Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Birthday Update

PixlrHere we go, here's my birthday update post. :) Really can't complain. Had an absolutely fun and wonderful extended birthday celebration.

Sunday we started off the day by having breakfast. I had yummy French Toast and bacon, one of my favorites. Then took the train down to NYC and headed over to the theater district from Grand Central. We hung out The Perfect Pint for a bit. Pretty neat bar for midtown where it's usually hard to find anything that's not a stereotypical touristy Irish pub.

From there we headed over to the Imperial Theater which is only a block from there. Was really excited to see "The Great Comet of 1812". We splurged and got stage tickets. The seating and layout was super unique and the whole experience was just amazing. I have seen my share of Broadway musicals, plays and productions but I honestly have never seen one where minutes after it ended I said "I wanna see it again. Now!!" It was just so cool. The stage tickets were amazing. The ensemble and cast was all around us at all times, people everywhere, singing, dancing, playing instruments. It was so immersive. Denee Benton absolutely blew me away. Josh Groban has more of an understated role but does very well with it and gets to show off his impressive singing skills quite a few times. I could go on for ages but I won't. But truly .. if you get a chance to see it .. go see it. Splurge on stage tickets if you can. But even orchestra or mezzanine would be ok. The ensemble and cast is all over the theater at all times so even if you're farther away from the stage you still get to be close to performers. I really do want to see it again. I don't think I can justify paying for stage tickets a second time but I'll be happy to see it from a different viewpoint as well. I honestly think you could watch it ten times and still see something new as there is so much going on all around you at all times. 

After the show we went for dinner at Osteria al Doge which was delicious as always. After a yummy dinner we headed back towards Grand Central but stopped at a wine bar about a block from there (Madison & Vine) and had some wine to wind down. Ended up hanging out there for a while, not paying attention to the time and train schedule. Didn't realize that Sunday and Saturday schedules are different and that there is an hour and a half gap between trains. So we missed the train and didn't get home till about 2.30am. But not the end of the world since we didn't have any early morning plans on Monday.

Monday I filled out my employment paperwork. Oh wait .. I don't think I even updated about that properly on here. On Friday I received a call from the company extending a job offer. They sent the papers via FedEx so I received them Saturday. Filled out everything Monday and sent them back via FedEx (their headquarter is in Pittsburgh) My start date is November 7th. 

Anyway, after we did that Monday morning we headed to the Hopkins Vineyard for some wine and cheese. Nice autumn day with great views at Lake Waramaug. Had a great time relaxing, drinking wine and eating cheese. Perfect birthday afternoon. :) In the evening we went to Rizzuto's for dinner and met up with some friends which was also fun. 

Today I am just catching up on some things at home, drinking tea and relaxing. We decided to book a 3-night stay in Montreal for the weekend (Sat-Tue) to have one more vacation before I start my new job. Once I start I won't be able to take any significant time off for a while so it will be nice to go away one more time beforehand. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received letters/owe replies to: Carmen/Malta, Celia/MA, Nina/WA and Eloine/NY.  

Posted by Hanna at 02:42 PM in Food and Drink, NYC, Performances, Wine | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Gorgeous Fall Day, Job News and more

IMG_20161018_145511Took advantage of the beautiful weather and went for a fall foliage drive (we went on loop #4 if you want to check it out here) on Tuesday. The weather honestly couldn't have been more perfect. Brisk blue skies that highlighted the beautiful colors of the leaves. We are definitely at peak or even a bit past peak here now. The leaves were raining down from lots of trees while we were driving creating super pretty scenes. I love fall/autumn, just wish it would last longer. 

Now on to the news from the job search. It's truly been a bit of a roller coaster ride. Monday night I received a message telling me that I didn't get the job and they picked someone else. Tuesday morning I received another message letting me know that there was a new development. Wednesday I was able to speak to someone and learned that I was their second choice candidate and that a second position had also opened up. So now they are running background and reference checks (criminal, verifying my degree in Austria etc) and once all that comes back I will hopefully be receiving an offer. So everyone, please keep your fingers crossed just a little while longer. :) This process could take another 2 weeks, depending how long it takes for them to verify everything, speak to my references etc. So more waiting in my future it seems. 

Other than that not too much going on. Yesterday, Wednesday, our friends John and Jana came over to our apartment and we watched the third presidential debate together. Always fun to hang out with friends even though the debate itself was a crazy mess of course. I can't wait for the election to be over but am also still a bit concerned. We will see how it goes. That will be another crazy night in front of the TV. Since I am still an Austrian citizen I can't vote so I will have to rely on everyone else in this country to do the right thing. 

