SJ on the Move

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Us and Them, Day 8

What was supposed to be a quick trip home turned into waiting at the Bermuda airport for an additional 6 hours for our flight. Mechanical problems delayed the plane from leaving the U.S. We were thankful the airport had wi-fi. We passed the time playing games on the iPod, checking on our flight status at, browsing that the 2 gift shops a few times, and watching old episodes of LOST on the computer. We don't have pictures of this dreadful airport wait so we will leave you with a few shots of nicer things:

Nathan and I under a moon gate. Apparently if you walk under them they bring good luck to a couple!

While Nathan snapped picture after picture of the ocean, I used my smaller camera to capture close ups of the many flowers in Bermuda. This one, the hibiscus, is very common there and is used as a hedge. This particular one is a double hybrid hibiscus.

Bermuda even has pink sunsets!

After doing some additional crafts and taking a walk, S, J, Grandma and Grandpa were anxiously awaiting our arrival at 3pm. When 3pm came and went without any signs of us, Grandpa went online to find out what was up. He was met with several emails from me explaining or delay. S was quite upset that we were so delayed. Grandma and Grandpa took the kids to the playground, which turned out to be a good idea since many of Sydney's friends were there since it was Frisbee Sunday. S had fun with her friends and J got to practice standing without support as well as sliding down the slide. Soon they were immersed in fun and didn't mind that we weren't home.

We finally got home at 9:30pm, 6 hours later. J was already in bed, but S got to stay up to greet us - well, mostly I think she wanted the presents we bought for her! The following morning we woke up at 4:30 a.m. in order to get J downtown for ear surgery at 6. J woke up as we were carrying him to the car and gave us a big, sleepy smile. I think he also said, "Welcome home Mommy and Daddy. I missed you so much." But, then again, it could have been just, "da!"

Us and Them, Day 7

One of the highlights of our trip to Bermuda was going on Hartley's Undersea Walk, a.k.a. a helmet dive. You go out on a boat into the reefs, don a very heavy helmet and go straight under water till you reach the bottom (about 10 feet down, or so, depending upon the tide.) Your head stays dry (think of an inverted cup going straight down into a pool of water - there is always air at the top), you breath fresh air pumped into the helmet via a hose and compressor and you get so see amazing sights! We were right up to the reefs and could see many different types of coral. We got to feed coral, touch a sea cucumber, watch a hog fish and snapper fish do "tricks", and watch a parrot fish swim trough a hoop! It was really amazing. You have a guide under there, of course, who has been doing these dives for 25 years at the same spot. He has all the names of the fish and coral on these kind of pointer sticks so he can point to the name of what he is showing you. You are underwater for about 30 minutes total. The youngest person on the trip was 4 1/2 and he and his 7 year old sister went down with no problems! You apparently don't need to know how to swim to do this. If you ever get a chance to do something like this we'd highly recommend it.
The Rainbow Runner boat with all the helmets on the back.

This is what it looked like from the top when there were divers at the bottom - lots of air bubbles.
Nathan and I with Sandy the Snapper.

Saturday was spent walking to different yard sales in the neighborhood. S had $1 to spend, and she spread it out to purchase things at 4 different yard sales! There was also another trip to Dunkin Donuts. Apparently the blue raspberry coolata got S pretty wired for the day. My parents now recommend not to buy these for kids!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Us and Them, Day 6

Now back to Bermuda...
On day 6 we went back to the beaches along the south shore. We swam and snorkeled and walked from beach to beach. It was a lovely morning, but then rained just a bit around lunch time.

Hard to tell from here, but the sand does have pink specks! It was soft and cool, too! Nice :)

We had dinner at the Frog & Onion Pub, which is famous in Bermuda since the Queen ate there during her recent trip to Bermuda. Apparently Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones eat there, too, but we did not see any famous people during our dinner.
We tried the Bermudian drink Dark & Stormy with rum and gingerbeer. It was not very good. We much preferred the fruity drink!

S&J went with Grandma and Grandpa to Newburyport to visit with Gami and Papi. They walked along the downtown boardwalk and finished up with Lobster Pie at Gami's house.

S&J with Papi and Grandpa

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Strawberry Picking

I interrupt this series of "Us and Them" to bring you some pictures of what we did today. We went with S&J's Aunt Emily and Gami to Cider Hill Farm for some strawberry picking. S&J both had a lot of fun sampling the goods as we picked them. In the end we picked about 18 pounds of strawberries. We then went back to Gami's house to make strawberry jam and there was plenty left over berries for each of us to take home. Mine are going to turn into strawberry pie this Saturday!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Us and Them, Day 5

After a morning walk and seeing more sights in the city of Hamilton we checked into our second hotel. It was quite lovely and had a great pool. We decided to spend the afternoon lounging around there since we had been doing so much walking the previous 4 days. It was nice to just relax on vacation!
If Bermuda had a national color I'm sure it would be pink. They are of course famous for the pink sand beaches, but they also have pink and blue city buses, pink houses, pink hotels, pink Bermuda shorts, and this pink taxi. We saw it several times in Hamilton driven by a driver dressed in pink Bermuda shorts, a pink shirt, pink socks worn Bermuda-style (pulled all the way up to the knees) and a pink hat!

