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Posts from the ‘Travelogue’ Category

The Streets of San Francisco

San Francisco’s streets were more like how I remember them last week when I was huffing and puffing up and down those towering hills.

I was staying at the top of Nob Hill, one of the seven famous hills in the city, although the list of the city’s hills is nearer to 50.

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Work vacation flutter

I’m in Sarasota, Florida for a few days, the first time I have been inside our house since Hurricane Ian. Happy to report it is still standing!

On Saturday, not long after the end of the Addicks’ FA Cup game, I fly to Las Vegas for what my daughter charmingly calls a ‘work vacation.’

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Travelogue – Puerto Rico

We were last in Puerto Rico in 2009 and was enchanted by the Isla del Encanto, and one afternoon in August sat in our kitchen in Sarasota we decided on a very last minute trip back there.

The last time we were there, 13 years ago, my unknowingly-pregnant-other-half and me spent a large chunk of our time sampling the charms of Old San Juan. We danced to very loud music, drunk piña colada’s and tumbled late out of bars onto its shiny blue cobblestones.

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Isla del Encanto

We haven’t done anything spontaneous for a while. Years ago we would regularly make last minute trips bound for unknown places, but children and life got in the way of such whims and a global pandemic of course.

Anyway that outlook changed suddenly yesterday when we went online and booked a hotel and a flight to Puerto Rico for this morning.

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Sussex bubbles

Whilst in East Sussex last week I wanted to take my parents somewhere a little different, and I found an absolute treasure trove of a place just 10 minutes from their home.

To say the Rathfinny Wine Estate is tucked away is hardly legitimate when it occupies 600 acres, with flawless rows of vines growing on the south facing hills of the South Downs. Yet the entrance gates to the estate are located just beyond the chocolate box village of Alfriston near the Deans Place Hotel and one could easily drive past them.

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Barbados, cow bells and butterfly

Barbados was a blur. I couldn’t decide if it went by in a blink of an eye or it seemed like we were there for weeks.

The reason we were in Barbados was that our daughter was representing Bermuda at the CARIFTA regional swimming championships. Like a Caribbean youth games for under 18’s.

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My Top Five 2021 Favourite Places

🔝5️⃣. Next up on my look back at the year that wasn’t of 2021 is My Top Five Favourite Places. Not quite as limited on exploration as the year before, nevertheless the five were relatively easy to select.

There was nowhere new, but plenty of places revisited, one in particular was long overdue. Here are my 2021 Top Five Favourite Places 🌇

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East Coast, West Coast

Back home indoors after almost a month away in the United States. The dog was ignoring me, but we rekindled a little on our morning walk earlier.

It was pretty restorative being away from this small isle for the past 4 weeks, travelling East Coast to West, and back again. When I left at the beginning of December Covid was in the rear view mirror and now it is back in the front seat. California and Florida have a complete different mindset when it comes to the pandemic, and one could easily see that after spending time in both States.

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Work vacation

At home in Sarasota, Florida this evening after a whirlwind and exhausting eleven day work trip, or as my daughter calls them work vacation’s.

A Five night kick-off in Las Vegas is not to be recommended, although the time there was more dominated (other than work) by sports more-so than gambling. I actually didn’t even get to sit at a table to lose any money. One reason I wasn’t that bothered was due to mandatory mask wearing at all times within the casinos.

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The night’s are drawing in

I got an unexpected sunny welcome landing at Heathrow Airport this morning. Fast forward ten hours and I’m sat in my parents conservatory looking out at the South Downs which are quickly becoming shrouded in November darkness.

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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.

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Tokyo 2020

It is the longest wait for an Olympic opening ceremony in history, but tomorrow morning my time the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that never looked like happening finally opens.

A year late and stymied by all the regular hosting city controversies of construction, corruption, dodgy resignations of officials and even logo arguments, last year the Tokyo Olympics was taken down by the biggest disease of all.

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Covid in the U.S. rear view mirror

I’m back in Bermuda after our little sojourn to Miami Beach. We stayed just a couple of miles south of Chaplain Towers in Surfide, the site of Thursday’s building collapse tragedy. We drove by it last Monday to have dinner in Bal Harbour, a condo building in a row of non-descript 1980 oceanfront buildings punctuated occasionally by plush hotels.

My heart goes out to every family and friend waiting on news of loved ones 💔

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Roaming Miami

A little bit of a mini break for the next couple of days as we head to Miami later.

Florida has long moved on from the pandemic and apparently visitor numbers are almost back to pre-Covid times. Double vaccinated Americans are increasingly moving around the country and I expect Miami Beach to be busy.

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Travelogue – Florida Keys

Bermuda’s airport re-opened last week, but I am in no rush to get on a plane. Lockdown has had me constantly thinking of travel, past trips and what future ones look like. I also realized that I never did write about the families trip to the Florida’s Keys at the end of last summer.

The Florida Keys are a coral string of islands that form the southernmost part of the United States. The iconic Overseas Highway runs from Miami to the bottom tip of the keys at Key West. American Industrialist and important developer of the Atlantic Coast of the state of Florida Henry Flagler attempted an ambitious plan to run a train the 160 miles across the 800 islands from Miami in the early 1900’s.

Flagler’s aspiration was to take advantage of the growing but geographically challenging trade between the U.S. and Cuba and the rest of Latin America. Yet despite some innovative engineering, the railroad was continuously hindered by a run of hurricanes but engineers persevered until the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935. This CAT 5 devastated the Keys and killed 400 people.

That was the end of Flagler’s project, yet many of the track beds, trestles and bridges remain and form part of today’s Overseas Highway.

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