We had been there previously in 2007 and liked it then so I wasn't surprised to enjoy it just as much this time around. Lots of interesting collections. Loved the Impressionist paintings. Always my favorite anyway. Also checked out a bunch of the more modern art and various other things. 

When we were done at the museum we took the train to the zoo. The weather has been really nice so it was perfect walking around outside weather. Really no complaints whatsoever. We have completely lucked out with the weather. It's been in the high 60ies/low 70ies (18-22C) and sunny the whole time we have been here. So nice. Tomorrow it's supposed to get cloudy/rainy again later in the day but it won't really matter since our flight leaves at 1.30pm. 

Anyway, the zoo was a lot of fun, despite the fact that it's spring break here in Chicago at the moment which meant A TON of kids running around. The zoo is free (which is really surprising but cool) so of course a big attraction for people with kids. Anyway, we had fun either way and enjoyed looking at all the cute animals. 

Eventually made our way back to the hotel where we are now. Relaxed for a bit and are going to head out to dinner at another brewpub in a bit. This one's called Haymarket Brewing. Oh, almost forgot. At the zoo we had a super delicious Chicago hot dog (with mustard, relish, peppers, diced onions and pickles) Really like their hot dogs. Not sure I am a big fan of their deep dish pizza but their style of hot dogs I do like. :)

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Charles/TN, Carmen/Malta, Laura/Spain, Lotte/Denmark and Jessica/DE. 

Posted by Hanna at 05:47 PM in Food and Drink, Outdoors, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Chicago Meetup with Dave

IMG_20160418_160811Hello again. :) Having a really great time so here's a quick recap of yesterday so I don't fall too far behind with my posts. :)

Had a great day yesterday. After Starbucks and lounging around for a bit we met my friend David who came into the city from Indiana. Took the subway out near Wrigley Field to eat at the Julius Meinl Cafe in Southport. I was really excited to go back there again (we had also been there during our 2007 Chicago trip) and it definitely didn't disappoint. 

Everything inside the cafe (all the furniture, wall hanging, etc.) was imported from Vienna so it has a very authentic feel to it. And the food is just delicious. Had yummy Frittaten Soup to start with, followed by a ham & Swiss cheese croissant and Palatschinken (Austrian crepes) for dessert. Oh and a Viennese iced coffee (with vanilla ice cream) So delicious. 

After lunch Mike, Dave and I walked over to Wrigley Field. Took some pictures there and then continued on to a brewpub not that far down the road (Atlas Brewing Company) Had a couple of drinks there while relaxing and chatting. And eventually continued on back to the train/subway to go back to downtown/The Loop. Was really nice to be able to see Dave again. Always nice to be able to hang out with people in person you normally don't get to see all the time. 

After we parted ways with Dave we relaxed in the room for a bit and eventually ventured back out to check out a wine bar (Enolo) Turned out to be a really neat place. Had some nice wine and a few tapas style snacks before eventually heading back to the hotel for the night. Definitely a fun day. 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Charles/TN, Carmen/Malta, Laura/Spain, Lotte/Denmark and Jessica/DE. 

Posted by Hanna at 05:34 PM in Austria , Food and Drink, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)