Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Calling All Golfers

Today is the last day to book a fantastic value-packed golf getaway from the luxurious Fairmont Southampton: For just $599 per person you’ll get a three-night stay in a luxury room with private balcony, full breakfast daily and three rounds of golf at three of Bermuda’s finest courses including Port Royal, Riddell’s Bay and Belmont Hills (not to mention free club rentals, a cart at each course and three sleeves of balls). Sounds pretty sweet, but is it really a deal? Let’s do the math. Say you were to book the package in early May—still shoulder season here in Bermuda. A room alone would cost $321 per night, what adds up to $1,035 with taxes and gratuities. Green fees with a cart for two at Port Royal costs $330; Riddell’s Bay $310; and Belmont Hills $250, respectively. And let’s assume a full breakfast for two costs $50 a day, a total of $150. Final cost if booked separately: $2,075—about $875 more than if you booked through this exclusive golfers bundle. As with most hotel packages the rate is based upon availability, but if you’re at all into hittin’ the links this is definitely the deal for you. To book click on Bermuda's Golf Around Getaway. Fore!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Checking In

There was a whole lot of hullabaloo when Elbow Beach Resort closed 60 percent of its 235 rooms last November for renovation. After all, the closures put an estimated 160 people out of work and shut down two popular local restaurants, the Seahorse Grill and the Veranda Rum Bar. And even though the luxurious resort was named one of the Top 500 Hotels in the World by Travel+Leisure in January 2009, the powers-that-be decided it needed some sprucing up—all in all a $10 million refurbishment that will return the hotel to its rightly place among the world’s best. There’s still plenty of work to be done, but in the meantime, Mandarin Oriental—the hotel’s parent company—is repositioning Elbow Beach as an intimate luxury resort, featuring 98 rooms and suites following the closure of the hotel’s main building rooms. As this press release attests, Elbow Beach is getting much more than a new coat of paint: Rooms will have brand new furnishings, iPod docking stations and personal espresso machines; the Veranda Bar will get internet stations, an HDTV and an antique pool table; and the beach (yes, that beach) will be enhanced with new lounge chairs and a beachside spa pavilion, among other notable upgrades. The hotel is still very much open for business and Mandarin Oriental says there'll be limited disruption to guests, but rest assured that when it’s all completed Bermuda will welcome yet another luxurious property back into the fray.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Bermuda Soup

Looks like tomorrow’s going to be quite a day, here in Bermuda and around the globe. I already told you about Earth Hour, an hour-long worldwide blackout to help raise awareness for climate change. Last year over 1 billion people in 4,000 cities powered down for the cause and this year Bermuda will be counted among them: Not only will government entities uplug from 8:30pm to 9:30pm tomorrow, but most businesses and organizations—including the Fairmont Southampton, which is hosting a blackout party with candles and dimmed lights throughout the hotel—will turn off the lights. Tomorrow is also U.S. Passport Day, the one day of the year when 23 regional passport offices nationwide will take walk-up applicants—because don’t forget, all U.S. citizens need a valid U.S. passport if you plan on visiting Bermuda this summer. As I mentioned earlier in the week, you’ll still have to wait four to six weeks for your document to be issued—or you can pay $60 more for expedited service, which takes two to three weeks—but it’s an awful lot better than how it’s normally done and that’s good news for U.S. travelers. Lastly, tomorrow marks day one of filming a brand new show on NBC called “Global Golf Adventure.” Hosted by golf commentator Mark Rolfing, the show will highlight a unique golfing destination around the world each week and tomorrow the cameras will be rolling on Bermuda’s own Port Royal Golf Course. As this USA Today interview with Rolfing attests, it looks like it’ll be an interesting show—and I for one am glad to see Bermuda’s finest course get some long over due attention. To watch Bermuda in all of its golfing glory, tune in to NBC on May 8 at 1:30 EST, in the meantime, have a great weekend! Looks like it’ll be another sunny one here in Bermuda.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Calling Most Canadians

