Monarch Count

Monarch Count

During the last week, I have resumed care of my monarchs in very stages of their life cycle. Right now, I have the following:

  • 8 Chyrsalises
  • 4 Larvae in J hooks
  • 4 Larvae in the earliest instar stages
  • 2 eggs
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© Carol Labuzzetta, Can you see them? Two Eggs (upper right corner & right mid-page)                and two tiny larvae, Summer 2017.
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© Carol Labuzzetta, Two tiny larva, up close, 2017.

What is unusual about this year, besides getting a very late start to finding monarch caterpillars on my milkweed is that all but three of those that are being raised have been done so from finding eggs! I have never had so much success with finding and raising monarch butterflies from the egg stage. Usually, I find fairly large caterpillars (instars 2-4) on my milkweed.  All of the eggs have been found on my common milkweed plants and all but two have been on the underside of the leaves. Two eggs were laid right on the top of the leaves.

I do not know if, after many years of raising monarchs, I am just better at recognizing the eggs, or it has just been luck. I do think I have been more patient this year when I have looked in my garden patch for caterpillars.  Since I was not finding any, until about a month ago, I really started inspecting the leaves throughly just hoping to find a sign monarchs had visited the habitat we have made for them in our yard.

Apprehensive would be the best way to describe finding all these eggs! You might recall from an earlier blog post that I left on vacation just days after finding ten monarch eggs. The caterpillars started to emerge when I was gone and I came home to ten, fast growing, healthy larvae.

Since I want to tag the monarchs I raised, I ordered tracking tags from Monarch Watch at the University of Kansas. This will be the third year that I have tagged the butterflies before their migration.  You can purchase 25 tags for $15.00 plus shipping/handling, right off their website.  The tags are on their way, having been shipped a couple of days ago.

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© Carol Labuzzetta, Darkening Stripes, Monarch Caterpillar, 2017. 

From experience, I know that it takes 10-14 days for the butterflies to emerge from their chrysali. Hopefully, the tags will be here by then. I have continued to observe and collect more monarch eggs and caterpillars. With the exception of the three larger caterpillars I found on my swamp milkweed, I am finding only eggs or very tiny, just emerged, caterpillars.  Daily, fresh milkweed has been provided, a count has been made, and the containers (3) cleaned.

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© Carol Labuzzetta – Two  Monarch Caterpillars, Two Monarch Chrysalises, Summer 2017.

Always a satisfying experience, I often think about my garden club students when I am tending the monarchs during the summer. The Monarch Life Cycle was a student favorite, being requested year after year as one of our unit topics. At the beginning of each school year,  I had the luxury of surveying students about what they wanted to study during our meetings. The three topics with the most votes were added to my theme/unit plans for the year. I strongly feel, when possible,  we need to give students a voice. I can attest that this increases student engagement and depth of learning. Situations that are ideal for this are project based learning, such as National History Day selections, Science Fair projects, or Place Based Learning on local culture, customs, flora, and fauna. Talented and gifted (TAG)  students also greatly benefit from being asked what they want to learn more about. Forcing subject matter down the throat of any student, but especially the gifted, can have immediate and lasting negative effects.

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No, studying the monarch life cycle, their current habitat plight, and miraculous metamorphosis was not everyone’s preference. However, since the students could select more than one topic of study, hopefully most students eventually got to learn about something that mattered to them, be it earthworms, cacti, succulents, corn, carnivorous plants, pumpkins, or something else. We explored many different topics over 13 years, but none were as requested, enriching, or satisfying as our experience with monarchs, the butterfly garden, and citizen science projects having to do with this incredible creature.

 

Winding Down: The End of Summer is Here

Winding Down: The End of Summer is Here

Some areas across the nation have already started back to school! I know this from listening to the news, reading social media, belonging to a teacher blog-writing community, and talking with friends.  Here, in the upper mid-west, our summer is not quite over, but it is close.  Most districts have two to three more weeks until students arrive back at their desks, ready to learn.

