Drinks of Bermuda

Drinks of Bermuda

This is not my first blog piece for today, but I guess I am just not ready to post what I wrote earlier. Now, it is late in the day and I am do not feel like posting a heavy piece of writing (>1,000 words).

So, in celebration of 5 o’clock on a Friday, I will post about cocktails. I just got back from Menards which is a home improvement store in the mid-west. There I found, by total accident, Ginger Beer made by Goslings.  I laughed as I scooped the six-pack up into my already full arms.

Ginger Beer is an ingredient in a Dark n Stormy, Bermuda’s national cocktail. I am not a huge rum fan but I do have Gosling’s Dark Rum in my cupboard which is a Bermuda staple. I cannot remember ever having a Dark and Stormy, even once during my three trips to Bermuda, including this past August. But, in the comfort of my own home, knowing I can potentially dump it down the drain after sipping the cocktail without wasting a ton of money (Remember, everything is expensive in Bermuda – wine, beer, and cocktails are no exception), allows me to feel adventuresome in trying this cocktail.

I looked up the recipe online from Epicurious – Yup, the ingredients are Dark Rum, Ginger Beer, and a lime wedge.

So, recognizing the Goslings label on the Ginger Beer (isn’t beer the same as ale, as in Ginger Ale?) I thought the soda was Bermudian, and what was referred to in recipes for a Dark and Stormy, the national cocktail of the Island of Bermuda.

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Of course, I was disappointed when I realized that the Ginger Beer is not from Bermuda at all. I am sure it is just Ginger Ale, just like the Schweppes, Seagrams, or Canada Dry brands.  Just because it has a cute seal on the front, aptly named “Stormy”, does not mean it is better, or from Bermuda, or will make a more tasty rum concoction.

After all my excitement, I decided on waiting to try a Dark and Stormy for another day and instead reverted back to my heart helping glass of red wine – something Thorny, instead of Stormy.

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Cheers.

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To Prefer or Not to Prefer

To Prefer or Not to Prefer

“What do you prefer,” the waiter asked? It was early, too early, to make any decisions, even about juice. “Would you like our special mix of Orange, Mango, Pineapple, or just Orange? Both were freshly made this morning.”

“Oh, I’ll take the mix – why not?” I told the waiter.

His reply came back in a crisp British accent that matched the crisply pressed, khaki Bermuda shorts and knee socks he so elegantly sported, “Very good, Miss.” He poured, the vibrantly orange mix of juices into the sparkling, spotless goblet that sat at my place on the table.

Miss! Miss, I thought to myself! Now, I hadn’t heard that one in a long time! My crow’s feet and spider veins, now visible on my legs, were sure signs I was old enough to be a “Mam” instead of a “Miss!” But, I will take it today – even though I am not sure which salutation I would prefer, Mam or Miss. Today, I’ll be a Miss, I thought to myself as I gave the waiter a vapid smile.

Left alone to eat my breakfast, I contemplated my day. What would I like to do? What would I prefer? The beach or pool? The sand or the cement? The sun or shade? So many decisions based on preference.  It was my choice to come here – Bermuda. Due to schedules, I decided to come two days before my husband this time. Before, on our three previous trips, we had always arrived together.

So, the next two days are mine. The decisions I make will be based on my preference due to not deferring to the preference of my partner. Sitting alone and eating my breakfast, while looking out the clear turquoise surf, gently lapping the shore, I wondered if I would enjoy making all the choices based on my preferences. Somehow, I wasn’t sure.

First, I thought I would walk on the beach. Although I prefer not to exercise, I do like to walk and I do like the beach. So, a walk on the beach would be good. The beaches on Bermuda are some of the most beautiful in the world, in my opinion. A pink hue emanates from the soft sand, free of shells and sea plant debris, on the wide expanse of the coral lined shore. The beach would be great. I prefer the beach, I said to myself, making a game of it.

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Photographs. I love to take photos on vacation. I prefer landscapes, sunsets, and flowers as opposed to people, street scenes, and food. The afternoon was spent traveling to St. George on the water ferry because I prefer that to the bus on a calm, sunny day, such as this one in early July.

Soon, it was time for dinner. What would I prefer? So many choices! Seafood is a favorite. Beach dining is great. Or, how about the comfort of a Shepard Pie in the Hog Penny English Pub in Hamilton?  This entrée had been my husband’s choice on our last visit to this quaint island nation and it was delicious! Shepard’s Pie was not something I would normally prefer, but it was tasty for sure! Maybe, I’ll go and have that. The pub was fun, intimate, and full of both tourists and locals, that would make it an interesting place to people watch.

Back at the hotel, I had to decide what I would prefer to do with my evening. I prefer wine as my libation of choice when home. But here? Again, there seemed to be a lot of choices. Should I have the traditional Dark and Stormy or the Bermudian’s national cocktail of a Rum Swizzle, instead? No, I prefer wine. I’ll have a glass in the hotel lounge and do some more people watching.

Then, to bed. I prefer to get a good night sleep. When my husband arrives, we’ll go with his preferences for a day or two, as I prefer not to make so many decisions.

