Friday, January 4, 2013

New Year's Trip

After not taking a proper vacation since our vow renewal in 2010, we decided to treat ourselves to a vacation to end 2012, and ring in 2013.  Of course, it wasn't really in our budget.  I mean, we had some extra money that should've been used more responsibly, but where's the fun in that!?
The decision was made months ago to go somewhere warm, while the frigid winter is holding tight to the Cape.  Bermuda is a short 2-ish hour flight from Boston, yet the weather this time of year is still relatively warm.  We kept our eye on it, watching the 70-75 degree, sunny weather slowly turn to high 60's and rainy for the week we were to be there.  It figures, but we didn't care...the Cape was looking at snow and temps possibly reaching the teens!
We spent the night in Boston, venturing out into the city for dinner at Lucky's.  We had been dreaming of the fried pickles and andouille basket since the last time we were there!  It was mostly rainy, but getting colder and turning to snow.
This was the view outside the plane we boarded.
Plane #1: not the plane we actually flew in.
 We were pretty excited to have timed our arrival at the airport just as they were starting to board!  But then we sat on the full plane for several minutes before we were informed that 'although we only need one of our radios to make it to Bermuda, both radios are out' and they were 'attempting to fix the problem'.  After another half hour to 45 minutes, we were off-loaded and sent to another terminal to board a different plane.
To make this long story a bit shorter: got to new terminal, waited for new plane, boarded new plane, waited for new plane to be loaded with checked bags, waited for 'sky chef' to do their thing, waited, waited, and waited.  Roughly 3 hours later, our 2 hour flight was on it's way!
We still got to Bermuda with half the day ahead of us.  
It was windy, about 65 degrees, but beautiful, nonetheless.
First view from our 5-day Bermuda home.
Day 1 (arrival): room service for a burger (for Jason) and an omelet (for me) then some wandering about the grounds.  We had decided to have our first dinner at the resort's main restaurant, since we had had such a time getting there and just wanted to relax.  Reservations at 8, we decided to hit the bar for a drink first.  Ran into a local, who convinced the bartender (didn't seem to have to twist any arms about it, either) to give us a shot of Gosling's Black Rum.  Of course, I had heard of it, but had never had a shot of's actually really good straight!  You can tastes some caramel.  Dinner was fine, but too expensive to go back another night.
Day 2 (first full day/New Year's Eve): our big complimentary breakfast! Pastries, bagels, toast, fruit, cereals, juices, smoothies, lox, cheese platters, omelet station, waffles, pancakes, bacon, sausage, hash browns, beans, eggs, fried tomatoes, and a couple other things i just can't remember!  So much food!
This was our big day out.
One of the many picturesque stops along our walk to the Naval Dockyard.
We decided to walk to the Royal Naval Dockyard (about 3 miles).  I was nervous about walking in Bermuda.  The roads are just wide enough for two cars to squeak by each other, and most of the sidewalks just start and stop randomly...and there aren't any around the dangerous curves.  But the girl at reception assured us that people walk that road all the time and it's perfectly safe and a beautiful walk.  She was right.
(I have lots more pictures on my real camera...all pics in the post are from my phone...pretty picture post to come later.)
The dockyard was cool...old, crumbly, quaint.  Lunch at Bone Fish Restaurant.  Too windy for the outdoor patio walls to be open, but still a nice view from inside.  The food wasn't great, but I had a giant beer to off-set that.
We had planned to take the bus back to the resort, so after wandering about a bit, that is what we did.
And then, we moved onto Phase 2 for the day: Operation New Year's Eve.  It's never a good idea to set out on a major 'dining out' holiday without a plan.  Even worse when you are in a strange new city.  We had a couple plans in mind, and none of them panned out.  When our taxi dropped us at the end of the blocked off street (Front Street) in Hamilton, we set out to find a place to eat.  Either the price fixed menu was not appealing or there was a high cover to get in, or the atmosphere just didn't suit us.  We circled the block about 3 times before heading upstairs into a mall-type part of the shops (this whole street is just shops and food) to a little Italian place where there were just two parties of four...and several empty tables.  As you would imagine, the food was just okay, but it wasn't a crowd of teens.
This was the culture shock moment...New Year's Eve, the street is blocked off and it is being invaded by teens!  And every single girl, no matter her size or shape, was wearing the shortest of short skin-tight mini and either crazy stilettos or old Doc Martins!