As the years go by, summer seems to go faster and faster! This summer was no exception. Although probably busier than most summers we have had, I feel a sense of accomplishment as this one comes to a close. My husband and I took our very first, week-long trip alone, since our honeymoon – thirty years ago!  Our sons have kept busy – the youngest finishing up an online course, which he has diligently spent 2-3 hours on a day since the Monday after school got out – even he said he feels tuned up for his first AP class experience that will start in September!  The traveling soccer league he belonged to is over and done with for the season and perhaps for good for us. It was exhausting  and not truly necessary to be driving two and a half hours to a large city to compete against teams than might not be more skilled but were definitely more cohesive than ours.  But, just as that ended, the high school team started having captain’s practices and contact days with the coaches. We are in the middle of “training camp” which has constituted 9 hours already just between Monday and Tuesday this week. By the end of today, another 5 and a half hours on the pitch will be completed. Between the mental demands from the online class and the physical demands of the soccer, our fifteen year old needed a three-hour nap yesterday for the first time in years!  It almost felt as if he were two again, with all of us checking on him periodically!

College visits have been underway. It just makes sense to use the time over the summer to get to some of the prospective campuses rather than take a day from school once it starts.  Our middle son will be a senior this year! He has been employed for over 12 months, kept up good grades, learned to enjoy working out at the YMCA, helped to win a tennis team conference championship – which continued into the summer, and fine tuned his 3D printing – software – coding skills over the last year. Currently, he is printing a pin-hole viewer for us to use during the solar eclipse next week. I even got a hug before bed from him last night, and a chance to tell him how proud he makes me!  However, he is a worrier – like me, and the state of the world weighs on his mind.  His final year of high school will go fast (we have been through a senior year once before), with memories being made on a daily basis that he can hopefully look back on happily when the future arrives and he is a college student.

Our oldest was just home for a visit. He graduated from college this past May, Summa Cum Laude, no less!  He blossomed during his university time and has elected to pursue a PhD in Statistics. His program starts on Monday.  I am excited for him!  Employment during the summer was split between two research labs, checking on goats, being with friends,  and developing his own areas of interest to pursue in the coming months.  A couple of week-long visits home were squeezed in along with a trip to Vancouver, British Columbia, with his Aunt to celebrate his successes – which have been many.  The trip was well deserved!

Early summer and mid-summer brought the death of both of our beloved cats.  They were fourteen and blood brother, barn cats.  We are pet-less now and I can tell you it is still an adjustment, especially for me. I miss them. I miss caring for them, loving them, and receiving their love in return. Yet, I know we are not ready for new pets. Not yet.

Our house siding project is coming along. Hopefully, it will be finished by the time the weather turns cold. Our fruit has been coming in all season – first cherries, then blueberries, now plums, and pears. The harvests have been plentiful and they keep us busy processing the fruit. We have learned that ripeness turns to rot if you wait too long!

I have had a tiny amount of time to work on jewelry making – a hobby of mine. But, I also took a summer graduate course that was grueling and did not end until early July.  So, my time has been somewhat limited. I am itching to get back to more creating.  For the first time ever, I am really not sure I am ready for my fall semester of classes to begin!

Yes, our summer has been busy and fulfilling. I think we all have a sense of accomplishment. I know, in many ways, we have been enriched by all of the activities and challenges. But, summer is winding down. Our town’s local festival – Kornfest – is this weekend. To us, it signals the end of summer is near and the school year is about to begin. I think we are ready!

 

 

The Gift of a Book

The Gift of a Book

Books have played a major part in my life. I cannot remember a time I was not a reader. A particular book about a Runaway Pancake was my favorite as a small child. Then, came Winnie the Pooh, Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, James and the Giant Peach, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. All the stories and characters captivated my mind and imagination. All the books were read, re-read, and loved, well before the movies were even thought of,  let alone actually being produced.  I still own my original copies of Wrinkle in Time and The Picture of Dorian Gray.  Poe was a favorite, especially The Telltale Heart. The Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy Mystery books occupied a large chunk of my reading time as a pre-teen that preceded the T.V. show in the late 1970’s. When my I was old enough to start a collection with my own money, I began gathering many copies of these two book series that I loved and still cherish.  They still sit on the bookshelf in our family room today.

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Different books mean different things to me. I have professional nursing books and textbooks, left over from my nursing education that even includes a Neonatal Drug Book that I helped co-author during my first job as a NICU nurse.  I have books on education and educational reform – some deemed necessary by self-imposement when I was substitute teaching or advocating for TAG students.  I have many books on writing due to leading a writer’s club  for elementary students and a love words and the craft of putting them together.  Children’s poetry books are among my favorites – Jack Prelutsky, Jeff Moss, Shel Silverstein, and others I have collected over the years or inherited from my mom who taught third grade for an entire generation of students. Last, but most recently used, are my books on the environment, learning styles, habitat, and conservation.

