Monday, June 17, 2024

Upcoming Heatwave








FB_IMG_1553553319733Happy Monday. Already mid way through June. I really don't know where the time goes. In my mind it's still early spring and here we are heading into our first crazy heat wave of the season. Ugh. Not really looking forward to it.

Other than that not too much new to report I suppose. Last week kind of dragged, partly with work just being extra busy and also being somewhat under the weather. I think I caught something while in Salt Lake just before leaving and ended up super congested which turned into an annoying cough. A week later I am finally feeling somewhat more normal and with it again.

The weekend was super nice with weather in the mid 70ies F (25C) Sunny, breezy and just pleasant. Saturday we decided to head to Broken Symmetry and sat outside for a while just enjoying the pleasant weather. Sunday was another nice day filled with a few errands and brunch.

Also watched "Anatomy of a Fall" on DVD that we borrowed from the library. And read more of my book, the latest one in the Applemore Bay series by Rachel Lucas. Fun, lighthearted read.

Now we are two weeks away from the 4th of July which is always a busy time period at work as well. My company decided to give us the 5th off as well since the 4th falls on a Thursday so that's something to look forward to.

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to: Celia/Tucson, AZ and Kimber/Canada.

Posted by Hanna at 07:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 10, 2024

Salt Lake City Recap








IMG_20240608_134129_541And it's Monday already again and our time away of course flew by but that's how it usually goes. IMG_20240605_204734_778

We had a crazy early flight out of Newark on Wednesday which meant getting up at 3am but at least traffic wasn't terrible that early and we got to the airport ok and from the off airport parking place (Snap Parking) to the terminal quickly. The security line was super long but all in all everything went pretty smoothly and we arrived in Salt Lake City around 10.30am I think. Had to wait for our rental car a little bit but after that were able to head to the hotel. The room wasn't ready yet but at least were able to familiarize ourselves with the location, got changed and then headed out to downtown.

Had lunch at Red Rock Brewery and then ventured out to wander around downtown. Checked out Temple Square as well as the Capital Building. Nice mountain views from the Capitol. After a while the heat combined the elevation was starting to get to us a bit though. Kind of a weird feeling. So eventually stopped at a mall to chill in the AC for a bit before heading back to the car.

Back at the hotel we checked out the rooftop bar and hung out for a bit before calling it a night. Definitely the most unique hotel we ever stayed at but great location and super friendly people.

Thursday we headed to the Valley Fair Mall to have lunch at In & Out Burger. So delicious. Afterwards went back to the hotel to get changed for the wedding and had a couple drinks at Fisher Brewery before heading out to the venue. After the ceremony and reception we eventually headed back downtown and stopped at Slackwater before heading back to the hotel.

Friday was a long day spent mostly on sightseeing. In the morning we headed to Antelope Island State Park, exploring the park for a while. Saw some bison up close which was pretty cool. And also did some hiking out to the salt flats which was pretty strenuous but worth it/super cool. When we were done there we made our way across the Guardsman Pass on a windy mountain road across to Park City. Got all the way up to the snow line right next to the road, pretty neat. And explored Park City when we got there. Neat Main Street with a lot of shops, restaurants and galleries. Lots of stuff to look at. Had a late lunch at Top of Main Brewpub before eventually heading back to Salt Lake. That night was Friday night and the hotel bar got a bit more lively ending with a drag show. Definitely a first for us but was a lot of fun.

Saturday we checked out of the hotel and headed downtown to meet Veronica & Chrissy (our friends who got married) for lunch. Met at Squatter's Pub and walked around a little after lunch. Mike and I headed to Fishers for a bit before eventually making our way to the airport for our evening red eye flight. Returned the car and settled into an airport pub only to discover our flight to be delayed and delayed some more and then some more to the point where we would have missed our connection in Denver (even though we had a 3 hour connection) Luckily the delay ended up being due to a mechanical issue with our plane so United paid for a hotel for us at the airport in Salt Lake along with $60 in meal vouchers. So long story short we didn't actually go anywhere on Saturday besides taking the airport shuttle to the hotel and then back to the airport Sunday morning. United put us on the direct flight to Newark (luckily they had 2 open seats, even though not together but at least on the same flight) So we eventually made it back to Newark around 6pm Sunday night.

And well here we are Monday night already again. Made it through the first day back which is always a pain. Also caught some kind of cold/bug while away. I assume due to being in and out of the constant blasting AC and crazy 90 degree heat. Congested with a runny nose now but I guess it could be worse.

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to: Celia/Tucson, AZ and Kimber/Canada.

Posted by Hanna at 06:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 04, 2024

Busy Week







IMG_20240601_174138_553Alright here we are. 9.15pm and the alarm is set for 3am to leave at 3.30-3.40am to get to our early morning flight from Newark to Salt Lake City, UT. Fun times. 

