Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It's a Party 'Yall

You know what's so great about a destination wedding? Living in the destination where the wedding is being held, which is yet another reason why living in Bermuda is so darn great. The people come here, cased closed. That's why I'm particularly jazzed to be attending a family wedding at the historic Fairmont Hamilton Princess, which turned 125 years old last year. The entire wedding party is currently flying and cruising down to Bermuda and all I have to do is hop in my Daihatsu and drive on dahn de road (in Bermuda parlance). Don't get me wrong—I'd travel to the ends of the Earth for a good party—but there's something to be said for attending a ceremony in one's backyard (one that should look something like the one above; that photo was taken at a Fairmont Hamilton Princess wedding last year). So, if you're wondering where I'll be the next couple of days, here's your answer: Partying in BDA.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

This Way Out

I know, I know. This has nothing to do with Bermuda. But it's been awhile since I kept you in the loop about what I've been up to with Outside Television. Remember when Bermuda Shorts was out of commission for two weeks? I was in Telluride, Colorado filming my Emmy-nominated show Outside Film Festival: Mountainfilm. (Yes you read correctly and no I won't be taking home the golden statuette if we win; that goes to the producers. But at least I got to hang out in front of Wilson Peak for awhile. Check your Coors Lights cans people. That's the one!). Since 1979, Mountainfilm in Telluride has debuted hundreds of socially conscious films and today I covered a handful of 'em on my Outside Television blog, This Way Out. Interested? Then click on over to Just Back: Mountainfilm in Telluride and read about some stellar documentary films one of which ironically stars Bermuda's own Johnny Barnes (it's called Mr. Happy Man by director Matt Morris and it's fantastic; view the trailer here). In the meantime, I'll be back tomorrow with your regularly scheduled Bermuda Shorts programming.

Monday, June 27, 2011

From The Deep

Just when you thought Bermuda's waters couldn't get more interesting, a team of underwater explorers uncovers a case of 150-year-old hooch within the shattered iron bones of a sunken shipwreck called the Mary-Celestia. The find was a major discovery within SCUBA diving circles and certainly one that has generated lots of local attention since the American Civil War blockade ship sank off Bermuda's southern coast in 1846. Likely thought to be fortified wine, the five bottles were retrieved by an international team of archaeologists working with Bermuda's Department of Conservation Services (to watch the recovery effort, including some amazing underwater footage of the wreck check out the video above). Which really just begs the question: How does it taste? "After undergoing laboratory analysis and preservation treatment, the wine and our other finds will tell their story to Bermudians and the rest of the world thanks to modern science," said Dr. James Delgado, who was part of the dive team that made the discovery. Translation: He's not sure, but I'm guessing it's yummy, boozy and delicious.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cruise News

Cruise-loving Bermudaphiles rejoice! There's a strong possibility that "a new and exclusive cruise line" will be visiting our shores very soon. According to the Royal Gazette—and re-reported on USA Today's The Cruise Log with Gene Sloan—Bermuda's transport minister told the local House of Assembly that a new cruise line may be calling upon the island next year. Said Transport Minister Terry Lister, the unnamed cruise executives were "very impressed with everything they saw," and that he was discussing a deal that would be "very attractive to Bermuda." Considering the island currently draws 385,000 cruise passengers a year despite a sagging tourism infrastructure, the increased business will be a welcome addition indeed. But which cruise line is on the way? Let's see. We've already got Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Norwegian Cruise Line. My money's on Cunard and it's made-for-Bermuda Queen Mary 2—luxurious, elegant and a worthy heir to ships like Furness Lines' Queen of Bermuda, which visited the island regularly from New York City's Pier 95 in the early 1900's (that's the ship docked on Front Street circa 1950). Happy cruising!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Kid Is Coming To Bermuda

Leave it to a 22-year-old wunderkind to shake up the Tiger-less PGA—because that's just what Rory McIlroy did at the U.S. Open this weekend, earning his first major championship and an invitation to the PGA Grand Slam of Golf at Port Royal Golf Course in Bermuda. If you're a golf fan or even if you're not, his decisive win was an amazing record-breaking feat: The Northern Irishman set a U.S. Open scoring record with an unbelievable four-day total of 16-under-par 268 and by leading the entire tournament from day one, McIlroy is one of six golfers in history to claim a wire-to-wire championship. Which really just means Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel will have his work cut out for him when he tees up alongside the young champ at the Grand Slam in October. Interested in attending the three-day golf tournament yourself? Then check out this short video I shot, edited and hosted live from Port Royal last year. Fore!

Friday, June 17, 2011

In The News

With its powdery pink sand beaches and there-before-you-know-it access from the U.S.—less than two hours from most east coast gateways, thank you very much—Bermuda has long been a favorite among folks looking for a quick romantic getaway. And apparently CNN agrees since its latest story, Five Hot Honeymoon Destinations, includes Bermuda among exotic locales including French Polynesia, Fiji, Italy and Bali. Reports CNN: "A small island, Bermuda gives off a close-knit community feel while providing an exotic flavor. Pastel-colored buildings and crystal blue waters give the scenic impression that you're far from home without the long journey. For couples taking a "mini-moon" and compensating with a longer honeymoon when time allows, Bermuda provides a special weekend getaway where you can still make it back to work on Monday." Here, here! Of course, if you can stick around awhile longer the island has tons to offer. For tips, suggestions and useful Bermuda itineraries—since, quite frankly, CNN did a less than stellar job of telling readers what to do once they're here—check out 36 Hours in Bermuda from the New York Times or Jetsetter's The Many Faces of Bermuda, both written by yours truly.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

At least he spelled Bermuda correctly...

