Our (Free) Bermuda Odyssey 2018

Bermuda trees

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Good Thursday morning!

I’m almost back to normal after our 5 days in Bermuda.

I haven’t done many posts like this on this blog, but I’m going to dip my toe into the more personal post realm here and there.

Besides, I had such a wonderful time, I just want to share pictures!

A little about Bermuda: Bermuda has a population of around 65,000 people. It consists of 138 islands in the shape of a fishhook. Hamilton is the capital. There is no central water system so buildings are built to collect rain water.

Our Arrival and Harbour Nights

On Wednesday, we arrived in Hamilton, Bermuda at mid-afternoon and went to the hotel, the Hamilton Princess and Beach Club. It’s called the Pink Princess because the main buildings are pink! This is an aerial shot of the building from their reopening in 2016.

See, it’s pink!

 

The island is two hours ahead of us here in Texas – not too much to deal with, right? Except that my phone added an additional hour and my computer added no hours. I honestly did not know what time it was the entire time I was there!

In Hamilton, on Wednesday nights during the summer, there are street festivals called Harbour Nights. There were street vendors and dancers, and the stores stay open past 7 pm.  Some of the dancers came to perform at our hotel before the street festival at the welcome reception for our group trip.

 

There was a little boy—about 3 or 4 years-of age– who was playing the drums along with the adults. He was actually very good!

 

Do we look like we have been travelling all day? Ha ha!

The best part about seeing the dancers is that they sparked a lot of memories for me and my husband. We had been to Bermuda 10 years ago, and you would think we weren’t actually there. We didn’t remember a thing! Once we saw the dancers – we remembered seeing the group before at Harbour Nights in 2008!

Beach Party!

The hotel has a beach club which is around a 20 to 30-minute drive away from the hotel. We attended a beach party there on Thursday.

On the way there, we passed Horseshoe Bay Beach in Bermuda – famous for its pink sand beaches.

 

We went to that beach in 2008 so going back was lower on our list of things to do this time given our limited time and schedule. But it’s beautiful, isn’t it?

The beach club had a secluded bay with hammocks in the water, kayaks, and paddle boards. I’m not much for playing in the ocean (allergies to fish) but my hubby is.  Do you see that rock at the opening of the cove? My husband paddled out just past it on a kayak. On his way to Europe – ha ha!

 

Despite that, it was a relaxing afternoon.

This is the hotel Marina.

There are a lot of boats around Bermuda — and not all yachts . As there are a lot of islands, there are many smaller boats just docked in the middle of the bay. You would have to use a dinghy to get to your boat. Also, the owners would need the boat to go to the store.

While being on a boat is fun, I still don’t think I want to own one! What’s the phrase: The two best days of owning a boat is the day you buy it and the day you sell it!

 

Excursion Time

On Friday, we went on group excursions – we got to select one.

The first option was a trip to Tom Moore’s Jungle (Bermuda’s only jungle) and Blue Hole Hill and Cave. There was a cliff jump involved with this excursion.

  • Scenery: National birds, tropical fish, trees, intricate caving system with stalactite caverns

 

The second option was a trip to St. David’s Lighthouse and Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve. There was swimming and snorkeling around a preserved coral reef in this one.

  • Scenery: lighthouse that guides ships in, pink sand, coral reef, tropical fish, observation deck

 

The third option was a trip to Fort Hamilton and Admiralty House Park. There was cliff jumping here too.

  • Scenery: Fort that used to protect the Hamilton Harbour and the Royal Dockyard, the Admiral’s house with a secluded beach

 

Based on my recent surgery, we selected option 2 – besides we had already seen the Fort in 2008, and there was no bathroom in the jungle!

There was an observatory tower where you could look out into the ocean. The ocean had so many different colors!

The lighthouse was a quick stop because it was closed for repair.

Lunch was at the Fourways Restaurant. It’s one of the most popular restaurants in Bermuda and ranks highly in the world as well. The building itself is almost 3 centuries old. The original owner, John Harvey (of Harvey Bristol Creme), held big dinner parties and provided lodging for people who had traveled a long way.  The property has undergone multiple transformations over the years. There now is a cottage colony on the property–which serves as an inn. There is a lot of history there.

Besides our meal, we were treated to a second wedding ceremony for a couple of the trip participants. No wedding cake though!

