Bermuda Day 7

Buses are on full strike, so we are marooned on St Georges Island.  It was supposed to be  four hour tour!

We were going to go helmet diving, but the business said they weren’t open–they didn’t have their business license yet.  With the bus strike, we would have had a hard time getting there anyhow.

The skipper and the movie star are playing video games.  I’m going to watch Icelandic movies.

Also we saw our first tourist who fell off a scooter.  So the score so far is 2 people dead in car accidents and one road rash.

As a vacation, I guess the best part is that I’m doing no programming whatsoever. On the other hand, that is kind of like a week with all meetings, too.

We’re ready for the trip home tomorrow.  Got documents, got bread, jam, nut butters for making sandwiches for lunch/dinner on the plane and at the airport.

Bermuda Day 6

Bermudian is spelled with an i.  

Upper Crust has quite decent pizza, although it is breathtakingly expensive, event with the buy 2 get 1 free special.

Today we went hiking, we made it to the Whale Bone beach and park. The buses were on strike/work slow down, so we didn’t attempt to go anywhere.  

The son found a jaw bone on the beach and a huge snail.  We also saw and confirmed we saw a Bermuda Long tail.

Bermuda day 5

Today, we went shopping–a experience the kids wanted, but I could have skipped.  All the Bermudan stores seem to draw on the same container load of souvenir kitsch from China, the same stuff you see in Florida.  There are some exceptions such as the locally made pottery, local jam, local barbeque sauce.  The Rum Cake taste good but has hydrogenated oils in it, so I won’t buy a box of it.  I do plan to go home and attempt to make some for myself.

We went all the way to the opposite end of the island, just in time for the museums to close.   Took the ferry twice, the bus twice.  

I’m also planning a restaurant food purchase with the same consideration one would give to any other larger purchase.  I’ve retained a buyer’s agent, toured all the restaurants on the island, taken out a loan against my 401k, updated my credit report.  I’m thinking maybe the “Upper Crust” pizza restaurant.

Speaking of restaurants, the guide books are hostile to the idea of vegetarianism, but many restaurants have vegetarian sections on their menus.

Bermuda day 3, 4

Yesterday we went swimming  and saw the caves.  Today we went on an incredibly late bus and an incredibly expensive horseback ride.    The bus was late due to a ‘union meeting’, which appears to have stopped service for 5 hours in the middle of the day.  We waited over an hour (maybe 1.5)  to get a bus.

On the horse ride the views on the beach were spectacular, but the camera lost power long before I got there.  

The son has behaved for the last two days.  The niece is well behaved on most issues unasked, but when you need to get her to co-operate, it isn’t worth the effort.  Most things can be tolerated for a week.  The son doesn’t get any slack, I have to be able to put up with him many more years.

3/4 through Icelandic TV show, Black Angels.  Anskot! Skit! I’m learning to curse.  

Got a bottle of Italian wine (250ml or so?).  It is almost as good as a Spanish wine, but not quite.

Bermuda, Day 2

Next time you arrive in Bermuda, if you prefer public transportation, to get to your hotel, you’ll want to ask for a minibus.  They seat more than a taxi, fewer than a public transit bus and they permit luggage.

The public transit ferries are the single greatest bargain on the island.  For  the price of your bus pass, you can also take loop trips on the ferry.  We took the 1 hour loop around Hamilton’s harbor. 

Restaurant food is roughly +50% to double the price in Virginia.  As planned, we’ve been living off of ready to eat grocery foods, like cashews, peanut butter, rice cakes, etc.  We got a fancy soft british cheese that had a french name and looked like a french baguette! I thought it tasted like munster.  We also got some very good oat cakes with black pepper.  The niece refused to try one and refused to eat much of the other.

At the grocery store we found local vegetables, local honey and some bottles of locally processed barbecue sauce.  Chickens are all over the island. We also saw one rabbit.  There is a local beer, which is all imported ingredients, except the water.

Speaking of water, there are just about no public swimming pools.  I attribute this to the general scarcity and expense of water on the island.  When I let my hostess know the toilet had a slow leak, they were nice enough to upgrade our room so a plumber could take care of it.

The son is taxing my parenting skills.  I think teenagers are frustrating because they are so clumsy at navigating the negotiations on how to influence small groups.  They don’t know what is something they can influence and what is something they shouldn’t.  As a result to adult ears they come across as oafishly insistent or just plain crazy.  Adults have the experience to know if they’re trying to convince someone to let them play with matches. To my son, possibly, he thinks its in the same league as having different fashion sense or music preferences.

Bermuda Travel Update, day 1

It isn’t safe to walk in Bermuda.  The problem is the lack of sidewalks, something that must have made perfect sense when there were hardly any cars and land was in limited supply.  Now it just dangerous to walk anywhere.  Even when on lesser used roads, you’ll need to frequently check to see what’s behind you.  The bridges are extremely narrow are barely fit the cars, let alone pedestrians.

So that and me being overly tired had me blowing my stack on the way to the hotel.  My plan A was to take the bus, but the staff at the airport said luggage was forbidden on busses–rat bastards! Normally there is just a surcharge for luggage on a public bus.  It wasn’t like the busses were packed or anything (at least not on Saturday).  Plan B was to walk, but we took a wrong turn and crossed the wrong bridge.  A taxi man stopped and tried to reason with me.  I just wanted to get back across the bridge and resume walking in the correct direction, but he insisted on taking me all the way to the hotel.  At least it wasn’t as exorbitant as I expected- $15 to go about 2 miles.  

Fortunately the hotel (Aunt Nea’s Guest House) is fine.  There are several beaches in walking distance, again if you are brave enough to walk.

The son and niece seems to be enjoying the place. They waded, while I took picture of rocks and picked up trash.  Bermuda,so far, is pretty low trash as countries go (less litter than the US, more than in Switzerland).

Other accomplishments- watched part of Icelandic police TV show. I started reading Halting State, which is a novel in the dreaded second person.  It’s like ‘Choose your own adventure’ without the choice.  I tried to play ‘Animal Crossings’, which has a non-trivial learning curve.  It’s like an MMO, but nintendo style and on a DS.