Thursday, March 31, 2011

Win Big at Port Royal!

If you read Bermuda Shorts regularly you already know that I’m a huge fan of Port Royal Golf Course (and if you don’t, well, you should read it more often!). Not only does the course boast the greatest hole in golf—the signature 16th, which hugs the turquoise-hued Atlantic coast—but the ocean view eighteen also hosts the prestigious PGA Grand Slam of Golf, a year-ending tournament featuring the winners of the four major championships (the Masters, U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship for all of you taking notes). Last year the event was won by three-time major champion Ernie Els who defeated a talented field including U.S. Open Champion Graeme McDowell, PGA Champion Martin Kaymer and 2001 PGA Champion David Toms. And while the annual tournament is broadcast to millions of viewers on TNT, there’s nothing quite like seeing the event in person. Golf fans listen up, because this is the Contest of the Century.

Thanks to Premier Golf Classic Destinations—a travel agent for golf enthusiasts—you have a chance to a trip to Bermuda and tickets to the 2011 PGA Grand Slam of Golf. Here’s what you have to do: Pick one winner of any of the four major championships and you’ll receive a 10% discount on any of its Grand Slam travel packages; pick two major winners and you’ll win three nights at the Fairmont Southampton, Grand Slam tickets, transfers from the hotel to the event, airport transfers and breakfast daily; pick three major winners and you’ll get all of the above plus roundtrip airfare to Bermuda, four nights in a Deluxe room and two rounds of championship golf; and then there's the granddaddy prize of all for picking all four major winners, including everything aforementioned plus five nights accommodations in a Fairmont Gold room, an invitation to the welcome beachside cocktail party, an invitation to the Champions Dinner and three rounds of championship golf. I told you this was the Contest of the Century! All of the contest details can be found here and winning picks can be made up to a few days after the end of each tournament. And if you’re wondering what makes Port Royal one of the greatest public courses in the world, check out this video I shot, edited and hosted from last year’s tournament. Spoiler alert: You can watch me drink at least two Dark 'n Stormies on a sunshine-filled Bermudaful day.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Deal of the Day

As you may or may not know, Bermuda is a two-hour flight from most east coast gateways—even less than that from New York City and Boston—making it the ideal destination for a quick tropical getaway. In case you're hankering for a little sun and sand, check out this latest hotel deal from (a great site for restaurant recommendations, suggested itineraries and nuts and bolts travel info): From April 21st through 28th seven island hotels are offering every third night free, which in the case of the swanky and historic Fairmont Hamilton Princess ends up being a $759 value if you stayed for the entire week. Other hotels on the list include the Fairmont Southampton, Newstead Belmont Hills Golf Resort & Spa, Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa, Elbow Beach Hotel, Rosedon Hotel and the Wharf Executive Suites, all of which are offering similar savings. As always, act fast for the best rooms and as for me well, I'll see you on the beach. Happy travels!

Monday, March 28, 2011

On Ex Pat Life

It's no secret that ex-pat life has its perks. For us Americans that means not having to pay city and state taxes come April 15 but even better, it means trying on a new life for awhile and learning how another world population spends its days. Fortunately for me this population of people enjoys basking under the mid-Atlantic sun as much as I do. And boating and diving and snorkeling and sailing. And let's not forget rum swizzling, shall we? It's all part of what makes living in Bermuda such a dynamic and vibrant experience. And apparently the secret is out. According to CBS Money Watch Bermuda is among the ten best countries in the world offering the best experience for ex-pats—number 4 actually behind Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Russia, which tops the list. The island is also rated among the top ten countries with the best work life balance, which really just means most Bermuda employers enjoy happy hour as much as its employees do. Its all part of a newfangled ExPat Navigator from HSBC Bank, which lets you slice and dice data from a 2010 survey of more than 4,000 ex-pats across 25 countries (likely the reason why Bahrain made the list to begin with; the country wasn't as, shall we say, problematic as it is now). So, what are you waiting for? Let the overseas job searching begin!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Slow News Day

Not too much to report today, as far as Bermuda Shorts is concerned. Sure, there might be some political and public in-fighting going on about a proposed development deal at Tuckers Point, seventeen young ladies have entered the upcoming Miss Bermuda Pageant to fight for a spot in the 61st annual Miss World Pageant (view entry photos here) and a local eight-year-old was recently honored for writing her second book but other than that, all is quiet on the eastern front (not including the wails and coos of a recently born boy, of course). In the meantime I'll be kicking up my feet up and enjoying the view from the cheap seats—that, or changing yet another diaper, but relaxing on the beach sounds so much more romantic doesn't it? Until tomorrow...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Deal of the Day

Before I was given the opportunity to live under the warm mid-Atlantic sun, I was an editor at Budget Travel magazine, where along with a team of well-traveled individuals I hand-picked rockbottom vacation deals to destinations around the world. Well, the good folks at BT are still at it, as evidenced by its latest Real Deal to Bermuda courtesy of Continental Airlines Vacations. It's a whopper of a deal, especially if you live anywhere near the New York metropolitan area. Bargain hunters, listen up: For $746 per person, you'll get round-trip airfare on Continental from New York, three nights accommodations at the Surf Side Beach Club and round-trip airport transfers, which if you do the math ends up being the deal of the century. Consider Budget Travel's “Why It's a Deal” breakdown: “According to a recent search on Kayak, we found $372 airfare between Newark and Bermuda for travel in late April (US Airways). Add to that about $586 per person, including hotel taxes, for three nights at the Surf Side Beach Club, and you'd be paying a total of $958 for airfare and accommodations. For $117 less, this Continental Airlines Vacations package covers airfare, three nights' hotel (including one free night), round-trip airport-hotel transfers, fuel surcharges, and hotel taxes and gratuities.” I told you it was good. The vacation package is valid for travel on April 25 and 26 and must be booked by April 30—a small window I know, but think about all the money you’ll have leftover to spend on succulent Caribbean lobster tails once you arrive. Happy travels!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Win a Trip to Bermuda!