For the most part we had the place all to ourselves!

S colored with Grandma and everyone took a walk along Mass Ave. They don't have many pictures from this particular day so this is all you get. Maybe they were getting kind of tired, too!

Us and Them, Day 4

Our fourth day began again with snorkeling. This time back at Tobacco Bay on the east end of Bermuda. The water there was much calmer, which was great for me. I was able to do a lot more snorkeling and see a lot more fish. My favorite was an orange fish with blue lips!

In the afternoon we climbed 180 steps to the top of the Gibbs lighthouse for stunning views of Bermuda. We also walked more along the sandy paths and the south shore beaches.

The water was a gorgeous turquoise color. It looked and felt very refreshing! It was also amazing how clear it was. At one point we looked down from above on these rocks and could see parrot fish feeding on some rocks. And the sand was soft and cool. It was cream colored with pink specks. I think I have a pictures of that for later!

S&J, well mainly S, did some crafts and then everyone had a picnic at Spy Pond Park. S&J are getting spoiled with all these fun times with Grandma and Grandpa. But, I guess that's what grandparents are for especially when their parents are on vacation by themselves!

Sydney doesn't look too sad that we're not there!

Us and Them, Day 3


Our third day in Bermuda we tried our hand at snorkeling. We headed to Church Bay beach along the south shore of Bermuda - said to be the best snorkeling spot. The water was a bit choppy that day, but Nathan wasn't deterred. I was though. This was my first try at snorkeling and I didn't like feeling tossed around by the waves. I basically sat on a rock and just put my head in the water. I was able to see plenty of fish that way and was quite content! Nathan ventured out further - making me nervous the whole time. We were the only ones at the beach at that time, too. It was nice feeling like we had Bermuda all to ourselves.

Yes, that is Nathan snorkeling out there!
In the afternoon we went to the Botanical Gardens. This was a very expansive place with great collections of flowers, trees, plants and roosters. Yes, roosters. There seemed to be several roaming around quite happily. The main houses at the Gardens closed early (3:30pm) like most things in Bermuda, but we were able to walk around the open areas after that.
Bird of Paradise flower.
S&J spent the day watching workers cut down the fallen willow tree at the playground. Did you know that willow trees hold >6000 gallons of water. I wonder if the playground will be more prone to flooding now? Anyway, they also went to music class and played around the house.

Us and Them, Day 2


Our second day in Bermuda we took the ferry (our favorite form of Bermudian transportation) to the town of St. George's. Named after the discoverer of Bermuda, George Somers, it is a restored historical town. It had the usual quaint buildings, public gardens, tourist shops, and little restaurants. There was also island music on the square and a town crier who did a reenactment of the use of the town's dunking stool.

We took a walk to Tobacco Bay beach, which had beautiful scenery. On our walk there we ran in to one of Nathan's colleagues from work. She cruised into Bermuda on the Boston to Bermuda cruise and was exploring the area while the ship was docked for 3 days. Small world!!

All in all, Nathan snapped nearly 1400 pictures during the week with his new camera. We're in the process of narrowing them down to a manageable few for an appropriate slide show!


S&J spent the day with a walk to Dunkin Donuts, a bike ride for S and Grandma, a walk through the "jungle" near our house, going to the store, and doing crafts. A day full of lots of fun and love!

J is modeling the new sweater vest that his Grandma knit for him for his birthday!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Us and Them, Day 1

This is the start of my series of posts called "Us and Them." Nathan and I went to Bermuda to celebrate our anniversary. Last July was our 10th anniversary and since Jayden was still so litle and we were still so tired we did not really do much to celebrate. We vowed that instead we would plan a trip together for this year. We asked my parents to come and stay with the kiddos while we were gone and they were happy to do so. So over the next days I'll post pictures of what we were doing in Bermuda and what S&J were doing in Arlington.

Here's Day One:

Upon arriving in Bermuda we took a ferrry to the West end of the island called Royal Navy Dockyard. It has a nice craft market and a few restaurants. There was also taste testing of Bermudian rum, fish chowder, rum cakes and pepper jellies. We got a chance to see some glass blowing take place, too.

After going to a friend's birthday party at the park, S&J played at home. Later in the afternoon there was a "macroburst" through East Arlington that brought down lots of trees in the neighborhood. Our backyard was spared of the tree that fell from our neighbor's on the right to the neighbor's in the back, crushing a fence on it's way. We were so thankful that the tree spared our new fence and more importanty, the new sod lawn. The upside is that what was once a very shady backyard corner is now a very sunny backyard corner. I think some of my bushes there will like the change. My impatiens might not though.

S and J also got to be with their Grandma on her birthday:

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Ballerina Sydney

Sydney's second ballet recital was on June 5th. She had a blast dancing with her class to "Skip to My Lou." As usual she was showered with many flowers and after the recital we had a pizza and cake party to celebrate S's great dancing.