Monday, January 31, 2011

The Grand Slam Is Back!

This just in: The PGA Grand Slam of Golf—a season-ending tournament featuring the winners of golf’s four major championships—will return to Port Royal Golf Course in Southampton, Bermuda for the next two years. “The PGA of America is honored to continue the PGA Grand Slam of Golf tradition on the island of Bermuda through 2012 at the Port Royal Golf Course,” said PGA of America President Allen Wronowski. “Bermuda has embraced the PGA Grand Slam of Golf over the past several years, delivering unmatched hospitality and community support for golf’s elite visiting foursome.” An elite foursome indeed. Last year’s tournament featured PGA Champion Martin Kaymer, U.S. Open Champion Graeme McDowell, 2001 PGA Chamption David Toms and three-time major winner Ernie Els, who won the 2010 Grand Slam trophy and the coveted Pink Jacket. The year before? Port Royal welcomed Lucas Glover, Stewart Cink, Angel Cabrera and Y.E. Yang, so clearly the Slam brings golf’s biggest names (if indeed they accept the PGA’s invitation to play; I’m talking to you Phil Mickelson). This year’s tournament will be played on October 18 and 19, but in case you can’t wait until the Fall to see what the hubbub is all about, be sure to watch the above video for a guided tour of Port Royal Golf Course by yours truly. Turn up your speakers, sit back and enjoy.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thunder, Thunder, Thunder, Cats!

If you were born in the late 1970’s and spent the following decade watching animated cat-like humanoids defend their turf on Third Earth, then definitely keep on reading. If not, well, then consider this yet another Bermuda connection to our great big weird world. Remember back in December when I told you about Arthur Rankin Jr.? The Bermudian who created popular animated classics Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman and Santa Claus Is Coming to Town? After a little digging, Bermuda Shorts has learned that Rankin was also the creative force behind—wait for it, wait for it—ThunderCats! For all the fans out there, yeah, I know, I just blew your mind (check out the video for a serious blast from the past). And for the rest of you who don't have a clue what I'm talking about, ThunderCats was a wildly popular American cartoon that followed the adventures of a team of feline heroes: Lion-O the young Lord of the ThunderCats, the oh-so sexy Cheetara, nun-chuck wielding Panthro, bolo-whipping Tygra, young twins WilyKit and Wilykat plus former nursemaid turned lovable loaf Snarf. Long story short, their fleet was attacked by the Mutants of Plun-darr who joined the evil sorcerer Mumm-Ra in his quest to capture the mystical Sword of Omens, which holds the Eye of Thundera and the source of the ThunderCat’s power. Whew. That’s probably way more than you needed to know but clearly one crazy universe was born out of another. As the island’s license plates proudly declare, “Bermuda Another World,” just like the ThunderCats' home planet of Thundera, which certainly qualifies as other-worldly. Let's just file this one under weird, shall we? ThunderCats Ho!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

BONUS: Free Juice and Cookies Too!

For those planning to visit Bermuda anytime soon, I hate to burst your bubble, but the island is a notoriously expensive destination to vacation. Room rates at most hotels soar above $250 per night, restaurant entrées hover around $35 a plate and it costs $4.15 just to get inside a taxi, never mind what it costs to get driven down the road. Indeed, it’s pricey in paradise but if you like to golf, 18 holes just got a whole lot cheaper—if of course you’ve got a spare pint of blood. Launched on Monday, the Riddell’s Bay Golf and Country Club is offering two for one green fees if you and a friend donate blood at the Bermuda Blood Donor Centre through April 29. That’s a $155 value in case you’re wondering and certainly a few dollars saved for an incredibly worthy cause. Said Dennis Paul, General Manager of Riddell’s Bay: “[We’re] delighted to be supporting a drive to increase the number of blood donors in Bermuda. We hope everyone interested in playing golf will consider becoming a donor. Providing a free round of golf is our way of asking those with a passion for the game to give blood. And if you aren’t already a regular golfer, what better time to finally give golf a try than when you can also help save a life?” Here, here! Those interested in receiving their free round of golf should book an appointment with the Bermuda Blood Donor Centre by calling 441/236-1060 (blood donor clinics are held Tue., Wed., and Thurs., from 8:30-3pm). Who said nothing’s free in Bermuda?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Johnny Barnes on HuffPo!

