Cody and Edna, at the Merryvale Winery, December 30, 1999.

This is the tale of a mother and daughter who decided that, this being the only new millennium we'd ever see, we ought to do something really extravagant and memorable to welcome in the Year 2000.

We chose the California Wine Country Millennium Cruise with Cruise West. Our ship was the Spirit of '98 (that's 1898), a 192-foot vessel designed to resemble an early twentieth-century coastal steamer. It was our second voyage on the Spirit of '98 - we'd cruised the Alaska Inside Passage on the same ship several years ago, and had a great time. The cruises are casual and friendly, while still being luxurious.

The Millennium Cruise was five days and four nights, leaving from San Francisco's Pier 35 on the afternoon of December 29.