Logistics can be costly, if you do not maximize the opportunity to save money on taxi fare. Getting to town, from where I stay, is a $15. proposition, one way. Getting to and from the ocean costs the same.
Having missed the smaller ferry TO town, I then proceeded to miss the larger ferry FROM town- to Dockyard. I had planned lunch and a museum tour, but my taxi arrived late. The driver explained that the island is "busy" due to cruise ships being here, etc. We were both in a good mood, all the same. Our conversation on the way into Hamilton was amusing and enlightening. We talked about cruise ships.
Contrary to what I had been told, you are NOT out of luck, if your cruise ship sets sail from Dockyard without you!
You have precisely ONE HOUR to high tail it from the West End of Bermuda, to the complete opposite end of Bermuda (East End of St. George). This is where things will get scary. In order to avoid having your Passport sail out to sea without you, you can hop onto the tug boat- the one that safely navigates the cruise ship (per protocol) past Bermuda's complicated reef system- into the Atlantic. Indeed, you will need to board your moving cruise ship, via some kind of device for the intrepid...But, you will not be alone. The Bermudian navigator must do the same. Apparently, once they head out of port, they do not stop!
My cabbie also thought it prudent to tell me of the dangers that can lurk, when drinking too much on a cruise. Apparently, a woman, aboard a cruise ship visiting Bermuda, got buzzed and thought it would be fun to climb out her cabin window, and into the balcony window of her friends' cabin next door, to surprise them! She wound up in the sea. The FBI wound up in Bermuda.
He said "she was an intelligent woman- a teacher! But, it was the intelligence under the influence of alcohol..." I made a note to myself to rein in spontaneous drunken stunts.
For lunch, I selected a French restaurant in town, called Bouchee. Word has it that it is the only restaurant in town that lures lines (out the door) of hungry folks. Rather new, the ambience was not akin to a true Parisian cafe, but the service was excellent, the food was delicious, and the $9 glass of French chardonnay sealed the deal. The menu is well-rounded. It was hard to forego the Croque Monsieur and other Gruyere-laden foods, but I was well-behaved. I selected a delicious Chicken Waldorf salad with a dijon vinaigrette infused with fennel.
After lunch, I popped into Alexandra Mosher's jewelry store- one of the highlights of my day. Alexandra is a Bermudian entrepreneur who went to FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) in New York, and has returned home to create magnificent jewelry featuring Bermuda's pink sand. Today, she is prominently featured on Front Street. The last time that we were in Bermuda, I purchased a lovely flower ring. I had hoped to take a second look at the silver "Caviar" necklace, but it was all sold out!
The sales ladies at Alexandra Mosher- Pier and Ticole- were gracious to me, offering me a behind the scenes tour of where Alexandra makes the original molds for her jewelry- on a work bench, beside a large poster with an inspirational quote from Audrey Hepburn.
Having commented on their company cat previously on Facebook, I was delighted that they brought Gemma down from the studio to meet me. Aptly named, she wears a custom-made silver charm collar, with various sand charms and a personalized one that reads "I love my job"! There is something about this trip and cats... I am meeting many cats!
Completely new to jewelry design, I was fascinated to learn how custom jewelry is made- going through many transformations- beginning with wax- before having the grains of pink sand are inserted one by one into the final metal product. I just love Alexandra's work. If you come to Bermuda, visit her beautiful shop! If you don't, visit her online...
Ticole and I got to talking about Bermuda's tourism. Ironically, she used to work in that industry- doing event planning for NYC and the Hamptons! We discussed the role of blogging in generating visitors. She gave me a contact at BTA, should I wish to get into the biz.
Knowing that the BTA's main office was nearby, I walked into their corporate office, just to see where the magic happens. Under the guise of needing a map, it was interesting to see a corporate environment in Bermuda.
I desperately wanted a swim ( and was ready to sneak into the Hamilton Princess, or ask Gerald for a favor at Rosedon), but I did not have the motivation to take the bus to the ocean, and incur more travel expenses back to Granaway. I did some brief shopping, picking up some scones directly from the Crow Lane Bakery (love them!) and popped by Glaze for an iced coffee. Passing by signs and cards for Mother's Day, a tidal wave of grief washed over me.
When a sign for an ice cream shop called MELTDOWN appeared, I considered it a sign from Marlys. If they had coconut ice cream (my fave), I would know that she had sent me.
I sat in a lovely alcove in an alley enjoying my coconut ice cream, and chatting with some visitors. Across the way was a yarn store- another trigger. I left, and boarded the ferry, holding back tears.
Who cries on a ferry in Bermuda on a gorgeous day? Thank goodness for cat eye glasses.
Everyone says that "Grief comes in waves and it can happen anytime!" I can now affirm that this is TRUE.
I got off the ferry at my stop and texted my sister for an emotional SOS. She reminded me that my mom is with me. Literally, she was. I had her picture in my purse. Once I took it out, and chatted with her, I was ready to face the treacherous walk along Harbour Road, back to my beautiful guest house.
I decided to put on a sundress, and take my book- along with a glass of chardonnay- out into the lovely courtyard and relax on a chaise. I had ordered my supper from Four Star Pizza (I love dinner in Bermuda for $20), and would need to wait an hour for it to arrive via moped.
My hosts came home, and chatted with me briefly. Carol informed me that there is a meditation garden on the property also! I will need to check that out. There is a Buddha statue, awaiting me (and my meditation CD's purchased at Mayo Clinic). How fortuitous!
As they left to do errands, my generous hosts told me to go upstairs, and drink my wine on their balcony to watch the sunset. Like a good guest, I obliged, enjoying the serenity that befalls us, as the tree frogs begin to sing.