Today I am just catching up on a few things and drinking tea. On Sunday we have Broadway tickets to see "The Great Comet of 1812". We splurged and got stage tickets. I am really excited to go as the seating and layout just seems super unique and fun.   Also going for dinner at Osteria al Doge afterwards. Yum. Can't wait. :) 

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

Posted by Hanna at 01:09 PM in Current Affairs, Food and Drink, NYC, Outdoors | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Weekend Update

And it's already Monday again. I am still waiting to hear fromPixlr that company about the job. They said they would be in touch by the end of today so we will see. I have been distracting myself with cleaning, catching up on a few episodes of shows online and browsing all the other job ads I get emailed each day. Saved a few things to go back to and look at after. At the moment my mind is just all over the place. Hopefully something will happen sooner than later so I can figure out what to do next.

The weekend was fun and did pass by pretty quickly.  We went to see the movie "The Accountant" which was a lot of fun. On Saturday we took the train down to the city as we had tickets to see the band Chvrches at Radio City Musical Hall. Before the show we went to a neat bar called Draught 55. Really good food and a huge selection of drinks. Hung out there for a while before heading to Radio City for the show. Chvrches was really great and we both really enjoyed the concert. Took the train home after and ended up being home around 1.30am. If you're interested to hear a clip from the show you can check it out here

Sunday morning we headed to Wurtsburo airport for Mike's glider ride (Christmas present from last year) The weather cooperated and everything went well. Afterwards we stopped in Newburgh and had lunch at the Hurricane Grill there. I think that was the first time we went back to that location since we stopped working in Newburgh. Had a nice lunch and later on met up with our friend John for a bit before heading home and catching up on a bunch of shows on TiVo. 

The weather has turned from fall weather back to summer weather for a few days. Tomorrow we are going to take advantage of the nice weather and go for a fall foliage drive around CT. Should be nice. Might as well take advantage of the fact that the weather's nice mid week and we aren't stuck inside an office, right? :) 

Well, hopefully I will have more job news during my next post. I am really crossing my fingers for this job. But I suppose what will be will be and if this isn't meant to be then something else will come along. But fingers crossed for now. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 02:46 PM in Food and Drink, NYC, Outdoors, Performances | Permalink | Comments (0)

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)

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Ikea/new couch, hiking and Broadway

PixlrUgh. What a miserable, chilly, rainy day. Had originally talked about going to the CT Garlic and Harvest Festival b ut this weather is really not the kind of weather you want for that.  Don't want to be walking around in the rain,  getting drenched,  chilled to the bone. So instead we went to the movies to see "The Girl on the Train". I liked the Don't and thought they did a decent job converting it from the book,  even though it's of course not the same.  

Yesterday we went to the city to see "Something Rotten" on Broadway. Such a fun show. It was really amusing and well done. Our seats were in row A in the balcony so we had great views. Afterwards we went to Chevy's for dinner and then headed back home. 

The weather wasn't too great yesterday either. But it was really nice Wednesday through Friday so we took advantage of that and went on a hike. And on Friday I was able to meet up with my friend Falguni in Scarsdale. Was nice to catch up and hang out for a bit.  

And on Tuesday we rented a pick-up truck from U-Haul and went to IKEA to pick out our couch. Had fun checking out all the various options and found one we liked. Brought it home and decided to unpack it in the driveway cause the box weighed 130lb. Then assembled it and now we have a new couch. Yay. :) 

So that's all the news at the moment. Still waiting to hear on news from the job. Hopefully next week. Fingers crossed.  

Letter/Mail Update: Letters went out on Friday to: Lotte/Denmark, Laura/Spain and Jessica/DE.  

Posted by Hanna at 04:40 PM in Home Improvement, Nature, NYC, Outdoors | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Fall Weather, Waiting Game & Ikea

PixlrHappy October :) It has definitely turned very fall like this past week even though we haven't seen too much color on the trees. I guess I just mean just in general it's been a lot cooler, breezy, often misty/rainy and chilly.  Definitely more of a fall-feel rather than late summer. But I suppose that makes sense considering it's October now. We often do get nice weather throughout October here though so I hope that the weather turns back to being nicer soon. I like fall weather but I like it better when it's sunny and breezy rather than damp and chilly. 