Are you Canadian? Do you watch the news? If you answered yes to both of those questions then there’s a good chance you’re eligible to win a fabulous trip for two to Bermuda courtesy of WestJet, Bermuda Department of Tourism, Fairmont Hamilton and Fairmont Southampton. But don’t get your hopes up west coasters—in addition to being eighteen years of age at the time of entry you must be a legal resident of the Province of Ontario. Here’s the deal: All you have to do is watch the Global News Hour at 6pm EDT for the “Experience Bermuda” daily clue. Watch for the clue, submit it online and you’ll be entered into the contest for a chance to win one of 15 trips for two to Bermuda, including roundtrip airfare from Toronto, three nights at the Fairmont Southampton or Fairmont Hamilton Princess, breakfast daily and a round of golf. So what are you looking for exactly? Basically key words that have something to do with the island: According to this SmartCanucks message board, Monday’s clue was “pink sand beaches,” Tuesday’s clue was “Gulf Stream,” and Wednesday’s clue was “snorkeling at Church Bay.” Of course you could always just watch the news to find out but I somewhat like the spirit of whoever’s behind SmartCanucks. I say clues for everyone! A new clue will be given every day on the Global News Hour until April 9th so get watching. And hey, if you lose, you can always book one of those super-cheap non-stop flights on WestJet from Toronto. Just $99 each way, eh?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Welcome to Port Royal

In addition to running the web’s Best Bermuda-Based Travel Blog (no really it’s true: Bermuda Shorts was honored last week on TravelBlogSites.com. Check it out!) I’m also a Resident Editor at Voyage.TV, a travel website loaded with smart HD videos and Q&A forums where travelers ask me questions about Bermuda. Loyal readers will remember last month’s video about the island’s very own rum swizzle—the woodsier, more savory version of a typical rum punch—so consider yourself in for another high-def treat. Get out your golf bags because today we’re talking about Port Royal Golf Course, home of the 2009/2010 PGA Grand Slam of Golf and widely regarded as Bermuda’s finest course. What? You’ve never heard of Port Royal? Designed in 1970 by world-renowned architect Robert Trent Jones Sr., Port Royal has recently undergone a $14.5 million renovation, a complete makeover spearheaded by original design team member Robert Rulewich. With TifEagle greens, a state-of-the-art irrigation system and sweeping ocean views from nearly every hole, it’s now one of the world’s premier public golf courses—and Voyage.TV was there to catch it in all of its glory. Be sure to watch until 2:52 when golf pro Eric West showcases the course’s signature 16th hole, a 238-yard cliff-hugging par three with nothing but the Atlantic between the tee and the pin (care to see how the pros fared on 16 at last year’s Grand Slam? Then check out this video I shot and edited from the event). Of course, if all of this golf has made you hungry—and no doubt it eventually will—then don’t miss Port Royal’s newest culinary addition, 64º. Named after Bermuda’s longitude, the casual bar and grill serves an eclectic mix of steaks and seafood in its ocean view dining room. Care to grab a drink after a long day on the course? Then head to its breezy outdoor terrace where you can sip cocktails while marveling at the vast blue ocean. Yes, it's just that good. Fore!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Style Watch

Newsflash: Bermuda’s greatest contribution to the world of fashion is its shorts. Bermuda shorts, that is. Remember when Olympian Tucker Murphy stole the spotlight during the Opening Ceremony in Vancouver? Well if not let me refresh your memory. The 28-year-old cross-country skier marched into the coliseum donning bright red Bermuda shorts and navy blue knee-high socks—a look you’ll see on many Bermudian businessmen in downtown Hamilton during the summer months (see above). The blogosphere went wild! Entertainment Weekly’s Popwatch awarded him honorable mention for best-dressed athlete, NBC Sports called his arrival one of the Top Ten Olympic Opening Ceremony moments and he was featured prominently on ESPN’s Olympic Blog, which later reported that all the girls wanted to take pictures of him in his authentic Bermudian garb. Well the hits just keep on coming. This just in from the New York Times’ T Magazine style blog: Apparently Bermuda shorts were all the rage on this year’s spring runways, the big hit being a satin number with unfinished hems from the house of Prada (it’s official: I’m delving into uncharted territory here, but hey, there’s a first for everything). The writer goes on to suggest a slightly more affordable pair from desinger Vince—what’s supposed to be a bargain at $185 from net-a-porter—but I say stick with the original from the English Sports Shop. With waterfront locations in Hamilton and St. George’s, Bermuda’s original outfitter sells madras, royal poplin and islander linen brands in all colors of the rainbow. Authentic Bermuda style for around fifty bucks. Now that’s some fashion I can get behind.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Need a passport? There's a day for that.

