HAPPY NEW YEAR, KITTENS!
We learned our lesson after two East Coast winters and booked a trip someplace warm and gorgeous to celebrate the holidays.
A breezy two-hour flight from Boston, Bermuda was an easy choice...sort of. We chose a resort perched atop the curvy end of the fishhook-shaped island in case the things we'd read cautioning LGBTQ travelers held any water - we figured being confined to a private beach for a week was more or less the point of our trip anyway, and crossed our fingers.
Those concerns dissipated within moments of landing. One of the most incredible things about Bermuda is how warm, friendly and giving Bermudians can be.
They're wonderful people, and I'm so delighted to say that we never once felt our family was treated different from any other family. Exploring every parish, whether by ferry, taxi, on horseback or a hike, was all so much fun for everyone!
Our room was perfect, as you can see from the view, but one of the first things we did once we arrived in Bermuda was head into town for some much-needed provisions.
When traveling with a teenager, having the right snacks and beverages (the latter for grown-ups especially) is key.
Hamilton is Bermuda's capital, its main port, and the only city on the island. Aboard the Majestic Lady, out of Jews Bay into the Little Sound and then the Great Sound, it's a quick and pleasing ferry ride away.
Miles Market was a godsend, stocked with treats like The Owl's Brew, an impressive tea selection for the kiddo (thank heavens for the electric kettle in the room; she made like four cups of Chai per day), lots of fresh produce, irresistible pastries and fancy cheese. Like much else on the island, it's pretty expensive (the only drawback), but as I — and the New York Times — say, you cannot afford to mess around with a teen in tow!
Bermuda's got these cheerily painted houses all over, and they just sing against the backdrop of vibrant blue skies. There was one in the most beautiful lipstick red, soft and creamy, but bold. It looked like a red velvet cupcake!
The roofs are tiered and made of whitewashed limestone, built to resist hurricanes and catch rainwater stored in cisterns, mostly self-filtering and requiring a fresh coat of nontoxic paint every few years. If it seems green it's because it IS green, though they've been doing it forever for four centuries because there's no fresh water source on the island. Survival can be stunning.
All the hidden alleys opening into courtyards reminded me of the closes in The Old Town of Edinburgh, though of course these ones were decidedly more tropical. We explored Front Street along the water, which is where all the cruise ships used to dock (I believe now they do so at the Dockyard, but that's for another post!), and the blocks all around it.
During the Twelve Days of Christmas, and perhaps even the whole off-season, Hamilton is quite sleepy in the evenings. It's a nice change of pace, though. When we weren't at Bouchée in town, which quickly became a decadent French favorite, we had lots of quiet evenings in, either hanging out on our balcony chatting and snacking and drinking or people-watching down in the resort lounge or at one of the many restaurants.
Back at the Fairmont Southampton resort, there was this beach. A magical, glorious slip of beach with soft pink sand, little coves to explore, and perfect ocean. Bright and happy kiskadees chirped from nooks and crannies in the bluffs, there were no rocks, no seaweed, and thankfully no Portuguese man o' war in the warm, warm water.
That it was amply stocked with chairs, umbrellas, towels and an equally well-attended restroom didn't hurt, nor did the seaside bar and grill just steps away. Once we sipped our first Rum Swizzles, we saw little need to switch things up.
Apparently, I like to point a lot when I'm excited!
More to come! Did everyone have a sparkling New Year? Go anywhere special? Going anywhere special before spring rolls around? We're already daydreaming about going back - how could we not? I repeat: a two-hour flight! We'd stay in a little cottage rental or something the next time around, I think.
Keynote Dress in Blue Seascape - Madewell | Gold 'Dillon' Sandal - DV by Dolce Vita | 'On The Town' Earrings - Kate Spade (similar pair here) | Pave Barrel Pendant - Michael Kors | Glitter Bordeaux Sunnies - D&G
XOXO and Happy 2015!