Stop whining about wine!…The taste, the socialization, the pleasant warmth….

By the time we returned from our visit to Funchal, Madeira, in four hours, this was the view from the veranda of our holiday home in Campanario. It wasn’t quite as beautiful as the usual ocean view, but exciting nonetheless.

Note: To all of our readers visiting our site via a smartphone, please click the “View web version” tab under the word “Home” at the bottom of the page to access the web version enabling you to access all of our archives on the right side of the page. We’ll be updating our site in a few months, making these extra steps unnecessary. Thank you.
Today’s photos are from June 7, 2014, while living in Madeira, Portugal. See the link here for more photos.

While we were staying at the SunNSand Hotel before it closed and kicked us out, on March 21st, we purchased enough beer to last for a week, never thinking we wouldn’t be able to buy more down the road.

On the way back to our holiday home, we stopped at the local grocer for a few items. While I shopped, Tom purchased a few muffins at this bakery next door.

It had been nine years since I’d drank a beer when implementing a low-carb lifestyle in 2011. Beer is made with hops, a byproduct of wheat, which I don’t consume in any fashion. Under these unusual circumstances in India, I decided to bend the rules and drink beer. It tasted excellent.

But, when we arrived at this hotel, Courtyard by Marriott Mumbai Airport, on March 24th, the day the lockdown in India began, we were told we’d have to drink the beer in our hotel room, not outside on the veranda since they weren’t allowed to offer any form of alcohol to their guests.

There were puffs of fog on the road, as shown in the left lane.

A few days later, when we ran out of the beer, we decided when and if we could purchase alcohol again, we wouldn’t bother. Neither of us cares to have a drink in our room. 

We’ve never ordered beverages in our hotel room in any of the hotels in the past years of world travel. If we feel like a beverage, we’d either go to the hotel bar before dinner or order a drink at dinner in a restaurant. Most often, for me, it would be a glass of red wine. For Tom, he’d order a Cognac with Sprite Zero on ice.

At points along the drive, the fog was only visible at a distance. The 80 on the speed sign is in kilometers per hour, equivalent to 50 miles per hour.

While on cruises, we’d rarely order a cocktail during the day unless we were attending a special event hosted by the cruise line. At times, a perk included in the cruise fare will consist of the drink package when Tom may order a frothy drink during the day. Since I don’t consume sugar, I avoid those drinks entirely and get too sleepy if I drink wine during the day.

With our priority status on cruises, we’re entitled to complimentary cocktails for 2 to 3½ hours in the early evening, depending on the ship’s priority club’s policies. On more expensive cruises, complimentary cocktails are offered during meals only, and on other cruise ships, free drinks may be available at any time.

A terraced farm on a hill.

But, here and now, we’re alcohol-free, although liquor stores (called “wine shops” in India) are open for delivery. In other words, at this time, we could order wine, beer, or alcohol to be delivered to us at the hotel.

Over the weeks, we’ve lost interest in ordering any beverages because, as mentioned above, we don’t care to drink alcohol in a hotel room.

Having lived away from the ocean in Minnesota, we rarely saw fog and low-lying clouds such as this.

This doesn’t mean we won’t enjoy a wine, beer, or cocktail after this is all over. But, after what may prove to be many months since we’ve had any alcohol, I imagine we’ll discover we’ll easily become intoxicated with only one such beverage. That first glass of red wine will surely knock me for a loop, for Tom, not so much.

I won’t be drinking beer going into the future when, most likely, the wine will be available when we get settled in our following location. Hopefully, there will be a veranda or outside area to add to the ritual. If not, we doubt we’ll drink since the ambiance is all a part of the ritual. for us

It looked like smoke, but it was fog. I took most of these photos from the freeway through the car’s windshield.

If the hotel bar opens while we’re still here, we won’t be making use of it. The ongoing risks of Covid-19 will keep us away from all public gathering places, any more than necessary which mainly, for us, will be at the airport when we’re finally able to fly away.

I drool a little when I see a glass of wine when streaming British shows, which often includes many scenes with tea and wine drinking. But, I remind myself that for about 20 years, I never touched a drop when I’d lost a taste for it in the ’90s.  

While we were in Funchal, Madeira, the dense fog rolled in.

It was only after we started cruising and attained priority status that I finally had red wine and somehow, again, acquired a taste for it. Now, it’s genuinely a ritualistic treat. 

With the hotel providing us with about 5 liters of bottled water each day, consuming plain or making tea, coffee, and Crystal Light Iced Tea, we have all the beverages we need. We drink coffee and green tea (for me) throughout the day with the provided little packets of decaf, regular, and powdered cream,  products we’ve only used while in lockdown, preferring real cream in “normal” times. 

Statue in the city of Funchal.

But, these aren’t “normal” times, and until they are, our consumption of beverages will remain as they are now, free of alcohol, fresh coffee beans, and natural cream.

Stay safe and enjoy your beverages, whatever they may be, during times of Covid-19.            

Photo from one year ago today, June 7, 2019:

Lisa took this selfie of all five at the bar/restaurant in Carna, Tigh Mheaic. At the bar, Lisa, me, Tom, Barry and their friend Chuck. The boys drank Guinness, and Lisa and I enjoyed part of a bottle of cabernet sauvignon. after drinks, we moved to a comfy booth and enjoyed lively chatter and dinner. For more photos, please click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *