Monday, April 13, 2009

An evening with Ron

Did you know that the headquarters of Bacardi is in Bermuda? No, neither did I until we walked past it on Saturday night! They moved here for tax reasons apparently! Their building is very beautiful indeed, with perfectly manicured lawns and flower beds out front. I had to take this picture with my iPhone as Bacardi is my tipple of choice lol.
Today we are heading into Hamilton again, the capital city of Bermuda. Time for a spot of souvenir shopping, as we are going home on Wednesday. I can't believe that our time here is almost done, we have had a fantastic time, Jan and Lyndon have looked after us so well. The social life for expats here is amazing, I don't think I could keep up with it long term lol. I know my liver was complaining when I was handed a bloody mary at 11.30 yesterday morning! Patrick has gone back to school today, and Katrina goes back tomorrow, so it is quieter here than it has been (understatement of the century I think!). Tomorrow we are hopefully going back to Horseshoe Bay, last chance before we leave. I am not looking forward to going back to wearing shoes and socks and thick clothes back at home. I love being able to wear sandals and summer clothes here.
Oh well, it has been great. Back to reality soon...... although I am very much looking forward to seeing my lovely M! He couldn't join us due to work committments, and I have missed him very much, so it will be great to be back and see him again.
Have a great day, wherever you are!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Got to love ER

I'm a huge fan of the TV show ER, watched every season since it started many years ago. My favourite character was killed off eons ago, cried buckets over that lol.
Anyway, I digress. Yesterday morning, Sophie, Alex, Jan and I spent 2 hours in the company of the ER staff at King Edward VII hospital in Hamilton. Oh joy. Last Monday, Sophie fell whilst out playing with the local kids. The road here is quite gravelly in places, so she grazed her side just above her left hip quite badly. As the week went on, it wasn't healing, despite being covered with a dressing and cleaned very carefully. It had got an infection in it, so off we headed to the ER (A&E for anyone who is a bit lost!). Got there at just the right time, as it got really busy about 20 minutes after we arrived. The doctor agreed that it was infected, and prescribed oral antibiotics, antibiotic cream and to keep it clean and covered for a few more days.
Then to the crunch. Time to pay. I have great insurance, would never go on holiday without it, even before Nigel died whilst in Portugal. But the King Edward VII hospital does not accept foreign insurance, so I had to pay and then claim back. Good job I had a credit card otherwise I would have been scuppered. $459 (£313!!!) later we headed home. Eeek. Expensive set of antiobiotics and cream, don't you think? The care we received was great, very friendly staff, they did their best to put Sophie at ease as her wound was very sore. Just a warning really to anyone who is ever tempted to not bother with travel insurance. I can recommend insure and go, they were superb when arranging everything when Nigel died, all I had to do was make a phone call to their crisis line and they sorted everything out. It's a phone call no one wants to have to make, but thank goodness I had insurance. From what I've been told, it would have cost well over £10000 to repatriate Nigel if I had not had cover. That's a cost a new widow can do without!
The rest of Good Friday was spent at two parties. Here in Bermuda, it is traditional to fly kites on Good Friday, so the girls had a go... not very successful though lol. Jan and I sat on the porch of her friends who were hosting the party, sipping rum punch. It was very hot here yesterday, gorgeous blue skies and lots of sunshine. Not really ideal kite flying weather, but the Bermudians seemed to manage it better than we did! Once that party was finished, we headed back to Jan's for a barbecue. Several friends and neighbours joined us, and we had a fantastic evening out on the patio. Jan's a really good cook so dinner was delicious. Drank a lot of rum too.... oops! Today we are just relaxing here, then tonight we are going to the FOlk Club in Hamilton which is very good apparently. Should be fun! I'm off to sit in the sunshine so have a great Easter weekend, whatever you're doing!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

A day at Dolphin Quest

Wowsers what a day! Today was the day for swimming with dolphins. It is something we have been looking forward to since I booked our flight tickets to Bermuda last year. Alex was a little hesitant initially, but soon got into the swing of it.
We were in the water for an hour, thank goodness for the oh-so-stylish wetsuits we donned.We stroked the dolphins, swam with them using a water scooter, fed them and got them to do various tricks. The girls and I had permanent grins on our faces throughout! Tired now though, so an early night is on the cards. I have plans for the photographs which were taken, so if anyone can recommend dolphin themed scrapbook stash, please leave me a comment!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Do you deserve a ducking?

Today we went across to St George's, which used to be the capital of Bermuda, until Hamilton took over that role in 1815. Every Wednesday and Saturday, there is a ducking for the tourists. The town crier brings out a woman who has been convicted of being a gossip and a nag. She is then seated in the ducking chair, and 5 men from the audience of tourists help to duck her in the harbour. It all makes for a very amusing show! The town crier then kindly posed with the girls and Jan's son Patrick, along with Bear .
After a bite to eat, we headed back to Jan's, and the girls have been playing outside this afternoon. Sophie came a bit of a cropper yesterday whilst running around on the road, and has a pretty impressive scrape all up her left side, so she has been taking a less active role today. Having removed the dressing on her wound to much screeching, I am sure she will be fit enough for our special trip out tomorrow.
I have booked all three of us in to swim with dolphins tomorrow at Dolphin Quest .
It is something we have all wanted to do for ages, and I have saved carefully to be able to do it. Not cheap, I know, but it is definitely a once in a lifetime experience. We watched some friends swim with dolphins when we were in Portugal last year, and the girls have wanted to do it since then. Hopefully there will be lots of photographs to share tomorrow!
I've just realised my blog has had almost 100000 hits since I started it back in August 2006. Once I am back in the UK next week, I will be offering some special blog candy to celebrate, so watch this space!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Overcrowded beaches of Bermuda...

Random arty shots of the sea :D

As you can see, the beach was rammed full of people today... apparently the Bermudians don't go to the beach until May because it is too cold!! It certainly wasn't too cold for us though, we had a wonderful day at Tobacco Bay beach, with a picnic on the sand at lunchtime. We then went to Convict's Bay beach to do some beachcombing, which the girls loved doing. Jan found a glass stopper which was beautifully smooth from the sea. Sophie was delighted to find acrab shell.

This park was next to Convict's Bay beach, Alex was very excited to see her name on the sign!
Other than that, we are continuing to have a fabulous time. The weather was gorgeous today, here's hoping it continues while we are here!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Horseshoe Bay

Just look at that beach! This is Horseshoe Bay, on the south shore of Bermuda. The sand is so fine, and it is ever so slightly pink because of tiny grains of coral. It was very windy when we were there yesterday, but still I could see how beautiful it is. It was raining too, so not a good beach day lol. Still, today has been gorgeous weather so we will head back to the beach while the weather holds.
Today we went for brunch just up from this beach. Never have I seen such an amazing spread. I had sushi for the first time in a while, and it was excellent. The girls enjoyed bacon and eggs, washed down with a Shirley Temple! Now the girls are in the pool again, and I am going to go out and sit in the sun with my book. Bliss... only thing missing is my lovely M who is back in the UK working hard... oh well, plenty of times for holidays together in the future. We are loving Bermuda so will definitely be back!

Friday, April 03, 2009

We made it through the Bermuda Triangle!

The view from Jan's house... not bad eh! We arrived in Bermuda yesterday, after a very long day which started at 4am. Our first flight took us down to Gatwick, and then we spent most of Alex's 5th birthday hanging around the airport. The flight to Hamilton took 7 hours, and Jan was there waiting for us when we got through immigration. Since arriving, and handing over copious amounts of Galaxy chocolate to Jan's teenage daughter, we have slept a little, I've drunk plenty of rum, and the girls have been in Jan's swimming pool.

Here's a happy Sophie, even though the water was freezing!

We have a special guest with us in Bermuda, this is Bear and he is raising money for a very special little girl who needs her own multi sensory room. He has travelled over 50000 miles, and fundraising is going well. If you'd like to help Katie, go to Bear's site here.

Alex has to wear an ear band-it to protect her ears from the pool water. She has wax ear plugs under the band to stop the water from getting in. Still can't believe my baby turned five yesterday!

The girls are very taken with this inflatable pool monster!
Well that's all for now. Tonight I am going into Hamilton with Jan and her husband Lyndon for a night out with other expats. The girls are staying here with Jan's daughter, so it will be great to get out and see more of Bermuda. We drove through Hamilton this afternoon, and Jan pointed out her favourite haunts. Tomorrow we are going out and about again, not sure where to yet. Fingers crossed the weather is ok, rain was forecast for today but it never arrived. It was as warm as a good day in summer in the UK, so very pleasant really.
Now to get ready to go out, so bye for now!