When there is a significant event, I often turn to books as a gift. There is something permanent and meaningful to both giving and receiving a book.  I have both given books as gifts and received books as gifts. When I choose to give a book as a gift, I put thought into it. I consider if it is something the person would enjoy or need.  Therefore, I assume that when I receive a book the person giving it to me has also thought about the reason they want me to have it.  The books I have received have a special place in my heart, as well as on my shelf.

This past June, I ended the garden club I had founded in 2004 at one of our local elementary schools (the school my boys attended as students). I have not had a student of my own in the building for four years, yet I continued to hold the garden club for other students I had grown to care about and want to nurture or enrich.  Most, probably over 98%, of our meetings were held in the Library Media Center (LMC) of this elementary school. I appreciated being able to use the space (after reserving it according to district policy) and occasionally some of the technology that was available in the LMC. Having books for reference among our midst during the lessons was a definite bonus! Even if we were going to be outside and working in the garden, our group first met in the LMC at dismissal.  I wanted to do something for the library at the end of garden club this June. Something permanent. Something I could leave behind.  A book.

I searched.  I knew it had to be a newer book that would capture the essence of garden club, environmental awareness, and the imagination of the students.  A book that most likely, the library did not yet have. I settled upon Creekfinding by Jaqueline Briggs Martin.  Published this past March (2017), it was brand new.  It told the story of the purposeful uncovering and rediscovery of an old creek bed in the Driftless region of  Northeast Iowa.  We live in the Driftless area of Wisconsin. Like the story setting, there are fields of corn around us. Like garden club, the focus was finding nature that may have been buried or forgotten. The illustrations by Claudia McGeHee were vivid. I could see this book appealing to the student body – some of my former garden club students – at Evergreen.

I inscribed the book, thanking the school for “housing” our garden club for so many years, allowing children to uncover the nature that surrounds them. I left it in the library (LMC) on the last day of school.  I have not heard anything about the book since I left it on the librarian’s chair with the note of thanks.

Now, almost three months later, I hope.  I hope the book I left gets read to the students, either by the librarian or some of the classroom teachers. I hope it serves as a reminder of the club that beautified the school grounds and planted the seed of environmental stewardship in the student body.  I hope a curious student finds it on the shelves and checks it out because they already like nature, fish, rivers, or big dirt moving machines.  I hope the book makes them like nature even more. This year I can only hope.

 

Do You Know Any Left Handers?

Do You Know Any Left Handers?

Yesterday was Left Handers Day – one of those fun holidays that help us to celebrate our differences as humans.  I am not left-handed, however I was raised in a family with two left handed parents and a sister (younger) that also turned out to be left handed! When I was young and being taught to tie my shoes, my mother thought something was wrong with me because I just did not understand out to tie.  She was lamenting her concerns to my grandmother, her mother, and my grandmother realized that I was being shown how to tie backwards – a left handed adult, showing a right-handed child how to tie shoes.   This does not work any better than a right handed person showing a left handed child how to perform the simple tasks of daily life.  Once my grandmother showed me, I was able to tie without much more difficulty! My grandmother, an accomplished seamstress, was right-handed. Ahhhh!  Although I do not remember (I was not damaged for life), I am sure it felt good to be shown the way I could be successful at performing this necessary pre-kindergarten task.

Today, although very dominantly right-handed, I have some very definite traits associated with lefties! I am creative. Although it took me more than three-quarters of my life to realize this, it is a fact that I now recognize and can be recognized by others.  Left-handers have a right brain dominance and this makes them more creative, visual thinkers with a broad capacity for imagination, emotional expression, and spatial awareness.  Left handers make great artists, musicians, and leaders due to the ability to tap into the right side of the brain.  See this page at LeftHandersDay.com for more.

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I seem to be surrounded by many left-handed people. It makes me wonder why that is. Am I drawn to this particular type of person through their personality or abilities? Does being associated with many left handers bring out my own creative capacities? My husband is left handed but like many lefties, is ambidextrous for many life tasks or hobbies.  He writes and draws with his left hand, plays tennis with his left hand, but throws, bowls, and plays ping-pong using his right hand dominantly.  He was raised by two right-handed parents. Our boys are all right handed. All three are very creative, as is my husband.

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All I know is that it is definitely a right-handed world and in it I have many left-handed friends and family members. Maybe I was meant to be left handed. I really do not think so, but given that I was the oddity in my family of lefties, it is surprising that I am so dominantly right handed.