Here’s your fun fact of the day: Less than one-third of Americans have passports, a sorry state of affairs considering more than half of Canadians have theirs. I’m happy to cede the Olympic gold medal hockey match to our brothers in the north, but passport count? Puh-lease. That said, getting a passport in the U.S. is quite an ordeal and probably the real reason why so few Americans have a little blue book of their own: There’s the confusing State Department website, multiple forms, appointments at local offices, renewal by mail…who needs all the hassle? Well, if you still need a passport of your own—and you will if you plan to visit Bermuda anytime soon—then the State Department has some good news for you. Saturday March 27 is officially Passport Day, when 23 regional passport offices nationwide will take walk-up applicants, a serious departure from standard operating procedures. That means on this Saturday only, instead of making an appointment in advance, you can walk into your local passport agency—or in some cases smaller “acceptance facilities” including many city halls—and apply for a brand new passport in person or have your current blue book renewed. You’ll still have to wait four to six weeks for your document to be issued (or you can pay $60 more for expedited service, which takes two to three weeks) but it’s an awful lot better than how it’s normally done and that’s good news for U.S. travelers. For more information on U.S. Passport Day visit the State Department’s website.

Friday, March 19, 2010

An Hour For Earth

In addition to its pink sand beaches and world-class golf courses, Bermuda is also known for its reinsurance companies and financial services—basically what amounts to a round-the-clock workforce. Bottom line it's a busy group of people, but here’s hoping anyone who punches in next Saturday saves any and all work before 8:30pm: In cooperation with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and local charity Greenrock, Bermuda’s government, companies and organizations will participate in Earth Hour, a worldwide hour-long blackout to raise awareness for global climate change. That means from 8:30pm until 9:30pm all electricity for participating entities will officially be shut down (don’t worry executives, you’ll still be able to use your Blackberry). As the above video attests, it’s pretty amazing actually. What began in 2007 with 2.2 million people powering down in Sydney, Australia, has grown into a global movement with more than 50 million people in 400 cities doing the same in 2008 and over 1 billion people in 4,000 cities in 2009. It’s an inspiring video, so keep watching until around 1:20 when you’ll see the lights go out at well-known monuments, structures and buildings worldwide. I’m not sure how much impact Bermuda will have on the global off switch but I think that’s exactly the point: Every little bit helps.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day?

No, that picture was not taken in Bermuda. That’s from a float I was on during the 2008 St. Patrick’s Day parade held in St. Croix, U.S.V.I—yet another tropical island that I used to call home. It may as well be the happiest and most inebriated day of the year down there. Where else can you wear pig noses under the Caribbean sun and drink shots of home-brewed rum from tiny plastic glasses you wear around your neck? Oh yes, that all happened. Although St. Patrick’s Day tends to get a bit out of hand no matter where you go these days. This being England’s oldest colony, I have a feeling I won’t be seeing folks boozing in the streets or green-clad revelers throwing beads into a crowd of drunken onlookers, but hey, to each his own island right? But in case you’re here in Bermuda and still need that pint of Guinness, I’ve got one suggestion for you: Flanagans. Located on Front Street in the City of Hamilton, it’s Bermuda’s one and only Irish pub and no doubt it will be rollicking tonight. As for me, well, I think I’ll pass on the festivities. Just thinking about St. Croix is party enough.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bermuda Soup

Lots going on in the world of travel and tourism today so get out your bowls and spoons—it’s time for some Bermuda soup. First up big news from NBC Sports, which announced on Friday that it will be visiting the island at the end of the month to shoot a new show called Global Golf Adventure at Port Royal Golf Course. According to the Bermuda Sun, each show will highlight a unique destination for active golf travelers and will include an interview with a celebrity guest. Considering Port Royal is again home to the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, I couldn’t think of a better choice (to watch Bermuda in all of its golfing glory, tune in to NBC on May 8 at 1:30 EST). From Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa comes a tempting hotel deal: The luxurious west end retreat has just given guests an extra month of its special “fourth night free” deal. Travelers booking at least a four-night stay for travel good through April 30, will get—you guessed it—their fourth night free, in addition to complimentary breakfast and afternoon tea daily. Considering rooms in April start from $575 a night, it’s a whopper of a deal (to get the special rate use booking code CBBDA4). Been to London recently? If so, then you’ve probably spotted a handful of bright pink taxis driving around town with the slogan “Feel the Love” painted on the doors—basically the Department of Tourism’s latest and greatest effort to spread the word about Bermuda. I for one think it’s a fantastic idea: Cab drivers are among the world’s greatest ambassadors and with direct flights on British Airways from London Gatwick—just a six-hour hop to Bermuda—I’m guessing the island will be seeing a generous uptick in UK arrivals. Just think, that could be you walking arm-in-arm on Horseshoe Bay Beach. Feel the love, yall.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Thank You, Efkharistó, Grazie.

