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an easter in bermuda

when you have to pay for your toddler’s plane seat (which, honestly, makes sense but is also frustrating, seeing as most toddlers spend more time in a lap or on the floor then they do in an actual seat…) we take advantage of all the sales we can. thank goodness westjet always seems to have sales, although some are better than others.

the big girl gets her own seat

while it would be nice to jet off to different places every year, it’s most economical to go home, since we’re guaranteed to have a place to stay (i assume?), babysitters, and good friends to spend time with.

so even though we were in bermuda for christmas, we decided to take two weeks over easter (and march break) to relax and live a little before our lives get turned upside down over the summer.

as soon as i set foot on that island i feel like a local within minutes, but because this place is new to him and dylan, i’ll go along with doing the touristy stuff. really, i just want to hit the beach as often as we can. unfortunately for us, the weather wasn’t quite right for lounging in the sun but it was a welcome change from canadian winter, and we literally escaped a snow storm with less than a day to spare.

there was still lots to get into though, since we arrived just in time for all the big easter celebrations. local’s make a big deal out of cultural holidays – any chance or excuse to party! i won’t even begin talk about cup match, our national four day weekend that’s all about cricket, crown and anchor, drinking too much and having a wicked time. you have to be there.

we’re family now though so… we keep it tame. (i’d keep it tame regardless, i’m boring in my *old age*). my primary school (elementary, for the uninitiated) is a short walk down the narrow and winding street from my house so we headed to the school field on good friday to fly (read: watch other people) kites and join in the festivities. in recent years they’ve built it into quite a thing, with bike races and go-karts. of course, as soon as there is any kind of fun to be had, dylan will pass out so i spent most of the time under a canopy trying not to melt.

i also insisted we make our own kite, something i haven’t done in literal ages. as a primary school student, i once won an award for my kite making. this lopsided step child of a kite was not going to be winning any awards, let alone fly.

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you can try to placate me, but i know it sucks. there is an art to this craft, folks, and it is not as easy as it looks. (side note: my dad is good friends with the gentleman in the video, and he’s been making kites like this for “donkey’s ages.”) give me a few years, though.

traditions are fun like that, though, and you gotta work on them if you want to keep them alive. the neighbours will just be glad i’m not a fan of hummers, those brown paper bag monsters that would go up before easter and stay up for weeks, “humming” in the wind.

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we visited dockyard, which is at the complete opposite end of the island from where we live (and area i’ve always considered no man’s land, but is actually bustling and kind of fun, in a old-timey, charming way). it was more for my dad than us – dylan doesn’t care about history or bermuda’s role in the boer war. it was once a principal base for the royal navy in the western atlantic, and the fortification is in pretty good shape after lo these hundreds of years.

don’t let the GDP fool you. if you really take the time to think about it, our island and our people exist despite many hardships and against all odds, and you can see that, if you look close enough.

now that dylan is a little bit older, my parents are a little less terrified of looking after her by themselves, which means that we *actually* got to go on a date or two. when my mom offered, i literally had no idea what to do with myself. the possibilities! luckily, we had rented a scooter and even though i haven’t ridden (or towed someone on the back) in years it was like… well… riding a bike. i was so comfortable it was all i could do to keep from speeding…

one thing i always say about bermuda, we know how to do good food. this doesn’t mean that every restaurant you go to is going to be worth the arm and leg you’ll pay for the experience, and we have had some pretty crappy experiences, so much so that the other half was hesitant to try anything new.

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i indulged in many hot cross buns and homemade fish cakes, and i’m pretty sure i put on a good 5 lb with all the cheese and bread i ate. but there was one restaurant in particular i have really been looking forward to trying. we managed a double date with one of my best friends (also one of dylan’s godmothers) and her boyfriend. i’ve heard nothing but good things and even though the bill was about 1/3 of our monthly rent (split between us it was more reasonable) it was definitely worth the wait and worth the price tag. their list of specials is about as long as their standard menu and we had a really hard time choosing.

asparagus, poached egg and procuitto

if you find yourself in bermuda, go to tempest in st george’s. you won’t regret it. ignore that they haven’t done anything with their social presence. they’re too busy focusing on making *best of bermuda* food.

bermuda is my home and my island, but it’s not for everyone. it can be expensive, and get a little boring. it’s definitely not the most family friendly destination, especially when you have kids that are bouncing off the walls and a beach can only entertain them for so long.

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for a short jaunt or a weekend escape, though? it’s worth the visit. there’s enough to see that you can’t do it all in two days, which gives you a reason to come back. right now, interest in sailing is at an all time high. we already host part of the newport to bermuda race, but the 35th anniversary of the america’s cup is really putting a spotlight on that tiny little island. marcus samuelsson just opened a self-titled resto in town, and the ritz carlton is planning on opening a new location in 2018. big things are happening, and that makes me happy.

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