Went to my 4th interview at a company this past Monday. At this point it's a big waiting game. Hoping to have an answer soon, hopefully a positive one but honestly any answer so I know where I stand. There is a second job that is also hanging in limbo, plus still looking at different postings online of course. Well hopefully on next week's post I will have something more solid to write. :) 

Went to the movies yesterday to see "The Dressmaker", an Australian movie starring Kate Winslet. It released in Australia ages ago and seemed to have won a bunch of awards. I really enjoyed it even though it wasn't a big release here in the US at all. But sometimes finding gems like that can be truly fun. 

On Friday we saw our friend Tim who now lives in Florida. Was fun to hang out and catch up over lunch. Going to see him and his girlfriend Sam again later today for dinner. Will be nice to be able to hang out and spend some more time. We used to hang out a lot when he lived in CT so it's a nice treat to see him. Always fun to be able to catch up with friends you don't normally get to see that often. 

In other news my parents got me a $500 gift card from IKEA for my upcoming birthday later this month. Super excited. :) I love IKEA. We want to finally buy a new couch so maybe we can do that next week, depending on what else comes up. We will see. Right now I am looking at a few different options, maybe this one or this one or maybe this one. So many choices. :) I figure we will go there and look at them in person, sit on them and see how we like them and make a decision from there. We also need to measure the inside of our car to try and figure out if we can fit the boxes inside our car. We might have to rent a pick-up or van at U-Haul. We will see. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 12:22 PM in Film, Home Improvement | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Pretty garden, movies, interviews and more

IMG_20160924_151237So it's officially fall. First few days were still more summer like but now over the weekend the weather has definitely turned more fall-like. We took advantage of the nice weather and decided to do something outdoors yesterday. Checked out Innisfree Garden in Millbrook, NY after our friends John & Jana went last week. Their pictures looked really nice so we decided to go this weekend and definitely weren't disappointed. What a neat place. Had fun wandering around and looking at the pretty landscape designs. 

Today we are going to head to the movies in a little bit to see "The Magnificent Seven". Should be a good movie. Probably going to head to lunch somewhere after and maybe catch up on some TiVo shows later. Finished "Stranger Things" on Netflix last night. What a cool series. I can't wait for them to make a second season. How cool!

This past week was filled with more interviews and I have another one coming up tomorrow morning at 9am. Fingers crossed that something positive will come out of these interviews soon. :) I will report back as soon as I have something more concrete to write about. :)

Other than that not too much going on I suppose. This past Monday we went out to lunch with our British friend Robin and hid dad who's visiting him from the UK at the moment. Was a nice lunch.

We will see what this upcoming week brings. I have the one interview scheduled so far. Other than that have a few errands to run, a letter to write, etc. Also just started a new book that I want to continue reading ("A Scone to Die For", Oxford Tearoom Mysteries Book 1, by H.Y. Hanna) Trying to make the most of my time at home while I can. Might as well enjoy myself in between the job search, interview prep and whatnot. :)

Well, off to the movies. Will update when there's more news on the job front. :)  

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

Posted by Hanna at 10:59 AM in Outdoors | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 17, 2016

NYC & the vet

IMG_20160916_124454Decided to take advantage of having Friday free (no scheduled interviews or other appointments) and took the train down to the city. Perfect fall weather. Cool-ish in the morning and nice/sunny later in the day. Had a great day walking along the High Line (a park they created on tracks of an old elevated train-line - really cool), being outside, people watching and whatnot. I love the areas/neighborhoods the High Line runs through. It ends in the Meatpacking District so we wandered around there for a while and eventually made our way into the Village where we found a place to have lunch. It's really difficult picking a place to eat cause there are just SO many places. I think you could literally eat a different place for breakfast, lunch and dinner in NYC and never repeat a place in your whole lifetime. We of course have our favorites we go back to but sometimes we're in the mood to try something new. 

We ended up eating at a place called Upright Brew House on Hudson Street. I had a mozzarella & tomato sandwich with a yummy side salad and Mike got a grilled cheese with fries. Neat selection of beers, ciders and wine. I tried a cranberry mango cider from upstate NY and a sparkling rose wine from France.

Today, Saturday, we had the vet appointment for Mindy at 7.45 am. I was stressing about getting her into the carrier as I had to cancel her last appointment when I couldn't get her into the carrier. I since bought a new carrier on Amazon (this one, a top-loading one) and I have to say - that made all the difference. It was still not fun by all means, but at least I stood a chance this time around.  Managed to get her into the carrier, got her to the vet and back home safely. It wasn't a fun trip, messy and stressful, but at least it's done now. Clean bill of health, updated shots - we're set for another year! 