Apologies to my loyal readers for taking two days off last week, but I guess that’s what happens when one’s birthday celebration is just that good. Consider my candles officially blown out. The good news is Wednesday’s Best of Bermuda list got quite a response. My ten island faves were re-Tweeted like gangbusters and best of all, I spotted some familiar and unfamiliar names in the comment section below. My favorite? “You look great in a man scarf,” writes Alina Durso. Thanks for the compliment, but it’s about 25 years too late considering I had a major crush on you in nursery school. And like, all of elementary school. But hey, thanks for reading! To Mandy and Rob who wrote in from Cyprus and appear to be running an interesting blog called A New Life In Cyprus, kudos for the kind words. Last I was in your neck of the woods the island nation had just become the European’s Union newest member despite a failed last-ditch effort to reunify the country. I got to spend lots of time with the Greeks in the South, but alas, political red tape ended my quest to visit the Turkish occupied North. Here’s hoping you’re eating lots of haloumi (traditional goats milk cheese) and are staying away from the Zivania (a Manischewitz-esque sweet wine made in the mountains). And to Sanda Burrowes—who along with her colleagues at Troncossi is a true PR guru—not only is that gas station “ron de cahner” but when I arrive I’m greeted with an enthiusiastic “hey bye!” Gotta love it. So in closing let me leave you all with just one more reason why living in Bermuda is so darn delightful. The sunsets. Because really, does it get any better than that view from my patio? I think not.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Best of Bermuda

Seeing as today is my birthday—thirty-something if you must know—I thought I’d be totally self-indulgent and share my top ten reasons why living in Bermuda is so darn delightful. No, it’s not another Bermuda for tourists list—if you want that try 36 Hours in Bermuda, a story I wrote for the New York Times in September—but it is unmistakably my own. So without further adieu, here in no particular order are my reasons why Bermuda rocks.

10. Lobster season. From September through March you can get the tastiest, sweetest, most succulent Caribbean lobster in nearly every island restaurant (and from local fisherman who sell them for half the price on the side of the road). Eat it on a regular basis and you too will never again crave its Maine cousin.

9. You can get a Dark n’ Stormy anywhere. Bermuda’s national cocktail is a savory combination of Gosling’s Black Seal rum and spicy ginger beer—and it’s delicious. I challenge you to find an island establishment that doesn’t serve one.

8. Beach picnics in February. It was February 27th to be exact. The sun shone brighter than it had all winter and the temperature was a balmy 72 degrees. My wife and I brought a bottle of chilled sauvignon blanc, cave-aged gruyere and a small bag of rosemary crostinis to a gloriously empty Horseshoe Bay Beach and spent the afternoon staring at the turquoise waves. It doesn’t get much better than that.

7. My Sym scooter. There’s something to be said for driving island-wide on the back of 125cc motorbike. The air is fresher, the views are better—and unlike driving a car—there are no distractions. No radios, no phones. It’s all about the drive. Just make sure to keep your mouth closed unless you enjoy getting your protein fix from flying insects.

6. The language. I know, I know. Most everyone in Bermuda speaks English (aside from a large Portuguese population, of course). But I just love that accent! Not unlike a southern twang or an Irish lilt, it’s very much its own: The house is “dahn de rooad.” Fill up the gas tank, “awl de way.” Your good friend is your “ace boy” and your acquaintance is your “cousin.” Just marvelous.

5. I never have to buy fresh rosemary. I’m a bit of a home cook so I’m thrilled when I’m asked to prepare roasted potatoes or pork or just about anything that requires a sprinkle of rosemary. The fragrant plant grows everywhere in Bermuda. Forget the market—just grab a sprig from the backyard.

4. The people. It’s a common statement among most island populations—that its people are its greatest commodity. But I’d say more than any island I’ve ever visited this sentiment is particularly true in Bermuda. Special shout outs to Jeff for unselfishly giving me his VIP tickets to this year’s Rugby Classic; Anthony for selling me my daily newspaper with a smile; and Charlie for always playing reggae in his immaculately clean and well-appointed taxi.

3. My gym. True, it may be a bit extravagant to work out in a luxurious Southampton resort each day, but the sweeping ocean views from the seat of my recumbent bicycle just can’t be beat.

2. Getting a wrong number. This exact scenario has happened three times since I’ve lived in Bermuda—just substitute the requested name made by the caller. Phone rings. Me: “Hello?” Caller: “Is John there, please?” Me: “Sorry, I think you have the wrong number.” Caller: “Oh my word! I’m so sorry for disturbing you! Please forgive me and do enjoy the rest of your day.” If only everyone could be so polite when they dial incorrectly.