Are there not just as many, or more, famous and accomplished people who are right-handed? Probably so. But, since there are fewer lefties in the populace – only about 13%,  it makes their accomplishments stand out even more! Some famous left handers include:

  • Vincent Van Gogh
  • MC Escher
  • Michelangelo
  • Leonardo de Vinci
  • Cole Porter
  • Paul McCartney
  • Sting
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Steve Forbes
  • Bill Gates
  • Steve Jobs
  • Mark Zuckerburg
  • Barack Obama
  • Gerald Ford
  • Bill Clinton
  • George H.W. Bush
  • Ronald Reagan

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Who do you know that is left-handed? Do they have any stories having to do with their handedness while growing up?  Are they exceptionally creative? You will not know unless you ask! All I know is that all of the lefties I know have something special about them.  I am glad I am part of their world – even if it is only by association and my ability to create!

Graphics provided by the website LeftHandersDay.com

Silent Sunday: Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, Bermuda, One of the Oldest Cast Iron Lighthouses in the World (Circa, 1846).

Silent Sunday: Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, Bermuda, One of the Oldest Cast Iron Lighthouses in the World (Circa, 1846).

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Who are the People in your Neighborhood?

Who are the People in your Neighborhood?

Being in a different community (county)  for a week got me thinking about the old Sesame Street Song, The People in Your Neighborhood. 

Everyone you meet on Bermuda is so nice.  I am not sugar-coating our visit or trying to be sappy; it is just a true statement! From the hostess who sat us at breakfast to the bus driver who stopped to pick us back up after we got off at the wrong stop without us having to flag him down, the native Bermudians seem to relish their chance to show visitors a gentile, hospitable, and welcoming island.

Our ferry captain was especially nice on the morning we took the hotel boat to Hamilton to go to St. George. His crew did not show up, but he did not appear angry, hostile, or even irritated. He just took it in stride and drove the ferry over to Hamilton as if the crew were all with us. Yes, we heard some couched sarcasm when some one asked who was driving the as he talked with us, but his retort actually complimented the person who questioned him!

Each, and every day, smiles and friendly, somewhat formal greetings met us while at the hotel or out in their community.  Bermudians were anxious to satisfy our needs. They were willing to go out on a limb to induce comfort, allay hunger, and provide necessities like towels – even at ten o’clock at night.  No one, and I do mean not anyone, appeared to be angry they were working during a national holiday weekend (according to one source Bermuda has a zero unemployment rate), that the visitors to the island increased their population by ten-fold (from 60,000 to  600,000 each year), or that you did not really seem to understand the bus token-transfer system (it does cause confusion for some).

All this politeness and consideration made me wish for a little more of this type of behavior at home! Do not get me wrong, we love the mid-west where most of the niceties of daily life are still in place. But, as our population density is increasing, I am finding more people so unhappy in their daily grind that it spills over onto the people they are in contact with – other community members, or visitors. We need to work harder, as the Bermudians do, to not allow this to happen.

My son and one of his former college roommates headed to our cabin this weekend.  At dinner last night, the roommate asked, “Do you know everyone here?” clarifying that he met our community.  I began my reply seriously, stating how our town’s population has increased three-fold since we moved here eighteen years ago.  And then, I added, “no, and I do not want to know everyone, any longer.”  The people in our neighborhood are changing, my role in the community is changing, and although I do not have the desire to know ALL the people in our neighborhood (community), I do think we would all do each other a favor if we took more of a Bermudian outlook on life and greeted everyone with a smile and friendly greeting.  You see, it takes very little effort for the Bermudians to do this, and yet the effects and dividends are very real. You feel welcome. You feel wanted. You feel like you are part of the neighborhood.  Is that not something we all want? We want to belong.

So, I will try to learn the lesson showed to me while visiting Bermuda. In fact, I started this week, smiling and chatting during our high school registration process. I talked to people I knew and to people who were new to me. The Bermudians know the people in their neighborhood, whether native or visitor.  If you are a visitor, they make an effort to get to know you and beyond that show you a friendly, welcoming face. You are in their neighborhood, and they want to make your stay as nice as possible. Thank you Bermuda for this reminder. Thank you Sesame Street for sharing a catchy song that has stuck with me for half a century!

“Oh, who are the people in your neighborhood,

in your neighborhood,

in your neighborhood?

