fifteen things I did on spring break


For the better part of five days, I was without internet service or cell phone coverage. I couldn’t check my work email. I could not read my latest patient updates in our electronic medical record (something I’m apt to do on weekends or holidays, even when I’m off). I was not able to read status updates on Facebook or browse the beautiful images on Instagram. I was not able to tweet or read tweets. Or retweet, for that matter. I was not able to read the New York Times or the Washington Post or watch funny cat videos online.

Instead, I was able to do the following:
1. Read most of a book. I’ve become hooked on Tania French’s Dublin Murder Squad series, and I’m almost done with the third one, Faithful Place.
2. Share in a nightly toast with my husband and children during cocktail hour, before each evening’s dinner. We toasted with our glasses of beer (for him) and wine (for me) and Shirley Temples (for the little ones) to each other and to a wonderful vacation.
3. Knit several rows of stitches in the shawl I’m working on, one of two projects on my needles right now. I’ve learned that I can’t have just one project at a time. Turns out that I’m not a monogamous knitter.
4. Have soft serve ice cream twice a day. Or more.

5. Show off my mad ping-pong skills. I am only slightly better than my kids, but they are so terrible at the game that it makes me look like a champion.
6. Sit with the sun on my shoulders and my feet in a swimming pool, with one of my kids on either side of me, while judging a belly flop competition. It’s amazing what grown men with a few (or a dozen) drinks in them will do to show off. It’s even more amazing that we all had so much fun watching the contest.
7. Ignore depressing current events.
8. Have countless discussions about the Titanic and whether our ship, the Brilliance of the Seas, was built better than the Titanic and had enough lifeboats for everyone and whether there were icebergs in the Gulf of Mexico. The answers were always yes, yes, and no.
9. Marvel at how the sun seems almost alive in its last minutes on the horizon, before disappearing over the edge of the earth.
10. Swim with a dolphin named Lula at Dolphin Discovery in Grand Cayman. I loved it more than I ever imagined I would.
11. Learn the definitions of forward and aft.
12. Fail to learn the definitions of starboard and port.
13. Not think about death and dying, family crises, work dilemmas, promotion and tenure, manuscripts waiting to be finished, manuscripts waiting to be started, summer camp sign ups, or my floundering enthusiasm for blogging.
14. Go to bed shortly after dark, and awake shortly after dawn, with never a nightmare in between.
15. Relax.

cruise sunset

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22 Responses to “the food blog forum orlando, disney edition”

  1. Paula- bell'alimento — March 21, 2012 @ 4:58 pm

    It was such a great weekend MJ! LOVED seeing you as always! xoxo

  2. Kiran @ — March 21, 2012 @ 5:00 pm

    Spoken like a true champ!! Bummer that we only hugged it out and never really spent enough time gossiping!

    Next time for sure 😀

    Congrats on the mixer!!!

  3. Carol Sacks — March 21, 2012 @ 5:01 pm

    I have a big smile on my face after reading your post! Sounds like a nourishing weekend and lots of fun, too. And, you look great, MJ!

  4. Mal @ The Chic Geek — March 21, 2012 @ 5:04 pm

    This sounds like such a fabulous time!

  5. Kathryn — March 21, 2012 @ 6:12 pm

    It sounds so much fun, I’ve loved seeking everyone’s photos and posts!

  6. Macaroni Mama — March 21, 2012 @ 9:39 pm


  7. Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray — March 22, 2012 @ 9:00 am

    Looks like so much fun, and congrats on the mixer!

  8. Noble Pig - Cathy — March 22, 2012 @ 1:03 pm

    Beautiful post…can’t wait to go next year!

  9. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite — March 22, 2012 @ 5:23 pm

    Oh it was SO Much fun hanging out with you and your fabulous family and I wouldn’t have traded walking through Epcot with you and the Kitchen Aid for anything in the world XOX

  10. Wanda — March 23, 2012 @ 7:33 am

    You are a funny writer, love it. We had an amazing weekend and the best part was that we got to share it our family. Having my girls there with me made the event even more special! Great recap! Hope to be able to spend more time with you next time me meet. Are you attending any other blog event?

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — March 24th, 2012 @ 11:59 pm

      Wanda – I’ll be at TechMunch in Tampa and at Big Summer Potluck!

  11. Cathy — March 23, 2012 @ 8:56 am

    love the picture of you, mardi, and the mixer!!

  12. Pingback: Food Blog Forum Orlando 2012 — r e c i p e b ♥ x

  13. Brian @ A Thought For Food — March 25, 2012 @ 10:41 pm

    I am just seeing this post now. Congratulations on winning the mixer! How exciting!!!

    So glad you had such a fabulous time!

  14. Aggie — March 27, 2012 @ 4:48 pm

    I’m a little behind on my reading…I have a huge smile on my face right now. Hanging with you & your fam was a highlight! You were such a rockstar with that mixer at Epcot 🙂

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — March 28th, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

      Aggie – thanks for snapping that photo! SO good to see you in Orlando.

  15. Pingback: the little kitchen » Food Blog Forum Orlando 2012 at Walt Disney World

  16. Sunny — March 28, 2012 @ 4:47 pm

    Congrats on the mixer, can’t wait to add one of those to my collection when I get my kitchen remodeled! Yours is the first entry I’ve read about attending a blog conference. I’ve registered for IFBC in Portland OR this August, and am really looking forward to it! Thank you for sharing this story.

  17. Pingback: Foodblogforum recap « Zaika Zabardast

  18. Adam and Joanne — April 4, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

    Nice prize! Can’t wait to see all of the posts with the mixer in the background 🙂 Wish we were there…maybe next year!

  19. Pingback: Food Blog Forum Orlando/Walt Disney World 2012 | Aggie's Kitchen

  20. MommyNamedApril — April 24, 2012 @ 10:50 pm

    so very bummed i missed it this year!

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