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)

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Hiking, being outsmarted by a cat and other stuff

PixlrHappy Labor Day weekend to all my US friends. It's kind of weird to me because it's really no different to me than any other day at the moment as we aren't working. It's the first major holiday in forever where I wasn't worried about work, arranging all the schedules, figuring out which customers to call when, worrying about staffing and route scheduling and whatnot. It's really kind of weird. Also most of the CT schools have started back up as of last week. Also kind of surreal for me as I used to keep close track of all the school schedules, organize start up milk deliveries and all that. 

I guess I will see where I end up in the future and if the holidays will have any kind of bearing on my job or not. At Marcus it definitely always meant a lot of extra work whenever a holiday rolled around. This past week I applied at a bunch of different positions (at a Dutch cheese company, a pet relocation company, a rug importer among others) and also saw a job at a honey importer that I want to apply to. So far no interviews but we will see how things go. Something will happen sooner or later, just have to keep looking and stay confident and positive. 

This past Wednesday I had a vet appointment scheduled for Mindy, to update her shots etc. Well that didn't go quite as planned. I should have known that Mindy was not going to be cooperative. I couldn't get her into the carrier. She was so mad, hissing/growling, I was sure I would have ended up scratched to pieces if I continued trying. So I had to call the vet and cancel the appointment. I since ordered a top loading hard shell carrier (the one we had was a soft material with a front loading door) so I am hoping it will be easier to get her into that. Will need to assemble the carrier over the next few days and then make a new appointment for her. Wish me luck! 

Yesterday we went for a nice hike at Bear Mountain Reservation. It's right here in Danbury but for some unknown reason we had never been there before. It was a bit more challenging than I thought it would be, especially the part that led down to the lake (quite steep) but all in all we had fun. Nice to be able to spend some time outdoors. 

The weather has actually been pretty nice these past few days. It's supposed to rain as the storm makes it way up the coast but so far it's not even cloudy. We are inland so I think we will be lucky and hopefully won't really have too much of an issue. Heading out for lunch in a bit and later will relax at home watching movies or catching up on TiVo. We will probably end up doing the same tomorrow on the holiday. Then back to the job search on Tuesday. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 11:33 AM in Cats, Nature, Outdoors | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 29, 2016

Sunday Baseball

IMG_20160828_150419Happy Monday. :) We're back on this coast (arrived back Wednesday morning after a red-eye) Spent the rest of the week running some errands, catching up with a few things etc. 

Saturday we went to the movies to see "War Dogs" (pretty funny and a good movie overall) and had lunch at 121 in Oxford afterwards. When getting home at night we've also been binge watching "Parks & Rec", up to the beginning of season 4 now. It's been a while since we've binge watched a show so that's been kind of fun. Never really got into or watched the show when it was first airing but it's actually pretty funny.

Yesterday, Sunday, we took the train into NYC to go to the Mets baseball game with our friends John & Jana and Robin. Was fun to hang out with some friends for the day. The weather was ok too. It was in the high 80ies (31C) but our seats ended up being in the shade so that was good. The game was fun despite the fact that the Mets lost. Well oh well.

After the game we took the subway back into Manhattan and then went to the Village for some dinner. Went to a place across the Angelika theater called "Burger & Barrel". We had originally discovered the place when watching a movie at the Angelika a few years back. There are so many restaurants in the city, it really is crazy. You could eat at a different one every day of your life and never repeat.

Today I am meeting with one of the staffing agencies I used to use when I worked at my old job. Whenever I needed to hire a new employee for my department I would usually contact a few different agencies to see who they had available and go from there. Well, obviously I don't need to do that anymore but since they reached out to me I figured it couldn't hurt to go and talk to them and see if they are currently working with any companies who have job openings that could work with my skills. We will see how it goes. Kind of weird to be on the other side of it now but also weirdly interesting in a way. Been also looking at all the various job sites, checking new postings and all that.   

Well, that's about all the news here from me. Going to see what this week brings. We have a vet appointment with Mindy on Wednesday, just for a check-up and to get her shots updated. Not looking forward to that. Our cats do not like to be transported in their carrier or ride in the car. Hate it. At least the vet is semi close (about 15 min ride) Well oh well. She will get over it. :) 

Other than that nothing scheduled for this week as of yet. Need to take care of some odds and ends, errands, etc. Will see what the week brings. 

Letter/Mail Update: Letters are going out today to Jessica/DE and Carmen/Malta.  

Posted by Hanna at 10:23 AM in NYC, Sports | 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)

Sunday, August 14, 2016

NYC with Nicki, Damien, Jackson & Lana

IMG_20160812_182128Busy, busy week. :)  

Tuesday we had tickets to see Best Coast in Hamden. So we went there and had a yummy dinner at a place we had been meaning to check out for a while (Eli's on Whitney) Super yummy and HUGE nachos. After we ate we headed over to the venue (Outer Space) which really was just a divy type of club. The show/performance was really good though and it was nice that it was a small venue. Bethany's voice is really great live, so much better than recorded. Pretty amazing how that can happen, the difference between live and recorded music.

Wednesday I took the train down to NYC and met up with my Australian friends. They are staying at a hotel right in Times Square so we met up at a Starbucks across from their hotel. Had lunch at TGI Friday's. Was really nice to catch up with them and to meet their daughter Lana who hadn't been born yet the last time I saw them. Lana's 7 months now and Jackson 4 years. You can really see time pass when you look at kids. It's crazy.

After lunch it was down-pouring so we headed over to Starbucks for a bit. Eventually made our way to Rockefeller Center where I left them to walk back to Grand Central and catch the train back to CT.

Thursday I stayed home and finished decluttering a few more things around the apartment. Then Friday I went back down to the city again. Oh my god it's been SO HOT and SO HUMID. We're in the middle of another epic heatwave and god it's been crazy. Anyway, Friday we took the subway down to South Ferry to catch the Staten Island Ferry. Really one of the best free things to do in the city, great views of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. Had lunch by the ferry terminal on Staten Island (River Dock Cafe) Yummy caesar salad and nice views. Then afterwards we headed back to Manhattan and walked up to the 9/11 World Trade Center Memorial before continuing on to Tribeca. Stopped at a Starbucks for a drink to re-hydrate and then took the subway back uptown. 

Yesterday, Saturday, Mike and I both went down to the city so Mike could have a chance to see our friends as well. Damien took Jackson to the Natural History Museum so he could see the dinosaurs while Nicki, the baby, Mike and I had lunch at Chevy's (much better inside with AC ... really not much you can do outside in that heat and not much you can do inside with a baby) But lunch was great and was nice to spend some more time with Nicki. Had some more Starbucks after and watched some of the Olympics in their hotel room before heading back to CT. 

Was fun to spend some days with them. Kind of sad that I won't get to see them for a while. Nicki is planning to come back to CA in February. If we can swing it maybe we can meet up with her there. But it's a big IF because by then we will have jobs again and taking time off might be tricky. We will see how it goes I suppose. 

In the meantime we have our West Coast trip coming up this Tuesday. Flying to Seattle, staying there for 3 nights, before heading to Portland for 2 nights and then 2 more nights on the coast before returning to Seattle to fly back home. Should be a fun trip. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 10:24 AM in Food and Drink, NYC | Permalink | Comments (0)