Oh, who are the people in your neighborhood,

the people that you meet each day?

……………………….

 Jeffery Moss, 1969 © Festival Attractions, Inc.

© The Children’s Television Network, Inc. 1971

 

International Dining: Bermuda, Part II

International Dining: Bermuda, Part II

About a week before arriving on the island of Bermuda, I made reservations at two restaurants I wanted to try during our stay. One was the Hog Penny Restaurant and Pub serving authentic British Pub and comfort foods at a reasonable price. The second dining establishment was the Ocean Club at the hotel we were staying at. I had planned the Ocean Club dinner to be our “honeymoon anniversary dinner” celebration. Again, I used the app, Open Table to make the reservations – more on this later in the post.

Right away, things did not go exactly as planned but might have actually turned out better than we anticipated. We arrived in the late afternoon and after taking our arranged transportation to the hotel, we quickly decided to change into beach clothes and head down to the hotel beach where we knew to be a grill called the Cabana which served light food and drinks to be enjoyed right on the beach. Unfortunately, we arrived at 6:05 p.m. and this establishment closes at 6 p.m. nightly. One of the waiters directed us to the Ocean Club but we were hesitant as my husband was in swim trunks and a t-shirt and I in a tie-dye cover-up type dress.  (Note the previous post comments on dress code.) We definitely did not meet the requirements. However, the hostess graciously sat us for dinner. We were given a table on the veranda overlooking the ocean and beach. It was a gorgeous setting. Next, we met our waiter. He was from Nepal! Yes, as in, where Mount Everest is – so far from home! We were able to learn a little about his life there, and his life in Bermuda, as well as his family, from which he was separated for nine months of the year to enable him to earn a living in Bermuda. We spoke of Sherpas and mountains, oceans, family, and bravery. It was a wonderful experience and we had not yet even eaten!  Our dinner consisted of Bermuda Rock Fish, Asparagus with Lemon and Himalayan Salt, and Mussels.  It was some of the best fish my husband and I ever tasted! We lingered over coffee and tea following our meal to watch the sun disappear over the roof of the hotel beyond the beach. We still had Ocean Club reservations for Saturday night and were looking forward to returning.

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The following day was spent at the pool and beach. For dinner, we headed into Hamilton by ferry in the late afternoon. The Southampton Princess Hotel provides a complimentary ferry from its dock to the ferry terminal in downtown Hamilton.  We took advantage of this service at least half of the days were on the island. The City of Hamilton has been having Harbor Nights on Wednesdays for quite a few years now, but they are new to us, as they did not offer this form of entertainment in 2007. I had read about this event in my pre-trip research and planned a dinner at one of the restaurants near the harbor in Hamilton.  We ate at the Hog Penny Restaurant and Pub, just barely a half a block in from Front Street which was sectioned off for the weekly parade of Gombey dancers and craft vendors.  The Hog Penny did not disappoint! The close quartered, classic British Pub atmosphere reminded of the scene in the movie “Maid of Honor” when the female lead goes into the Scottish Pub to receive hearty congratulations on her pending nuptials from perfect strangers! Dark and crowded, we were ushered to our table as soon as an older couple from one of the visiting cruise ships vacated it.  But, in passing through such close quarters, you immediately felt like you were part of the pub family, striking up jovial conversations on the way to our intimate corner table. Despite the crowd, our waiter was brisk and efficient, as well as pleasant – but, there was no time for chit-chat with him as he could be seen hopping from table to table.  Next to us sat a couple we had ridden on the ferry with into Hamilton. My husband confirmed that she was having the Shepherds Pie, which looked incredible. I had Fish Chowder which is a Bermuda staple and an arugula salad. Our meal was outstanding!  The Fish Chowder was really peppery with large chunks of fish and a tomato base. When it arrived our waiter ran back to the table to give me a shake of sherry and Goslings Bermuda Black Rum to top the soup off. Yummy! We completed this dinner by indulging in a locally brewed beer and a hard cider imported from South Africa, both delicious and thirst quenching.