1. I can still grow a winter beard (see above). Yes, it’s warm in Bermuda year-round but the slight chill of January prompted this year’s growth. I have a feeling it won’t last much longer but then again, neither will the chill. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

And The Winner Is...

Remember when I told you about how you could win a five-night vacation to The Reefs Hotel & Club back in February? How all you had to do was write a short story about your favorite memories of Bermuda and/or the Reefs hotel to score a trip to the luxurious Southampton resort? Well the votes are in and the people have spoken. Garnering more than one-third of over 3,000 votes was the winning story by Tim Finnegan, a Massachusetts man who wrote a touching tale about his parents who honeymooned in Bermuda 42 years ago. Feel free to read it on the Reefs' website but here’s the gist: Tim’s parents, who first stayed at the Reefs over four decades ago, have lived a life of hardship, having six kids, some of them ill, some of them taken unexpectedly. And because of their unceasing dedication to their family—i.e. constantly putting their children’s needs ahead of their own—the pair have barely taken a vacation since. So Tim wrote in on their behalf, petitioning for his parents who are very much in need of a sunny break. Nice, right? Best of all there were two winners—Audrey Bennett, also from Massachusetts, who was the one lucky voter chosen for a second five-night stay. If all of this excitement is causing extreme Bermuda-envy then why not try a stay at the hotel yourself? Take advantage of inexpensive shoulder season airfare and this fantastic “Spring Fling” package just announced by The Reefs Hotel & Club: Four nights in an ocean-view room with your very own private balcony or patio; breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner for two daily; a three-day bus/ferry pass; roundtrip airport transfers; and champagne upon arrival. With taxes and fees the package costs just $2,465 and is valid for travel from April 1 through April 30. Considering a four-night stay in an ocean view room costs around $2,100 if booked ala carte, it’s one heckuva deal. And yes, that will be the beach you'll be sipping rum swizzles on. Happy vacationing!

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Whale of a Good Time

As if there weren’t enough good reasons to love March here’s one more: The first of the month marks the official beginning of whale watching season—a two-month stretch where you can spot massive humpbacks swim, dive and breach off the shores of Bermuda. Interestingly, the island is the only mid-ocean platform in the Northern Hemisphere to provide a window into their behavior, an annual migratory pattern that begins in the Caribbean and ends in north Atlantic feeding grounds. It’s quite a sight, as the above video clearly attests. Shot by documentary filmmaker Andrew Stevenson, the amazing footage catches a pod of humpbacks swimming along Bermuda’s south shore, slapping the surface with their fins, and best of all, vigorously jumping from the water just yards from the boat. If you’ve got the time, poke around his YouTube channel where you’ll also find stunning underwater footage and hauntingly beautiful recordings of whales singing while swimming through Bermuda’s Challenger Banks. If all of this sounds right up you’re alley then why not try it yourself? The Bermuda Zoological Society begins its whale-watching excursions on Saturday, March 27, with full-day trips on the research vessel Endurance through the end of April ($70 members, $85 non-members). And charter company Fantasea Bermuda runs full-day trips aboard its glass-bottomed fishing boats for the next two months ($85). Still can’t get enough? Then be sure to visit the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute on March 11 when the discovery center premieres Andrew Stevenson’s latest film, “Where the Whales Sing,” a documentary he shot over a three-year period that traces the migratory patterns of humpbacks through Bermuda.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

