Category Archives: Flashback Trip

Flashback Trip – Bermuda

Bermuda is not a cheap option if you are looking for an island getaway, but it is a trip I will remember for the rest of my life. It was a fantastic blend of laid back island life, and buttoned up conservativeness. It had amazing views, amazing forts, amazing ferries, amazing colors Wood Door and an amazing dark & stormy drink we are still trying to recreate to this day.

We went to Bermuda in November 2007, mostly because I found a great deal on airfare. The weather was far from a hot island paradise, but it made travel more affordable because it was during the off season. We never had to worry about dinner reservations, or crowded streets. So while it didn’t allow for any sunbathing, we found it to be a perfect time of year to go. We stayed a week which gave us plenty of time for relaxing, and touring the island from end to end. We used public transportation, which was an easy way to get around (and safer – some of those windy streets driving on the ‘other’ side of the road…not sure if we would have survived) and we ended up walking quite a bit. Walk in BermudaWalking was extra enjoyable here because there were views to be seen. Whether it was the amazing roof structures that collect water, to the forts and churches, to the vast ocean, there was always something that caught our attention.

We stayed near Surfside Beach which put us on the quiet side of the island – which was perfect. We were also upgraded to a two bedroom suite with a kitchen and unblocked views of the ocean from our balcony.View from Balcony (one of the great things about being a previous hotel employee, you know what it’s like behind that desk and you are often rewarded for your kindness and understanding) We spent time at Horseshoe Bay where I caught some great shots. I still say, the ‘pink’ sand wasn’t nearly as pink as I had been led to believe (darn marketers!). It was still gorgeous scenery and the tinge of pink was still incredible. Horseshoe BayWe spent time in Hamilton walking around the town and visiting Fort Hamilton. There we were rewarded with a cool jungle moat, and a great fort to explore and tour.Beautiful Garden Moat We had a ridiculously priced lunch because I was dying for a Rockfish dish we saw on a restaurant menu – so we decided to spring for it. The only other diner in the place happened to be none other than Micheal Douglas. We cost our server a bet and got a compliment all at the same time. Apparently since we weren’t celebrity crazy, rude, or loud she determined we were Canadians, so we were glad to challenge her stereotype. She stopped just short of demanding our passports in her surprise.

We took a ferry from Hamilton to the Dockyard, and while we discovered some neat architecture, we found it to be a little too touristy for our liking. Clock TowerOne of our favorite days was when we decided to walk from the city of St. George, to Fort St. Catherine. It was nice to roam the streets, taking in the amazing Unfinished Church,Unfinished Church Bermuda and then see the views from Fort. St Catherine. We also were treated to amazing views from Gibb’s Hill Lighthouse – well worth the hike up the stairs! View from Gibbs LighthouseWe also experienced Johnny Barnes, a gentleman that waves to passerby’s 5 days a week, just spreading joy. It was amazing how getting that wave made the trip not only extra worth it, but complete.

I was quite enchanted with Bermuda. It is far from your ‘typical’ island stop, and that is exactly the reason to visit.


Flashback Trip – Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, North Carolina & The Atlantic Ocean

We drove down from Rochester, NY to visit Raleigh, NC the summer of 2009. We were partly thinking of it as a potential relocation area (note to self – it would have been better than Columbus, Georgia), and partly just needed to get out of dodge. This was the first long trip that we brought Samantha and she was awesome(no big surprise there!). We could tell her hips started to tire if we made too many stops so we started looking for curbs the rest of the week to park at to help make the jump into the back of the Jeep not so bad. When we RV, we plan on getting a ramp to see if she will use that. But anyway – onto the trip!

The area was really nice with a lot to do outside, which we appreciated having Samantha. We actually found that we liked Durham a little bit more – a little grittier and maybe coming from Rochester we gravitated towards that. Durham had places like the American Tobacco Historic District, where old tobacco plants were re-purposed into offices, restaurants and entertainment. The ball park for the Durham Bulls was also right in that area. I really love seeing places like this – it gives a opportunity to walk the grounds of a different era and I love when older buildings are used instead of abandoned and left to rot. I understand the huge expense and undertaking – but it’s appreciated!

We also spent some time wandering around the campus of Chapel Hill, which first opened its doors in 1795. It really is an amazingly beautiful campus – the kind you see in movies with towering trees and lush lawns. The surrounding streets were rather nice for a college town, with stores and restaurants abound. There were cool art sculptures around but one of the coolest ‘exhibits’ I saw was on a lightpole.

We also walked around the city of Raleigh, taking in the downtown area.  It was clean and comfortable and Samantha liked the exercise, but there wasn’t much there to really catch our attention. Maybe we just missed some good stuff.

Since we were so close to the Atlantic, we had to fit in some beach time. We exercised our 4 wheel drive and drove on some seriously soft sand to a place where you could barely see any others. THIS is what a beach should be like. Warm, sandy & quiet – except the pesky (but seriously cool) bi-plane that kept flying by. 🙂 It was a great day and Samantha enjoyed her first beach time – still without swimming of course.

 

We also got to visit family, which is always nice. Now that there is another little one, I am sure we will make our way back to this area soon.


Flashback Trip – Parkersburg, West Virginia

When we are not traveling, I am going to try to post a ‘Flashback Trip’ once a week. We have been so many places before buying an RV, that this might give people a chance to learn a little more about us –  What we like to see, do and find interesting when traversing the globe. Today I am going to wax poetic about West Virginia. West Virginia is a beautiful, beautiful state filled with impressive mountains, lush views, and winding rivers. We lived in Charles Town for 2 years (when we thought a 1.5 hour commute one way into VA & MD was ok).  In September of 2004, we decide to weave around the state of West Virginia, staying at a few B & B’s along the way. Even with the tropical storm that blew through, we were blown away by the beauty – but of all the towns my favorite was Parkersburg. I am an old house junkie, as is Keith. We like them for the architecture, the attention to detail and just the grandness they portray. Parkersburg, situated at the confluence of the Ohio and Little Kanawha River, suffered from a horrible flood when we were there, but we were still able to geocache, and do a lot of walking around while staying away from the areas that were flooding. We missed the antique stores because of this flood, but got to walk around neighborhoods featuring amazing houses like Julia Ann Square.  We even got to tour a house that was under renovation – people were that friendly! This is just what I imagined a small river town to be – although Parkersburg does have an interesting divide between historical and, well, not. As always when you are traveling, you don’t get to see everything. We missed out on the Fenton glass tour in nearby Williamstown, but that just gives us incentive to head back this way someday.