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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16 Responses to “fifteen things I did on spring break”

  1. 1
    Liren — March 29, 2015 @ 6:24 pm

    Sounds like utter bliss. I seriously need to make an effort to fully unplug when we go on vacation this summer. I’m so glad you were able to enjoy every moment, belly flop contents and all!

    I imagine you’re already planning the next trip 😉

    • 1.1
      Merry-Jennifer — March 30, 2015 @ 6:28 pm

      I am definitely already planning the next trip(s)! 🙂

  2. 2
    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — March 29, 2015 @ 7:58 pm

    Oh how I love every word of this post. It snowed here today. I am over it. 

    • 2.1
      Merry-Jennifer — March 30, 2015 @ 6:28 pm

      Oh, Liz. I bet you are! Wishing for you warm weather soon!

  3. 3
    Kristen — March 29, 2015 @ 8:41 pm

    The very best kind of vacation is one where we can unplug just to reconnect. LOVE this – and the pictures!

    • 3.1
      Merry-Jennifer — March 30, 2015 @ 6:29 pm

      Thanks, Kristen. Unplugging has become my favorite vacation activity. This summer, we’re traveling to Glacier National Park, and I am SO looking forward to the lack of internet/cell access in the park.

  4. 4
    Flavia — March 30, 2015 @ 10:14 am

    I love this post, MJ and I’m so happy you had a great vacation. We all need these types of vacations at the very least once a year, but more whenever possible. I hope you will keep blogging because so many of us love your writing. xo

  5. 5
    Cherie — March 30, 2015 @ 4:32 pm


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  7. 6
    Gail — March 31, 2015 @ 8:30 am

    This sounds like a perfect vacation.  Perfect.  
    Love this, love you.

  8. 7
    Gail — March 31, 2015 @ 8:32 am

    Sounds like a perfect vacation.  Absolutely perfect.

    Love this, love you.

  9. 8
    Eileen — March 31, 2015 @ 9:32 am

    I absolutely loved the cruise I went on (better than 10 years ago). I keep saying one of these days. After this cold drawn out winter here in upstate NY I’m more than ready for some warm sunshine. Glad you had the chance to disconnect from the norm for a week and recharge yourself 🙂

  10. 9
    Jennifer C. — March 31, 2015 @ 2:01 pm

    Oh how I love a cruise! I’m glad you did too! Our son started his first year of college in August so we dropped him off in Jackson, MS, then drove down to New Orleans and got on a cruise ship the next morning. It was fabulous and I thought we were so “grown” dropping our only child off at college then taking a cruise. I only freaked when I realized that he wouldn’t be able to call if he needed anything! Oh well…he survived and so did we! It was wonderful. P.S. Port = left (same amount of letters…that’s how I learned).

  11. 10
    Paula — April 3, 2015 @ 4:29 pm

    Isn’t it wonderful how totally connected we become to what/who matters most when we become unplugged!  I’m so happy that this vacation was such a fabulous and restful one for you.  Meeting with you last month will remain the highlight of my time in Florida.  So grateful we were able to make it happen.  Happy Easter to you and your family

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