After a month of renovating (read “destructing”) our kitchen, the heat finally got to us. We couldn’t see to work on the ceiling because every time we looked up, sweat filled our eyes. Time for a break. We headed west to the Finger Lakes region of New York. I found a bed and breakfast overlooking the southern end of Seneca Lake where we could sit on our balcony, sipping wine and gazing at the boats as they sailed on the quiet waters.
And, yes, I did say sipping wine, not beer. Before I researched microbreweries for the first book in my brewing series (A Deadly Draught), my preferred drinks were scotch, wine, and tea, depending upon the occasion. I have grown to respect craft-brewed beers, and I’ve even spent an evening or two with a low calorie cousin to the microbrews. Stouts and ales are now on my list of drinks to love.
But this trip returned me to my original love, wine. How could it not? We were in one of the premier grape-growing, wine-producing regions of the United States, if not the world. The hills ascending from the waters of the lakes abound in grape vines, and wineries are around every turn. They offer tastings of their product, and we complied.
We intended to do wineries several afternoons, but found that one was enough. We’d found wine we liked and purchased a few bottles. We spent the rest of the time relaxing on our balcony and enjoying our purchases with some cheese and chocolate.
Not only did our mini-vacation return me to my earlier love of wine, but we also did something more radical. We left our laptops at home. Let me say that in a different way. We did no writing for the week. It was like quitting smoking. I kept thinking there was something I needed to do, yet not doing it felt momentarily liberating.
It’s good to be back home. Our yard is undergoing its own renovation as the village undertakes shoring up our stream bank eroded from last year’s flood. Actually we have no real yard. I had no idea how tracks on a piece of earth moving equipment can tear up the ground. They promise to repair it when they have finished. We’ll see.
Everything else is as it was before we left. Our cats are still as spoiled as they were and ungrateful we have come home to them. The kitchen is still unfinished. The weather is too hot to work in. The best part? Sipping a cold beer on my deck with my laptop in front of me. Of course, the view isn’t as good as on vacation. I’m looking at machinery, a pile of rocks, and clumps of dirt. But there’s a creek out there somewhere. I can hear it.
For all you dedicated writers out there, are you ever without your laptops? Can you vacation without it? Do you look forward to the time when your thoughts are magically transferred to your computer screen?