It's been a bit of a crazy time at work so 3 days off does seem nice but also feel a bit bad about being away during slightly turbulent times. But of course it is what it is. 

This past weekend was pretty low key. On Saturday we spent most of the morning (9 to 1.30pm-ish) at the car dealership. Our check engine light was on plus we kept getting a "reduced engine power" warning intermittently. Bottom line it's 3 things that needs fixing. Thankfully nothing too crazy but of course it all adds up. But of course nothing is ever simple or quick.

When we were done there we headed to the Fairfield Hills campus in Newtown and went for a walk followed by some pizza at Newsylum. 

Sunday was pretty low key too. Had some errands to run to grab some things for our Utah trip. And Monday and Tuesday were pretty busy at work and well here we are. 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to: Kimber/Canada.

Posted by Hanna at 09:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Memorial Day Weekend Recap







Pixlr_20240528204336808Yup and here we are end of May past Memorial Day which kind of marks the unofficial start of summer here in the US. Time as always is flying.

Last week was a busy week at work, always tends to be the week before the holiday. But we managed to get through it and was able to enjoy the three day weekend.

Saturday we were invited to our friends John & Kim for a BBQ and to hang out. The weather cooperated as well and had a really nice time sitting outside chatting, eating and drinking. And eventually moved to the fire pit and sat for even longer just chatting. Didn't get home till almost 1am which is definitely unusual for us but always a good time hanging out with them.

Sunday we decided to take a trip to hang out at some wineries. Started at Hopkins Vineyard in the early afternoon and had a nice time just hanging out enjoying our bottle of wine. Weather was a little breezy and a mix of sun and clouds. After we were done at the vineyard we decided to pop over to the Hopkins Inn for a small lunch. Shared some appetizers (escargot & garlic bread) followed by a shared dessert (mint parfait) Very yum. And from there made our way to Woodbury to Walker Road Vineyard where we ended the day before heading home.

Monday was a bit of a wash out weather wise but that worked out nicely for us to go to the movies to see the Amy Winehouse movie. Afterwards went for happy hour at the Marketplace in Danbury and eventually headed home and watched the newest Troll movie in Peacock.

Hope everyone in the US had a nice Memorial Day weekend as well even though I know that's not what the holiday is all about of course.

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to: Kimber/Canada.

Posted by Hanna at 09:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Back in the US

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Alright here we are, already a week+ after being back in the US. As usual time is just flying. 

Came back last week Monday (5/13) and all in all the trip back was relatively uneventful. Traffic was a pain when I arrived so had to wait for Mike to pick me up and also took us a while to finally get back to Connecticut once he was able to pick me up. But all in all nothing too crazy.

Over my jetlag again as well which always takes me a few days but back in a more normal routine now. Work has been ok although this week is a bit nutty but that's to be expected being the week before Memorial Day, always a hectic week. But will make it through, we always do.

Last weekend was pretty low key and the weather was decent enough as well. Went to the movies on Saturday and saw "Fall Guy" with Ryan Gosling which was a fun movie followed by some pizza at Newsylum Brewery. And Sunday we just had a low key day hanging out and also went for a walk at Wooster Cemetery checking out the baby geese - so cute.

And here we are, already Tuesday night again. Tomorrow morning I have a dentist appt but other than that pretty much business as usual. No big plans for the weekend at this stage.

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to: Kimber/Canada.

Posted by Hanna at 08:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Goodbye Europe .. until we meet again





IMG_20240511_213057_994And here we are, it's Sunday again and tomorrow I am on a plane back to the US. I have no idea where the last three IMG_20240511_212440_796 and a half weeks went and how time can fly by that fast. This has been the longest period of time I have been in Europe in one stretch since I moved away but it still flew by. 

This past week I worked Monday through Thursday so my days typically included time with my mom in the mornings, breakfast, going for a walk, some TV, lunch and maybe another walk before starting to work around 2pm. Wednesday her speech therapist also came by. 

Friday I took the day off again and went back into Vienna. This time I met up with my friend Andrea for lunch. Went to a delicious Italian restaurant where I had pizza with tuna. And afterwards had some time to leisurely stroll along Mariahilferstrasse (big shopping street). Got myself some gelato and eventually just continued strolling until I reached Wien Mitte where I met up with Claudia at 5.30pm. After getting a drink we continued on to have dinner at an Indian restaurant close by. And then had a couple of drinks at Cafe Rochus before eventually heading back. 

Saturday we went out for lunch with my mom, aunt and our neighbors as well as my mom's aid Anka. Had a nice lunch sitting outside and afterwards spent some more time with my mom in the afternoon sitting outside. Been having some nice weather so really can't complain too much. In the evening I watched the Eurovision Song Contest which was fun to watch live for a change. Had to stay up till 1am but was still fun to be able to watch live. And I do like the Swiss entry quite a bit so I am happy they won. The whole contest was a bit of a mess this year with all of the Israel protests and the last minute Dutch entry qualification. But it was still fun to watch.  

