Tuesday, May 29, 2007
I need another vacation
That has got to have been the most stressful vacation I've ever taken!

Regular readers will recognize that the week leading up to our departure was particularly stressful. The whole enchilada of problems dealing with the missing passport was enough to have me tearing my hair out everyday. The passport issue was eventually dealt with and we were able to leave as scheduled. However, as a take-home lesson, you should know that if you are even considering needing a passport in the next four years, you should begin the process now. Don't wait. My husband finally received his emergency passport from the Regional office in Chicago on Friday night at 6:15 p.m. There were literally hundreds of people who they turned away. People, for example, who had planned to get married in the Caribbean and may or may not have actually done so because of their own passport issues. So, apply extremely early.

I need to say a great big THANK YOU to Christina for keeping the home electrons humming here. She did a great job. Her real thank you will go into the mail in the next few days as I get dug out at home too.

Day 1 of the vacation was the day-of-travel. At 6:30 a.m., the limo arrived to take us all to O'hare. The limo was wonderful and it was sublime not to have to worry about traffic and parking and hauling a bajillion bags to the terminal. The folks at JetBlue were wonderful and checked us in with little fuss then sent us to security. Even security was no big deal (but be prepared with your zip-lock baggies). JFK was...an experience. Seriously? That is not an attractive place on the inside. It kind of reminded me of a bomb shelter that had quite done its job. Our layover at JFK was thankfully only 45 minutes long, so we were back in the air in no time. Bunny Boop slept through the first flight (ORD to JFK) and was happy on the second leg from JFK to Bermuda. Arriving in Bermuda was easy. Customs was no problem, but upon arrival we learned that they were having some wet weather on the island. It was rainy and overcast but we were all so happy to be on vacation that it didn't matter.

We headed to SpySistah's house and got reorganized. It was shortly after our arrival that the first (arguably fiftieth) omen of doom rose its ugly turkey-necked head. Somewhere between O'hare and the spare bedroom, I managed to lose three of the diamonds from my wedding band (where there are supposed to be 12 I now have 9). Suck!

From there, the ladies of the house headed off to the grocery store to stock up on essentials for the week. That was...interesting. Foreign grocery stores - I could write for days on just that topic. A load of groceries that would cost me $140 at home cost $435.00, if you can believe it. Egad! But, that's Bermuda for you. I got some funny looks from the locals too. I politely (I thought) took our empty cart back into the store after we unloaded it into the car. In my mind, it was the only thing to do. They have tiny little cars, tiny little parking places, no bag boys, and no cart corrals. What would you do? I took the car back inside and the natives looked at me like I had spit in the stew. Apparently they don't do this there. Instead, they cram the empty baskets anywhere they can and play parking lot bumper car melee. You won't find this in any travel book.

Everyone was exhausted, so we had a take-away supper and hit the sheets. Very curious "take-away" instead of "take-out".

Day 2 of the adventure had us donning swimsuits and heading to the docks. SpySistah had rented a catamaran for an afternoon outing with us and a bevy of her friends. Her friends were all very nice people and we enjoyed talking with them immensely. The weather did not cooperate, however. It was still mostly overcast and a bit cool, so we opted out of getting wet and snuggled up in our beach towels to keep warm. Still, the conversation was good and the liquor was flowing, so no worries!

There was a low-light to this activity, however. I had Bunny Boop with me, of course. Bunny Boop, as it turns out, is rapidly developing a mind of her own and is not necessarily developing an appropriate fear of things yet. I was kind of worried about her on the boat, as you might imagine. I wanted to take her out from under the roofed part of the boat, so I was holding on to her pretty tightly. We didn't stay out long, however, and soon returned to the covered part of the boat. In doing so, I inadvertently bonked her little head on the overhang as we were stepping back down into the boat. I was loudly proclaimed a "Bad Mother" for doing so. I was a bit...well, whatever. I shrugged it off and it was insisted that this was meant as a joke. So, fine. Our day in the boat soon ended and we returned home to a movie and supper and found our beds early.

It should be noted that on Sunday morning, before this boating adventure, I awoke to find myself with an extremely nasty cold. One which has drug on and lingers with me even now.