It looks like the island’s most beloved resident has been making quite a splash in the press these days. According to life coach and Huffington Post contributor Arjuna Ardagh, Bermuda’s own Johnny Barnes exemplifies the epitome of unconditional love by greeting commuters each morning with shouts of “I love you!” at the corner of Crow Lane, just outside the City of Hamilton. Commenting on the fallout from the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Arizona, Ardagh cited the book Love For No Reason, which profiles 150 “love luminaries.” Writes Ardagh in yesterday's Huffington Post: “Some are well-known writers and celebrities, like Marianne Williamson, Melissa Etheridge and Geneen Roth. But my favorite was the story of Johnny Barnes, a native of Bermuda, who in the 1940's was working as an electrician on the railway. The impulse came to him, out of the blue, to start waving to people, calling out ‘I love you.’ He liked it so much, he started to do this every day during his lunch hour. Now Johnny is 84 years old. He gets up at 3:30 am every day to stand on the Crow Lane roundabout in busy downtown Hamilton till 10 am, calling out "Good Morning, Have a Good Day, God Bless you!” All very true. Don’t believe me? Then check out the above video, which shows Johnny greeting commuters as they enter Hamilton. Now THAT’s unconditional love. Said Johnny in the book: “If you can bring joy and happiness to others, you keep on doing it. People seem to like my staying power. I just keep showing up day after day, and year after year—they kind of count on it now. In fact, not long ago the city actually put up a statue of me, wide-brimmed hat and all, doing my two-handed wave! I never thought I'd see a statue of myself. Never. But there it is, a life-sized bronze sculpture that stands on the opposite side of the roundabout from me. It keeps on spreading love after I go home.” Spreading the love indeed.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

This Way Out

The South Pole is no where near Bermuda. In fact, I have no good reason to be discussing the South Pole in any context with Bermuda except of course, for my own selfish reasons. So here goes. Ninety-nine years ago today, British explorer Robert F. Scott arrived the South Pole to discover that Roald Amundsen and his Norwegian team had beaten him there by one month—an interesting historical fact that you can learn more about by going to my Outside Television blog This Way Out and reading Celebrating the South Pole. As you'll see, adventurous travelers are trying to recreate the 100-year-old anniversary by flying there, skiing there, you name it. And while the pole is truly a destination that I'd love to visit one day, I'll stick with my sunny Bermuda days for now. In the meantime I'll be back tomorrow with your regularly scheduled Bermuda Shorts programming.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Deal of the Day

In case you’re wondering what you’ll be doing on Valentine’s Day this year allow me to offer some food for thought. (I know, it’s not even January 14 but it’s best to start thinking about these things now, okay?). If you and your sweetie are searching for a quick tropical getaway next month then consider this fantastic deal from The Reefs Hotel & Club, a sprawling resort on Bermuda’s stunning south shore that again made Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List in 2010. For $1,549 per couple including tax you’ll get three nights in a poolside ocean view room (with a complimentary room upgrade if available); a 90-minute couples massage at the brand new La Serena Spa followed by champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries in its bamboo-floored ocean view relaxation room (or choose a 60-minute couples massage followed by a massage lesson to keep the, ahem, fire alive); breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner daily; plus roundtrip airport transfers. So, how do we know if this is really a deal? Let’s do the math! If booked online, a poolside ocean view room from February 11 through February 14 would be $385 per night ($1,155) plus tax ($109) and fees ($117), for a total of $1,381.74, including breakfast, afternoon tea and a gourmet dinner daily. A 90-minute couples’ massage at La Serena Spa: $359. Two glasses of champagne: $30. Strawberries: $15. Roundtrip airport transfers: $100. Grand total if booked ala carte: $1,885.74, which is a savings of $504! I don’t know about you but that’s a bonafide deal in my book. Interested? Then check out the February Touch of Love special, good for the entire month of February. Trust me, your sweetie will thank you. Just check out that view!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mystery Solved: Bloomberg Was in BDA

