As Alex's spring break approached, I was suddenly overcome with the urge to travel. It had been years since we had traveled alone as a family, and much longer since the three of us had set out to a place where none of us had ever visited. "We should go somewhere new," I pleaded with Marcus. "We should have an adventure."
Happily, Marcus agreed, and so for several weeks I did extensive research to find an airline-and-hotel package deal that wasn't too expensive, and wasn't too far to get to -- which, from Houston, generally means the Caribbean or Central America. Every package that I found was a bit too pricey, or was to a place at least one of us had been to before ... things weren't looking good.
And then I suddenly thought ... what about Bermuda?
I've always been intrigued by Bermuda, and not just because of the Triangle, either (although that's certainly part of it). We folks from the Caribbean always feel a sort of kindred love for Bermuda (and vice versa), even though Bermuda lies nowhere near the Caribbean -- it's actually way out in the Atlantic Ocean, at the same latitude as Charleston, South Carolina. Bermuda shares much of the same English-colonial-and-slave-trade history that Trinidad does, but because Bermuda remains a British territory, it's English-ness feels a bit stronger. And since it was winter there ("winter" meaning "too cold to swim in the ocean," with highs only in the 60s), we could get a really cheap package.
I broached the subject with Marcus. "Would you be okay doing a beach vacation, if all we could do is walk on the beach?"
"Absolutely," he quickly responded. "I just want to get away from the city for a while. Book it, Danno."
So I did, and we both congratulated ourselves on being so frugal. Look at us, we grinned to ourselves. We're so fiscally-minded!
Well, that patting-ourselves-on-the-back nonsense came to a screeching halt once we arrived -- that country is EX. PEN. SIVE. What we made up in airfare and hotel, we more than spent once we got there (as an example, one cold & rainy day we stopped for a cappuccino, a cup of tea and a hot chocolate respectively, and the bill came to TWENTY-ONE-DOLLARS). It turns out that Bermuda has one of the highest per-capita incomes in the world. If we ever go again, we're not doing so before saving up a lot. And I mean, a lot.
And man, I do hope we return -- it is such a beautiful place. I actually have a theory: you know that whole "Bermuda Triangle" mythology? Despite the legends behind it, I suspect that it's really a body of stories made up by locals to dissuade people from finding out how much of a paradise the place truly is, so they can keep it all to themselves. I mean, Bermuda is damned near perfect: blue-green-aqua waters everywhere, gorgeous houses dotting the landscapes (each painted Easter egg colours, if you please), incredibly warm, friendly people, and the entire island is immaculately kept -- I'm not sure I saw any litter anywhere during our stay. The average temperature highs year-round are between 60 - 85 degrees, so even though it was cool when we got there, the weather was perfect for sightseeing -- and I noticed all the houses had fireplaces, so I imagine if you live there, a cozy fire at night while listening to that beautiful ocean outside would be just the thing. Also, I learned that Bermuda isn't actually a single island, but a series of about 120 islands, all linked together by bridges, and lying within a 21-square-mile area -- so just about everywhere is "ocean-front." It is, hands-down, the most gorgeous island-destination I've ever visited, and trust me, I know islands.
Our 6-day stay (which was unfortunately shortened to 5 days), was absolutely perfect: quiet, peaceful, restorative. If you're looking for a raucous, bachelorette-party-type getaway, Bermuda might not be the place for you (although, admittedly, we were there in the off-season, and I assume there's a bit more nightlife and stuff going on during high season). However, if you're looking for a quiet, family-friendly retreat, or a romantic holiday, definitely consider Bermuda.
But dear Lord, save up first.
Here are some highlights from the trip: