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 interesting none the less.
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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 purchase 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 I'd implemented a low carb lifestyle in 2011. Beer is made with hops, which are 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. I must admit, it tasted very good.

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 which is equivalent to 50 miles per hour.
While on cruises, we'd rarely order a cocktail during the day unless we are attending a special event hosted by the cruise line. At times, a perk included in the cruise fare will include the drink package when Tom may order a frothy drink during the day. Since I don't consume sugar, I avoid those types of 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 totally 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 have passed, we've lost interest in ordering any beverages based on the fact, 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, wine will be available when we get settled in our next location. Hopefully, there will be a veranda or outside area to add to the ritual. If not, we doubt we'll drink since for us, the ambiance is all a part of the ritual.
It looked like smoke but it was actually 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 absolutely necessary which mainly, for us, will be at the airport when we're finally able to fly away.

I must admit, 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 truly a ritualistic treat. 

With the hotel providing us with about 5 liters of bottled water each day that we use, consumed plain or to make 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, free of fresh coffee beans and free of real 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 of us at the bar/restaurant in Carna, Tigh Mheaic. After drinks, we moved to a comfy booth and enjoyed lively chatter and dinner. 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. For more photos, please click here.


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