Day 3 - or Monday - was another adventure. We rose early (life with a baby) and headed out en masse for the bus terminal. SpySistah had returned to work and we were officially on our own. We all bought 2-day passes and then got in line at the dock to take the ferry over to St. George's. Bermuda is a 26-mile long fish-hooked shaped series of islands connected by bridges. We took a 45 minute ferry out to St. George's to do the touristy thing. Side note: I despise these types of vacations. I don't want to feel rushed or harried when I'm on vacation. I don't want to stand in line or rub elbows or jockey for position. I want to relax. However, I did want to make a stop at the perfumery in St. George, so we went. We even got the tour at the perfumery. Then we walked around town a bit waiting for the ferry to return to take us back. We picked up a few t-shirts and hats for family and then took the ferry back to Hamilton. We were starved, so we stopped at the Lemon Tree for lunch. It was okay. Then we made our way back home and took a dip in the pool.

One note: Everywhere you go in Bermuda by foot you will find that it is uphill both ways. Not.Even.Kidding.

It was another early night for us, however, and we needed the rest.

Day 4 - Tuesday - This day broke bright and shiny and we headed back to the Bus Terminal. This time, however, we caught a bus headed for Horseshoe Bay Beach. It was beautiful and we were there before the crowds. We staked out a spot, rented an umbrella, and played in the surf. Bunny Boop had a great time and even managed to catch an hour's nap under the umbrella. Personally, I had a great time. For me, this is what vacation is supposed to be: play. No stress, no timeline. While Bunny was napping under the careful watch of Grandma, Prince Charming and I hit the water and had a great time. As the hour wore on, the swells grew and I got hit by a big one and lost my brand new $120 sunglasses. So, for those keeping track at home, I'm down 3 diamonds and a pair of sunglasses. However, I traded these for a killer sunburn. And, not just any sunburn, but a streaky one. Neutrogena's new Cooling Sunscreen sucks and I mean that quite seriously. You think you have coverage because you can feel the cooling sensation, but it turns out that you don't. Weird shit. We should have used the WaterBabies stuff because Bunny didn't burn at all and has a nice golden glow.

We headed back home sometime mid-afternoon with sand in all of our unmentionable places and a movie and bed ended another evening.

Day 5 - Wednesday - Was the near-mutiny day. My husband was looking for a slower pace and a quieter tone so we broke from the group and struck out on our own. We headed up to Fort Hamilton first to check out the ramparts and the guns. Then we headed downtown to City Hall because the US Navy Band was in town to play and help the Bermudians celebrate Bermuda Day. We sat around and waited quite a while, eager to hear the band play. Finally they struck up a song and it was...slow and plodding. We were looking for something exciting and it failed to inspire. We listened to another couple of songs before departing to find some lunch. We found a pub on Front Street and had some lunch. Prince Charming enjoyed his steak sandwich, I had fish -n- chips and Bunny had a grilled cheese sandwich. This meal was devoured. We hadn't really been eating regularly and Bunny was off her feed a bit. Still, after this we stopped off at the grocery store on Front Street and picked up the evening's meal. Prince Charming grilled brats. They were delish!

Day 6 - Thursday - Bermuda Day! This day was billed as the day when nothing would be open. We were informed in advance that Bermuda Day is like July 4th here in the states. Everything is closed. Again, we were up with the birds (and the baby). SpySistah and SpyBoyfriend joined their SpyFriends and went trekking off to the Starting Line. You see, SpySistah and SpyBoyfriend and the whole SpyGang were running the Bermuda Day 1/2 Marathon and making the tourists look like lazy American fuckers. Oh Well! At about 1:30 into the race, I ambled down to the course on King Street with Grandma and Auntie to cheer the SpyRunners. Jim/Mark came through first, but we missed seeing him because of one of the other runners who'd gone a bit loopy and was attracting all of the attention. SpyBoyfriend ran through next and we cheered like loons. A female spygang member ran through after that. And then, finally, SpySistah and Elise the Spy ran through. SpySistah looked totally in control and cool - two things I most decidedly would not be, were I able to drag my ass 12 miles in the first place! So, cheers to SpySistah and Elise the Spy, SpyBoyfriend, and all the rest of the SpyGang for their achievements.

more on the rest of the trip tomorrow!

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posted by Phoenix | 12:27 PM


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