This just in from the Department of Education and Irony: A "Bermuda Goverment" van was spotted on the island's roads this week, which has raised more than a few eyebrows on Facebook since the person who affixed the sign forgot to include the letter n. Commenter Oba Swan asked, "Does it say Ministry of Edumacation on the side?" While Shelia Marshall suggested the sign-smith may have gone to "the Department of Edu-vacation" for his or her schooling. Both valid points, although lets just hope the same guy wasn't painting signs on Fire Department vehicles, unless of course Bermuda is in need of folks extinguishing pine trees (Fir Department, get it?).

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Calling All Bartenders

It’s no secret that I enjoy my rum. It’s also no secret that I’m pretty darn good at inventing cocktails—after all, I was a professional bartender long before becoming a television and magazine journalist. Had I not been named the Best Bartender in Fire Island, New York after creating a drink called the Tooty Fruity Banana Booty made with Cruzan banana rum, I might never had met my wife-to-be in St. Croix a few months later (trust me it’s all true; just read this story from Caribbean Travel+Life). That’s why I’m particularly jazzed about the latest promotion from the recently rebranded Rosewood Tucker’s Point and Bermuda’s own Gosling’s Black Seal rum. Wanna win a vacation to Bermuda including airfare for two on Continental and a three-night stay at swanky Tucker’s Point? Then put on your bartending aprons and get creating. Here’s the deal: Invent a Bermuda-themed cocktail made with Gosling’s Black Seal rum then upload your recipe, a photo and your story to Tucker’s Point Facebook page for a chance to win. The five drinks with the most votes plus a judge’s pick each week will advance to the finals round where the Grand Prize winner will be determined by a team of judges from Rosewood Tucker’s Point and Gosling’s Rum. Easy enough, right?

Now, since I’ve got a little bit of experience in this department I’ll give you a few tips on how to create a great cocktail. Number one: It needs an amazing garnish. My winning drink featured a banana straw, which means you sucked the rummy deliciousness through a hole bored through the center of the fruit. Genius, I know. If that’s a little too intense for you however, try rimming the glass with something fun, like cinnamon sugar or graham cracker crumbs. Number two: Make sure it’s not too sweet. Judges and professional drinkers hate, hate, hate treacly cocktails laden with grenadine and syrups. Add a splash of curacao, sure, but don’t forget to add the citrus. Number three: Add a secret ingredient. Because you always need a secret ingredient. You wanna know mine? Tough, it’s a secret. And finally, number four: It needs an amazing name, like the Tooty Fruity Banana Booty. Enough said.

The contest is currently open to any and all interested parties and ends Tuesday, June 28 (for more information visit Tucker's Point Facebook page). And in addition to winning a fantastic trip to Bermuda, your drink will also be served on property at Rosewood Tucker's Point. Bottoms up!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Catch of the Day

Nope, it’s not a yellowfin tuna. Nor is it a wahoo or even a mahi-mahi. After six hours on 10-foot seas—a blissful half-day charter spent trawling Bermuda's Challenger Bank aboard Paradise One—my best bite of the day was the toothy silver fish I’m holding above: a 20-pound barracuda that I happily took home and ate for dinner. Which is not to say the bigger swimmers weren’t biting. We hooked at least three major-sized wahoo while motoring about 12 miles off shore, but unfortunately they bit their lines and got away (because of course, there always has to be a story about the one that got away, right?). Bottom line, if you’re headed to Bermuda and are at all into fishing, this is a trip that shouldn’t be missed. After all, where else in North America can you motor just 30 minutes off shore and be in waters more than 400 feet deep? In the meantime, a major thanks to first mate Delvin and Captain Allan at Paradise One Fishing Charters for a stellar day at sea!

Friday, June 10, 2011

On The High Seas

You know what's so great about the internet? At this very moment I'm on a fishing charter in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, setting my reel and casting my rod in search of some major marine life off the coast of Bermuda. So before we get ahead of ourselves know that this post will be brief—after all, I'm on a boat! That said, if you want to see a picture of me with a giant wahoo, mahi-mahi or tuna hoisted in the air in glorious victory, then make sure to tune in on Monday when I plan to post photos of my very best catch. In the meantime, I'll be clearing out my freezer and firing up my grill. Lines down!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Back In Business

Wowsa. See what happens when you go away for a little while? Sun tans fade, families miss you and worst of all, blogs get neglected. But at least you were warned. The good news is I'm back. Finally. And looking forward to again keeping you updated on the best, weirdiest and newsiest stories coming from my very own twenty-one-square mile archipelago. Ya know, like how funnyman Stephen Colbert finished second in the Charleston-Bermuda sailing race, winning a swanky suite at The Reefs (sorry I missed ya Steve-a-roo); or how a local eight-year-old girl is selling her book, "A Different Kind of Bermuda," at Wednesday Harbor Night celebrations (you go girl!); or my current favorite, how a short film about Bermuda's own Johnny Barnes—a documentary called Mr. Happy Man—played at Mountainfilm in Telluride, a film festival yours truly hosted for Outside Television recently (the real reason why the blog was so silent!). See, I told you I was up to some good stuff. Anyhow, that's all for today, but be sure to tune in tomorrow your daily does of tropical news and island updates.