Back in December AirTran announced it would begin seasonal service to Bermuda from Baltimore and Atlanta—a positive development for travelers to the island since the no-frills airlines' fares have always been historically low. Well, if you live in the Baltimore area—and even if you don't—the news just got even better, especially if you're hankering for your next sunny vacation. On March 17th representatives from the Bermuda Department of Tourism will invade The Gallery at Harbor Place in Baltimore from 11:30 to 2:30pm, where they'll be bringing a taste of the island to Charm City. There plans to be live steel pan music and tons of prizes most notably a three-night trip to Bermuda, which includes roundtrip airfare on AirTran and accommodations at ritzy Tucker's Point Hotel & Spa (yes, that could potentially be your balcony view). What? You don't live anywhere near Baltimore? No problem! Just fill out this form for a chance to win a trip for two to Bermuda (retail value a whopping $2,500!). You have until March 31st to enter and the winner will be notified on or around April 1st. Good luck!

Monday, March 14, 2011

On Fatherhood

After ten days of poos, pees and endless feeding sessions I’m happy to report that all is indeed well on the home front after welcoming a new little boy into the world on March 4. Sure, I’m significantly more tired than usual, my trash has magically tripled and shaving has taken a back seat to house chores and nap duties, but other than that, the Bermuda Three is doing fabulous. That said, raising a child on an island in the middle of nowhere does bring with it some interesting situations. For example, you’d think heading to the store to find more newborn diapers would be a breeze. But in true Bermuda fashion—where I normally have to go one market for broccoli rabe, another for Kosher salt and a third for organic salmon—I visited five pharmacies, count em’, five, before I finally found them at People’s (a.k.a. the pharmacy that doesn’t have my son’s doctor-prescribed Vitamin D drops, hence the visit to Clarendon’s shortly thereafter, where, eureka!, I finally found a Trivisol D dropper). Clearly these are the small bumps on a long road of parenthood, but five stores? Come on now. In the meantime, Bermuda Shorts would like to thank The Arbour House Hostel in West Islip, New York for the constant warm wishes (yah mon!); Rum Shop Ryan for the kind words of congrats (keep those rum cocktails flowin’ buddy); and Anonymous, who secretly wished yours truly congratulations. Whoever you are, thank you. I need all the help that I can get.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

In The News

You may have noticed a decline in posts recently. Apologies, but it's really out of my control. You see, Bermuda Shorts got its newest little correspondent last week—a beautiful baby boy, born on Friday, March 4th who is currently taking up the majority of my time. But have no fear! You'll continue to get your tropical news and island updates on a regular basis, but probably not until sometime next week (or when my head gets down from cloud nine). In the meantime Bermuda Shorts would like to apologize in advance to all of its regular readers—that means you in West Islip, N.Y., you in Mountain View, Calif., my Brazilian fan club, the goods folks in New Delhi, India, my peeps in Edinburgh, Scotland and especially all of you right here in Bermuda. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more of your regularly scheduled Bermuda Shorts programming. Now if you don't mind, I'm gonna go get some sleep.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Back To The Future

Recognize the picture? If you're a history buff or lifelong Bermudian you might easily determine that it was taken on Front Street in the City of Hamilton many, many years ago. Over 80 years ago actually, and oh how things have changed. The photograph is part of a collection of black and white images taken by an unknown photographer depicting island life in the 1930's, then made into hand-colored glass lantern slides by famed Japanese lensman Tamotsu Enami. You can check out some cool "Then and Now" photos currently on the Royal Gazette's website, but to view the entire collection including images of long-lost Bermuda landmarks including the now defunct Bermuda Railway, the Bermudiana Hotel and the Somers Inn Restaurant in St. Georges, then check out this Flikr pool filled with historic pictures of Bermuda's past. Now, if you could just tell me where I parked that darn DeLorean...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Reef Watch

It’s no secret that Bermuda has a dynamic underwater ecosystem. The island’s reefs have long been favored by divers and marine enthusiasts longing to catch a glimpse of tropical fish of all kinds—not to mention, over 300 shipwrecks sunk in our waters. But according to a recent report issued by the World Resources Institute, Bermuda’s reefs are in serious danger. In the report titled Reefs at Risk Revisited, Bermuda appears on a list with six other at-risk islands including the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mayotte, Samoa, St. Eustatius and St. Kitts/Nevis, all of which have a high exposure to threat and a high dependence on its reefs. “While relatively high adaptive capacities are likely to help these islands buffer potential impacts on reef-dependent people,” reads the report, “ultimately the extent of their vulnerability to reef loss will depend on how effectively resources and skills are directed toward reducing reef threats and dependence.” Which really just means Bermuda and its sister islands should stop being so dependent on the reefs for food and employment. But of course it’s not all our fault. Dr. Tony Knap of the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) says we’ve also got the rising temperatures of the Earth to blame. “Our biggest threat is the increasing acidity of the ocean and sea levels increasing brought about mainly by the expansion of the ocean caused by warming,” said Dr. Knap in response to the report. The BIOS director added, “Our danger is that if we lose the reefs, we’ll be washed away,” a sullen thought indeed but one that shines a bright light on a growing environmental threat.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Bermudaful Day

It's 68 degrees and sunny, a.k.a. a Bermudaful day in these parts. That's all. Now go get back to work.