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Sunflower

Just back from a little trip to Florida, a couple of days in Miami followed a couple in Fort Lauderdale, just 40 minutes north along the coast, and a place I hadn’t been for 13 years. It had changed significantly, and grown like a sunflower.

Neighbouring towns of Hollywood and Oakwood Park have been engulfed by Fort Lauderdale’s expansion. Once a renowned centre for spring-breakers’ high jinks the dive bar and burger joints had all but disappeared and have been replaced by boutique hotels, upscale apartment buildings and a burgeoning restaurant scene.

New hotels are opening at a rate of knots, despite Covid, each one with a signature restaurant and a massive oceanfront Four Seasons opens later this year. The newly remodelled International Swimming Hall of Fame opens in the autumn, and key to existing and future growth is Brightline’s new train line extension opening between Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando, with Tampa on the Gulf Coast eventually being linked.

What with East Las Olas Boulevard and it’s vein of waterways a haven to stroll, we decided that two days wasn’t anywhere near enough time, so we plan on returning.

Back in Bermuda and the island is all but shut, not still a result of Flora Duffy hangovers, but the rest of this week is the annual festival of Cup Match, back on the calendar, albeit with a limited attendance, after last year’s cancellation. Thursday is officially Emancipation Day, with tomorrow now called Mary Prince Day after a once enslaved Bermudian who became a hero of the abolitionist movement. Friday was up until 2020 called Somers Day, named for Admiral Sir George Somers who founded Bermuda in 1609.

Mostly though it is a cricket match played between the east and west sides of the island. Played for pride and plenty of noise and booze, Somerset and St. George’s will battle it out over a hot and sticky wicket.

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