By far one of Bermuda’s greatest assets is its accessibility, with non-stop flights no more than two hours from most east coast gateways. Of course, if you have a private jet none of that matters. You just call your pilot and off you go. Clearly not all of us are that privileged, but if you’re one of the richest people in the world and perhaps, happen to be the mayor of New York City, chances are you’ll be flying private. Which is exactly what Mike Bloomberg did while Gotham was getting walloped by a huge blizzard last December. Reports the New York Times City Room blog, Bloomberg’s plane was seen pulling out of its hangar at Bermuda’s L.F. Wade International, ready for take off on December 26 long after the five boroughs got buried underneath a pile of snow. Until the report, there’d been much speculation where the Mayor was that now infamous day in December, but clearly he was holed up in his fancy Tucker’s Town home on Christmas Day. Writes the New York Times’ Michael Barbaro, “Pressed on Tuesday about the possibility, based on the movement’s of his plane, that the mayor might have waited 24 hours to return to New York, Mr. Bloomberg replied simply: ‘I don’t know where you get that information,’ adding, ‘I was totally in communications and in charge and accountable all the time.’” Of course you were Mr. Mayor. You might’ve been sipping on a rum swizzle while getting serenaded by a cacophony of tree frogs, but hey, who am I to split hairs?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

In The Bag

One of the benefits of living on an island in the middle of the Atlantic—outside of the obvious, like sunny weekends spent on the beach—is being part of a community that for the most part, cares deeply about the environment. Don't forget, Bermuda is a tiny 21-square-mile archipelago with limited natural resources. Clearly, it's important to preserve what we've got. In that spirit islanders commonly bring reusable canvas bags to the market, are conscious about recycling and save every bit of rainwater that falls from the sky. Sure, lots more can be done to help create clean sustainable energy on the island—like solar panels atop government buildings for starters—but isn't that always the case? Unlike landlocked towns across the world, islands have fragile eco-systems very much in need of preservation. Which is not to say inland areas shouldn't care about the environment, just that islands need to care more. Take South Padre Island, Texas for example. The small U.S island has voted to eliminate the sale and distribution of all plastic and non-compostable bags in local stores, a vote that I've covered on my Outside Television blog This Way Out. If you've got a few minutes read my story In The Bag, which praises South Padre for a move that will no doubt keep its beaches clean while reducing the use of harmful plastics—something Bermuda should seriously start thinking about. In the meantime, thanks for reading! And of course, I'll be back tomorrow with your regularly scheduled Bermuda Shorts programming.

Monday, January 10, 2011

From the Window Seat

Bermuda may be known for its pink sand beaches and world-class golf courses, but thanks to a recent report in Budget Travel—the same story that was reposted on MSNBC travel—the island is also notable for a killer view from the window seat. According to the December article 10 Scenic Airport Landings, the approach to Bermuda's L.F. Wade International Airport was selected as one of the most scenic in the world by pilots and flight attendants who were polled for the story. "The island is just as lovely from the air as it is on the ground," says flight attendant Heather Zorzini who recently retired after 31 years and about 20 million miles aboard Air Canada. “Deep-green seas fade to pale turquoise as they lap at pink beaches and pastel houses with white limestone roofs come into focus on the surrounding lush hillsides. It all creates an achingly picturesque vista." Indeed it does, just check out that view! Considering Bermuda is on a list that includes mountainous Queenstown, New Zealand; sun-dappled Phillisburg, St. Marten; and electric Hong Kong, I’d say the island is in very good company.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Man With Golden Voice Loves Bermuda!

By now you’ve probably heard the story: A homeless man from New York named Ted Williams was standing on the side of route 71 in Columbus, Ohio, when a Columbus-Dispatch reporter asked him to say a few words on camera. Of course, he didn’t look the part of a polished radio announcer, with his wild gray hair and fatigued Army jacket, but when he opened his mouth he not only surprised the reporter, but he quickly surprised the world. What resulted was an internet sensation—a viral video with more than 5 million hits of the self-proclaimed Man With The Golden Voice. Williams has since been offered a voiceover job with the Cleveland Cavaliers, a mac & cheese commercial gig and has also been sought after by the bigwigs at NFL films. Yesterday he was on the Today Show, and guess what? He loves, loves, loves Bermuda! No joke folks. Ted Williams’ happiest moment in life was when he traveled to Bermuda in the 1970’s with his beloved mother. Don’t believe me? Then watch the above video as Williams spills the beans to Ann Curry and Al Roker just before the seven-minute mark. Here’s what he had to say when recounting the most cherished time of his life: “My mom took me to Bermuda. I love Bermuda. I don’t know what’s going on in Bermuda now, but in the 70’s that was the Hawaii of the Atlantic as far as I’m concerned. And being from New York, Bermuda is the closest thing to Hawaii that we have.” Boom!

