Just a girl rambling around the globe and writing about it.

Musings from around the block and farther.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Princess

It's the 125th anniversary of the Fairmont Hamilton Princess in Bermuda - and it's clear that the service and location have made it such a longtime favorite for travelers. But for me, it was Schavonne, the congierge extraordinaire, who made our trip the very best it can be. Despite the weather and my concerns about the stormy winds, Schavonne helped us find fun things to do around the island, restaurants, and recommended the super cute pink Bermuda buses for us to ride around the island (and which got us back safely from our Swizzle Inn afternoon).

Thanks, Schavonne!
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Playing Pirates in Bermuda

The Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute (BUEI) is a place in Bermuda that celebrates the treasure hunt of undersea exploration, namely of the shipwreck sites around the Bermuda Islands. Remember the movie The Deep? Well, apart from a wet Jacqueline Bissett in her 1977 glory, the movie was about deep sea divers off the coast of Bermuda and was a fictional account of the real-life dives of Bermuda's own Teddy Tucker.

Since it was a wet, rainy/windy day and the Causeway was closed (and no buses were running) due to the high winds, our plans to visit the towne of St. George were squashed. Luckily, our trusted concierge at the Princess, Schavonne, suggested this amazing interactive museum, which was within walking distance of our hotel. Sure, it's a kid-centric museum, but the place was utterly empty because of the weather and the season, so my sister and I were able to run wild, reading each exhibit and really enjoying the spoils of pirate treasure.

For example, this is an actual treasure chest!

And this is a replica of the famous Tucker Cross, the pinnacle of Teddy Tucker's shipwreck booty from a Spanish galleon, which wrecked on Bermuda's outlying coral reefs in the 1600's... I say "replica" because apparently the real cross was stolen and this cross was left in its place. Tucker discovered this trickery when the "cross" was being prepared for an international exhibit in the 1970s. I thought that was fascinating - the detail that must have gone into creating this replica is nearly as intriguing as the motives behind stealing it. This mystery has never been solved... I wonder who has the cross in their collection...

My sister indulged me by stepping onto the "shark tank" platform... I wouldn't do it. Basically, you step onto this platform and you're surrounded by moving images of sharks checking you out... and a Great White suddenly ramming up to the cage with its huge mouth and sharp teeth wide open for all to see! Don't know why this doesn't bother her; this is the girl who has an unnatural fear of cows...

My sister in an old-school diving helmet.

Bermuda...a recap

So, Bermuda is beautiful. But I have to admit that I would have preferred sunshine and beach days to choppy waves in Pitts Bay and howling hurricane-force winds on the top (7th) floor of the hotel (naturally, we'd booked the "best" room with the best view... but it was louder!).

This is what we looked like most of the time...

Still, I got this shot before we left... and I think it sums up what I'd like to remember about Bermuda: pastel colors and leisure chairs with a view. Add a rum swizzle and you're in paradise!

Au revoir, Bermuda. Hopefully... someday... we'll meet again...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Bermuda Aquarium and Zoological Society

We've learned that there are several things at the Bermuda Aquarium and Zoo in Flatts Village that do bite:

See this little guy? He came right up to my sister and me, chirping, looking all cute, only a few inches away from us, no zoo keeper in sight. If only I hadn't read the sign, well, I might have tried to pet him....

Looks like he's not the only one, either. That cute seal that came up and head-bobbed at us? Apparently, he's a biter, too...

We saw a hillbilly fish, too. What's up, toofa?

Rum swizzle

Added my own mark to the Swizzle Inn in Bailey's Bay. Only 21 years after my first mark!

Swizzlin' In, Staggerin' Out

Fairmont Hamilton Princess, Smith's Parish, Bermuda

So we arrived in Bermuda expecting chilly, windy weather and it was gorgeous last night. Tonight... well, hurricane-force winds and some showers, maybe a little thunder & lightning tomorrow. But the temperature has been pleasant and not at all freezing, like when it rains at home.

Last night, had drinks here at the hotel bar -- rum swizzles (with Bermudian rum, fruit juices and a little good mojo), a yellow bird (rum, pineapple juice, I think, and something else that was dee-luscious) and a dark & stormy (dark rum and ginger beer).

Yeah, I like this Island life...