 

 

Company Dinner

Friday night was a dinner at the Harbourfront Restaurant with a few executives of the company. These are always fun because you get to know some of the other people you’re travelling with.

There were three different groups at different restaurants on both Friday and Saturday nights. You don’t get to pick who you are eating with so you end up with new friends.

 

Best of all: We get to dress up too!

 

There was a lot of laughter and a lot of eating with a beautiful backdrop!

Unfortunately for me (but not unexpected) fish was prominent on the menu. My favorite part was dessert – the dessert trio –chocolate mousse, panna cotta, and crème brulee! No pictures from me because it was eaten too quickly, and it was too dark to get a good shot. However, I found one picture on Trip Advisor  Note: My dessert didn’t have as much fruit on it.

It was delicious either way though.

Free Day: Saturday

Saturday was a free day. While some of our fellow travelers played golf or went scuba diving, we decided against both. I’m a firm believer that every minute of a vacation doesn’t need to be packed with activities. I’m fine sleeping late, eating breakfast, and sitting in the hotel or by the pool for a day or two. It’s vacation, right?

So, both of us stayed close to the hotel just enjoying the atmosphere and the scenery.

  With Bermuda being such a small island, big cars (large sedans, large SUVs, and trucks) are not allowed – only the Governor and Premier can bend those rules. Each household can only have one 4-wheeled vehicle. Therefore, many people ride mopeds or the bus. Oh, as a part of the British Commonwealth, people drive on the other side of the road. I had to keep reminding myself of that, so I wouldn’t become moped roadkill!

There are no regular car rentals for visitors – you could rent a moped (at your own risk). There was also a little electric car that visitors could rent but there were literally none available for months! It was good for us – we walked a lot!

Goodbye Party

Sunday was the Farewell Gala. We rode on catamarans in the Bermuda Great Sound to a house in Warwick Parrish in Bermuda. There are many small islands that are part of Bermuda – with houses or neighborhoods on those that are habitable.

The company gave all the men a pair of Bermuda shorts and the long socks Bermudians wear. When in Bermuda…

 

 

Incredible views from the boat…

The house itself was lovely, but we spent most of the time outside looking at the property.

 

 

We even got a lovely sunset!

 

 

As a capper,  we all lit and released Wish Lanterns. Each couple was supposed to make a clear wish between them when they released the lantern.

It was dark so the picture is not great. But the concept was so moving, I had to include the picture of us releasing our lantern!

It was a truly enchanting scene with all the lanterns going up from all of the participants.

I’m not telling you our wish – at least not now!

 

Monday Unmotivated — Going Home

It was a great trip.  And, thanks to the company, we did not spend a dime!  After packing and checking out, we sat in the lobby with everyone else in the chaos of getting ready to travel home.

However, I did take one more pic before I left. One thing that the hotel is known for is their art. They give tours because they have so much rare and valuable art. But there was one interesting piece that we saw every day because it was next to the breakfast buffet.

“At this time, Companion Series” by KAWS – It looks like a large Mickey Mouse statue! I should have asked a tour guide because I don’t get the statue at all…

 

On the way to the airport, we drove past the hotel we had stayed at 10 years ago (Grotto Bay).

 

Airport Shenanigans

Then came the Airport follies. Getting out of Bermuda was not too bad – as airports go. We landed in Atlanta in bad weather – the descent was pretty harrowing. A bad sign.

Since the weather was bad in the area, all flights kept getting moved back and back and back. It looked like they might cancel our flight back to Houston – which would have been problematic since my mother-in-law was watching our kids and had her own flight back to California on Tuesday. But surprisingly, they moved our flight to after midnight.

In Houston, the drama wasn’t over. The luggage conveyor belt broke with some luggage stuck and unable to drop down. Once they fixed that, hubby’s luggage wasn’t one of the stuck ones. We steeled ourselves for the luggage hunt and the report he would have to make. However, we found his bag with some luggage that had beat us back to Houston. Too bad we couldn’t have flown with it!

We got home around 3:30 am.  Now we need a vacation from our vacation.

Airport follies indeed.

 

Loving Life_-The Reboot!

Dominique

Comments

  1. Keating

    Bermuda looks and sounds so wonderful! My parents went on a couple cruises to Bermuda back when my sisters and I were super little and they always loved it. It’s on my list of places I’d love to visit at some point!

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