Just relaxing at home now. Quiet Saturday night in for me. Made myself a big mug of tea and am going to read. Currently about half way through Susanna Kearsley's "Named of the Dragon" and am really enjoying it so far. Not really surprised because I have pretty much liked every book I have read by her. Of course some I like better than others but in general I really enjoy her as an author. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 06:46 PM in Cats, NYC | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Job Hunting & Interviews

PixlrCan't believe that it's already Thursday this week. Somehow this week has flown by completely. It's been a whirlwind of phone interviews, in person interviews, back and forth with the staffing agency and whatnot. 

Of course it's a good thing that my job search is now progressing into the interview state which is making me happy. I applied to various jobs over the last few weeks, both on my own and through a staffing agency (someone I used before at my old job when I had to find employees for my department), hoping that those applications would turn into interviews. Of course not everything did but things are moving along. I pretty much interviewed with one place or another, either over the phone or in person, every day this week. Another interview today at 1pm. And one more set up for Tuesday next week so far.

Keep your fingers crossed for me that one of these things ends up panning out. I do have a favorite among the jobs but I don't want to post about that here just yet. I don't want to jinx it. Let's see how things go first. Job hunting and interviewing can definitely be pretty stressful. It's interesting in some ways too though. Intriguing to see different businesses, how they run and operate etc. Having worked at the same company for the last 14+ years I haven't done a lot of job hunting or interviewing so it's interesting learning about all the processes. I have only been on the other side of it, interviewing and hiring at my old job for my department. 

Well, let's see how things go. I will keep posting as things progress.  This coming Saturday we have another vet appointment scheduled for our cat Mindy. Let's hope I can get her into the carrier this time. Fingers crossed for real for that! I bought a new hard shell carrier that's top loading so hopefully we can get here into there a little easier that way. 

The weather has been pretty nice. It feels fall like today. Brisk blue skies, a little breezy and cool. Supposed to get warmer later, mid 70ies F (23C), so should be pretty nice. Maybe we can get down to the city one of these days, pending how the job search and interview schedule continues. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 10:42 AM in Weather, Work Stories | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

9/11, Happy Birthday Dad, Everclear/Taste of Danbury, Art and more

PixlrToday marks the 15th anniversary of 9/11. I had only just moved to the US permanently a bit over a month prior to 9/11, now I have been here for 15 years. Fifteen years, it's so strange to think that it's really been that long. I remember that day as if it was yesterday. And still, there are teenagers who weren't even born and adults who can vote in this election who have no memory of it. It's so bizarre to me. I guess every historical event at one point moves into the past, it's just weird experiencing it first hand.

Today is also my dad's birthday, which of course is a much happier occasion to think about. My parents are currently on vacation in Switzerland & France and seem to be having a really nice time. Got to talk to my dad today and he had a nice day. 

This weekend was the Taste of Greater Danbury. It's an event that we used to go to almost every year but haven't really done so the past few years. They used to have food stands from quite a lot of local restaurants so you could have a chance to sample dishes from various area eateries. But over the years the selection seems to have dwindled so much. This year there were maybe 6 food stands, nothing that stood out whatsoever. The rest of the stands/booths were a completely random mix of vendors, anything from political campaigns to ceiling fans. So odd. 

The reason we decided to go again this year was that for some unknown reason they got Everclear to play. Mike's been a fan of them since the 90ies and I really enjoy their music too. It was really strange seeing a rock show locally within walking distance of where we live. Had a great time watching them play and hanging out with some friends. Curious who they are going to get to play next year but I feel like this will be hard to top. Anyway, if you are interested here are the links for the songs I recorded: Father of MineBrown Eyed GirlI will buy you a new life and Santa Monica

Today Mike & I went to New Haven to check out the Yale Center for British Art. It's free and we had never been before so we figured it would be a neat place to spend some time. The area around Yale is actually really nice, where the rest of New Haven is kind of crappy. But we had fun at the museum and found a neat place for lunch called Prime 16. Fun day. Now we are back home, bought some cheese & crackers at the store, and going to catch up on some of our recorded TivO stuff and Netflix. Should be a nice ending to the weekend. 

We will see what next week brings. I have an interview tomorrow at 2pm and also waiting to hear back from one of the staffing agencies about another position. Fingers crossed. Let's hope something works out. :) 

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

Posted by Hanna at 06:10 PM in Food and Drink, NYC | Permalink | Comments (0)