From the Tarmac

It was about a month ago when Canadians got some excellent news from WestJet—that the low-cost carrier would begin flying nonstop from Toronto to Bermuda effective May 2010, with one-way flights as low as $129. Those who were paying attention—or perhaps, following WestJet on Twitter—heard about the airline’s one-day sale yesterday, when it slashed fares in half, making a roundtrip flight to Bermuda about $170 with taxes. That deal is unfortunately over, but the good news is there are more cheap flights on the way, this time for everyone in Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. That’s right folks, USA3000 is back. According to USA Today, the charter and discount airline is ramping up its seasonal service to Bermuda, with twice-weekly flights from Baltimore’s BWI and Philadelphia International beginning June 11th. Considering one-way flights will be as low as $99 this summer, there’s really no good reason not to plan Bermuda getaway. But don’t wait too long: The fair weather flier will only be operating from the two east coast gateways through August 16th. Happy jetting!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Have you heard the news? Bermuda’s own Fairmont Hamilton Princess is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year—no small feat considering many island hotels hardly stick around long enough to replace the wall-to-wall carpeting (like Club Med in St. George’s or the Wyndham in Southampton, both of which have been demolished; watch Club Med get imploded here). Of course, getting rid of the old to make room for the new is a good thing, but there’s something to be said for a historic hotel and the Fairmont Hamilton Princess is indeed the Grand Dame of ‘em all. First opened in 1885, the hotel was named for Princess Louise, daughter of England’s Queen Victoria. As the story goes, she visited Bermuda two years earlier and fell in love with the island, calling it “the place of eternal spring.” When a leading Bermuda businessman decided to build a hotel to attract affluent Americans, he honored the royal visit by naming his hotel “The Princess.” Since then the landmark hotel’s storied history has only grown in stature: Not only was it a favorite of Mark Twain’s in the early 1900’s but it played a pivotal role in World War II, when the hotel became an intelligence center run by Allied servicemen. It was at The Princess where all mail, radio and telegraphic traffic bound for Europe and the Americans was intercepted and analyzed before being routed to their destinations. Pretty heady stuff. So in order to celebrate its anniversary the hotel has cooked up a special deal for anyone celebrating theirs: Couples who stay at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess during their wedding anniversary will receive one complimentary night’s stay and additional nights for only $125 per person, a pretty incredible deal considering a room can cost upwards of $400 with taxes during peak season. Best of all, the 125th Anniversary Package is good through the end of the year. Just make sure to bring your marriage certificate to seal the deal.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Money Matters

This just in: According to the New York Times, former U.S. representative and Merrill Lynch executive Harold Ford Jr. will not challenge New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for the democratic U.S. senate nomination. So what does this have to do with Bermuda? The charismatic businessman is expected to be the keynote speaker at this year’s general meeting of the Bermuda International Business Association (BIBA), an organization of island-based companies that provides services and products to offshore clients. As noted in the BIBA press release, he’ll speak on “the challenges and opportunities that face America and how Bermuda can play a vital role in the U.S. and global economy.” Currently Bermuda’s vital role in the U.S. and global economy is centered around its tax structure or lack thereof—the reason why thousands of international corporations, most of them American, are domiciled here. Bermuda is no tax haven—after all, it’s not Macau or the Cayman Islands for that matter—but White House estimates suggest nearly one-third of foreign profits reported by U.S. corporations in 2003 came from Bermuda and two other low-tax countries (the Netherlands and Ireland). For big businesses it’s more like tax avoidance than tax evasion, even still, it makes Ford’s speaking engagement a particularly odd choice since the former congressman voted to end offshore tax havens in 2004. Just saying. The good news is tickets are still available to Ford’s BIBA powwow Thursday afternoon at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess. As for me, well, I think I'll keep the $100 entrance fee in the bank.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Bermuda Stew

Is it March already? Seems like it was just yesterday when I was admiring scooter driving Santas, listening to jazzy performances and ducking howling winds that have visited our shores for the past two months. Winter’s been a blast but I sure am ready to hit the beach, aren’t you? So in anticipation of a sunny spring here are a few random thoughts to stir the pot—what I like to call Bermuda Stew. The Winter Games officially ended yesterday and it seems like Bermudian cross-country skier Tucker Murphy is still turning heads. From yesterday’s New York Times Inside The Rings blog: “I saw two things here that no one should see during the Winter Olympics: cherry trees in bloom and a guy riding a hotel elevator in Bermuda shorts.” Well done, Tucker. You’ve single-handedly brought cool back to the Olympics. With March comes shoulder-season discounts and here’s one from Port Royal Golf Course: For one day only visitors can play the championship course for just $99, including green fee and cart, which means the home of the 2009/2010 PGA Grand Slam of Golf is half-off on March 13th. Wanna see what it's like to play the course's signature hole? Watch this video. Big news from your dinner plates: Lobster season is officially over at the end of this month. Care to taste the sweetest spiny lobster in the world? Then get yourself to Bermuda before March 31st. Try Port O Call on Front Street. Yes, it’s that good. And in case you’re wondering what that silly-looking video is up top, well, go ahead and click play. It’s a little piece I like to call “To Bermuda With Love,” and it might just be the most entertaining 1 minute and 53 seconds you watch all day. Here's the plot in nutshell: When a randy New York City straphanger gets travel advice from an English gentleman, a romantic Bermuda vacation is just a few subway stops away. You're welcome.