fifteen things I did on spring break

cruise

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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20 Responses to “napa valley, california: eats and drinks”

  1. 1
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    Elizabeth Howes — October 26, 2010 @ 8:35 pm

    Great shots! I actually live in Marin (40 minutes south of the wine country) but never get tired of photos of the area. Especially when they involve great food and wine.

    Thanks for sharing — and Happy (belated) Birthday!

  2. 2
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    Kristina @ spabettie — October 26, 2010 @ 8:47 pm

    GORGEOUS photos ! I went to Bouchon (Vegas…) for my birthday… I have always wanted to visit all the restaurants in Napa… it all looks delicious!

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY !

  3. 3
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    Kate @ maître de moda — October 26, 2010 @ 8:51 pm

    What a great post – the pictures are fabulous!
    Happy birthday! I cannot wait to go to Napa one of these days…the food looks absolutely fantastic. Thanks for sharing!

  4. 4
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    Gail — October 26, 2010 @ 8:56 pm

    I got up from my sickbed to have a bite to eat and look at food blogs.
    This post has cheered me up more than words can say.
    Beautiful……

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  6. 5
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    Dr. Bob — October 26, 2010 @ 10:32 pm

    Gorgeous photography.

  7. 6
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    Kate @ Savour Fare — October 26, 2010 @ 10:43 pm

    OK, now I have to open a bottle of wine.

  8. 7
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    Kim — October 27, 2010 @ 1:13 am

    Happy belated birthaday! Oh how I wish I spent mine in Napa. Maybe next year?!

    Beautiful pictures!

    [K]

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    eatgreek.net — October 27, 2010 @ 3:00 am

    excellent pictures!
    that weather is perfect for a glass of wine and nice food! 😀

  10. 9
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    Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite — October 27, 2010 @ 6:40 am

    Looks like a wonderful trip MJ. Can’t wait to read a little more about it all. And it brought back so many memories 🙂

  11. 10
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    SMITH BITES — October 27, 2010 @ 7:27 am

    beautiful MJ and so happy you got to go for your birthday! we wanted to see Napa this summer when we were there but just didn’t have the time with everything else that had been scheduled – but i feel as if i’ve been there now because of these gorgeous photos! does make me want to visit even more – love it!

  12. 11
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    Maria at Fresh Eats — October 27, 2010 @ 9:17 am

    Such pretty photography of a wonderful place. Looks like you had a wonderful time! Makes me want to go back.

  13. 12
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    Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle — October 27, 2010 @ 11:58 am

    I was supposed to visit Napa this summer but life went a bit awry, so I’ll enjoy a bit through your visit and pine for the day it actually happens maybe a bit more? Beautiful photos, thanks for taking us along!

  14. 13
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    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — October 27, 2010 @ 12:16 pm

    What an opportunity you had! Lovely photos!

  15. 14
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    Nancy@acommunaltable — October 27, 2010 @ 4:23 pm

    Gorgeous photos!! Can’t wait to hear more about your trip! Last time we were there it rained the entire time – but it was still a blast and we loved every minute of it!!!

  16. 15
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    Wendy (The Weekend Gourmet) — October 27, 2010 @ 7:15 pm

    Your post is bringing back some wonderful memories of my trip to SF/Napa in Spring 2009. Love Bouchon Bakery…we ate dinner at ad hoc and loved it. I’m sure Bouchon is fantastic as well. Want to go back next year for another ad hoc dinner + Bottega. And more vineyards!

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    Steph — October 29, 2010 @ 11:35 am

    Lovely pics! I’ve always wanted to visit Napa in the fall.

  19. 17
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    Nothing better than Napa Valley! I am fortunate to live about an hour away and pop up there often. Bouchon bakery and restaurant are among my favorites!!! Nice photos – thank you for sharing! Must try that Barlow wine!

  20. 18
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    Jason Phelps — October 31, 2010 @ 8:40 pm

    Holy pictures! I have to get to Napa ASAP.

    Jason

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