HASTA, PHONE: We've been so accustomed to looking at our phones, tablets, and computers throughout the day that the mere act of being digitally focused has become something of a punchline. It's certainly a societal development that's rich with satire (picture throngs of people walking along a busy sidewalk, all with heads down and eyes on the rectangle in their hands). "Unplugging" has become something of a timely buzzword, but the question is if we truly do so when we say we will. Especially if our phone or tablet it plugged in across the room. There are solutions for this, and the Harvest Inn in Napa Valley has a rather charming and offbeat one: Hand over your devices at check-in. No, really; you've got to unpocket your phone and your laptop when you book the Retreat to Renew package. Because both "retreat" and "renew"? Yeah, they don't have much to do with checking scores or your work email every five minutes.
MORE ON THE DEAL: It's a two-night package that includes a Mustard Magic Wellness massage and a bottle of vino from somewhere in the area. (Hi, this is the N.V., it'll be tasty.) There are other perks and additions, like a gratis breakfast each morning. But we rather favor the quietest of all, the eight acres of strollable grounds that the Harvest Inn boasts. Wouldn't it be nice to walk around and not constantly glance down at your hand? Seriously, you don't need status updates in real time. You probably need to hear some birds or watch the leaves rustle. Then, upon check-out, you'll get all of your electronics back. Easy-peasy, and your brains will have had a real rest. Isn't this tempting in our glowing-screen age?
The Retreat to Renew package is available from Feb. 1- March 31, 2013 at the Harvest Inn in St. Helena.