Today, Sunday is Mother's Day. No big plans. Just spending a quiet day before the airport transfer picks me up at 4.15am tomorrow. Went for a walk with my mom earlier and will likely go for another one in the afternoon. Had a nice lunch and watching some TV now. Also managed to pack all my stuff. God knows how heavy the suitcase is so I may still be in for a surprise but at least everything is all in there so that's something anyway. 

Mail Update: Letters went out last Friday to: Celia/AZ and Nina/WA. Received a letter from/owe a response to: Kimber/Canada.

Posted by Hanna at 07:25 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 05, 2024

Vienna and other random updates





Pixlr_20240505163009286 (1)Sunday Funday. And as usual I question how another week has already gone by again? My work week went alright I suppose. It's always a bit of a challenge getting used to my work schedule, working from 1.30-2pm to 10-10.30pm. But once you get used to the routine it's really not so bad. The weather was very nice the beginning of the week so I enjoyed my mornings going for walks with my mom, sitting outside etc. Also had lunch with my aunt at a fun place on Thursday and at a delicious Asian restaurant on Saturday. 

Friday the weather took a bit of a turn. Much cooler and rainy. Which of course was the day I went into Vienna to meet up with a friend. But hardly the end of the world. Had lunch at a neat Greek place by the Graben in Vienna and from there ventured to the Loos Bar and on to Kruger's Cocktail Bar. Definitely a fun afternoon and always nice to hang out with Lydia. 

Saturday I met up with my aunt for lunch and the afternoon turned out to be super beautiful & sunny so was perfect for a walk with my mom and to sit outside for a while. Today, Sunday, I met up with my friend Stefan as they invited me over for Sunday breakfast to their house. Was great to meet his wife Jasmin and see their kids again. Lovely home and a fun morning. Came home just in time for lunch and spent the afternoon with my mom watching a Rosamunde Pilcher movie. Now just hanging out catching up on some things. 

Tomorrow is Monday again and the start of another work week. I took Friday off again, going to head back into Vienna to meet up with 2 more friends. And Saturday I think we will do lunch with my aunt & mom. Saturday is also the Eurovision Song Contest which should be fun to watch. First time in ages watching it in real time. I do usually watch it in the US but with the time difference it means watching in the afternoon rather than late evening into the night. And Sunday is Mother's Day and then Monday (13th) I will already be off towards NY/CT again. Yup time just flies and flies. 

Mail Update: Letters went out last Friday to: Celia/AZ and Nina/WA. Received a letter from/owe a response to: Kimber/Canada.

Posted by Hanna at 10:34 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 29, 2024

Sunny Monday





IMG_20240427_214711_131Friday I worked (my first day after having been off for a full week so it was a bit of a IMG_20240428_192837_166catch IMG_20240428_192633_687up day) so the day went by quickly focused on work stuff.

But luckily the weekend followed so it eased me into work mode. :) And the weather has turned a corner again as well becoming much warmer and nicer again. Saturday I spent the morning with my mom and after lunch decided to head into St Poelten. Spent the afternoon there browsing some shops (was able to pick up some early Mother Day gifts for my mom) and sat in a cafe enjoying the nice weather for a while. Definitely an enjoyable way to spend a few hours.

Sunday I was back on the train in the morning heading to Salzburg. Got there a few minutes past noon and met up with my friend Anneliese for some prosecco & coffee. Was nice to see her and catch up a bit. Afterwards I walked around a bit enjoying the sunshine and took some touristy pictures of the old town. Definitely some gorgeous weather. At 2.15pm I met up with Gerti and we headed to meet up with Florian & Kathrin. Always nice to spend some time with my Salzburg family. Had a nice time at a restaurant hanging out before heading back to Gerti's apartment and from there back to the train station. Arrived back at the house around 8.30pm. Another busy but fun day.

And well here we are on this Monday. The weather has turned even nicer, what a gorgeous day today. My aunt came by earlier and after that my mom and I sat outside for a while, enjoying the beautiful weather and sunshine. Even had lunch outside which was very enjoyable. Unfortunately my work day starts pretty soon (1.30-2pm which is 7.30-8am EST) so just wrapping up my personal time, making myself some more tea and getting ready for work time.

Mail Update: Letters will go out soon-ish to: Celia/AZ and Nina/WA. Received a letter from/owe a response to: Kimber/Canada.