And here’s one better: Having heard the flattering news, the Bermuda government has extended an invitation for The Man With The Golden Voice to visit our sunny shores. For real. According to Bernews, Patrice Minors, the Minister of Business Development and Tourism, has advised that steps are underway to bring Williams to Bermuda. “I must admit that when I saw his story I too was moved by his life struggles and challenges,” said Minister Minors. “And how absolutely touching that he cited Bermuda and his memories of our beautiful Island as being a beacon of light in his life. So, in a gesture of kindness and good will I can confirm that we have reached out to Mr. Williams to let him know that his story has deeply touched all of Bermuda. We would be pleased to welcome him and it’s hoped that he will be able to visit the Island sometime in the near future.” This story just keeps getting better. Three jobs, the Today Show, a free vacation in Bermuda—it doesn’t get much better than that. Although Teddy, you’re still looking a little gaunt these days. How about this? You come to Bermuda and I promise to cook you dinner at my house. No joke. If you make it to Bermuda consider this a standing invitation to dinner at Chez LaHuta. Hope to see you soon buddy!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Deal of the Day

If you’re one of the legions of folks who recently endured the chilly northeastern blizzard—or even if you’re not—best to listen up, because there’s a fantastic deal in balmy Bermuda right this very minute. The luxurious Fairmont Southampton is currently selling rooms for 50% off regular prices, with availability from now through March 17. That means for just $129 you’ll get a well-appointed room with a private balcony, most likely with a harbor or ocean view. Considering those same rooms usually hover around $400 it’s one whopper of a bargain. Even better, I’m guessing the weather here is way nicer than wherever you may be at the moment. Let’s see, 39ºF in Atlanta; 27ºF in New York City; 26ºF in Boston; 18ºF in Toronto—I’m cold just thinking about it. Although it’s not quite warm enough to go swimming in Bermuda, it is a lovely day for an afternoon at the spa, a beach walk along Horseshoe Bay or a round of golf at one of the island's eight courses (that's Port Royal's 16th hole above, called "the toughest hole I've ever played" by 2010 PGA Grand Slam Champion Ernie Els). Still not convinced? Then come see for yourself! To reserve the special 50% off rate you have to book by January 15 and to learn why the Fairmont Southampton is perfect for a quick weekend getaway, check out this earlier post about the hotel, which gives a brief description of the resort's many restaurants and amenities. Happy travels!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bob Marley in Bermuda!!

This just in: Bob Marley will be performing live in Bermuda from January 13 through 15, at 7pm and again at 10pm at the Fairmont Southampton. No, really. However it might not be the person you're thinking of. Bob Marley Jr., a comedian from Portland, Maine, who holds the Guinness World Record for performing the longest comedy set in history (40 non-stop hours, the first 18 without any repetition of material), will be yakking up the crowd at this year's Just For Laughs Festival in Southampton, Bermuda. “I was named after my father,” said Bob in a recent interview with the Royal Gazette. “When I was born he’d never heard of Bob Marley the singer. I’ve had all these crazy things happen to me as a result of the name. For example, once I got a $6,000 check for the History of Rock meant for the singer Bob Marley. The name was a lucky coincidence.” Marley will be on stage with fellow comedians Gina Yashere, Sebastian Maniscalco, Dom Irrera and Godfrey, who also performed at last year’s Just For Laughs Festival. For tickets visit and for more about Bob Marley, visit—where else?—

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Travel Tuesday

Considering it's next to impossible to coin every catchy phrase out there, I'm going to steal this recurring weekly headline from my friends over on Twitter. Welcome then to Travel Tuesday, where you'll be whisked away to places near and far on my Outside Television blog, This Way Out. So, what's in store for you today? How about my coverage of an Aspen Valley ski patrol first responder who developed PTSD after 30 years of horrific mountain rescues? It's really an interesting story—one that you can either read about here or watch by heading over to and view my show called The Buzz (click here to see the report live from Colorado). And for all you Bermudaphiles out there, have no fear. I'll return tomorrow with your regularly scheduled Bermuda Shorts programming.