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j: Some of my favorite people in the world came over Saturday, bearing VIP wine tasting passes to the Steven Kent Winery in Livermore. We were hoping that VIP meant we’d walk on a red carpet, swim with some dolphins, and eat delicious vegetarian delicacies stabbed through with toothpicks, but none of that was included. The wine was good though, and Sharyn, our tasting guru, was so much fun we invited her to go on vacation with us, either to Italy or into outer space (we could not quite reach a consensus).

This painting was hung on the tasting room wall and it stole my heart and my imagination. I love its vibrant color, texture, sensuality, life. I couldn’t afford its $1850 price tag, but I did want to share it with you.

jb: This weekend, after an 8 year hiatus, I returned to my favorite sport ever – scuba diving. All week while preparing for the trip I was anxious and excited and uh, anxious — would I still be able to do it? Would my ears clear? (That’s always been an unpredictable and intermittent problem for me and caused me to miss out on a lot of dives.) But I could! And they did! And even though the dive conditions were just so-so by most standards, for me watching the kelp sway in the ocean waves, seeing the sun rays streaming through the kelp forest, swimming along with kelp fish, finding starfish clinging to their hiding places, breathing underwater and watching my bubbles float to the surface — it was perfect. And the next day, I took my son tide-pooling (another favorite activity of mine) and I got to share the ocean’s treasures with him. All-in-all, a wonderful weekend at the ocean.

I didn’t have my underwater camera (this time!) so I’m sharing a picture from our tide-pooling adventure instead.