Posted by Hanna at 06:58 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Amsterdam Recap


IMG_20240422_221001_841 IMG_20240422_221539_096 IMG_20240423_201710_873Time is flying but I wouldn't expect anything less. Already another whole week gone by. IMG_20240423_202401_158

Sunday, April 21st, I took the night train to Amsterdam from St. Poelten. All in all it was a pretty good journey. Left around 8.40pm I think and arrived in Amsterdam a little before 10am Monday morning. My friend Esther met me at the train station and we dropped off my larger back bag in a locker before venturing out. When I first arrived there was a bit of a drizzle but it cleared up relatively quickly. Had fun wandering around, just taking in the scenery and taking a lot of photos. Had a delicious lunch at a cafe. I had savory pancakes with ham & cheese that were pretty delicious. And to make things even more fun the cafe had a resident cat named Lola who was hanging out, climbing into people's shopping bags and just being adorable.  :)

After lunch we headed over to the Anne Frank House where we had our time slot at 1:15pm. I am glad that we went especially after I had just re-read the dairy recently (in anticipation of the upcoming trip) so it was all still very fresh in my mind. But it was definitely a somber visit.

Afterwards we wandered around a bit more, taking more pictures. The sun had also come out which made things even nicer. Also sat down in a cafe for some drinks but of course the sun decided to disappear the minute we sat down outside but it was still a welcome break. Afterwards we headed back to Central Station to pick up my bag and then took the ferry to go to Esther's house. Was nice to see her husband again and also to meet her daughter Daphne. Had a lovely stay with them and their 3 cats. :)

Tuesday Esther & I headed to Zaane Schans.Historic windmills and distinctive green wooden houses were relocated here to recreate the look of an 18th/19th-century village. So pretty. Walked around there for a while taking a lot of pictures and browsing the cute shops. Bought some chocolates as well as a variety of mustard to take home. Afterwards we drove to Keukenhof for the tulips. Never seen so many tulips in so many colors all in one place. Super pretty. It of course was rather busy considering the place is only open for 6 weeks per year but had a lot of fun. And the weather cooperated pretty much the whole day and also started raining on our drive back home.

Wednesday was a bit of a mixed bag weather-wise. Headed back to Central Station and took a tram from there to the Van Gogh Museum where I had a 11am time slot. Enjoyed the museum and afterwards headed for lunch (got to try Bitterballen - a very Dutch dish) and then had a couple of drinks at the Hard Rock. From there I walked back to Central Station to meet Esther & Daphne. The weather changed between sun & pouring rain numerous throughout the day. Esther, Daphne and I took a canal cruise to end the day. Even though the weather was iffy and the windows of the boat were a bit fogged up at times it was still a fun experience.

Thursday morning I took the train back and after 12 hours (with a stop in Cologne) I arrived back in St. Poelten. Well with a 30 minute delay but for a 12 hour journey it honestly a half hour delay doesn't really even matter much anymore.

Mail Update: Letters will go out soon-ish to: Celia/AZ and Nina/WA. Received a letter from/owe a response to: Kimber/Canada.

Posted by Hanna at 03:43 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Hello Austria

Pixlr_20240420160316981And as usual time is already flying by, it's already Saturday. Arrived on Thursday. The flights were more or less Pixlr_20240420160423029 uneventful. Had a nice seat neighbor on my flight from New York to Frankfurt (a Swiss girl married to somebody from Denmark living in NYC with their 2 small kids) which made for some interesting conversation. The layover in Frankfurt was also fine and the flight to Vienna was super smooth. Grabbed the train from the airport in Vienna to St Poelten and arrived there around 11.15am I think. Stopped to pick up some pizza on the way to the house with my aunt and arrived at the house a little before noon I think. The rest of the day was spent watching TV with my mom, going for a walk and fighting my jetlag. 

Then yesterday I had a hair appointment at 8.30am and spent the morning at the hairdresser, until about 1pm. The weather has been kind of crappy. They had such nice weather here in Austria for the past weeks, unusually warm and sunny for the season. And of course the week I got here it completely turned and is cool, wet and windy. Even had sleet the past 2 days. Ugh. I really wish I had brought a warmer jacket. Well, hopefully the weather will turn again soon-ish. I will see if I can borrow a jacket from my mom for my trip to Amsterdam. 

Spent the afternoon watching some more TV with my mom, went for another walk and caught up on a few work emails before watching more TV and reading later. It's been a few relaxing days, can't complain. 

Today we are off to the Heurigen for a vineyard lunch with my aunt, mom, her aid and our neighbors Helga & Franz. I will continue this post once we are back,

Update: Back now. Had a delicious lunch and some nice wine. A good way to spend a chilly, rainy day/afternoon. Now going to watch some more TV with my mom with a big mug of tea. And will read some more before turning in for the night. 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to Celia/AZ, Nina/WA, Kimber/Canada.

Posted by Hanna at 10:39 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)