Inspired by the WordPress Daily Prompt: Prefer

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Pedestrian

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Pedestrian

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Bridge in Ames, Iowa Park, 2015. © Carol Labuzzetta
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Street in Delft, The Netherlands. Definitely made for Walking. © Carol Labuzzetta
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Red Dirt Trail on Kauai, 2013. © Carol Labuzzetta
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“This is our walkin’ path,” says the Pelican. Florida Keys, 2010. © Carol Labuzzetta
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On the Strees of Madison, Wisconsin. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2012
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Alternatively, Uninspired. Monk Seal, Kauai. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2013
2004 SevenBridgesRoad
Spring at Seven Bridges Road, Wisconsin. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2004
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Madison Wisconsin Pizza Place. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2012.
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Riverside Park, La Crosse, Wisconsin. © Carol Labuzzetta

 

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Stairs in Bermuda. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2017.

Inspired by the  Weekly WordPress Photo Challenge: Pedestrian

 

Bermuda Perfumeries….then and now.

Bermuda Perfumeries….then and now.

The island of Bermuda is one of my favorite places in the world! It has pastel painted houses with white roofs, scented air from the local sub-tropical, brightly colored flora, and a welcoming native people who have retained their civility over years of an increasingly large tourist population.

When we first visited, thirty years ago, our budget was tight so we opted for tours that were both enjoyable and affordable. My memory fails where we saw the line of Royal Lyme aftershave products for men, but we bought some for my husband, and I believe father and father in law, as a memento from our trip. This was back in 1987. I have memories of touring a “factory” type production with the scents – all Royall products – on display. I cannot find anything that resembles or jogs my memory as to where this was on the island. Royall Lyme and other Royall products ceased productions in Bermuda and are now made in New York, exactly when this took place, I do not know. Some of the company’s history – which claims a “prestigious line of gentleman’s toiletries” can be found on the Royall Lyme company’s website.

On our third trip, this summer, my husband and I hopped off the bus in St. George and immediately saw a sign for the Bermuda Perfumery.  He said, “Do you want to go and check it out?” Of course, my reply was, “Yes, let’s do it!”

St. George Local Reststop 2017

So, down the cobbled street we wandered, which was barely wide enough for one car, let alone two vehicles and a couple of pedestrians. Quaintness whispers from the accompanying alleys.  Straight away, we entered a neatly turned out white and black shuttered building – The Bermuda Perfumery.  I am sad to tell you that most of my photos are corrupted from this last trip, so I cannot show you the lovely building. You can see it on the perfumery’s Facebook page, however, in their photo section.

Upon entering, it appears to be an old house, converted into a showroom for the perfumes made now by – Lili Bermuda.  At first, we did not find what we were looking for – Royall Lyme aftershave. After inquiring, we were informed by the very pleasant sales person that Royall Lyme was made by an entirely different company! Our mistake.

However, here we were, in the Bermuda Perfumery. I made quick work of my shopping, spending some of my closely protected vacation funds on a soap set for my sister-in-law, a sampler of scents, and what I thought was a specially wrapped bar of soap – which turned out to be a bottle of Passion Flower Perfume! It just smelled too good to leave without marking the occasion with some purchases. The young sales person left us to our wanderings in the front two rooms of the house – giving us time to sample and decide. I was somewhat worried about taking liquid pack on the plane, so that prompted my decision to purchase a “Lili Bermuda Perfume Library” – which gives you samples of eleven of the different scents.  Some are unisex, such as Fresh Water, which was my favorite while in the store. It is a crisp, citrusy, clean scent – the type I have always been drawn to wearing.

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After getting home, I gave my sister-in-law the soaps, and started using my fragrance library – with my preference – Freshwater, first.  A couple of weeks after settling in to our routines at home, I opened the box I thought was a special bar of soap in order to pamper myself.  To my surprise, it was a bottle of perfume – Passion Flower!  It had gotten through customs without any problems (in my carry-on). Lucky me!

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Recently, having scents available to wear from The Bermuda Perfumery has kept the island in my mind….as well as in my heart, where it has already been for the last thirty years!

 

 

Silent Sunday: More Beautiful Bermuda

Silent Sunday: More Beautiful Bermuda

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Last Night Sunset. August 2017.

 

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© J. Labuzzetta, 2017. Moongate.

 

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© Carol Labuzzetta, Trail to the LIghthouse from Hotel, Bermuda. 2017.
Tabacco Bay 2017
© Azure Waters. Tabacco Bay. Bermuda. 2017.
The Dockyard Bermuda 2017
© Royal Navy Dockyard Grounds, Bermuda. 2017.
St. Peter's in 2017
© St. Peter’s Church. One of the Oldest in the New World, Bermuda, 2017.
National Museum at Dockyard 2017
© National Museum. Bermuda, 2017.
America's Cup Race Kite 2017
© Carol Labuzzetta, Kite from the America’s Cup Race, 2017. Bermuda.
Pretty Bermuda Houses 2017
© Pretty Pastels and White Roofs, Bermuda. 2017. 
The Dockyard. National Museum 2017
© National Museum at the Dockyard, Bermuda, 2017.
St. George Local Reststop 2017
© Local Reststop, St. George. Bermuda. 2017.
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© Pink Sand Beach at Hotel, Southhampton, Bermuda. 2017.
Beer Glass in Bermuda Pub ? Badger ? 2017
© Carol Labuzzetta. Huh? Beer Served Badger Style in Bermuda. 2017.
Bermuda Ferry View 2017
© Clear Blue. Bermuda. 2017.
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