Anyway, after dinner, we headed back into the street to find a final resting drinking spot.  We saw a few open tables in the window at a place called The Port O Call (which is also the name of the bar at the resort...funny).  I think it was attached to their restaurant that was actually called The Pearl, but I'm not 100% on that.  We had a couple drinks, waiting for the fireworks and midnight.  Midnight came, but I think the fireworks were cancelled due to the high winds they had been having (and continued to have until the day we left).
So, in comes the new year, and back to the resort we go in yet another taxi.  The taxi drivers in Bermuda really love to talk!  Back at the resort, we turn on the TV to catch Carson Daly counting down in NYC.  Happy New Year...Again!!
Day 3 (January 1):  We had a couple things on our agenda, in fact!  The resort had a couple interesting things going on.  #1 on our list: Annual Kool Dip.
You may think swimming in 66 degree water is no big deal, but it was cold!
We wanted to get in the water while we were there, and what a great opportunity!
It was us, a guy from Canada, the resort manager, and one guy who works at the resort.
I was cold to begin with, and once I got in, I thought my heart might actually be calling it quits!  After a few seconds, though, my body acclimated to the water, and I think I could've stayed in for some time...but the air temp, couple with that insufferable wind, made everything seem colder to me!
The stupid thing...the minute I started running into to water, I stepped on something!
This is what I got for running into the water!
I don't know what it was, but as I floated around, I pulled my foot up to see...I think maybe it was the edge of a scallop shell or something.  The next day, I also noticed a small bruise had formed next to the I imagine I also stepped on a rock!
Totally worth it!  Afterwards there was coffee, more pastries, and Courvassier Cognac!
The resort was also having the island's Gombey Dancers perform during afternoon tea (oh, yeah, there was also coffee/tea & pastries every day at 4pm).  We lazed about the room for a bit, then hit the pool for some reading and hot tubbing.  Lunch at the outdoor pool bar (it was nice when you got the sun, and were sheltered from the wind!).  I, of course, did not bring the camera to the Gombey dance...nor did I bring my phone.  Jason took video, with his phone, which left him with a frozen camera phone when they posed for pics!!  I will try to post part of the video later.
At the resort, this time of year, one of their restaurants is closed, one is open for dinner only, and the other for lunch only.  The bar is just a bar and open only starting at 5 pm.  However, they have an 'all day menu' that you can order from and have delivered anywhere on the resort.  So, for dinner, we went to the bar for some drinks and had a light dinner delivered there, looking out on to the bay.
Everything was still decorated from Christmas.  This is part of the bar.  And my Dark & Stormy!
Day 4 (last full day):  Had breakfast delivered to our room!
The basket in the middle has a muffin, a cinnamon roll, a tiny sugared donut, and two small danish!
Got an all day bus pass and decided to just explore a little.  Heading for the Botanical Gardens, the bus driver forgot to inform us of our stop, so we went all the way back into the city of Hamilton to wait for a bus back in the other direction.  Oops.  No to the gardens, but they were mostly in their winter transition, I guess.  Still, this turned out to be the best day, weather wise.  The only day I was able to wear short sleeves...and Jason was in shorts.  The sun was out, and warm.  The wind had died down significantly.  After the gardens, we got back on a bus and headed for Horseshoe Bay (pics on the other be posted later).  We put our feet in the water, and wished we had worn (or brought) our suits!  Gorgeous!!  Headed across the street to a place called Tio Pepe's where we had a tapas platter, a Spanish meat platter, and some sangria and other drinks.  This was my favorite meal (other than breakfast, but breakfast is always my favorite!) even though we were over-looking the street...the weather was perfect and the food was good.
We also had dinner delivered that night (burgers).  We finished off the giant bottle of wine we had bought the first day in town, and just enjoyed sitting out on our terrace for the last night.  The weather was perfect straight into the night, but we were wakened by a crazy downpour later that didn't last long, and it was wonderful.
The next morning, we got up and enjoyed to stillness of the island with no wind.  Yes, the wind had finally subsided. The clouds were out but it was still another beautiful day.  We grabbed our taxi to the airport, breezed through customs and security and got back home without a hitch.
From sunny to sunny, but with the difference of about 60 degrees and a few inches of snow!  Surprisingly, the cold was not as severe as I anticipated...and that's okay by me!
So back to work tomorrow at 3 a.m.  Back to life...back to reality!

No comments:

Post a Comment