Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
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
Monday, March 22, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
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
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
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
Friday, March 5, 2010
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
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010