 

This seems to be a good time to bring up drinking water while on the island of Bermuda. Water is a precious resource. There is no freshwater source on this island. Consequently, the Bermuda residents collect the rainwater that flows off their specially designed, white washed roofs into cisterns on their property.  A home owner is required to collect a certain percentage of rainwater. Forgetting that not all countries serve treated tap water, we were served “still” water (from a sealed bottle) at our first dinner. While delicious, we have always found this unnecessary on Bermuda and from there after, opted for iced tap water. It is usually not offered as an option – just still or sparkling, which comes from a bottle and you pay for it.  The iced tap water tasted fine and neither one of us has ever gotten dysentery from a stay on Bermuda. Having been to the Netherlands last fall, I realized the bottled water served with meals when in a restaurant is a European tradition that has been continued on this former British colony. DSC_0082

Thursday night was a night without pre-made reservations. This was the only day on our trip that it rained. We had learned that Bermuda was in a very slight drought, and the rain was slow, but steady all day on Thursday. It was nice to see the island receive the rain it was needing.  We stayed close to the hotel, thankful that we had not departed on the ferry to St. Georges or the Dockyard. Swimming in the hotel pool during a quiet rainfall was a wonderfully relaxing activity, as it turned out.  Around seven we ended up  wandering down to another one of the restaurants at the hotel (there are ten) to see if we could be seated.  As luck would have it, another couple did not show up for their reservations and we were seated in their place at the Newport Gastropub. This restaurant is decorated in a nautical theme and was just as busy as any other eating establishment we had visited.  While our meal was fine, it was not exceptional. Our waitress was very sweet but obviously overwhelmed by a couple of other large parties that had come in around the same time as we did.  Although our table was cleared, we seemed to have to wait an extraordinarily long time to receive our dinner bill. It was 9:30 p.m. by the time we left, and we agreed, it was too late to be just returning from dinner. This was the only place we ate on this trip that we do not feel that we would return to eat again if given a future chance.  Again, not terrible, just not great.

Coincidently, our feelings about this restaurant was pretty similar to the other comments we read when doing our pre-trip dinner research.  We always take comments with a grain of salt, since you do not know what the expectations are of those who are writing, but in this case, slower service and a “just okay meal” seemed to be among the prevailing comments.

Saturday, we spent the day in St. George –  another historic town on the opposite end of the island from the Dockyard. Instead of taking ferries (three would be required) we opted for the complimentary ferry from the hotel and a bus ride from Hamilton.  The buses on Bermuda are reliable modes of transportation, used by residents and visitors, alike. We have used this mode of transportation on all three of our Bermuda vacations, but this time used tokens instead of passes. It still worked fine.   We had a large breakfast before heading out, and lots of water to drink on a very hot and humid day. So, our lunch ended up being delayed until mid-afternoon (after a short time on the beach at Tobacco Bay) when we could catch the bus back to the Swizzle Inn – a famous spot on the island that serves the unofficial drink of Bermuda – the Rum Swizzle.  After a 1/2 pitcher (2 drinks each), chicken barbecue nachos which were to die for, and the glad realizations we were still riding the bus back to the hotel, we were content.  However, Saturday  night was the night we were to return to the Ocean Club for our “fancy” dinner, celebrating our anniversary.

To make a long story short, we cancelled our open table reservation but were unable to make another reservation at the same place for the following night. Instead, with the concierge’s help we made reservations for the Italian restaurant associated with our hotel, but found on the nearby golf course.  The restaurant’s name was Bacci.  Our waiter here was from Romania – Stephan.  I had a seafood skewer consisting of swordfish, scallop, and shrimp, while my husband had their homemade pasta bolognese.  They allowed us to split a caesar salad that came out pre-divided on two separate plates from their kitchen.  We both had cocktails. And then, we ended up having dessert as well. I will save the dessert story for another time, as it is humorous, but suffice it to say, it was the best dessert either of us had ever had – at home or abroad!

When I asked my husband what the favor part of our trip was he unabashedly said, “the food!”  We did eat well! All meals were served ala cart – which is great because you are not served food you do not want, but also not so great to have to pay more for the food you do.  And, while the seafood on Bermuda was outstanding and fresher than anything we can get at home in “middle America”, we found ourselves desiring some leafy greens and salads, which started to be satisfied by our lunch selections.  We made requisite trip or two to the grocery store, as well. This is something I would recommend any overseas traveller do, as you really get a flavor of the local people and what they are eating.  It also makes you appreciate the luxury of choice, affordability, efficiency, flow, and cleanliness we have in our grocery stores at home.

Eating in a foreign country, even one as similar as Bermuda, is a learning experience.  We are all humans and all need sustenance. Allow yourself the chance to explore another culture by eating local food and observing local eating customs, as much as possible when travelling overseas. You will be glad you did.